Nowadays is important to connect with a potential customer across more than one online channel. These can include from social media marketing to paid advertisement, SEO or content and email marketing.
Not all companies have a clear approach when they select what channel to focus on. On one side we have small businesses that don’t have enough budget and on the other hand, bigger enterprises struggle to continuously innovate to keep up with the latest trends and channels.
Nevertheless, there is a consensus between experienced marketers and marketing education providers such as CXL that the following are the most common channels:
Is challenging to invest time and financial resources in all of them, so the trick is to select the channel that provides better results in terms of engagement, awareness and conversion generated. Most often startups and small businesses have more margin to test new and emerging platforms such as Reddit for example because they can be underutilized by big corporations. Unlike startups, a more established corporation will have already identified what channels are successful for them and are taking that advantage. Both strategies are equally good, and at the end of the day, you must decide what works for your business.
Now before continuing talking about the channels, we must mention that a common mistake businesses make is not to take a serious advantage from social media channels. We understand that can happen especially in traditional businesses with a more vertical structure. Social media is not about fluff anymore is concrete marketing channels that need to be approached quantitatively. This does not mean to quantify likes and shares but actually analyze the impact of social media posts and strategies on businesses revenue and brand awareness generated. Not only this but also playing with different post versions and media channels and analyze their results.
Through SEO or Search Engine Optimization your main goal is to identify the users that are asking relevant questions related to the services or product you are offering/selling. You can identify questions your potential customers are asking:
- at the top of the funnel
- in the middle of the funnel or
- bottom of the funnel
You can identify what are their pain points and provide answers. This way you will drive more traffic to your website that will increase your probabilities of obtaining a qualified lead. Therefore developing and prioritizing some basic KPIs will definitely have a positive impact and increase awareness on search engines.
There are 2 types of SEO that you can focus on to optimize your website:
Refers to the content and HTML code of a page that can be optimized. Some basic elements that can be optimized are:
- Page title
- Meta description
- Header tags
- Image alt-text
To verify if your website has these elements in place, we highly recommend using the tools below:
When your business depends on the local clientele to bring in new business is always advisable to optimize your website for local searches. Brick and mortar businesses or a law firm specialized in the legislation of a specific state will need to optimize their online presence to the territory where they provide services.
PPC or Search Engine Advertising
Pay per click or social media marketing is another tool to promote your business. A common misconception about PPC is the expensive cost it can have. Now, this is not entirely true because there is a difference between having a clear strategy, analyze competitors, keywords than randomly just trying to advertise. There needs to be a clear plan and analysis before activating an ad on Google for instance. You would definitely want to check what your competitors are doing, where you can improve and for what keywords is worth bidding. Just a simple example if your website performs better that one of your competitors, this will lower your cost. So knowing these aspects of paid advertisement is extremely important.
In terms of where to advertise you have multiple channels, but the majority of the investment happens on Google AdWords, specifically about 60% of it. There are other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many others. So for that purpose is always good to test where your audience is. Or perform a remarketing campaign to have a mix of Google AdWords and another social media platform.
Take a look at the different options you have and validate which is the better option to focus on. Test first with small amounts of money to see the results you obtain instead of investing a big chunk of your resources blindly.
To increase the relevance of your website you can start linking your website to other websites via hyperlinks. An example is when a website or business gets mentioned in an online magazine because they published an article there. Now the more external links you get pointing to your website the better because Google will consider you as a relevant source of information. This is not only a matter of quantity but most importantly of quality. Better qualified links are going to put you in a better position in search engines than the number of them. When building link you should check the following factors from the website you are going to be linked to:
- domain authority
- influence over your ranking
Be careful, when a business acquires fake or low-quality links you are risking being penalized by google.
So make sure you are linking to a website or source of information is reliable and trustworthy.
With the other online channels, you are going to start gaining traction and earning your users attention. That means you are going to have access to who they are and contact information. Many of those users are not going to be prepared to purchase. Therefore you need to stay on top of their minds through email marketing campaigns or build automated email marketing funnels.
Content is in the centre of your marketing strategy. It ties together the social, SEO, PPC and PR. For that reason, you want to make sure you are sending a consistent message through all your channels and your content is prepared to support this message. Is not only marketers but consumers themselves confirm to contact a company that has content instead of a company that does not invest in content marketing. And the reason is simple they want to know you, they want to be in control of their decision. If they have to second guess what you do or if you are better than another competitor, content becomes extremely important to differentiate your brand.
Example of brands that nailed their online marketing strategies are:
It is important to have a coherent message across all channels and below are some examples of it.
Oreo’s tweet in 2013 “You can still dunk in the dark” was one of the famous tweets according to Huffington posts. They took advantage of the massive power outage inside during the Super Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and created the above tweet. No need to say it went viral.
GoPro is another great example. Their YouTube channel features from surfers to hockey games and a large variety of pf sport professionals and amateurs that provide them with constant content. Users themselves are creating the content and becoming ambassadors of the brand.
So again, don’t miss the next opportunity and start preparing your marketing strategy.