Thinking of new ways to promote your business? Looking to find an efficient marketing strategy to increase sales or brand awareness?
If your business is banking on old forms of marketing – print, broadcast, word of mouth – you won’t maximize the potential of your business, no matter how good you claim your products and services are.
In reality, for every successful business, using different online marketing techniques is what sets them apart from the rest of the competition.
What are online marketing techniques?
Online marketing techniques are forms of marketing and advertising that utilize the power of the internet to promote your brand to audiences across different platforms.
Does your startup have any chance when going toe-to-toe against more reputable brands?
Of course, it does!
The good news is, when it comes to online marketing, it’s never too late to get in on the action. Social media platforms and search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, making online marketing an ever-changing field that can either help give your business an edge or push you further down the hole.
With so many different online marketing techniques available, how will you know which will work best for your business?
To help you get started, here are four online marketing techniques you can use for your business to sustain success in the long run.
1. Social media marketing
Social media marketing is an avenue where your business can gain visibility beyond your local area and connect directly with customers anywhere. Your business doesn’t even have to venture into all the different social media channels to reap positive outcomes.
These days, everybody expects a business to be active on at least one social media platform. A GlobalWebIndex survey found that over 54% of customers use social media to research a brand before making a purchase or recommendation.
Now, before you dive in and create a business page, remember that social media marketing is more than just posting any old content.
We know how tempting this can be, considering that creating a business page won’t cost you a penny.
So, where do you start? Like in all business strategies, the probability of success would be greater if you have a plan. A plan gives you a guide on what you need to do, provides you a measuring stick to gauge the success of your social media goals, and layout alternatives ahead in time just in case plan A fails to live up to expectations.
When thinking of a social media plan, make sure to include the following:
- Set goals that align with the S.M.A.R.T. goals framework
- Perform competitive research
- Create a social media calendar
- Conduct a social media audit (only for those with existing social media accounts)
- Don’t settle on mediocre visual content
- Mix up your visual content
* If you’re having difficulty finding a social media platform to promote your business online, your best bet would be to go on Facebook. This won’t always guarantee success, but this social media giant has everything you’ll need starting with their free tools and over 2.89 billion active monthly users.
2. Content marketing
This form of marketing takes on different forms. As per the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating valuable, relevant, and consistent content geared to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – ultimately to drive profitable customer actions.
When it comes to content marketing, always remember that it’s a long-term process. It gives you a chance to indirectly promote your brand by providing educational content to your potential customers, becoming an industry leader in your niche, and helping you rise in search results.
At first glance, you might think content marketing is all about writing informative blogs, but what we know is that people consume content differently.
To give you an idea, here are different ways (aside from blog writing) that you can use to help you get started on your content marketing strategies:
- How-to videos and tutorials
- Live broadcasts
- Host webinars
3. Email marketing
What better way to build trust with your customers than through email marketing? This method of online marketing is effective for both startups and reputable brands as you get to interact with your audience directly.
Think of it this way, how often do users change their personal emails or even virtual mailboxes for that matter? Presumably not that often, making a customer’s email a valuable piece of information to acquire.
The biggest disadvantage when it comes to email marketing is trying to find a way to increase your email list and the timing of when you send your emails. Some of the methods to increase your email list include using lead magnets, incentives, or cold-calling.
For the timing of your emails, the frequency varies depending on the niche and goals of a business, but in terms of recipient preference, the sweet spot for over 61% of users is receiving at least one promotional email in a month.
Once you grow your email list, make sure to create personalized and segmented emails.
Personalized emails can range from adding the customer’s name to pointing out some of their recent activity on your site. This will make your customers feel more connected and appreciated by your brand, resulting in an immediate increase in trust and customer retention.
Chances are, your customers don’t see eye-to-eye with you on every topic. If you email them irrelevant content, this will lead to lower conversion rates, or even worse, an unsubscribing customer.
This is where segmented emails come in handy. When you segment your email lists in groups, it makes it easier for you to tailor content that’s sure to keep them wanting more.
Take this, for example: say your business sells clothing for men and women. If sales are lower on one end, say the male side, sending coupons or limited offers of male apparel to your female audience wouldn’t generate much revenue and could be, at times, annoying for them to receive.
4. Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is an organic online marketing strategy businesses use to gain traffic to their site with the main goal of trying to consistently land on page one of a search result.
Similar to content marketing, SEO takes time before you can reap its benefits. With different businesses looking to outrank your landing pages for a particular keyword, fine-tuning your SEO efforts become an everyday task, even with the help of some of the best SEO tools. This, in turn, makes some businesses hesitant to invest any time and resources towards it.
But once you can land on page one, the amount of visibility and revenue your business makes is immeasurable. The following data can support its claims:
- Web searchers are 8.5x more likely to click an organic listing than a paid ad.
- 90% of respondents in an Oberlo survey said they were likely to click on the first page of a search result.
- SEO drives more than 1000% more traffic than organic social media
In general, SEO strategies can be subdivided into four parts:
- Keyword research
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
“Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing.” – Warren Bennis
Guest author: Derick Quinanola is a writer and digital marketer who is passionate about helping businesses maximize their virtual presence through engaging social media campaigns and dynamic content marketing to capture the attention of diverse audiences. He is based in the Philippines but has a global mindset and continues to find innovative methods to help businesses thrive in an increasingly digitized economy.