The Growth of Online Marketing
In the past, people would go to the movies to laugh or cry, read a book in the bath, or go for a walk after work. Now, they might do any of these things online.
When people are seeking information online, they have more choice than ever before. They can click on a link, see an image, or watch a video to get the information they need. Therefore, online marketing is more important than ever to keep people engaged and to make sure they find the information they need when they need it.
Why Are Online Marketers Worth Following
If you are reading this, it’s probably because you already know the importance of online marketing. The term was probably even buzzed around your water cooler or on your social media channels. You may work for a company that does marketing online or operate a blog yourself.
But why should you care about what other people think about your online marketing efforts?
What makes an online marketer worth following is their approach to marketing and their ability to engage with customers. So, let’s dive into what makes these experts tick.
What Is Digital Marketing?
Depending on who you ask, digital marketing is anything from managing your blog to using online marketing tools to grow your business. But, for the sake of this discussion, let’s consider it to be online marketing in its most basic form.
While you may not always need a formal education to be successful with digital marketing, you do need to know the ropes. To that end, here are the most basic steps to take before getting started.
Set Up A Blog
Blogs are a fantastic platform for digital marketing. They are easy to set up and require little to no effort to maintain. Even if you only have one blog, you are still able to engage with your audience with timely content, like blog posts.
This is important because content is how readers discover new things. If a blog post goes live and no one knows about it, how can they benefit from it? With a blog, you are able to connect with your audience even when they are not online. With a little effort, you could use tools like HubSpot to keep track of all of your blog posts and schedule new ones on a regular basis.
Create Email Marketing Lists
As a marketer, you should have a decent idea of the demographics you are targeting. In the case of email marketing, you are usually looking for two groups: consumers who have purchased a product in the past and those who are interested in your product but have not yet made a purchase. Creating a list to send email alerts to is a easy way to engage with these groups and encourage them to purchase your product or service.
Use A/B Testing And Split Testing
The advantage of having an A/B testing tool like Google Optimize is that it takes all of the legwork out of splitting your traffic. Essentially, with A/B testing, you create two almost identical websites, A and B, and then you measure the results of one site vs. the other. A/B testing is great for online marketers because it allows us to see how different elements of our websites impact the overall performance. For example, if you are experimenting with different pricing strategies, you can use A/B testing to see which ones generate the most revenue. As a result of the testing, you can increase your conversion rates or decrease your abandonment rates.
But A/B testing does more than just compare the performance of two different websites. It also allows you to track the results of various email marketing campaigns or ads on social media channels. You can use A/B testing to track the results of a TV commercial, a blog post, or an affiliate marketing campaign. The possibilities are endless.
Analytics software like Google Analytics helps you understand the behavior of your website visitors. With these tools, you are able to track how people are interacting with your content – whether they are buying your product, joining your email list, or just visiting your website to read an article.
This may seem obvious, but it is a common pitfall for new online marketers to underestimate the value of analytics software. When you put in the time to learn how to use these tools, you will be grateful for their value. Knowing how visitors are interacting with your content allows you to place more effective and frequent marketing campaigns and offers onto your site.
Use Social Media
Blogs, tweets, and Instagram all have their place in the grand scheme of marketing. These are great platforms to build a following, gain credibility, and connect with potential customers. Having a social media account and engaging with followers is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and grow your business.
But perhaps the most important thing about social media is having a presence on various platforms. If someone is seeking information on your product, which platform do you think they will be most likely to visit? If you have an account on every major social media platform, you are able to reach a very large audience.
Build A Community
Creating a space for your customers to congregate and connect with others is a great way to engage with them and grow your business. Whether you are hosting a webinar, having a Q&A session with one of your experts, or simply engaging with your followers on social media, try to make it interesting and useful.
Building a community takes more than just having a social media account. You have to put in the legwork to engage with your audience and make them feel welcome. Consider hosting a webinar where you answer questions, provide tips, and make suggestions about your product. Alternatively, you could write a weekly blog post that answers a specific question about your industry. These are simple ways to engage with your audience and provide value, while also building a community.
Measure The Results Of Your Marketing Efforts
The final step in your digital marketing journey is to measure the results of your efforts. It may seem obvious, but it takes a lot of work to grow a business online. Without careful measurement and analysis, your knowledge and understanding of the various platforms may be wasted. For example, if you have tested various prices for a product and none of them seem to correlate to increased sales, it may be time to revisit your pricing strategies.
Luckily, there are a number of tools that can make this process easier. You could use something as simple as Google Analytics to track the results of your marketing efforts or get a bit more sophisticated and use a tool like HubSpot to analyze the performance of various marketing campaigns.
These five steps to take before getting started will get you on the right foot and help you determine the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts. Now, you may not need to go through this entire process. You may simply want to pick up a copy of the Shopify Marketing Guide or take advantage of a free trial of HubSpot, and be diving straight into digital marketing.