With the increasing popularity of online shopping and social networking, many businesses have shifted to embracing the online world and utilizing online marketing to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and make sales.
However, not all businesses are created equal, and some may still be struggling with the ins and outs of using online marketing effectively. If this sounds like you, continue reading
Why Online Marketing?
You may be thinking that online marketing is the same as traditional marketing, and you’d be right. However, the strategies you use and the results you achieve may be completely different.
Take Website analytics, for example. In the past, you may have focused on getting people to click on your website’s “Call To Action” buttons or heading one of the many blogs you’d written. Today, however, you would put much more emphasis on getting people to engage with your content and take an action (i.e., call to action) that leads to a conversion (i.e., leads to a sale or a sign-up).
Conversely, other industries have shifted towards more traditional methods, such as radio and TV advertising. You may still see billboards promoting a product or service, but the way we consume information and entertainment has shifted, and so have the tactics used to get our attention.
Create a Plan
Before you begin any kind of marketing campaign, it is important to lay out a clear plan. Having a plan will help you keep your end goals in mind, and it will also help you determine what approach to take and which channels to use to get the results you’re looking for. In the same way you would with a physical marketing campaign, you need to set a benchmark and review the data after each phase to determine whether or not you’re on track to meet your goals.
Determine Target Audiences
Determining your target audience is a lot like selecting the goods you will promote. You will want to choose companies and individuals that are most likely to be interested in your product or service. However, to be effective, your target audiences should also be as precise as possible. For example, if you are marketing a weight loss product, you may want to target people who are looking for a weight loss solution, are considering getting married, or have teenagers.
This level of specificity is important because it will help you craft the right message to the right person at the right time. Being targeted is also a key component to getting effective results from your marketing efforts. If you are not targeted towards specific demographics, the results may be largely ineffective. For example, if you have a general Facebook ad that you’ve paid for, you will most likely get a generic response from the audience you are targeting. However, if you examine the demographics of the people who interacted with your content the most, you may be able to tailor your marketing messages more effectively and, in turn, achieve better results.
Build Your Brand
When you establish your brand, you are basically branding yourself as a thought leader in your industry. This is a crucial step, as it will give you credibility and trustworthiness with others in your industry. Moreover, developing a brand will allow you to choose your words wisely and ensure you always craft the right message.
Choose The Right Platforms
While you want to reach as many people as possible, you also need to determine which platforms and channels will get you the results you are looking for most efficiently. For example, if you are trying to generate leads for your weight loss business, you may want to take a look at popular diet blogs or forums to see which one’s audience is most likely to be interested in your product or service.
Once you identify these platforms, you can choose whether or not to use them to reach your target audience. If you decide to use them, you may want to consider investing in ads so you can reach your target audience more effectively.
Determining The Best Strategies
Once you’ve determined your target audience, you can begin to craft the right strategies to attract them.
As a general rule, you want to choose strategies that will allow you to achieve your goals the most effectively. For example, if you are trying to generate leads for your weight loss product, you may want to consider using organic SEO to build your website’s credibility and trustworthiness as a source of valid information. On the other hand, if your ultimate goal is to raise brand awareness, you may want to take a more traditional route and choose a radio ad or an article in a prominent publication to reach the largest audience possible. It is also essential that you choose the right metrics to determine the success of your strategies. For example, if you are trying to increase brand awareness, it may not be the best strategy to choose the most popular one of your product’s competitors because you’ll end up comparing apples to oranges. Instead, you may want to compare your product’s awareness among other similar products to determine the effectiveness of your strategy.
Plan For The Long Term
Just because you’ve set a benchmark regarding your target audience, it does not mean that you should simply choose a few platforms and stop there. Instead, you should continually update your strategy regarding changing trends, new technologies, and the ever-evolving world of marketing.
Just because Facebook and Google are the two most popular search engines does not mean that your product or service has to be connected to the internet to be successful. If your product is tangible (i.e., you are selling a product that can be touched or used), you may want to consider experimenting with offline marketing strategies including cold calls, print ads, and radio interviews to reach consumers who are not yet aware of your brand. These are all viable options that may help you penetrate the most relevant audience and ultimately achieve the results you’re looking for. In the same way, if you are trying to reach an older audience, you may want to consider using infomercials or product demonstrations to reach people where they are.
Keep A Diary
Keeping a marketing diary is crucial for maintaining a record of all your efforts, as well as determining the effectiveness of these efforts. This is important because it will allow you to track the results of your various strategies and determine which ones worked and which ones did not. Moreover, if you compare your diary’s entries to those in your spreadsheet, you may be able to determine the degree to which different strategies worked together to achieve a larger impact. Additionally, reviewing your diary from time to time may allow you to determine whether or not you are on track to meet your end goals. If you decide to revisit some of your past strategies and compare them to present-day results, it will become much easier to determine exactly how far you’ve come and what you need to do next.
Monitor And Review The Results
With any marketing campaign, the most important thing is not to give up after a few weeks or months. Instead, continue to monitor and review the results of your efforts to determine whether or not you’ve been effective. In the same way you would with a physical marketing campaign, you need to reset your benchmark and determine whether or not you are on track to achieve your end goal. If you decide that a certain channel or platform was not effective, you may want to consider switching to another one.
Additionally, if you compare your present situation to that of your benchmark, you may be able to determine the degree to which different strategies worked together to bring you to where you are today. Moreover, if you examine your benchmark’s profile, you may be able to determine the type of individual or company that uses it.
In sum, being a master of online marketing means being able to implement proven strategies to attract, persuade, and engage your target audiences. Moreover, it means being able to track the results of these efforts and adjust your strategy as needed. To be able to do this, you need to develop a clear plan and choose the right platforms and channels to use to reach your target audience. Finally, you must be committed to reviewing the results of your efforts and determining whether or not you have reached your end goal. If you decide that you have not, you may want to consider switching strategies or utilizing different ones to get the results you’re looking for. Moreover, being a master of online marketing does not mean you have to be connected to the internet to be successful; if your product is tangible, you may want to consider experimenting with offline marketing strategies.