Digital marketing is essential for almost any business with an online presence. We all know that. The problem comes with choosing the right channels on which to spend your marketing bucks. Rather than wasting your money on techniques that don’t work, here are 25 of the best online marketing strategies that you can use today to get great results.
Your blog is where it all begins. There are few excuses these days for not having a blog. It’s simple, free, and one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site in the long term.
Your blog is the hub of your marketing efforts. The place where you post your best content, where you keep your audience engaged on your website, where you show the personality behind your brand. No wonder it’s the most important content strategy for 45% of marketers. But forget about posting quick low-quality content. I’ve written about this before, and it’s one of my great frustrations.
A blog is only worth doing if you do it right. If you don’t put the time and effort into producing high-value content, you’ll be doing worse than wasting your time: You could be hurting your brand. Get serious about your blogging. Create an editorial schedule and use a tool like Basecamp or Trello to help you plan, write, edit, and publish your blogs. Communicate with your team on a regular basis, and keep your content at the forefront of all your marketing efforts. According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of the best B2B content marketers meet daily or weekly with their content team.
Stick to about one post a week or however many you can reasonably create without sacrificing quality, then stick to it. You can write blogs yourself, get someone in your team to write them, or outsource them (or all three if you prefer). Add images, videos, infographics, facts and figures, and anything else to bring your posts to life and add value. Aim to make yours the best damn blog in your niche, and it will pay off over time.
Build an Email List
Next up, build an email list. It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: Your email list is one of your best assets. It is something you can start on your first day in business and continue to grow consistently. Just like blogging, there is no excuse for not doing this. It’s affordable when you use a service like Mailchimp, it doesn’t take long, and it’s easy to set up. An effective way to grow your list is to create a lead magnet to tempt people to sign up (you can read about this in our blog: How to Grow Your Email Subscriber List Using the Power of an Effective Lead Magnet).
You can also use content upgrades (we wrote about these here, and also see Point 20) to build your leads from people reading your blog posts. And you may want to use a lead-building tool like SumoMe—this has a number of excellent functions to help you build your list, including customizable popups.
Once you are starting to build your list of targeted subscribers, keep in touch with them by sending them valuable content on a regular basis. Start by sending an autoresponder series to get them in the habit of receiving your emails, then send them useful information, tips, promotions, unique content, and more. You should also experiment with segmenting your list to target subscribers more accurately. Once you are sending emails regularly, you’ll stay top-of-mind, encourage more visits to your website, and ultimately increase your sales.
There is absolutely no reason not to have a social media presence these days. It’s completely free (unless you use advertising—more on that later), and it’s easy for anyone to get started. Social media has evolved over the last decade, and businesses are only hurting themselves by not having a presence on at least one or two social networking sites these days. If you have not yet got involved, start by choosing a few sites. If you sell visually attractive products, consider Instagram and Pinterest. If not, Facebook and Twitter remain the default platforms because of their size. Brand your channels by using your logo and colors, and start getting involved by sending updates, answering questions, seeking out conversations, and sharing content.
Use a tool like Buffer to schedule your updates for the day or week ahead and that way you won’t find yourself wasting time every day. After you have built up a strong presence, you will want to track your data using a tool like Hootsuite. You can use such tools to search for brand and product mentions and react to them—the conversation will go on with or without you, so it’s best to get involved. You can also use these tools to find out which content and updates gets the most shares, helping you to manage your updates more effectively in the future.
You can also track visitors from each of your social sites back to your website to find out where the best traffic comes from. Which visitors convert on your website more? This will allow you to focus on certain networks more than others.
Social media marketing is a topic for a whole book, and we’re only touching on it here … and we haven’t even got onto paid social. Social advertising is becoming one of the most important ways for businesses to amplify their reach on social channels and connect with new people, with Facebook leading the way. With ads, you get to reach out to your target audience without having to be found organically, speeding up the process and allowing you to reach out to exactly who you want to. You can target your audience not just by age, gender, and location, but also by recent life events like getting married, whether they have visited your website, products they’ve shown an interest in, and much more. Or you can target people who are similar to your best existing customers so you can reach out to the people who are more likely to become your customers. This feature is called Lookalike Audiences, and you can find out more about it here. It takes some experimentation—but get it right, and you’ll see just how powerful it can be.
AdWords is one of our specialist areas at LeapGo, and we know it inside out. We also know how effective it can be as a marketing strategy for medium to large businesses. And while we always recommend having an SEO strategy in place, PPC can complement it perfectly.
In 2016, Google made a big change to AdWords with the introduction of Expanded Text Ads (read all about this here). As a result, text ads now take up more space in the SERPs, which is great for your CTR. You can also use a wide range of extensions to get more clicks, and AdWords provides you with the perfect platform to test and optimize to ensure you’re getting the most out of your advertising spend. A good AdWords campaign involves creating and optimizing the ads as well as the landing pages, using an effective bidding system, choosing the right keywords in the first place, and much more.
Start by setting a small budget and go from there. You can soon expand your ad budget based on your results, and as your campaign grows, you could even make use of PPC management software to save yourself time.
Retargeting has been around for a number of years, but it’s still one of the newer tactics on the list. The process is simple enough. Just sign up with a retargeting company like AdRoll or ReTargeter and follow the instructions. When visitors land on your website, cookies are loaded onto their browsers, and you can then target them with your ads on different websites, including social media sites and even on AdWords.
Because the people you are targeting will already be familiar with your brand, they are more likely to recognize you and take note of your ads. That could lead to the ads being more effective than standard PPC or banner ads. You could even provide discounts in your ads to tempt your targets back. Get your targeting right, and you could find this an effective way to make more sales.
Cart Abandonment Emails
Cart abandonment emails are a fantastic way to encourage shoppers to complete their purchases after they have abandoned items in their baskets.
There are two stages involved in this:
Minimizing the chances of the shopper abandoning the cart in the first place.
Getting them back after they have abandoned it.