7 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Online Marketing Presence

Increasingly, online marketing is a crucial part of any marketing plan. Executing the programs in your plan, however, is just as critical. For many, finding the time is difficult. To make progress, you must set time aside each day (or other regular time period) for marketing online. To that end, take a moment right now to block out time for online marketing over the next six months, beginning today.

Use that time today and over the next six months to execute Internet- based programs in your plan. No plan yet? No problem. You will, of course, want to finish your marketing plan so you can refine your activities, but you can begin improving your online presence today by doing one or more of the following ideas:

Volunteer for Online Interviews

Podcasts, Webcasts, blogs, RSS feeds and newsletters (ezines) are all venues for online interviews or discussions. You’ll want to approach publishers who regularly conduct interviews with guests of your caliber, so finding opportunities will take some research. Do this by searching general search engines (such as google.com) or directories. Some directories to get you started: podcast.net (podcasts), ezinehub.com (ezines), sydic8.com (RSS feeds/blogs)

Identify 10 Bloggers in Your Category

Then send them your product as a gift. The idea is to expose your product to influencers in your category by giving them an opportunity to try it free. If they like it, they may give it a mention in their blogs. Note that this is a subtle online marketing technique. The idea is NOT to advertise to them, ask a favor of them or ask them to blog about the product. Choosing to mention (or not mention) your product should be solely up to them.

You can find and read blogs by searching blogging directories such as technorati.com.

Join an Online Network

Online social networks allow you to set up a profile page and interact with others who have your same professional interests. Each caters to a different type of audience, and there are do’s and don’ts, so you’ll want to read about a network before joining, read some of the profiles and learn a particular site’s rules before plunging in. Some networks to explore: linkedin.com, ryze.com, myspace.com, orkut.com, friendster.com, tribe.net

Draft a Press Release

First and foremost, the release must be something newsworthy to the media (if you need ideas, read the article here: http://www.websitemarketingplan.com/pr/NewsAngle.htm). Also, be sure to include a link to your Website or blog in the press release. Finally, distribute the release through an online press release service such as PRWeb.com.

Begin Surveying Your Website Visitors

Surveys can help you identify opportunities for improvement. Since online attention spans are very short, try asking a single two-part question such as Fred Reichhold’s Ultimate Question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend __________.” Fill in the blank with your Website name (or other relevant product). To those who reply with a 6 or lower, ask why not. Most likely you will see a pattern in the comments that will point to ways of improving your Website. There are software packages to help you set up an online survey. Also, surveymonkey.com is a popular Web interface for producing online surveys.

Put Your Product’s or Company’s Creation Story Online

Or work on conveying one or more of Patrick Hanlon’s 7 Primal Branding pieces online — creed, icons, rituals, sacred words, nonbelievers and leaders. According to Hanlon, these seven pieces form belief systems that inherently attract people who want to believe in a product. Those people form the communities that surround successful products and services.

Study Your 5 Closest Competitors’ Websites and Online Marketing Activities

Aside from gaining a better understanding of trends in your industry, you will also gain new insights into promotional strategies and tactics for your own business. As you research, brainstorm a list of ideas and use that list to plan a new online strategy or tactic for your own business.

There you have it – seven ideas for improving your online marketing presence. Choose one and get started today!