With the rise of the internet, marketing has gone global, allowing for a wide range of strategies for small- and medium-sized businesses to explore new horizons and expand their reach. Numerous approaches are widely used, notably email marketing campaigns, and Google and social media advertising.
With the competition getting fiercer by the minute, marketing strategies have become more sophisticated than ever. In order for a business to be successful, it is essential to employ insights and advertise across multiple platforms and channels.
How to get started is a completely different topic, however. With big data taking the spotlight, how does a business define a strategy?
The key is in focusing on long-term goals enforced by insights and analysis. Therefore, finding an optimum strategy relies on multiple factors, rather than just strategic planning. Here are our five top picks of how to go about defining the best marketing approaches.
1. Understand SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to every aspect of marketing nowadays. And while many businesses employ tricks to get better rankings, it is an absolute no go in the long run.
First of all, a business needs to have an SEO-optimized website. The effort may be cumbersome in the beginning, but once you get a hold of it, things will start looking up. Add to that that there are numerous tools to help with the task (i.e., Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, Sitebulb, SERanking, to name a few), and you’ll see that SEO-optimization is not that scary at all.
Efficient SEO increases inbound traffic considerably more than any paid advertisement, with organic search generating ca. 65.72% clicks compared to 3.82% clicks generated by paid ads.
SEO starts with keyword research. Use keyword research tools to help you out and also compare competitors’ keywords with your own. Avoid generic keywords, as they are universally used by a multitude of businesses operating within the same industry.
Keywords should be prominent in title and header tags, meta and image descriptions, and body copy, with the best choices being location-based keywords and long-key keywords.
Location-based keywords will help Google show your business in your specific area. Long-key keywords will help Google show your business in the target area and display more info about your specific offer.
All content should be professionally written, literate and mobile-ready. It is important to keep in mind that all the action takes place on mobile devices, which means that loading time, font and image size, and overall responsiveness matters a good deal.
Again, there are numerous tools that will help with the task, the most popular ones of which include:
- Feedly – an RSS feed showing industry-relevant topics
- HubSpot’s Website Grader – boosts optimization and grades the content
- CoShedule – analyzes blog post headlines and titles and provides feedback
2. Brainstorm Your Blog
Blogging is a great way to increase the visibility of your brand and drive traffic to your website. It is important to understand that writing just anything for the sake of writing will not do the trick. You will want to build credibility for your brand, which is best achieved by posting professional content on a regular basis.
Always go for quality rather than quantity, and make certain that the content is evergreen. In that way, your older blog posts will still be revisited in the future. It is a good idea to promote the content, most often done via social media channels, which brings us to the next point.
3. Use Social Media to Its Full Potential
Social media is the single most important place to “hang out” online for the majority of audiences. In fact, many businesses have built their reputation solely by using their social media profiles to promote their offers.
The truth is that social media allows for direct communication with target audiences, which is key in building long-lasting customer relationships. Posting insightful content on social media and promoting your offer while calling for customer feedback is a great way to grow your business.
Some social media platforms (notably Instagram and Twitter) can be used to connect with other successful businesses. This is a powerful way to build a brand’s credibility and reliability, while at the same time increasing its visibility.
4. Be Clever With Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are great in that they allow for fine tuning by allowing businesses to reach highly specific audiences with ease. Targeting methods span from age to interests to location to much much more specific determiners.
However, if you’re simply displaying your offer to a target audience, you’re missing out on far greater opportunities. The key is in re-targeting, which is best performed by using Facebook Pixel. The tool helps with increasing your brand’s visibility, even if you don’t use Facebook ads.
Namely, Facebook Pixel tracks all visits to your website and builds additional audiences based on this insight. I.e, if you offer legal services for bankruptcy, the tool can (and will) market the service to people who have already shown an interest in that field.
5. Create a Partner Program
Many brands use affiliate marketing to increase their sales. In fact, even people blogging for the fun of it often display affiliate offers to increase their earnings.
Albeit affiliate programs are not universally welcomed by everyone, they still hold a great potential if used the right way.
For one thing, you should aim for the right partnerships. Sometimes this task isn’t easy or cheap, but it’s definitely worth the effort in the long run. In order to be considered by the big players to begin with, you’ll need good conversion rates.
But, since you’re already aiming to establish your brand as an expert in the field, this should naturally come over time.
As you can see, online marketing is no less demanding and time-consuming than a traditional one, but it is also more rewarding. With the possibility to reach customers around the globe, a business only needs to come up with a steady plan and be vigilant with analyses and tracking.
And while there is no magic recipe to being successful, let’s face it – the internet is the right arena with tremendous potential.