Online Marketing Channels You Should Be Using
Once you have set all your online goals and decided on a digital marketing strategy, the next step is to determine the techniques to use and where to use them. What are the best channels to execute online marketing strategy and why?
The first thing to note is that not all channels will be relevant for your brand and business, and others will consume more resources (either financial or team work hours) to implement. Also, a point to note is that several online marketing channels will compliment each other so determine which is easier for you to execute. It is better to utilise one channel well rather than all badly, as this will do your brand more harm than good.
The marketing team at Opus has compiled a list of possible channels your business can use to effectively increase brand awareness, customer retention and build leads.
#1. Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
In the world of online marketing, SEM is constantly becoming more significant than it has ever been. Whilst search engine optimisation (SEO) is not the complete answer, if done well, can provide great long term results. However, if done badly, SEO can have a negative impact on a business’ website. There are no quick fixes for getting a high ranking site, it is a long term strategy. Ranking organically at the top will take time and the process is heavily competitive.
Excellent strategy ranges from on-the-page SEO such as checking the types of high quality content (articles, videos and images) on your domain, searching your website in order to remove duplicate content, have different metadata for every page, as well as factors including H1 or H2 tags, rather a minimal amount of internal linking, and of course having a mobile-friendly site. Regarding off-the-page SEO, perhapst most important is a solid amount of backlinks, especially from strong domains (educational and government domains are good examples). Submitting your website to directories is always a good idea, even displaying your contact information, all this helps with online marketing.
#2. Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC).
These are the ads placed in search engines. These ad placements are mostly above organic listings on search engine results pages (SERPS). The position of your advertisement is subject to a keyword bidding process. Google’s ad platform is called AdWords and is the most known, both Bing and Yahoo also have their own PPC platforms.
Pay per click advertising involves placing ads on search results that when clicked, direct to a corresponding web page on your website. How the ad appears and where it is located is determined by various factors including (although not limited to) keyword’s click through rate (CTR) on Google, relevance of ad text, historical keyword performance as well as landing page relevance.
Paid search is unique in the sense that it can provide very fast results. If you correctly manage your ads they can appear on the top of page one and way quicker than organic listings. Plus, your ads can be scheduled in advance and turned on and off on specific dates and times.
#3. Social Media Marketing.
Social media marketing today has several platforms that you can use and it can be puzzling to know which one to use that is right for your business. With its ability to reach audiences, social media marketing is rapidly positioning itself at the core of many brands marketing strategies. The top brands are now actively promoting and engaging with consumers on these platforms.
But which marketing channels to use? Which social media platform is right for your business? If you sell visual products then Instagram and Pinterest with their visual posts and pins are great to display your product portfolio. If you provide products and/or services to other businesses (aim for B2B), then most likely LinkedIn, Twitter and G+ are the networks for your business. Have younger consumers – what about Snapchat? Whether for visual products or services, there is perhaps one network that appears to be able to reach and engage with new and existing consumers especially in B2C, and that is Facebook. Last but not least, a growing trend that more and more marketers love is video marketing, hence YouTube is definitely worth to consider, too.
With social media users willingly adding their geographic location, age, gender and listing their interests – this has made it easier for these platforms to offer advertising opportunities. Whether that is driving traffic to your site or increasing brand awareness and consumer trust.
Beyond any doubt, social media marketing is time consuming, particularly if you want to do it well. Of course you can schedule your posting and just relax. There are plenty of scheduling tools available such as Buffer and Hootsuite, however, to fulfill your efforts, the tool should be managed daily.
A key point to note: never only post your own content as this may irritate users, social media is about offering informative and entertaining content (even from other brands) to your users. To reach consumers beyond those who do not ‘follow’ your brand, social media advertising is an opportune way to reach potential consumers. You can segment a target audience and showcase your products and services to this highly interested audience.
#4. Content Marketing.
Content marketing takes time and resources to produce, but it can be very cost effective when compared to other online tactics like paid search advertising. Customers are online and looking for products, services and solutions to their problems. Content marketing is about understanding what your consumers are searching for and how easy can they find it.
A basic, three or four pages website does not build trust or a consumer base. Now consumers require consistent and frequent content to aid them with their search inquiries, and this includes free content. Plus, content will aid you with SEO strategy, helping your business rank well on search engines, further helping your organic ranking and search. Remember, customers want to see that you prioritise their needs, once you passionately focus on it, they are much more likely to trust you and your product.
Content marketing therefore is closely aligned with search engine marketing, often going hand in hand. But do not expect your new created content to immediately attract immense amount of new customers. You need to share your content – for instance, send it to influencers and those in your industry to read, and ask them to share as well. Content marketing is not always about creating content and sitting back and reaping any rewards – it is about raising your brand’s awareness by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in your business field. Most likely that social media helps you here also and combining with email marketing additionally can help, too.
#5. Email Marketing.
Email marketing still remains a popular channel to get new leads and nurture existing clients. Without new leads entering your sales pipeline and your customers staying engaged with your brand, your company would not be able to scale. Email marketing is more than just sending messages en masse to the contacts listed in your CRM. It involves drip marketing techniques better described as a direct sales strategy involving scheduling promotional and educational messages with specific ‘call-to-actions’. It must never be seen as just an ‘email blast’ – email marketing is a campaign that takes place over a period of time.
Before you begin emailing find out more about your prospects so you can tailor your messages to them. Is your product or service aimed at women, men or both? What age groups are interested in your product? If you sell several products are they sellable to all segments or just certain groups? Factor in subject titles, time of day and time of week, a successful campaign will ensure that it has been tailored for their audience. Then you can truly judge your campaign’s success by its conversion rates – who opened and converted into a paying customer.
Another function of email marketing is lead nurturing. Maybe your prospects are not ready to buy from you, but are interested in your products and services. Remind them about what your product and service can do and consider offering freebies – white papers, e-books or discounts to get them either make their first, or another purchase. Also, think about trying to capture email addresses from visitors, so you can grow your database to begin your lead nurturing campaign on them.
#6. Conversion Rate Optimisation.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, conversion rate optimisation factors more in psychology than technology. When people are searching online, it is up to you to ensure they stumble upon your website, and once getting there to help find what they are looking for. A somewhat familiar issue is that a large majority of websites are poorly constructed and conceived that they represent what their owners want them to read, rather than what the visitor is searching to read.
Conversion rate optimisation is the process of ensuring that your website is ready for that visitor who is searching online. As a matter of fact, a key tip to note is that people do not exactly read on the internet that much, they scan. Most of the visitors read headlines, images and bullet points. Depending on the profile of your visitor, you have only between two and eight seconds to convince them to stay on your website. Searchers click in, take a quick look, and click out. That is the reality of online searching these days.
The focus on your website design and its subsequent landing pages should be on converting the presumably interested visitor to your site into an actual customer by influencing them to take a specific action. That action might be downloading a white-paper in exchange for contact information, to make them contact you, as well as the ultimate objective – to make a purchase of your product or service.
Executing appropriate online marketing techniques in the right channels – these are the vital factors, formulating a cornerstone in the world of online marketing. These factors should be part of your overall marketing strategy. Once all of your goals have been set, it is crucial to determine which channels you have resources for as well as the skills to execute. Ensure you choose online channels that will compliment others to enable a more focused and far reaching impact.
There is one fundamental feature from this article you should take note of. It is always better to do one channel well rather than doing all of them badly. Nevertheless, should any of the channels listed require too much of your time or you rather prefer a thorough online strategy and in great detail, the team at Opus is happy to do this for you – just contact the team and tell us what you need. The online marketing strategists at Opus would be thrilled to partner with your business. Furthermore, to beat the competition and move your business forward.