The internet makes it easy for people to learn about anything and connect with others with similar interests. With so much information at our fingertips, consumers have an increased expectation of what products will offer them and how those products will benefit their lives. In light of this, it’s no surprise that more and more individuals are pursuing online degrees to gain the skills needed to succeed in a digitally driven economy. But since the internet and online education are such young industries, there is a wealth of information scattered around the web that can help aspiring marketers learn the ropes. Here are nine of the most important principles for marketers to follow:
1. Measure and Improve
In an increasingly digital world, it’s important to keep up with the times and develop marketing and sales strategies that harness the power of the internet and email marketing to drive sales. This involves using metrics and objective measurements to gauge your progress and determine if your strategy is effective or if you need to switch gears and try something new. For example, if you’re seeing minimal results from your web traffic, it might be time to reevaluate your approach and see whether or not it’s worth continuing. Similarly, if you’re only sending out personalized emails to customers who have previously bought a specific product, you’re essentially just doing marketing automation. That’s a practice that works for a lot of big brands, but it doesn’t make it right for your business. Instead of looking at your email marketing as a cost that you incur, as most businesses do, you should be looking at it as a measurable marketing tactic that drives revenue.
2. Discover New Markets
In a world full of infinite information, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and develop new marketing techniques and strategies that will allow your business to grow. One good strategy for this is to look for untapped markets that you can use to your advantage. If you own a clothing store and notice that a lot of your customers are coming from Brazil, for example, you might want to consider experimenting with drop-shipping a few pieces from there. Or, if you sell furniture, you could try selling your wares to Spain, whose market you might not have considered before. The world is full of possibilities, and one good strategy for keeping ahead of the game is to discover them.
One important thing to keep in mind, though, is that new markets aren’t always easy to break into. Doing business in a foreign country, for example, can be a major stumbling block for a lot of small businesses. The language barrier alone can be enough of a challenge. However, if your target audience is located in a country where your product is not yet available, you can use the internet to your advantage and take advantage of online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon to sell your goods to people all over the world. This, in turn, can help you discover new markets that you can enter and expand your business into.
3. Focus On The Long-Term
Focusing on the short term can be tempting, especially when you’re trying to grow your business as quickly as possible. You want to create buzz, gain as much web traffic as you can, and reap the benefits of your marketing efforts as soon as possible. But, in doing so, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Your strategy might work for a little while, but eventually, you’ll hit a plateau and won’t be able to move beyond it no matter how hard you try. This is why it’s important to look beyond the short term and set goals that you know you’ll have to work toward over the long term. Even if you meet your target for this quarter, for example, you’ll soon reach a point where you’ll have to make significant changes to continue growing your business successfully.
4. Be Adaptable
Flexibility is important in almost every aspect of business, but it’s especially critical for marketers who need to be constantly adapting their strategies to stay ahead of the competition. Having a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t and being able to pivot when necessary puts you in a better position to succeed in this ever-changing world. When you have a strategy that’s working, it’s important not to be afraid to change it up a bit and try something new when necessary. For example, if you’re using YouTube to promote your music, but you notice that some of your videos are going viral while others aren’t, you might want to try filming some live shows and using online communities like TikTok to gain more traction.
5. Build Your Brand
People usually think of brands when they think of marketing and advertising. But, as mentioned before, the internet provides an opportunity to build a brand from the ground up and establish yourself as an expert in your field. One strategy for doing this is to create content that is informative and helps potential customers discover your products. If you’re doing this via blog posts or social media, make sure that your content builds upon itself. Meaning, if you have a post about how to bake the perfect loaf of bread, you might want to follow it up with another post about the importance of using good quality ingredients.
6. Measure The Right Things
It’s important to track the right metrics and measure the right results to determine the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. In a world that is changing as fast as the internet, the numbers that matter most aren’t always the obvious ones like web traffic or sales. Instead, it’s important to look at metrics that provide you with a clear picture of how effective your strategy was in attracting potential customers and driving them to take action. For music artists, this might mean looking at the demographics of your audience (i.e., who they are, where they are located, and how they’ve come to find your content) as well as measuring the results of your marketing tactics (i.e., how many downloads/plays your song received, how many fans you’ve attracted, and customer activity on your website).
7. Focus On Building Relationships
Marketing is all about brand building and making a profit, but it’s also about doing all of this with integrity. If your strategy is working, you want to continue building on this positive momentum by developing business relationships with the people you’re marketing to. Instead of just going through the motions of pitching your product to a customer, you can build a genuine connection and form a bond that will hopefully lead to a long-term, trusting business relationship.
8. Test, Test, And Test Again
If you’re not willing to try new things and take risks, you’ll never be able to successfully grow your business. This is why it’s important to test your strategy and marketing plan and determine whether or not it’s effective. If you’ve followed the above advice and applied the right metrics, you’ll be able to determine in one moment if your strategy is working or if you need to make significant changes.
9. Find Your Niche
Determining the exact products that you’ll sell and building a strategy around them is the backbone of any successful business. Once you’ve found your niche, it’s easy to move forward and build a following around these products. Instead of rushing into something without having a clear idea of what you’re doing, take the time to discover your perfect product or service and then build a plan around it. Don’t be afraid to dive in and explore the waters of the internet, as there will always be new opportunities waiting to be discovered.
To help you on your journey to successful marketing, here are some additional tips:
1. Create compelling value
In the same way that you wouldn’t recommend a marketing approach for a product you’ve never heard of, you shouldn’t promote a product or service you’ve never created. People are much more likely to trust established individuals and organizations than they are to give their trust to someone or something they’ve never heard of. To create compelling value, you need to gather some expertise while being an authoritative voice in your field. If you have an MBA, you can build a business case that will make your potential customers more receptive to your message.
2. Generate thought leaders
To become a thought leader in your niche, you’ll need to accumulate as much knowledge as possible and become an expert in an area that isn’t widely known. While you’re expanding your own knowledge base, you should also be engaging with industry experts and contributing your opinion to blogs and social media to establish your expertise. By doing this, you’ll be able to quickly move from being an expert to being a thought leader.