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By Matt Bailey | Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Investing In Social Media For Your Business

Create an Integrated Online Marketing Plan

Explore this course at lynda.com.

How much time and money should I spend on social media?

This frequently asked question sums up the frustration of countless business owners and website publishers. Many social media experts say it’s essential to have a social presence. But not all businesses are the same, nor do they all make money the same way, so it’s critical to first develop an integrated online marketing plan before executing a successful social media strategy to promote it.

Define your messaging Start with your marketing message and strategy, and clearly define the unique value proposition of your business. What do you bring to the table that sets you apart from your competitors, or solves your customers’ problems more efficiently? Once your message aligns with your business goals and reflects your strengths, you’ll need to assess how and where to communicate it.

In my course Building an Integrated Online Marketing Plan, I survey the major marketing channels available to you: SEO (search engine optimization), pay-per-click advertising, video, Facebook, email campaigns, and Twitter promotions, among others—and consider the pros and cons of each. The marketing channels you select must be reflective of your goals, mindful of your resources, and able to effectively communicate your message.

Develop your integrated marketing plan Once your message is solid and your marketing channel opportunities are identified, it’s time to create a clear, executable plan that addresses all the elements of digital marketing.

By taking a holistic, long-term approach and building a year-long content marketing plan, you’ll find it easier to identify social media opportunities based on related content and broader goals, instead of wondering what you should be doing on social each day.

Cover the bases with your daily plan Now that you’ve determined your long-term goals, integrated marketing opportunities, and 12-month plan, make sure to cover all the components of your plan each day. Social activities and campaigns should be balanced alongside fundamental marketing activities like search engine optimization, keyword research, and tuning your advertising models for efficiency. Check your site analytics to measure how successful your efforts have been. Then adjust your plans accordingly.

Interested in more? • Watch Building an Integrated Online Marketing Plan • See all courses by Matt Bailey • See all Business courses at lynda.com

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