Internet marketing is a must-have in today’s business world. The statistic, 40 percent of global internet users (which is more than one billion people) have purchased something online. Going one step further, online retail sales in the U.K. estimated £52.25 billion in 2015 and it’s just going to grow bigger and bigger. It’s reported that 64 percent of all brick and mortar in-store sales were influenced by online marketing content and searches. This boils down to consumers are looking for you online. It’s time to get serious about internet marketing. Not everyone is an online marketing wizard so here are 10 tips to help…
1. Create a Powerful Website: The internet is a big place. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of messages each and every day through web searches, email blasts, social media, videos and that doesn’t even include their personal searches. A website is your online storefront. It is the first impression your customers see. The great thing about a well-done website is the owner has control of the content. Unlike social media that allows an open forum to post mostly anything, a website is in your control. You can link social media posts and other outside content to your site only when you want. Work with website designers to create a powerful, mobile friendly, visually appealing, easy to use and fast website.
2. Start Blogging: One of the best ways to add valuable content to your website and social media platforms is through a blog. A blog is an online log or journal that consists of valuable content that readers find interesting and helpful. Blogs can either be written by marketing staff members, freelancers or guest writers. Mixing up the writing style keeps a blog fresh and current. The important thing is to write articles, infographics and copy readers find helpful and valuable to them. Write blog articles that focus on your industry’s topics and naturally include keywords. Keywords are words search engines use to find what a user is looking for. And keep the information coming. Consistency is key in the world of blogging. Readers will enjoy your material, return frequently to learn more and eventually convert from a reader into a customer.
3. Get Social: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn are another important part in online marketing strategy. Whether a company has an e-commerce site or not, social media is instrumental in driving your presence on the internet. Sites like Facebook make it so easy to use and navigate their features that many times marketers will go to social first before their own website. This is a bad habit to get into since your website’s content can be controlled and information posted on social media should link back to the website. Social media is a vehicle to drive traffic and sales to your website. Once on your website, you can direct them to what they are looking for. Here is a list of the top three social media platforms:
- Facebook: This is the top social media site with more than 1.59 active users and growing daily. More than one billion log on each day and is a place where 87 percent of users ages 18 – 29 are on Facebook and it has the most evenly distributed demographics of any other platform.
- Twitter: This social media platform is famous for the 140 or less characters or less site, use of the hashtag # for searching and has become even more famous since the 2016 presidential election. Among adults 18 and older, 19 percent use tweets to share their thoughts.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is by far the most professional social site and is where more than three million businesses access a global network of more than 200 million users. Professionals find products and services, career opportunities. It is where brands are built, professionals are nurtured and bottom lines are improved.
4. Get Trendy: Being at the heartbeat of your industry’s trends is key in content and online marketing. There are some exciting trends that content marketers should use as part of their strategy. They are:
- Ephemeral or short-lived content
- How-to videos and podcasts
- Real-Time videos
- Behind-the-scenes looks
- Contests and giveaways
- “Takeovers,” or when a different user chooses what content to share
- Live events
- Daily or weekly video series
- Announcements or product reveal
5. Use Email Marketing: Sending a message straight to the customers email box is a valuable part of an online marketing strategy. More and more businesses are using email marketing to fine-tune their campaigns. Email messages can clearly promote special events and promotions and link readers back to the website for more information. Email management services like Constant Contact make it easy to create good looking attractive and effective emails using templates designed by graphic artists. These services offer more than templates and graphics. They have tools making it easy to create hyperlinks, hashtags as well as other essential material. This includes ways to segment audiences and track click-through and bounce rates. Just like social media, email marketing should be consistent and send valuable content.
6. Track Your Results: Online marketing is a dynamic and powerful tool that is continually changing to meet the needs of consumers. Tracking results are imperative to know what strategies worked and what didn’t work. Tracking results help you determine the return on investment too. Social Media sites provide temporary statistical data that can be captured and used. It’s temporary so it must be captured and recorded. Email marketing management companies like Mail Chimp and Constant Contact provide click, open and bounce statistics for individual emails among other reports. There are also marketing services, Google Analytics and online packages to track campaign results. Simply asking consumers through questionnaires, telemarketing and surveys are other ways to track a campaign’s effectiveness.
7. Measure Your Return On Investment: Return on Investment or ROI is measuring the success of an online marketing plan and can be completed using tools.
8. Track Conversion Goals: Define targets for online purchases, newsletters, contact sign-ups, social media interaction, click-throughs, etc. and the following to rate your conversion.
- Evaluate reach and how it improves throughout time
- Measure website traffic using Google analytics
- Track leads from website and conversion rates, bounce rates, time spent on website and page views per visit
- Customer conversion rates and repeat visits to the website
- Compare campaign to campaign and review positive and negative outcomes
9. Pay To Play: Social media sites like Facebook allow you to target and segment your message to potential customers. They instituted highly intelligent algorithms that are like robots that actually search content for many different factors. As Facebook evolved, so did their rules for advertising. Businesses can pay to play or pay to advertise so a message lands in more news feeds than if left organically. Facebook isn’t alone in this pay to play social media advertising game. Google, Youtube and other sites have advertising packages and plan that online marketing professionals can buy into for more exposure. This web marketing scenario is an important key in the big social picture and one that should be researched and analyzed for efficiency. It offers a wider reach, more potential social interaction as well as a valuable cost-effective return on investment.
10. Make It Mobile: Everyone has their mobile devices in their hands. We are an on the go culture so businesses must be prepared to do business on the go too. Every time a web marketing or online advertising decision is made, it must be made with cell phones and mobile devices in mind. Websites must be compatible, mobile friendly, fast and easy to use, email content must be easy to open and read with an effective call to action, e-commerce sites must be linked to PayPal, or another easy to use payment site maps to find brick and mortar storefronts must be correct. Making your business platforms mobile friendly will improve your ranking on search engines like Google, too and in the long run improve your bottom line.