In 2015, digital marketing became more important than ever to achieve success in business. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 76% of business owners use digital marketing tactics, and 69% use social media to market their companies. Essentially, business owners now depend on digital marketing as a means to an end rather than just a channel.
However, in an effort to be effective, marketers must first put their target audience first. In other words, you can’t just go into digital marketing with no understanding of who you’re trying to reach and what your target audience wants. One size does not fit all when it comes to marketing, and you must understand your target audience’s needs before you devise your strategy.
To that end, we’ve compiled a list of the best online marketing tactics that you can use to gain rapid growth.
1. Stand out from the crowd
The first and most vital step to effective marketing is to ensure that your message is heard above the rest. The best way to do this is to devise a strategy that is unique to you and your product, and then execute it with vigor. To put it simply, it’s best to stand out, rather than blend in.
Take the time to analyze your ideal buyer persona, and then craft a strategy around speaking to them, using language that is familiar but not overly complex. In the same way you would create a marketing plan for a traditional marketing campaign, you can devise a digital marketing plan that will help you discover your target audience’s preferences, behaviors, and concerns. For example, if your target audience is millennials, your strategy should reflect this; crafting content that speaks to millennials’ digital native language will make you recognizable and more likely to receive attention. Plus, doing so ensures that you’re catering to a group of people who are more likely to be open to new ideas and approaches. If you can relate to this audience, you’ll gain a great deal of popularity and trust. Engagement and interaction with your audience is crucial, and ensuring that each individual feels that they’ve had a productive interaction with your brand is beneficial for building credibility and trust. From there, you can expand your business.
2. The name and hashtag game
Another vital step to attaining success in online marketing is to familiarize yourself with the various platforms used by your target audience. Having an understanding of where and how your target audience interacts with content allows you to tailor your strategy for the most effective results.
When you utilize a service like Google Analytics, you can easily see where your target audience is visiting from and what content is resonating with them. From there, you can determine the type of content that will be most effective in attracting and engaging with your audience. Additionally, by researching popular hashtags and keywords, you can easily discover topics that your target audience is discussing online, which can further guide your content strategy. If you discover that your target audience is heavily engaged with Instagram, for example, you can develop content that includes images and descriptions that will draw in and retain audiences.
3. Content is king (or queen)
Perhaps the most effective method of marketing on the internet is to simply produce and publish content that is both interesting and informative. In the digital marketing world, content becomes even more important, as 41% of adults in America now get their news from the internet. Essentially, people are now consuming content at an ever-increasing rate, which means your content will likely have to be good enough to keep them interested. Additionally, with the vast majority of adults now living their lives online, the chance of someone stumbling upon your content is extremely high. To that end, make sure that your content is of a high enough quality that it will hold up for any reader.
If you have an excellent content marketing strategy in place, you can rest assured knowing that you’re providing valuable and reputable information to your target audience. Additionally, by regularly producing and publishing content, you’ll be able to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry, and gain credibility with potential customers who might not otherwise trust you. Take the time to produce amazing content, and you’ll be able to gain instant credibility with your audience.
4. Social media is the backbone of any digital marketing strategy
While we’ve established the value of quality content, we must also remember that social media is more than just content. In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 70% of business owners use social media to engage with customers, and 59% use it to learn about trends and technologies in their industry. Essentially, businesses are discovering that by engaging with their audience on social media, they’ll be able to cultivate long-term relationships that ultimately lead to brand loyalty and increased revenue. Take the time to engage with your audience on social media, and you’ll be able to establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry, and gain credibility with potential customers who might not otherwise trust you.
The key to utilizing social media effectively is to not just create content, but to engage with your audience using the platforms available to you. If you run a business, consider using platforms like Twitter to engage with existing customers or establish yourself as an expert in your industry. If you’re a crafter, consider using platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to display your work and engage with others in your craft. To that end, make sure that you’re always sharing fresh and interesting content that will keep your audience interested, while simultaneously engaging with them on a personal level. Doing so will help you establish a connection and form a bond with your audience that will lead to increased engagement and follow-through. Plus, having an active social media presence is key for any business, as 47% of consumers say that they’ve learned about a product or service from an online article, and 38% have learned about a product or service from someone’s social media posts.
5. SEO is still relevant
Nowadays, search engine optimization (SEO) is more important than ever for businesses to appear on the first page of a Google search. In fact, 79% of adults in America now use Google to find products and services, and 57% of those people are influenced by the first page of search results. Essentially, SEO ensures that your website appears when potential customers are searching for specific terms that are related to your product or service. To put it simply, if you have a blog for your business that’s filled with valuable information, make sure that you’re optimizing it for various keywords and phrases. Additionally, take the time to build a business website that is both interesting and easy to navigate, lest you lose potential customers to a competitor’s website. If you want to appear on the first page of a Google search, make sure that your web content is keyword and article optimized. Additionally, to appear on the first page of a Google search, your website needs to load quickly and display relevant content when a customer types in a search query. To ensure that your website is doing its best to appear on the first page of a Google search, use website performance tools to track and analyze the various metrics. Additionally, ensure that you’re using the right keywords in your titles, descriptions, and blog posts to attract the right audiences.
6. Videos are on the rise
In the same way that photos have dramatically changed the way we interact and experience content on social media, videos have changed the way we consume content. In fact, video is now the second most common way that Americans engage with content, right next to text. Additionally, 59% of adults in America now use video content to learn about products or services, which is twice as much as the percentage who use text content to learn about products or services.
To effectively market your products using videos, create short films that demonstrate the features or benefits of your products. Additionally, consider creating videos to accompany your blog posts, as videos can easily summarize complex information in a simple and interesting way for the average person. To that end, make sure that you’re keeping up with the trends in video content by seeking out new platforms that will allow you to express yourself and build a following. Additionally, videos allow you to engage with your audience on a more personal level, as 39% of respondents in a HubSpot study said that they would value a business’s ability to engage with them more than their product’s quality or features.
7. Inbound Marketing is the answer
To succeed in businesses today, you must embrace Inbound Marketing, which focuses on attracting, engaging, and delighting customers through content and digital marketing rather than marketing and sales. Inbound Marketing emphasizes creating value and builds trust rather than focusing on just selling a product.