Over time, you should use a pool of different sources. Sources could be:
- Trade media
- Specialist conferences
Tip: Nothing works without goals?
The key question is, what do you want to achieve? Define goals – macro and micro goals. You shouldn’t start your business without goals. A business plan can be helpful to structure your business. However, this is not absolutely necessary, unless you build your business on investors or business angels. How you ultimately control and keep your goals under control, you must of course also plan. There are different management methods with which you can keep an eye on your goals depending on their size.
Tip: focus and know the customer journey
Focus is extremely important in order to use the available resources optimally. Resources are usually very limited, especially at the start. Gradually gain experience and rely on a few online marketing channels. The mistake is often made of wanting to operate too many channels at once. Since there is usually little money and marketing budget available at the beginning, you should focus on a few channels and address them with full attention.
You should also gain knowledge of the customer journey. Think very carefully about which touchpoints your future customer will shake. The relevant target group is informed about which platforms and which content must be made available. An important tip in the context. Patience is required to obtain relevant information about the customer journey. The respective online marketing channels take time and it is important to examine them carefully and to set up or evaluate cohorts. Sales funnels can be set up and potential customers can be set up step-by-step using several touchpoints.
According to experience, which online marketing channels are the most successful at the start?
There is no universal plan, but very often the following channels are suitable for starting – provided that you have also been able to identify your target groups there:
- SEO – foundation for visibility – takes time, but the targeted structure is important and the channel is often the cheapest
- Google ADs – Especially at the start, you can buy targeted visibility and thus also achieve short-term success.
- Facebook ADs – Due to the still wide reach (over 30 million active users) and the special targeting options, Facebook is a relevant channel.
- Youtube – is the second largest search engine in the world and the consumption of moving images is becoming increasingly relevant
- Linkedin / Xing: If you are active in B2B, LinkedIn is also suitable as a relevant marketing channel. There you can not only find networks but also targeted advertisements or the topic of content marketing are becoming increasingly relevant on this platform
Choosing the right online channels is important and can often be the reason for success or failure. Take your time and test.
Tip: measure success
The absolute prerequisite for successfully managing your business is the measurability of your measures. KPIs help and should go beyond measuring sales and profits. The gut feeling has lost nothing in online marketing. Google Analytics or other systems can help measure goals.
Tip: focus on the customers
The customer must always be in focus. Today people also like to speak of customer-centricity. Many companies are far too busy with themselves and take care of structures to build the product – but without really getting feedback on what the target group ultimately needs. One thing to note: The ruthless truth of whether a product or service is good is what you get from your customers. Work out the USP exactly and include it in the communication. Your customers will already give you regular feedback on what is so special about your product or service or what is still missing.
Tip: Flexibility in strategy and business model
Many companies start with a business model, which has not existed in the following years and has been adapted. This is sometimes necessary because the market can change or the original idea was unsuccessful. Rather, it is the art to recognize this and to break new ground early on. What applies to the business model naturally also applies to the market and other areas. Adaptability, courage and the necessary foresight help you to develop your business sustainably. I’ve seen a lot of SMEs that didn’t want to rethink their strategy and just gave up an online business. This often also applies to offline business, provided that they are active there. “It always worked that way” or “we have been successful with this strategy for X years” are often statements,
Tip: Keep a look outside the box
The wheel does not always have to be reinvented. Established companies do a lot of things right and offer you a lot of scope for inspiration and identity development. Learn from the best. You don’t always have to start from scratch – on the contrary.
Tip: rely on top personnel in key positions
As an entrepreneur, you cannot do everything alone. Especially if you come from the offline world and do not have full attention for the online business. That is precisely why it is important that you fill this key position with a top employee and that you do not save at the wrong end, even if the basic structure of the company is originally different. There is simply the danger that the wrong person, simply not consistently and with the necessary experience and expertise, will approach the online topic.
If you want to establish yourself in the online business, you need a basic basis. Which marketing channels are there, which business models and how do I gradually expand my business. Stay curious, have the courage to test and look outside the box. Choosing the right content management system also plays an important role.