As a business owner, you recognize that your company isn’t growing at the rate it could, and you know the internet is the key.
Maybe you’ve already seen inklings of the potential through running a PPC campaign or starting a company e-newsletter. Or perhaps you’ve just started dabbling in internet marketing by assigning certain tasks to existing employees – someone in sales writing a blog now and then, or a tech-savvy receptionist running your social networks. It’s also possible that you have barely dipped your toe in the water; maybe you just have a static website that hasn’t been updated in years.
Whatever the reason, you recognize the value of finding leads on the web and you’re ready to develop an internal internet marketing department, but you’re not sure where to start.
How to Develop Your Internet Marketing DepartmentOrganize your department around processes – not functional tasks. When initially designing the department, it can tempting to make a list of all the tasks that need to be completed and simply hire a person to fill each function: a web designer, a writer, a social media manager, a graphic designer, an SEO expert, and someone to manage them all.
For most companies, though, it makes more sense to outsource some of these capabilities, and instead hire talent internally to manage the processes and keep them running smoothly. Not only will you have lower overhead, you’ll see better results. These employees will be focusing on the ends (revenue generation) – not the means (designing a landing page).
Outsource your setup. When you’re first building the system, you’ll use different resources than after it’s up and running. For instance, it will take a lot more manpower to initially build your website than to update and maintain it later.
Many companies make the mistake of hiring a single internal web designer permanently, but this simply doesn’t make sense. If you hire a web design company, you’ll get your website up and running faster, likely have a better product in the end, and have less overhead. If it’s developed with a content management system, you’ll have no need for an internal web designer since knowledge of coding isn’t required to make an update. And if you do need a more complicated update in the future, you can simply hire the web design company on a contract basis again.
Below is a list of tasks that you should consider outsourcing, either entirely or partially.
- Content Development: Copy for web pages, blogs, e-newsletters, etc.
- Social Media: Socializing/distributing content that matches the conversations and keywords
- SEO-PPC: Link building, business listings, on-page optimization
- Site Development: Web design, graphic design, and programming
- Strategy Development: Including organizational training, analytical data review, and adjustments
Get guidance for infrastructure development. What tasks should be handled internally? What can be outsourced? Who are your customers, and how can you reach them on different channels? How can the overall sales process be improved to handle these new leads and convert more of them into sales?
These are the types of questions that I help my clients with as they first develop an internet marketing plan for their business. Like the example above about web design, creating the initial design and infrastructure requires a different set of skills than using dynamic data (analytics) to fine-tune the lead generation and conversion system possible with the internet.
It amazes me how often companies launch a new website, only to find that a good-looking design is not the only factor in getting leads. Hiring the right consultant can save thousands of dollars and lost time by getting it right the first time.
Once a proper web strategy is implemented, continual improvements are needed to adapt to the market and to company initiatives. Once a system is up and running, I meet with clients regularly to review the leads they’re getting (are they the right leads?) and how they are getting converted. I don’t just look at how the internet marketing department is functioning on its own, but also how it fits into the larger picture.
The potential with the web is unlimited. Many of my clients recognize that their internet marketing strategy is scalable, enabling them to grow into new fields, move into new territories, and continually leverage their brand for competitive advantage.
But it’s crucial to get the right strategy in place initially, develop an ongoing marketing effort to create the momentum for leads, and maintain constant vigilance about what customers are looking for and how best to meet their needs.
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