It is safe to assume that you have already made the decision to venture into the exciting and ever-evolving world of online marketing, and you have certainly recognized its potential to grow your business. You have perhaps found inspiration in the strategies of today’s most successful digital marketers, and you have decided to adopt their proven tactics and methods to grow your practice.
If so, congratulations! You are one step closer to becoming a successful online marketer. Now, you just need to figure out how to get clients. What follows is an overview of the most innovative and effective channels through which digital marketers attract, convert, and retain customers.
The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and new channels and methods of marketing are being developed to capture the attention of prospective clients.
A few years back, SEO (search engine optimization) and PPC (pay per click) were considered to be the primary channels for digital marketing. Now, social media and content creation are also widely used to gain brand awareness and attract new customers.
In today’s world, marketing is often considered to be an all-encompassing term that refers to all the strategies and activities used to guide individuals to purchase your products or services. To better understand how to get clients through marketing, it is important to explore the distinct channels that make up marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a strategy that helps businesses to improve their rankings on search engines like Google. In essence, SEO helps your website to appear more frequently in the search results when potential clients type in keywords or search queries that are relevant to your business.
SEO is often considered to be the foundation of a strong digital marketing strategy because it provides the opportunity to drive traffic to your website. Furthermore, with SEO, you can test and improve the performance of your site, learn from the best (guides, blogs, and forums), and be among the first to hear of any new developments and strategies.
SEO is used to position websites and blogs in the search results, but the practice can also extend to social media, videos, and other digital marketing tactics. The term SEO is sometimes used interchangeably with SEO strategy, which refers to the methods and activities used to earn high search engine rankings.
Content marketing is simply creating and distributing high-quality, valuable content that is designed to attract, engage, and convert potential customers into leads and customers.
The content may take any format that provides value, including:
- web content
- product guides
- social media posts
- interactive diagrams
- case studies
- how-to guides
- …and the list goes on
Because content marketing is a broad term that covers a wide variety of content types and distribution platforms, it can be difficult to know how to get started. However, there are some tried and tested ways to gain popularity as a content marketer without overwhelming yourself with too much work. For instance, you may want to consider using content spinners (software that modifies content to suit various niches) to create some fresh content to distribute on your behalf. You can also find a knowledgeable freelancer or company to help you with content marketing strategies.
Social Media Marketing
If you have a significant social media following, you can consider yourself to be a social media marketer. Your job is to engage with your audience and encourage them to take some action – whether that is to click a link, share your content, or make a purchase. Simply put, you use various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to grow your influence and engage with customers.
As with any marketing channel, the key to successful SMM is understanding your audience’s needs and wants. To attract potential customers to your business, you will want to identify key topics (e.g. business, products, marketing, etc.) that you can use to engage with your audience. Furthermore, you should also be using social media to learn from others and establish yourself as an expert in your industry (hence why most businesses consider social media to be a critical component of their marketing plan.
Direct marketing is the practice of individually contacting potential customers with offers and information to convince them to purchase your product or service. It can take many forms, including:
- email marketing
- postal marketing
- household marketing
- catalog marketing
- marketing through social media
- …and the list goes on
If you are interested in getting started with direct marketing, consider using email marketing software like MailChimp to build and send out professional emails to your customers.
Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
PPC, which stands for Pay per Click Advertising, is a type of online marketing where you pay per click for the opportunity to have your website or blog linked to in an online ad. In paid search, you typically pay per click. For example, if you are running a real estate business, and you have created an online listing for available properties, the merchant (real estate agency) will pay you per click if someone clicks on that listing. This type of advertising is usually cost-effective because it generates relatively high web traffic.
However, PPC is a performance-based advertising channel, which means you will not know exactly how effective your strategy is until you measure it. You should therefore be tracking your performance regularly with keyword research and analysis to determine the strength of your brand in terms of search engine optimization and the value of your marketing efforts. Furthermore, if you are looking for an effective way to gain popularity as a real estate agent, consider using online lead generation platforms like LeadScore to acquire potential customers and grow your business.
As with any other form of marketing, it is essential to have a solid strategy and defined goals before you begin. Setting up automated email campaigns, putting out a steady stream of valuable content, and relying on keywords to drive traffic to your site are all valuable components of a strong SEO strategy.
Content Distribution Networks (CDNs)
Content distribution networks, or CDNs, are essentially servers (usually cloud-based) that cache (store) copies of your website’s content for other websites. A CDN can improve your site’s load time (time to load a page) because they reduce the number of requests your browser has to make to servers that host the content you need. The result is often a much faster webpage load.
Additionally, using a content distribution network can give you the flexibility to upload and download content to and from your site without having to worry about server space. Furthermore, CDNs often provide free bandwidth so you do not have to worry about cost (this is especially beneficial for larger websites and blogs).
Online Lead Generation
If you are looking to get started with online lead generation, consider using a tool like LeadScore to gain instant access to highly qualified leads who are interested in your product or service.
LeadScore is a free tool that connects to your existing email accounts and social media accounts (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) to identify and qualify potential customers. Furthermore, since leads are often considered to be the lifeblood of any business, marketing, and sales staff, having a steady stream of leads is an important part of any marketing strategy.
From an organizational standpoint, leads are often considered to be a nuisance because they require constant monitoring and handling. However, if you have opted to go the digital route to market your business, leads can provide you with important information about your target audience – including their needs and wants – and how you can serve them best.
Content Auditing and Optimization
In the world of digital marketing, content is everything. When someone hears the term “marketer” they often think of a person sitting at a desk, but the reality is that content marketing is a very diverse discipline that can involve everything from writing a blog post to creating a viral video. After you have created all of the content you can think of, the next step is to optimize it. This entails utilizing various tools to scan and analyze your content to determine how effective it is and whether or not it needs to be changed.