Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, creating a successful business is definitely a challenge. One area that you’ll need to focus on is marketing and sales. While there are plenty of offline marketing tactics that you can utilize (such as door to door marketing, trade shows, and commercials), most businesses operate online today, so there’s an abundance of marketing opportunities online.
That being said, finding the right strategy can be a bit difficult. Which online marketing tactics should you focus on? How should you invest your time and effort?
To help you figure out the right strategy, we analyzed over 20 reputable market research companies to find the top performing social media marketing platforms and tools. Our Top-rated platforms are the best in class when it comes to generating sales and leads, allowing you to grow your business faster.
1. Social Media Advertising
If you’re unfamiliar, social media advertising is all about promoting your product or service (your Biz) on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The good news is, you can use these platforms to promote your business for incredibly cheap.
The catch is that you have to be willing to put in the time to learn how to use these platforms. Luckily for you, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about effective social media advertising.
2. Content Marketing
Nowadays, customers are mainly searching for products and services online before they buy them, so it’s essential that your website is optimized for SEO (search engine optimization).
While SEO is important for attracting potential customers to your site, content marketing is even more important. When you put out content that is valuable, relevant, and consistent, you will grow your blog’s credibility and trust with potential customers. Essentially, you’re engaging with your audience through the written word and encouraging them to take further action (e.g., make a purchase or click a link).
3. Email Marketing
Did you know that people often opt out of receiving marketing emails? According to a HubSpot study, only 2% of people agree to receive marketing emails from businesses they don’t know.
Since people are generally reluctant to receive marketing emails, it’s essential that you build credibility and trust with your potential customers. One of the best ways to do this is through email marketing.
When you promote your business through emails, you can be sure that you’ll be reaching your customer base. Additionally, customers appreciate engaging with businesses via email, as they feel that they’ve entered a personal conversation.
Depending on your product or service, you may need to optimize your site towards different search engines (e.g., Google, Bing, or Yandex).
If you sell clothing, for example, you will want to optimize your site for the phrase “men’s clothes,” as this is the phrase people are likely to use to find your products. You can also target specific niche markets (e.g., luxury goods, fashion-related products, or adult clothing) with your SEO strategy.
5. Video Marketing
Did you know that people are 60% more likely to buy a product or service after they’ve watched a video of that product or service?
Additionally, video marketing is much more effective than text-based or picture-based marketing. Videos make complex ideas easier to understand, so if you’re using videos in your marketing strategy, you’re assured of gaining a greater impact.
If you’re just getting started, the first step is to pick the right niche.
Niche marketing describes the practice of marketing to a specific audience (i.e., group of people with similar interests, habits, or experiences). When picking a niche, make sure that there’s enough demand for your product or service in your chosen niche. This is commonly determined using Google Trends or similar tools.
For example, if you’re specializing in pet grooming, there’s probably not a lot of demand for your services in Ecuador. However, when you search for “dog grooming” in the United States, you’ll see that there’s plenty of demand.
You can also use specialized niche tools (e.g., Cliqr, Naver Market Profits, or OneOpinion) to help you find the most profitable niches.
Choosing The Right Platform
There are several alternatives when choosing a social media platform, so ensure that you’re making the right choice.
Here’s a shortlist of some of the most popular platforms for creating and managing blogs.
- Facebook ((FB)) – The world’s largest social media platform. You can create a Facebook page to reach a global audience or a niche group of friends. Additionally, you can use sponsored posts for businesses that you’re affiliated with.
- Twitter ((TWTR)) – An incredibly popular social media platform with over 500 million daily active users. Just like Facebook, you can create a business or brand account on Twitter. Additionally, you can engage with your audience by following and retweeting other users.
- YouTube ((YT)) – One of the biggest online video platforms with over a billion monthly active users. Similar to Twitter, you can create a business account to promote your content.
- Instagram ((IG)) – An incredibly popular photo-sharing platform with over 500 million daily active users. Similar to YouTube, you can create a business account to grow your following.
When picking your platform, consider the size of your audience, the features that you need, and the pricing. For a smaller business, you can use free blogging platforms like GitHub or WordPress.com. Alternatively, you can use a more robust platform like Medium or LinkedIn to create and manage your blog.
Building A List
If you’ve decided to create a blog to promote your business, the next step is to build a list.
A list is an extensive database of email addresses that you can use to send marketing emails to (this is also known as ‘double opt-in’ or ‘triple opt-in’).
You can use a tool like MailChimp to collect emails from people who are interested in what you have to say. Once you have a list of subscribers, you can send out weekly or monthly emails containing news, product information, or discounts for upcoming launches.
Additionally, you can use an email marketing platform like HubSpot to automate the process of sending out these marketing emails. With HubSpot, you can set up automated emails to go out to your subscribers at regular intervals.
Now that you have a blog or website, the next step is to put in the time to establish a solid marketing plan. Just like a recipe for a delicious meal, you need to follow a certain formula to ensure that your plan is effective.
The first step in the process is to set a benchmark and analyze your performance.
You can use Google Analytics to track your site’s traffic and the performance of your blog or website. Additionally, you can use marketing tools like HubSpot to establish metrics for the performance of your marketing campaigns (e.g., the number of leads that you’ve generated and the cost-per-acquisition).
From here, you can establish and tweak your blog or website’s content to increase the number of people who visit and ultimately convert (i.e., earn a sale) from your website.
Nowadays, customers are researching products and services online and then buying them offline. To attract and retain customers, you need to have content that is both relevant and interesting.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to content marketing. Instead, you need to find your inspiration from the brands that you admire most.
Whether you’re passionate about fashion or style, travel or food, there’s a niche topic that you can find inspiration for. Just make sure that what you create is of good quality and that you add value to your readers. Finally, make sure that what you post is consistent with the voice and style of your company.