With so many options in eMarketing, it’s hard to know where to start. Check out these great tips for gearing up.
What is it? Internet marketing geared toward attracting new business, retaining current business and developing brand identity. Any message that you’re trying to get out about your company by way of the internet is eMarketing. This can include your website, email, pay per click (PPC), and social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.). 

Why? It’s the first big question you need to ask yourself.  One of the biggest eMarketing mistakes is not having a plan before you begin, and you can’t do that if you don’t know why you are marketing. Is your goal to remind people of your existence so that they’ll choose you when they’re ready? Maybe to get a lot of sales quickly?  Do you want to grow your brand so that you are perceived as the industry leader? Do you want more business from a certain type of client – maybe new moms?  The answers to these questions all require a different type of marketing.

How do you decide the best way to get your message out? Here are some guidelines:  
 – Website – you need one.  Plain and simple, everyone needs a website these days. If you don’t have one, this needs to be your priority.  
 – Email marketing is best for staying in contact with those people you either have a relationship with or are trying to grow one with.  – Newsletters are a common way to stay in front of your prospective clients – especially if they’ve asked about your services in the past. Discounts and offers are also effectively made through email.  
 – PPC requires an initial investment of time as well as the cost “per click” that is generated. You will need to make sure you are handling your PPC account well to see a significant ROI. Use this method if you are looking to grow your business quickly and have money to spend on marketing.  
 – Social media is most effective for growing your name recognition and building relationships with your potential client base. A significant amount of time is required to create an active and productive social media presence. Facebook, Twitter and most social media platforms have additional marketing opportunities such as ads where you can target certain demographics for a charge.

As in traditional marketing, your message must be consistent, relevant and timely. This means that your plan must include when and how often you will be posting as well as content that will be interesting and engaging to your potential client base.   

Choose one type of eMarketing to begin. Completely plan and execute on one strategy before you move onto the next. Your plan should encompass 6 months minimum for any strategy you choose to implement.  

eMarketing can be a huge piece of your overall marketing strategy. While much less expensive than traditional marketing, there is still an expense of your valuable time.  

To be your most effective, you will want to get more information on the various types of eMarketing available to you. Read the following books to assist you in making the best choices for you and your company.

Overview: eMarketing: The Essential Guide to Digital Marketing, by Rob Stokes
Websites: Don’t Make Me Think, by Steve Krug 
Social Media: The Twitter Book, by Tim O’Reilly

Liz Trotter is founder of American Maid Cleaning as well as an entrepreneur and leadership trainer based in Olympia, Washington.  ShLe is also a former ARCSI baord member, a partner in Cleaning Business Builders, creator of the HiPEP employee development system and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason.