In my last two blog posts, I shared with you the best ways to find the time to study for your CAC (Chartered Accountants Australia Certificate) and how to make the most of the COVID-19 Pandemic to improve your life and business. Today, I want to talk to you about how you can use your spare time to get some real marketing done online.
The Importance of Online Marketing
In today’s world, people are increasingly doing their shopping online. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 68% of consumers visit retail websites before buying products online, and 44% of those consumers intend to purchase products online in the near future.
This figure comes from a HubSpot Blogs survey of 2,000 consumers in Australia. So if you’re not already doing online marketing, what are you waiting for?
The importance of online marketing can’t be overstated. In addition to helping consumers make purchases – either currently or in the future – online marketing can also help businesses gain market share and establish brand loyalty.
Why Online Marketing Is Different
If you’re just starting out, you may believe that online marketing is the same as traditional marketing. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With online marketing, you don’t need to rely on traditional marketing methods to reach your audience. You can use digital marketing techniques to target the right audience – whether you have a big or small audience – and grow your business at the same time.
Here are just a few of the ways that online marketing is different from traditional marketing.
Digital Marketing Is More Effective
This one might be the most obvious difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing – at least, it’s the most effective difference. With digital marketing, you can measure the results of your efforts much more easily.
In the HubSpot Blogs survey, 68% of consumers said that they intend to use digital marketing to promote their businesses in the next six months. That’s much higher than the figure for those who intend to use traditional marketing methods (44%). So if you’re looking to grow your business in the next six months, consider whether you should focus on digital or traditional marketing.
Targeted Marketing Is More Important
Traditional marketing focuses on attracting as many people as possible to your product or service. This usually means you’ll be investing heavily in advertising, regardless of whether or not you have a big audience or a small one.
With targeted marketing, you’re only investing in advertising the products or services that are directly relevant to your audience. If you can accurately target your audience with relevant ads and content, you’ll find that your marketing will be more effective and less wasteful.
Attracting More Customers With Content
In the HubSpot Blogs survey, 72% of respondents said that content is the key to attracting customers. When asked what type of content they’d use to attract potential customers, the top responses were:
- Product information (54%)
- Expert opinions (36%)
- Event announcements (16%)
- How-to guides (12%)
- Announcements (6%)
- Promotions (5%)
If you’re looking to attract potential customers, consider creating content that will engage them. In the same HubSpot Blogs survey, respondents were asked who they’d turn to when looking for information about a specific product or service.
- 55% of respondents said that they’d use online resources (i.e. websites, blogs, and social media) to find information
- 36% would look to the seller’s ford (i.e. product images, descriptions, and reviews)
- 14% would turn to friends or family members
- 4% would go directly to the manufacturer’s website
If you’re creating product information, consider the types of customers you’ll have in mind when creating content for this particular product or service.
The takeaway from this is that if you want to attract customers, create content for different devices and platforms. This way, your content will be available when and where your target audience is spending their time – whether that’s on a phone, tablet, or laptop computer.
The Rise of Voice Search And Its Impact On Marketing
If you want to attract potential customers to your business, you’ll have to consider the tools that they’re using. As we’ve discussed, 68% of respondents in the HubSpot Blogs survey said that they intend to use digital marketing to promote their businesses. However, this figure includes consumers who said they’d use digital marketing but have never used voice search (8%).
This could be because there are a number of different platforms that marketers need to consider when planning their strategy, and some of them don’t have a voice search function.
This is where marketing automation tools can help. With a marketing automation tool like HubSpot, you can harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to engage with customers and potential customers. You can set up automated email campaigns, send out welcome packs, and track the activities that are driving most of your marketing results.
Consider using a tool like HubSpot to build your email marketing strategy. In the HubSpot Blogs survey, respondents said that they intend to use email marketing to promote their businesses within the next six months (60%). However, only 22% said that they used email marketing regularly – a significant drop from the 44% who said they’d use it in the future.
One of the reasons for this could be that marketers who are new to email marketing may not have considered all the different platforms that their audience uses – like mobile phones and email clients. By automating your email marketing, you can ensure that you’re keeping up with all of the platforms that your audience uses so that you can continue to target them with relevant content.
The Importance of SEO
As we’ve discussed, content is extremely important for attracting customers to your business. When a potential customer types in a key word or phrase while searching online, your business’s content – whether that’s a web page, blog post, or podcast – will appear near the top of the list on search results pages.
SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of improving a website’s content and structure to get higher rankings on search engines like Google. It can be a fairly complex practice, and you’ll need to be working with an SEO pro to get the best results from your efforts. But the benefits of a higher search engine ranking can be substantial.
Getting started with SEO is not difficult. You can use free tools to find the basics of a website’s SEO – such as the meta descriptions and keywords – and then you can work on formatting and content to make your site stand out.
Make The Most Of Online Shopping
One of the great things about the current COVID-19 Pandemic is that it’s forced marketers to consider new ways to attract potential customers. Due to stay at home orders and fear of being infected, people are turning to online shopping and social media to find the products and services they need.
This is why marketing during the pandemic can be so effective. If you want to take advantage of the situation to grow your business, create content that will assist people in finding what they want online. If possible, conduct some online market research and learn from experiences of other businesses.