Online marketing can be like a cryptic puzzle, unlocking which may cause new small business entrepreneurs to suffer sleepless nights and scratch their heads in wonder.
How often have you heard of (seemingly) promising firms that left no stone unturned in building a (seemingly) great website to market their business online? It’s pretty common because it’s what most businesses do.
Not all businesses, however, are able to do so successfully. Most turn out to be duds despite their big budgets and high-profile internet marketing teams. They then wonder what exactly goes into preparing the secret sauce for triumphant online marketing.
The ultimate goal of online marketing doesn’t seem as cryptic. At the end of the day, it’s all about pulling more visitors to your website, which simply means drawing more leads into the sales funnel and enhance sales figures.
So you think you already know everything there is to know about online marketing? How about unearthing a few secrets of getting this game right and take your marketing efforts notches higher? Read on to know more.
Have a Responsive Website
If you’ve ever looked closely, almost all successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common – an amazing, fully functional, impressive website.
Did you know that websites influence 97% of customers’ purchasing decisions? You may want to work on the way yours looks in terms of the small details such as color palette, fonts, and space between texts, among others. It should be worthy of customers’ time.
This brings up the importance of having a responsive website. Responsive web design enables the site’s layout to adjust itself to the size of the screen of the viewing device. A wide screen can display multiple columns of content from the site, while smaller screens can present the same content in a single column with the content resized to be viewed accordingly.
Responsive website design also ensures consistency in the way information is displayed without compromising on user interface and experience on any screen size. This makes visitors want to stay on your website, browse through it ,and consume the information you provide them.
Establish Your Website’s Credibility and Authority
These can come from the content published on it. Consider having a blog on your website and write regularly for it. The quality of the content and the frequency of publishing it will help you gain customers’ trust and gain dominance in your industry.
Find out the trending topics so you know what your audience wants to read before getting started on it. Make it a point to create interesting and shareable content regularly. Try to get listed as a guest blogger on blogs related to your field, and contribute thought-provoking pieces on a regular basis.
Another way to create great content is through infographics. Make sure your infographics are visually appealing and contain the most up-to-date and relevant statistics, numbers, and quotes. You can also use them as a complementary incentive for customers to sign up for your emails.
Using videos to dole out content in an interesting and engaging format can prove to be a great way to exhibit the USP of your product. Also, you can have demo/explainer videos to show your customers how they can make the most of your offerings.
Other interesting forms of dispensing content include story-telling with the help of compelling designs and statistics and sharing research information on blogs, social media networks, and communities and forums.
Leverage the Power of Emails
For reaching out to customers, make email marketing your best ally. If you aren’t already segmenting your email list, know that you’re missing out on opportunities to attract and engage customers.
The following may interest those looking to leverage the power of emails:
20% of marketers can directly link their email operations to their company’s primary revenue source.
61% of consumers like to receive weekly promotional emails and 28% want them even more frequently.
To attract more subscribers to your emails, you can send extremely targeted email messages to your list segments that show interest in your offerings. Do let your users know exactly what they’re subscribing to. Sending them emails about irrelevant things will only land you in the Spam folder.
If you want to know where you’re getting most of your email subscribers from, you’ll need to use customized forms and landing pages, and track each campaign you run to bolster signups.
Tell People about Your Expertise
As they say, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. If you want to make your business website to be noteworthy and authoritative, you will need to allow it to publicize your expertise.
A great way of doing so is through your website’s blog. You can also publish your thoughts, opinions and content on professional publishing platforms such as LinkedIn and other related websites in your niche/industry. Doing so will get you the necessary exposure in your industry. Also, when you project yourself as a thought leader, you will surely evoke customer interest in your business.
You can also have a personal blog, which will help you connect with your readers on a deeper level. Most of these are written in a conversational style, which keeps readers engaged longer because it feels natural and personal. Using personal blogs at work is also a great tactic. Company CEOs and high-profile executives can use this to their advantage. According to Forbes, Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, is a great example of a company executive who blogs to promote his brand. The same goes for Alan Mullaly, Ford’s CEO, who enjoys a huge Twitter following. These authoritative figures typically blog about their interests which are in keeping with the company’s targeting.
The great thing about having a blog is that your audience receives specific company insights from extremely reliable sources. After all, nobody knows about the affairs of your company better than you and your team of experts. You can blog yourself or have your team members blog about their areas of expertise, and periodically redirect your readers to the company blog (whenever it seems fitting).
Alternatively, you and your team members can also accept offers for online/email interviews and talk about your brand to promote it. Be patient, confident, insightful and receptive to your viewers, who perceive you as someone trying to fix their problems. You can also discuss your company’s offerings and announce new initiatives and updates in order to create awareness and speculation.
Use Social Media Wisely
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your social media strategy is to post the same content in the same format to every network. Each social media platform has its own strengths, which you can use to your own advantage.
It is, therefore, important to understand how different social platforms work and tailor your content and tone to effectively reach the audience present on them. Here’s a sneak peek into the business benefits of three of the biggest social media networks today:
Facebook is undoubtedly one of the best platforms for increasing awareness of your brand, thanks to its vast reach among people of all ages. Apart from the usual practices of posting, liking and commenting on feeds, the Facebook advertising tool can be of tremendous interest to digital marketers. Its targeting capabilities have changed the face of online advertising. It’s commonly known that Facebook users enter their personal details into their accounts, which makes it easier to target them by user demographics, age, lifestyle, jobs, interests, etc.
Twitter fills you in on the events and goings-on in your industry from all over the world. You can use it to tune into a relevant exchange of information on the internet and offer your two cents if you think it can bring value. Use it to enhance your brand’s awareness and amplify your marketing efforts by staying connected with your followers.
Leverage the power of Twitter Ads to further extend your brand’s reach. Follow and interact with industry influencers and experts, or start a friendly discussion with them to augment the profile of your business and build valuable connections.
Because of a recent development, advertisers can now harness the power of emojis by targeting consumers who have tweeted or engaged with tweets that feature emojis. Advertisers can do this through Twitter’s select Ads API partners, which include AdParlor, Amobee, HYFN, Perion, SocialCode, and 4C.
Also, according to Twitter, “We’re publishing our new Twitter for Customer Service Playbook and announcing that Sprout Social is the first to use new data and functionality to create an improved and transformative customer service solution for brands.” Straight from the horse’s mouth!
Instagram is all about sharing images and videos with your followers and the public at large, but mostly images. It can prove to be the perfect platform for you to showcase your products and services and get them shared. If you’re a restaurant owner, you can post pictures of some of the popular dishes or desserts for customers to see. If you’re a smartphone manufacturer, show off your latest phones and make videos showing their usability.
To establish a more personal connection with your followers, take them behind the scenes and let them see how things are done in your organization. Show them just how cool your office is and how hard-working your employees are. Also, find opportunities (company outings and parties) to illustrate how much fun it is to work for your brand. At the same time, ask consumers to upload photographs of them using your product/service along with proper hashtags. Make sure you view their pictures and like/comment on them or repost them to keep them coming back.
Ask Customers to Review
Apart from social media, there are also customer review websites that discuss your offerings at length in an effort to either appreciate or critique them. Consumers can write their testimonials on such websites, and this can be a powerful tool to help you sell more, which is why they should be solicited after every purchase. When customers read positive reviews and testimonials about your products/services, they will also be inspired to buy from you.
Such steps can bring your free advertising and publicity, enable you to know what consumers think about your products through their feedback, tap into customer suggestions, and strengthen customer relationships.
Further, search engines also rely on reviews to determine your rankings. They consider the number of times online reviews mention your business’s name and rank you accordingly. The higher the mentions, the better are your chances of ranking well.
Invest in Mobile Marketing
Today, life without a smartphone seems incomplete. Almost all your customers have one. Extend this tool to your online marketing efforts as well, and you will realize that mobile is the link between traditional and online marketing. It is also becoming increasingly effective at connecting customers to businesses, which is why the latter need to invest in mobile marketing.
Mobile-optimization of your website is more of a necessity today rather than a choice, even for small businesses. Thanks to the ‘Mobilegeddon’(as it was christened) announcement, Google prioritizes mobile-optimized websites in search results on smartphones and other mobile devices. This directs more traffic towards mobile-friendly websites and pushes them to the first page of the search results while relegating websites that aren’t mobile-optimized to later pages.
When it comes to online marketing, success is easier said than done. There are several elements that go into it, each of which comes with their own intricacies. The secret sauce to online marketing success lies within your understanding of leveraging what works best for your niche. It doesn’t have to be anything larger-than-life. Your mastery of simple and achievable marketing concepts can also get you there.