Everyone says you should be marketing your product or service online. But how? Where do you begin?
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the numerous choices open to today’s internet marketers. Should you:
There’s no best answer and pursuing any one of those marketing tools could easily become a costly and time-consuming endeavor.
You need to create a solution that is right for promoting your product or service and works within your available resources.
Get focused on a single strategy and make it work. Trying something casually or for a short time will almost guarantee failure. Master the skills needed for whatever strategy you choose and give it your best effort.
Don’t jump from idea to idea. You could be quitting one just before it succeeds. Instead, pick it and stick it. When you’ve got one thing working, build on that foundation.
You want to see what your competition is up to but don’t copy their approach. What works for them might not work for you. A customized strategy will get you the best possible results from the Internet.
Get creative. Be a maverick. Fill a niche your competition ignores. Originality will help you stand out.
It’s not enough to simply say your product is good quality. That’s what every company says. Reaching out to your customers and establishing your own identity is a critical element of online success.
Recognize that you can’t be all things to all people. That’s a formula for failure. You’re much better off choosing a specialty, something upon which you can build your brand.
Answer these marketing questions:
Pick your focus and flaunt it at every opportunity. The more specific, the faster it will gain traction in the market.
As you craft your marketing message, use wording that is customer-centric. Your customers don’t care about you and what you do. They care about what you can do for them. That’s a small shift in thinking but a significant one.
In your marketing copy, don’t talk about yourself. Instead focus on how you can help your customers solve their problem or accomplish their goals. Everything you write should demonstrate how you meet their needs.
Company-focused copy uses “you” and “your” far more than “we” and “our.” Instead of saying, “Our jewelry store has a wide selection of diamond rings,” say “Here you’ll find the perfect engagement ring, the one that will have your girlfriend saying, ‘Hell, yes!'”
Can you see how the change in perspective makes the message more appealing to your reader?
According to Hot Jar, which analyzes user experiences, “Customer-centric marketing is designed around customer needs and interests. It is about prioritizing customers over any other factor, using a blend of intuition, common sense, and solid data about customer behavior.”
People have uber-short attention spans. Long blocks of copy are daunting. So add some images or videos to the mix to keep them reading. It will increase the appeal of your content and make it more enjoyable.
The Disruptive Advertising agency says, “Don’t overlook the importance of a visual element, even in white paper, eBook, case study or other text-heavy projects. Your readers will thank you for it!”
Well-crafted copy makes an impact. The right phrases are attention grabbers that will keep your readers engaged and nodding “yes.” Think of them as your surrogate sales team, conveying the qualities of your product or service and illuminating its benefits.
Just as a good salesperson chooses her words with care, you too should be selective in creating your copy. Consider this chart identifying the strongest words used in marketing today.
Your primary goal is to sell your product or service. Your writing must persuade and motivate in delivering your message. So don’t fill your copy with empty phrases. Instead, use phrases that initiate action and move the sales process along toward a successful conclusion.
If copywriting isn’t something that comes easy to you or perhaps isn’t the best use of your time, consider working with a professional copywriter who can get the job done quickly and effectively. The money you invest in quality copy will come back to you many times over in the sales it generates.
Armed with information on customer behaviors and purchases, you can make marketing decisions with confidence. As businesses realize the power of information to create successful promotions, data is becoming an integral part of marketing.
No longer is it enough to rely on gut feelings or take guesses. Instead, look at the analytics, particularly for your paid ad campaigns, and check real-time results to gain insight into what’s working and what’s not in your marketing mix. Data-driven decisions are better decisions.
Here are some of the individual stats you should be watching:
These seven metrics should serve as benchmarks in determining your paid advertising campaigns.
Test everything you can, from components of an ad campaign like different headlines or visuals to your choice of media. A/B testing is a reliable and easy-to-implement method for making changes to your landing pages, website and campaigns. It’s also one the fastest ways to produce an increase (or decrease!) in conversion rates.
Track onsite and offsite metrics to remove all guesswork. Gauge and quantify your success with actual numbers. Use statistical proof to analyze behavior. Identify opportunities to continually improve how you convert prospects into customers.
Test variables. Track results. Finally, make adjustments to capitalize on what you learn.
According to Square 2 Marketing, “You can’t judge a website by its cover. To truly know how successful your website is, you need to dive into the data and analytics.”
Internet marketing today looks worlds’ different than internet marketing just a few years ago. You have so many more choices and tools you can use.
The way consumers interact with online environments is continually evolving. Perhaps more than any other industry, marketing is often about “the next big thing.” Here are some of the major trends unfolding these days.
Going mobile – Look around and you’ll quickly see that everyone is staring at their phone. People are attached to their mobile devices nearly all day.
That means if your website or landing pages aren’t mobile-friendly, you’re likely missing out.
Video – The use of video is exploding. YouTube has over one billion users. Over four billion videos are viewed on YouTube each day. And over 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute! It’s staggering, isn’t it?
Need further proof? Watch what your kids do online. Given the choice between watching a video or reading a page, they’ll choose the video every time. And they’re not the only ones. An engaging video appeals to just about everyone. Consider using video to demonstrate your product or service.
According to HubSpot, an inbound marketing firm, “Brands need a video marketing strategy — this idea isn’t new. What has changed is how important video has become on every platform and channel. It’s no longer just one piece of your overall marketing plan. It’s central to your outreach and campaign efforts … especially your social strategy.”
Content Marketing – It’s not enough to build a website that describes your product. Now you need to be creating high-quality content relevant to your industry to get attention and to become perceived as an authority.
Blogs, e-newsletters, videos, e-books, infographics and white papers are all great ways to showcase your expertise and attract prospects to your brand. Whatever content you decide to create, make sure that it’s not overly promotional. It must have value to the reader. If it doesn’t speak to your customers’ needs, it won’t have the desired effect.
The benefit of content marketing is that long after the content has been published, it continues to attract prospects and solidify your reputation as an industry authority. To create mainstay, evergreen content that has relevance for years, think about what’s important to your target audience.
Social Media – Companies are realizing they can’t ignore social media marketing. They must participate because their customers are looking for them there. And their competitors are likely doing everything they can to be found.
Paid advertising on networks like Facebook and Twitter is exploding. Best of all, it’s affordable. The low cost of admission opens the door for small- to medium-sized businesses to participate and to effectively compete with bigger businesses. When combined with all the free ways to get publicity on social media, they can achieve a level of exposure and traffic that previously was out of their reach.
Visibility isn’t the only benefit. Businesses are discovering that using social media helps them engage with their customers. It also gives them increased name recognition, positions them as an industry authority, provides them with useful customer insights and improves their conversion rates.
The All Business blog says, “Creating a strong social media following can also you become the preferred brand with your customers and significantly improve customer loyalty and reach.”
The opportunities available to businesses to attract customers via internet marketing are exploding. Keeping up can be a Herculean effort. But here’s the key: you don’t have to do them all, and you certainly don’t have to do them all at once!
Develop your strategy or hire a marketing consultant/copywriter to assist you and then get busy. There’s no better time than today to create, deliver, measure, analyze and repeat!