There’s a wealth of information available online, and more people than ever are accessing it. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 40% of American adults use social media to learn about products and brands. Additionally, 25% of consumers have used online reviews to influence purchase decisions. When your business is online, you have to consider the best ways to reach potential customers and gain brand equity.
To grow your business, you’ll need to embrace online marketing, which includes everything from SEO to email marketing. Luckily, you can integrate many of these tactics into one process, using tools like HubSpot, building websites with Shopify, and utilizing social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to grow your audience.
1. Create compelling content.
The content you create may be compelling, but that doesn’t mean much if you don’t get people to see it. Creating compelling content takes time, and relying on traditional marketing tactics, like printing flyers and posting them in local business journals, won’t cut it anymore.
Thanks to the rise of the content machine, content creators, and the content consumer, you have a much larger audience to reach. With the right strategy, you can engage with your audience across multiple platforms, using techniques like SEO, social media, and content marketing.
The goal of content marketing is to attract, engage, and persuade prospective customers to take action – which could include making a purchase, filling out a form, or downloading a file. According to HubSpot Blogs research, content marketing is one of the most effective online marketing strategies because it creates a natural link between the brand and the audience.
To create compelling content, you’ll need to start by defining your target audience and goals, and then using analytics to determine the content’s effectiveness. You can also use content creation tools like HubSpot to create and curate content on a daily basis.
2. Use keywords in your content.
If you want your content to be found by someone, you’ll need to incorporate keywords into your content. Fortunately, you have many options when it comes to keywords, including looking at the existing SEO terms for your product (e.g., organic search keywords for roofing contractors) or analyzing the most frequently searched terms across a variety of platforms (e.g., Google, Bing, and Facebook).
Once you have your keyword list, you can use it to create content that will perform well in search. You can also incorporate your keywords into your URL and heading tags to increase your content’s visibility on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook.
To find the right keyword or phrase, you’ll need to do some research – especially when attempting to find a competitive analysis of your niche. Once you have the keyword or phrase, you can use tools like Google AdWords to find relevant and popular content, create content that highlights your product’s advantages, and monitor the performance of your content’s online.
3. Measure the success of your content.
In addition to creating compelling content, you’ll need to track the success of your content to determine its effectiveness. Fortunately, there are several metrics you can use to track the performance of your content. Your first, and most basic, measure of success is the number of views your content receives – whether that’s an article, a podcast, or a video.
To get an idea of the number of times people have viewed your content, simply go to your website, look at the analytics, and find the number of times visitors have arrived from specific platforms or search terms.
In addition to views, you can also measure the performance of your content using metrics like bounce rate, time on site, and pages per visit.
To get the most out of your content’s performance, look at the engagement metrics like time on site and bounce rate. These two metrics tell you whether or not your content motivated viewers to take some sort of action – like making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.
4. Craft headlines that attract attention.
Whether you’re creating an article, a blog post, or a press release, headlines are one of the most important elements. When someone opens your content, they’ll quickly scan the headline to get a sense of what the content is about. Your headline should grab the attention of readers and draw them in for the rest of the content.
Here’s a good example from Entrepreneur:
“How to Identify and Grow Your Niche Within Minutes” – an enticing, eye-catching headline that compels the reader to continue on to the next section of the content.
With just a headline and a bit of content, you can put a cap on your lead generation campaign and convert those leads into paying customers. In the case of the article above, the author identifies a major challenge entrepreneurs face – getting started – and provides a solution in the form of a checklist that readers can follow. He also includes a testimonial from an actual customer to provide credibility.
One of the best things about this particular article is the way the author weaves in key phrases throughout the piece. Even if you’re writing an explainer piece for a general audience, you can still incorporate a few targeted keywords into the text to increase its relevance to your intended audience. That, in turn, will increase the likelihood of a reader finding your content and engaging with it.
5. Use subtitles to add more value.
Adding subtitles to your content can increase its value and make it more accessible to a wider audience. When someone is reading a long piece of text, they may have trouble keeping up – especially if the text is in a foreign language. Having subtitles to assist readers can increase their engagement with the content and make it more enjoyable.
For instance, imagine you’re reading an in-depth article about SEO, and you come across a section on inbound marketing. At first, your eyes may glaze over as you struggle to keep up with the jargon – or you may even close the page altogether. Having subtitles to provide a glossary or a concise definition of a complex term can help draw your attention back to the text and keep you engaged with the content.
6. Integrate videos.
Did someone mention videos? It’s a common occurrence in online marketing. After all, videos are the most popular type of content on Facebook and YouTube.
To attract potential customers who might not regularly visit your website, you can incorporate videos into your online marketing strategy. In doing so, you can use a variety of platforms like YouTube or Instagram to reach your audience.
Videos can be quite versatile when it comes to marketing, and you can use them to explain the ins and outs of your business, highlight your products’ features, or advertise a special sale or new product.
On the product front, companies like HubSpot offer powerful video creation tools that can assist you in making professional-looking videos without needing extensive technical know-how. Additionally, if you have a customer testimonial or explainer video you can use, you can incorporate that directly into your video’s narrative to boost its impact.
7. Build a community.
Whether you’ve been in business for a long time or you’re just getting started, one of the most effective ways to grow your business is by building a community. You can do this by creating online spaces for customers and potential customers to engage with you and each other.
The most basic form of community-building is blogging. Create an outlet for your thoughts and commentary on your business and the industry. Although blogging is a popular method of communication among consumers and businesses, it’s not something that traditionally leads to quick sales. However, by regularly participating in blog carnivals, you can expose your blog to a wider audience and potentially lead to increased sales.
If you run a B2B business, you can also participate in forums and Q&As where you can answer questions about your industry and the products you offer. For example, if you run a roofing company, you can contribute to forums discussing residential roofing – which is also what you sell.
You can use your blog or other platforms like Twitter to engage with your audience and potential customers. One popular method of community building is to hold a Twitter chat with your audience, where you can engage with them live via Twitter.
Blogs, Twitter, and other forms of social media can all be used to promote your business, attract potential customers, and build credibility. Remember, your goal is to grow your business, so you’ll need to establish yourself as an expert in your industry – and the best way to do that is through your content.