The evolution of online marketing happens at the speed of lightening. It becomes very important for organizations to keep up with the pace of advancements in the field. You need relentless creativity, independence as well as critical judgment to stay ahead in this industry.
Focus on the customers
People might come up to you and tell you how marketing can be a trial and hit process. Ignore that advice. Marketing is, and always has been strategic. It needs highly focused and specific goals, and it needs a framework. Running without a direction will only make you lose time and money, and the first step of your marketing strategy should begin with your customer base. Find out who your target audience is, who is it that needs your products or services, what do they value and how can you get them to sign on as paying customers. The key to successful online marketing is your ability to choose the best possible channels for reaching your target group.
The Marketing Framework
You don’t build a house without a blueprint and you don’t start a business without a business plan, similarly, you cannot begin online marketing without a marketing framework. Marketing needs the same amount of attention as any other high-value business function. You need to structure your programs and campaigns around the goals that your organization cares most about – profits and revenues. The best way is to start with your big vision and work backwards to find the right required initiatives.
Develop the ‘Story’
An age old concept that engages people and brings them together, storytelling is a powerful technique for building relationships with your customers. A brand story is about how your company came to be, what motivates you, it offers a look into who you are as a company, it is not a long-winded, 5-paragraph essay about your company. Contrary to popular belief, your brand story is not so much about your company but about the value that customers get from your company’s services and products.
Drive the Traffic
After you have all your platforms prepared for launch, you need to worry about the traffic. It doesn’t matter even if you have the best website in the world, if no one visits it. From paid channel advertising to content marketing, you have a range of options, and the next step is to build a traffic acquisition strategy. Understand your marketing goals, determine which web traffic is right for you, take a step back and understand your customer acquisition goals. Most importantly, don’t lose hope, traffic acquisition doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, dedication, and patience.
Traffic acquisition is just half the battle. After you bring visitors to your website, you need to worry about keeping them there. More important is the fact that you need to turn those interested prospects to customers. Basically, you need something to seal the deal. This is where conversion optimization comes into play – converting prospects into buyers and first time buyers into repeat customers. Conversion optimization is a comprehensive strategy and it starts with user psychology, which brings us back to the ‘knowing your customers’ part. Take awareness, engagement, and retention and bring forth your own conversion strategy.
Despite being a commonly used word, people need to understand that content marketing is not just about running a company blog, or being present on social media. More than the creation and distribution of content, it is a tool that, when executed properly, makes your brand an influencer. Don’t talk about your brand, talk about things that customers really care about.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM), online advertising, or pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, all refer to traffic purchased through online ads. The option to deploy targeting features to make sure that your message reaches the right audience, the ability to calculate both a long-term and short-term value of the revenue generated, make paid channel advertising a powerful marketing medium. The only thing to keep in mind is that it requires an investment to get the campaign up and running, and if you are not careful with your strategy, you could end up losing money.
Email marketing has the potential to scare even the toughest veterans. The problem is that people on a daily basis are bombarded with SPAM, the bane of email-marketing. Finding an actually good brand email among the junk is like finding a diamond in the rough. Despite all the hindrances in email marketing, it is still a great way to connect personally with the customers. The best you can do is to concentrate on the three concepts of content, relevancy, and value.
Building connections is the heart of online marketing, and affiliate programs are exactly what you need to take that concept to the next level.
Whether you are first-time marketers, experienced entrepreneurs or small business owners, or even marketing managers, we want you to walk away from this guide feeling confident about your marketing strategy.