2017 was another incredible year for online marketing. While social media marketing saw more algorithm changes and fake news coverage, online marketing continued to provide incredible growth opportunities for marketers.
To celebrate, we’re ranking the top online marketing gurus of 2017.
To start our ranking, we asked each guru to tell us one piece of advice when it comes to marketing online. Here are their answers:
1) Know Your Audience
“Know your audience,” advises Jeevan Vasagar of Red Ventures. “Understand who you are marketing to; what they want and need. This will dictate the type of content you produce and how you engage with your audience.”
Too often in marketing, we get so enamored with our products that we forget to consider who our audience is. Considering who your audience is and understanding what they want and need will put you ahead of the competition.
2) Measure What Matters
“Measuring what matters is vital, especially in today’s digital world,” says John Jellis of Red Ventures. “Everything is focused on metrics and being data-driven, so you need to know what will improve your conversion rates, generate more leads and increase sales.”
What you may find is that some marketing metrics do not matter as much as you thought they would. For example, when we examined HubSpot’s performance metrics, we discovered that its lead generation decreased by 17% after introducing Snapchat integration. Perhaps this suggests that lead generation is not as important as we thought it was.
What is important is that you have the right metrics and that you understand how they work. Knowing how to measure what matters is fundamental to being a successful marketer.
3) Think Long-Term
“You have to think long-term,” says Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com. “You’re not ever going to make money if you don’t believe you can make money.”
Simply put, if you want to be a successful marketer, you have to think long-term. You cannot be focused on short-term gains, since your competitors are not. They will try to take advantage of your temporary enthusiasm and use it against you.
Additionally, you have to be receptive to new ideas and ready to accept that you may be wrong. When you are thinking long-term, you are able to look at things objectively and accept that maybe something else will work better. You cannot do this if you are focused on your own interests. This way, you ensure that you can continue to have a successful career and reach the status you want to achieve.
4) Identify Your Strengths
“Identify your strengths,” recommends GQ’s Matt Hooten. “What do you do well and what makes you different from other people? Once you’ve answered those questions, you can use your strengths to create content that is more of a fit for your target audience. Knowing your strengths and how to use them to your advantage will help you become a thought leader in your industry.”
Taking time to identify your strengths and creating content that is more of a fit for your target audience is a great way to begin your online marketing journey. Plus, by doing this, you will be able to become a much more knowledgeable marketer.
5) Be Selective Of The Devices You Use
“The first and most important rule of successful marketing is to be selective of the devices you use,” says Ryan Moran of Amplify. “Make sure that your target audience is viewing you on the device they are using. If you want to be seen on a TV, make sure you are on there, in some way, shape or form. Know your audience’s habits and consider all the possible platforms your content could be viewed on.”
Being visible on all the major social platforms is important, but you should not be on every single one. Focus on a few and make sure you are using the right metrics to determine which platforms are giving you the best return on investment.
6) Use Analytics
“It’s important to track data and use analytics,” says Bob Bly of Ontraport. “Without it, you’re flying blind. You’re trying to guess what is and isn’t working. You can’t make intelligent decisions if you’re not being informed by data.”
What analytics will tell you is which articles, videos or other content performed best and which ones didn’t. Additionally, analytics will inform you of the characteristics of your target audience so that you can create more appropriate content.
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all your analytics needs, check out this analytics tool that we’ve reviewed and found to be highly effective: Google Analytics.
7) Be Brave
“Be brave,” advises Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com. “You will never succeed if you aren’t willing to take the risk.”
Starting a business is risky. Going headfirst into unknown territory without a safety net behind you is not a smart move. However, many successful businesses began with a seemingly impossible dream and continued to grow despite considerable odds. Be brave enough to try new things and smart enough to know when not to.
If you want to be a successful marketer, be brave enough to try new things and smart enough to know when not to. After all, this is what separates the successful marketers from the ones who are struggling.
8) Be Persistent
“Be persistent,” suggests Joe Pulizzi of 360 Market Reach. “Like most things in life, getting something you want requires effort. If you want to become a successful online marketer, you have to put in the effort to build your personal brand and create quality content that will interest and engage your target audience.”
Building a personal brand takes time, but it’s an investment that will pay off in spades. With a personal brand, you have the opportunity to become the go-to person for your industry, to become an expert, to build a brand for yourself that will attract and retain customers, and to generate more leads and sales.
If you want to be a successful online marketer, be persistent in building your personal brand and creating content that will interest and engage your target audience.
9) Be Creative
“Be creative,” suggests Mark Roberge of AgencySites.com. “It’s important to think outside of the box. Have fun with your work and use your imagination. If you want to be seen as a creative, unique individual, not just a copywriter or marketer, you need to be willing to come up with new ideas and take calculated risks.”
Being creative does not mean that you have to reinvent the wheel. Being creative means that you do things differently or in a way that has not been done before. It also means taking calculated risks and having the intellectual curiosity to understand why things work or don’t work. If you want to be seen as a creative, unique individual, not just a copywriter or marketer, you need to be willing to come up with new ideas and take calculated risks.
What sets successful marketers apart from those who are just starting out is that they have a deep understanding of digital marketing and have put the time and effort into developing themselves into industry experts. If you want to be seen as a creative, unique individual, not just a copywriter or marketer, you need to be willing to come up with new ideas and take calculated risks.
10) Test, Test, Test
“Test, test, test,” recommends Matt Hooten of Amplify. “Don’t just assume something will work because it’s been done before. Do some research, look at what’s worked for other businesses, and try new things. You’ll never know what will and won’t work until you try it.
Being a successful digital marketer is not as difficult as you might think. With a little luck and the right knowledge, any entrepreneur can kick-start their own successful business.