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A Timeline for Online Marketing: What to Expect

Businesses are all about results and the bottom line. They want to know what to expect and when. If they hire a company to manage their online marketing, their concern is when they will see results with more customers and more sales. It can be helpful to understand the process and how it works before hiring a marketing expert.

 

Information Gathering

The first stage of online marketing will be all about gathering information. This will happen first in a meeting with the business. Then the company will gather information from outside sources. They’ll look at demographics, buying and other behavioral patterns of the target audience, and data about the competition. How long this takes depends on how much research is needed and how difficult it is to obtain.

There may also be a meeting with a company’s marketing department. Online marketing should complement and enhance the overall marketing strategy.

Creation of a Strategy

Once the information has been gathered and organized, the next step will be to create a strategy. Will the company use social media as part of their online marketing? If so, which networks and how often?  Will there be a blog, guest blogging, and other content? Depending on the industry and target market, there may even be a need for case studies or white papers.

Implementation

Once a strategy has been devised, next is implementation. This will most likely happen in different sequences. It doesn’t take long to set up a social network page and begin making contacts. However, creating a white paper or other in-depth content can take longer. Some of this will occur in stages and much of it will be ongoing.

Analysis

After the online marketing strategy has started implementation, it will be necessary to analyze the results. This will help the marketer to determine which aspects of the strategy are more effective and which ones need tweaked or forgotten.

Unlike some types of marketing, you won’t be able to set a timeline for when you can expect results. For instance, when you create a sales ad in a newspaper, you know immediately if that ad was successful. Pay-per-click campaigns usually show immediate results. However, content and social media marketing take longer to show results.

Aging

While Google likes new content, it also recognizes content that stands the test of time. It often takes a few months for online content to rank in search results. Then it can take more time for people to see it and share it. As this happens, you’ll begin to notice more results. More people will see your content or visit your social media page and share it with their friends. The growth will then spiral and expand as your online marketing strategy begins to show the results you have been waiting for. This doesn’t happen overnight; you should expect to wait three to four months to begin to see results. But give it at least 12 months to see if your strategy is successful.

Online marketing is an ongoing process. Constant changes are made, and new pieces are added. It is these traits that make it a successful method for growing a business, but it also takes patience as you wait for the results.

 

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