The internet has opened a world of opportunity for small businesses, allowing them to gain access to millions of potential customers. However, thriving online requires more than just coming up with a catchy name for your product or service; you need to develop effective marketing strategies.
Thankfully, the internet provides a wealth of information on marketing, allowing you to easily master the basics without having to reinvent the wheel. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most essential concepts you need to know in order to succeed online. We’ll cover everything from marketing research to copywriting, and by the end, you’ll have a solid foundation to build upon.
Marketing Research Is Key
Although the internet provides an endless number of statistics on just about any subject, very few are actually useful to a business. Before you can develop any strategy for marketing your product or service online, you first need to conduct market research to determine where your target audience is:
- Where are they?
- What are their interests?
- What are their needs?
- What are their triggers?
- What are their problems?
- What are their buying habits?
- What are their expectations?
Doing research doesn’t have to be difficult. You can use tools like HubSpot’s Free Plan to easily pinpoint key insights about your target audience. Just enter a few details about your product and the demographics you’re targeting, and you’ll see a variety of useful statistics about your topic.
For example, if you’re running a business that sells pet accessories, you can use the tool to discover which breeds of dogs are most popular, as well as which types of collars and leashes their owners wear most often. With this information, you can develop product suggestions and marketing campaigns that are more likely to succeed.
Product, Pricing, And Promotion
After you’ve determined your target audience, you can move on to analyzing the products they’re most likely to buy. It’s important to note here that you’re not simply comparing your product to whatever is available online, but rather taking into consideration a variety of factors including price, quality, and distribution. Even if your product is the best in its class, if nobody buys it because it’s too expensive, you’re doing your marketing wrong. The same thing goes for quality: if people don’t think your product is good enough, it won’t matter how amazing it is, it’ll never sell.
When developing your marketing plan, take all of these factors into consideration. There are numerous times when low-quality products that are dirt-cheap online end up becoming immensely popular because consumers are willing to pay due to the lack of competition or the product’s usefulness. For example, you might discover that, despite the fact that their smartphones are among the most expensive on the market, the majority of people are more likely to buy them because they’re so affordable, or because there’s limited distribution and fewer alternatives. That’s how much marketing research you need to do before you get started!
Content Is King
This point can’t be stressed enough. While it’s important to have a solid product to promote, you also need to have quality content to drive traffic to your site. Nowadays, consumers have become accustomed to quick, snappy online content that they can simply scroll through in less than a minute. If you want to succeed in the online world, you need to provide useful, informative content that will keep your readers engaged. The longer your content, the more chance there is for it to be perceived as value-addition by the audience.
If you’re using platforms like Hootsuite to distribute your content across different platforms, be sure to analyze the results and see which type of posts lead to the most engagement and traffic:
- Long-form articles
Build An Email List
You can’t expect to succeed in the online world if you don’t have a steady stream of traffic coming in. To get started, it’s essential to build an email list. You can use social media platforms like Email List Builder to collect emails from potential customers who’ve come across your content.
The advantage of building an email list is that you can then use email marketing to promote products and offers relevant to your target audience. You can also use software like MailChimp to create and maintain your email list and send out regular emails pitching products and offers.
Making an organic social media presence isn’t as complicated as you might think. First, decide what type of content you’ll be posting and then find the most suitable social networks to share it on. For example, if you’re posting an articles on technology, you might want to check out sites like Medium and Steemit.
Once you’ve found the right networks, follow the instructions given to you by the platform to build your audience. You can use sites like Hootsuite to easily find content on various social platforms including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Building a social media account takes little effort but can be highly effective in driving traffic to your site. According to HubSpot Blogs’ data, the average visit lasts for 14 seconds on Google, 3 seconds on Bing, and 8 seconds on Facebook. If you want to get noticed, build a following on social media platforms and engage with your audience. One important thing to keep in mind is that the content you post on social media platforms will be viewed by a much wider audience than your target audience. Make sure you’re posting content that’s relevant and interesting to the people you’re trying to reach.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about getting your site to appear at the top of the search results when someone searches for your topic. To that end, you need to focus on doing everything you can to make your site as search-friendly as possible. This includes structuring your content properly, using keywords in your content, and attaching images to your articles. If you want to learn more, you can use some of the free tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to easily find the right keywords for your content.
With SEO, you’re not necessarily targeting any specific audience – instead, you’re trying to reach as many people as possible using various platforms and methods. Just keep in mind that, to achieve the best results, you need to run keyword searches across several platforms including Google, Bing, and Yandex.
Even if you’ve never done so, you probably know how useful videos can be. Thanks to platforms like YouTube, you can easily create, edit, and upload videos to share with the world. While video marketing isn’t a new concept, the internet has made it much more accessible for businesses. You can use video content to explain your product or service in a way that words can’t perfectly convey. Plus, with video content, you can use all the various platforms mentioned above, as well as other video platforms like TikTok.
Videos are extremely effective when used to advertise a business. For example, if you’re selling sunglasses and you want to promote a new store opening up, you could create a short video detailing all the styles and colors they have in stock and upload it to YouTube.
The advantage of videos is that people interact with them more than other types of content. According to HubSpot Blogs’ insights, 83% of users have watched a video to learn about a product or service, and 72% have watched a short clip to learn more about an item. This is why video content is a great fit for inbound marketing–you’re creating educational content that’s rooted in user research.
This point couldn’t be more important in today’s world. According to HubSpot Blogs’ research, 66% of consumers have used a mobile device to research products or services, and 41% have used it to research a business. Because people are so regularly using mobile devices to research products and businesses, it’s essential that you have a strong mobile marketing strategy in place.
There are various platforms and methods you can use to gain market share on mobile devices. You could opt to create a freemium model, where you offer a free version with limited features and a pro version with more features. You could also use in-app purchases or promote your product via sponsored ads.