When you run your own website, you need to create an effective online marketing strategy to help promote your business. Whether you’re in ecommerce, the financial sector or are using your website to promote your offline services, online marketing is a powerful tool. An optimised site with a killer campaign can ensure that you reach the optimal number of visitors and conversions. Modern marketing strategies are constantly changing, in the same way our shopping habits have shifted online. You will want your business to be at the forefront and have an edge over your competitors, so develop some online marketing campaigns for your business. The results can be incredible for a small amount of work.
We take you through our top tips for online marketing, and how these strategies can aid your business.
Tailored Social Media Campaigns
This pays off especially if you know your audience. Depending on your business, different social media platforms will be appropriate. If you sell gourmet cupcakes or crocheted flowers for example, Pinterest is your best bet. Instagram suits cosmetics and clothing. LinkedIn is best for more serious businesses such as marketing agencies. This isn’t to say that a gourmet cupcake company shouldn’t have a LinkedIn profile, or that a marketing agency shouldn’t have a Twitter profile. It just means that you should conduct campaigns via the most appropriate platform.
Networking and gaining contacts and potential partners is a vital part of promoting your business. You can attend events for this, but as an ecommerce merchant, taking this online can reach the right leads and clients. LinkedIn is the most obvious choice for this technique, sharing publications and articles via Slideshare and LinkedIn Pulse ensures that your expertise is known. Make new connections, and promote your offers and updates to different groups. You can be more specific on LinkedIn and find the suitable demographics for your business.
SEO Optimise Your Site
Search engine rankings are important for getting organic traffic to your site, leading to quality leads, conversions or potential customers. It also ensures you get the right traffic by targeting the keywords your customers are searching for. Conduct some keyword research, if you have Google Analytics this will be the best option, but if not there are some free tools such as keywordplanner.io. Integrate these keywords into your website copy, but be careful. Don’t cram them in, be sure they fit. You can incur penalties from Google if you have duplicate content or ‘keyword cram’. Never copy content from other sites, you will get penalised by Google.
Link building for the blog on your website can also get the traffic you need as well as an SEO boost. See if you can guest post on a relevant site, or get somebody to contribute to an article which can then be shared. Through this you can build up symbiotic relationship where you can aid one another with link building and articles.
You can do this yourself with a bit of training, or hire in an external agency. Find ones that are accredited Google partners and organise meetings first. Beware of hidden extras and ask for a price breakdown. Read our blog post on Top SEO Tips to get started.
This must be well planned, as generic and poorly planned pitches will just get deleted. Don’t be too general, don’t overuse their name, offer them something important or compliment a recent presentation or exhibition they have organised. If you have a sales team, get them to attend seminars and courses, but you could also consider having an external agency do your email marketing for you. Don’t make it spammy, don’t use obvious sales words such as ‘state of the art’, ‘unique’, ‘sale’, ‘help’ or ‘exciting’. Make each email personal to the target audience, a HTML email with an interchangeable name will be obvious to the recipient. A text email tailored to them and their individual business will do well, you know them and their goals and want to help them!
To find out more about email marketing and the best tactics, watch this space for our top tactics, coming soon to the Axcess blog.
Giveaways and Free Trials
This can include downloads or free trials of your service, including eBooks and white papers. Remember: this download can benefit them immensely, so make sure it is quality! If you are an ecommerce site, hold a competition to win a hamper of goods or gift vouchers. You can link this to your email marketing, through newsletters, and via a social media campaign. Target your audience via hashtags and get your clients or cohorts to retweet the posts or share URLs. For instance, using #giveaway, #competition for promotions. Free samples of your products are also a great way to hook customers in, take Graze for example, they offer free or reduced snack boxes to showcase their service. Customers are more likely to subscribe full time if they are given a taster that they feel they can’t live without!
Online seminars and lectures are also a very novel way to gain a following. If you have an area of expertise you’re willing to share, get your knowledge out there. Record a podcast series, record a seminar or even create a document/guide to distribute. A good quality camera or recording equipment will pay off after a successful campaign, as well as build your authority with a bank of resources.
PPC (Pay Per Click advertising) is incredibly effective, especially when paired with an SEO optimised site. Through Google AdWords, you can tailor your campaign and budget as well as include keywords you do and don’t want included. You can train yourself to do this, or hire a PPC Executive or external agency to run this campaign. You may save money initially by learning yourself, but PPC Executives will be AdWords qualified and know how to get the best out of your budget. PPC courses are available however, which can equip you with the fundamentals. You can also split test landing pages, which a PPC Executive can create and test for you. With an optimised site, AdWords will rank you more favourably when it comes to bidding for an advert. Keyword planner will help you prioritise certain search terms, as well as provide an insight from an SEO perspective too.
Depending on how much time you have and what your budget is, you can gauge whether your business needs to hire an external PPC expert or if you can manage running this yourself. Either way, investing in PPC will certainly be worth it for your website.
Every business is different, and only you can gauge what suits your website best. Tailor these tips to suit your business’ needs and goals and create a plan that will benefit you. An individual and smart online marketing strategy will give your website the traction is needs, and earn you the conversions you deserve.