Source: David Merman Scott (adapted)

Taking a step back for a second, in an online world, users typically go through three distinct phases in their purchasing cycles:

  1. Awareness and research
  2. Consideration and short-listing
  3. Negotiate and purchase
Therefore, our primary goals in relation to online marketing should be split into two parts:
  • Goal 1, we want to ensure that when users start to do their online research to solve a problem or find products/services, they find us first as opposed to our competition.
  • Goal 2, when they arrive at our site, we want them to be excited by the richness of our content and offering and short-list us ready for purchasing
To achieve these goals, the start of your marketing strategy should be all about developing fantastic, compelling content to make you stand out as an opinion leader in your industry and a great source of informative content – in other words, you need to have a voice that your customers want to listen to. You also need to make sure that your website:
  • Is search engine optimised so that your content appears on page 1 of Google wherever possible which drives traffic and supports “call to action” subscriptions/pre-qualified enquiries
  • Hosts compelling, well written content that is widely published on authoritative sites (read this article on the importance of backlinks) that your target clients will be looking at which drive traffic to your site.
My recommendations for “6 ways entrepreneurs can get more from their marketing in less than 2 hours a week” are:
  1. Start building your authoritative online voice as the leader of your business; one example to try, contribute to podcasts and turn each of your answers into an article
  2. Start to become an Opinion Leader, take part in online Q&As – for example, answer 1 question a day on Quora
  3. Pick a topic you are an expert in and write one blog per month - Focus on quality not quantity
  4. Organise and host monthly breakfasts/events/roundtables and invite guest speakers that your target audience will find compelling, then, write up the anonymized notes and publish them online
  5. Get someone independent who knows about on-site SEO to audit your site and make recommendations for changes in content
  6. Work out which pages are the most frequently visited on your site and introduce new, high quality images/content that answer your target audiences key issues and start measuring the dwell time on those pages
You may also want to have a look at this article on a similar topic

In conclusion:

“what hasn’t changed over the centuries is the importance of being an opinion leader, however, what has changed dramatically is the way in which those opinions are disseminated and followed. Learn the skills of becoming an online opinion leader and authoritative voice or face the consequences much like King Canute.”

Mike Lander, Director and co-founder of, business consultant, Chairman and business writer