Whichever you are considering, before planning a Web PR strategy, it is always advisable to take a long hard look at your website and check that it is working. Not just for the search engines, who you are likely to harness in your campaign, but also for your users, and for you.
Check all areas of your site for search engine optimisation, clear text, working graphics, easy to find contact details, ease of navigation, and most importantly, if you have a shopping basket or e-commerce system, make sure that it works.
Decide what the objectives of your marketing are to be. Are you looking to increase the number of enquiries and sales? Do you want to raise brand awareness? Are you promoting a specific product or a sale? Whatever the aim of your marketing, you should focus clearly on that and keep it simple.
Consider whether you will need to add new content or pages to your site, eg landing pages specifically for one campaign, product, service or key message. Make sure you know what your potential customers will be looking for, and make it easy to find.
Look at the available budget. Just as you would not attempt to put an advert on TV if you have a limited amount of money to spend, do not attempt to overstretch your budget online. Be realistic about your budget, and work out your objectives to get maximum return on investment.
You may not know what methods are available to you to achieve your aims, so do research. Look at what your competitors are doing, read information about marketing online, and if necessary, employ a Web PR or internet marketing expert.
There are many different Web PR techniques – some may suit your aims, company style, and budget, others may not. For instance, there is no point creating a funny video on Youtube about your receptionist if your aim is to clear the warehouse with a sale of goods.
Examine your prospects, the target audience. How are you going to reach them? Do you have a database of existing customers to target, or do you need to track down new customers? Customer retention is far more cost-effective than customer acquisition so build on existing relationships where you can.
Whatever the aim of your marketing, you need to set realistic targets, and you will need to measure the results to be sure that you attain them. You can adapt techniques to better suit your audience, or to achieve better results next time if you know what went right or wrong.
The most important thing about marketing is to keep trying new things – test, test and test again. It is unlikely that your first attempts will be so successful that you never need to do any more marketing – it is a never-ending process.