According to Wikipedia “Online marketing or Internet advertising, is a form of marketing and advertising which uses the Internet to deliver promotional marketing messages to consumers. This includes email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing and many types of display advertising”.
However, online marketing is changing rapidly. Newer strategies are being implemented so fast and so soon that what was new yesterday is old-hat tomorrow.
There’s so much to learn that it can make your head spin.
How do you find what works? How do you stay ahead of the curve? What are the elements of an online marketing campaign that make it a success?
If these are the questions that have been bothering you then read on.
1. Effective use of social media marketing
More than a third of the population of the planet is on social media. Ignoring social media when marketing something means that you are missing out on a chunk of virtually free traffic. Effective social media marketing does not simply mean having a Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest account. Instead what matters is being able to add value to the content that you are providing online. It is much more than just writing better headlines and using stock imagery.
In order to make your social media campaign useful, you need to do a couple of things right.
Make use of real photos
You need to post actual photos of the product, or present actual pictures of the service that is being promoted. Visual content is king not only in social media but also in content marketing in general.
Various studies claim that visual content grabs the reader’s attention better. According to research conducted by Paul Martin of Lester of Cal State Fullerton, people recall 80% of what they see and do compared to just 20% of what they read.
This could also be attributed to the fact that attention spans are becoming shorter and people respond quickly to things that do not take a lot of time to process.
Images are easier to process.
People using social media are quick to recognize photos that are real, so if you use real photos in online ad campaigns you can win the trust of the subscribers more easily.
Don’t believe me? I have proof.
When Marketing Experiments tested a real photo of their client against a stock photo, they found that nearly 35% more visitors would be likely to sign up when they saw the real photo.
In order to make the online pictures stand out, they have to be taken by professional photographers who are creative enough to provide interesting photos that will pique the curiosity and interest of people online.
Providing photos will also make any company accessible. Clients will have a better idea of the kind of service you are providing.
When it comes to Internet marketing, anonymity is not allowed. No one would like to do real-world business with an entity or individual that they could not see and would have no possible chance of ever meeting.
Also, in order to establish credibility online, make sure to use actual pictures and post photos of real people who are working for the company.
Make sure to include a picture of the company owner or a group picture of employees on the “About us” page: Adding a human element on the website or social media page will increase the credibility of the page.
Hit the audience with what they love or hate
The problem with marketing on social media is that these platforms are not designed for marketing. People come to social media not to be sold to but to have fun and generally be entertained. So what do you need to do to make it work?
Target Facebook groups
Facebook groups consist of people who like a particular subject and wish to see regular updates on that. If you search for “spiders” on Facebook there’s a good chance that you will get lots of groups that either hate or love spiders.
Using a similar strategy and a little bit of Photoshop one site was able to drive over 15k visitors overnight to a blogpost on spiders.
James used Photoshop to engineer the photo below and targeted his Facebook fan page and Facebook groups with the photo.
- It drove over 1,000 likes on that post in the first 36 hours
- 8,000 shares on that post in the first 36 hours
- His page grew from 11,000 fans to nearly 14,000 fans
- The pageviews to the blogpost were over 15,000
The reason why it worked so well is because a lot of people hate spiders. One could ensure a terrific reaction to the image.
Finding and managing these opportunities will take time, patience and a good eye. Smaller organizations with limited budgets will be more inclined to take on all of these social media tasks themselves, which often lead to failure because they’re spreading themselves too thinly. That’s why hiring a company like $99 Social to manage social media marketing for you becomes vital. The great thing about this service is that for only $99 per month they’ll execute and manage these types of tasks for you, leaving you more time to focus on growing your business and presenting the right offers to visitors when social media campaigns work and bring in site traffic.
2. Provide focus on Content Marketing
Relationships are at the heart and foundation of good business. And through content marketing you are building relationships. Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing and reduces lead acquisition costs by up to 60%.
In the coming years, more and more people will get their information online. Investing heavily in online content is one good strategy that will ensure that your product brand will continue to surge and be noticed.
A company or business has to learn how to tell a good story, content has to be engaging, entertaining and worth reading. Investing in content also means providing articles that are relevant to the industry or service being provided, content that people can actually use. Articles have to be able to provide insight, evoke the emotions and must be able to establish a good rapport in the reader in order to create a loyal following.
3. Effective use of all the avenues of Digital marketing
When you are marketing online, you have access to avenues not available with traditional media. This means being able to make use of case studies, research, videos and articles in very flexible and interesting ways. You could use Slideshare presentations, multimedia content, interactive content or animated videos to tell your story.
That’s what digital marketing is about.
In order to be able to thrive in the Internet age, companies have to learn how to maximize the effectiveness of digital marketing tools.
Effective use of digital marketing also includes building a positive reputation in the industry; of putting forward an image of your company as one which is willing to research and concentrate on ideas that will get their clients’ attention have a higher chance of staying the course.
It means staying ahead of the curve and what better way to do that than by showing that when you market yourself you use cutting edge technology. This means that coming up with a proper marketing strategy is essential.
Digital marketing will include investing heavily on a good design.
This means that the website has to look credible, it has to look professional. It has to be informative, exude a welcoming atmosphere and must have great visual appeal; using testimonials to evoke trust and proof of quality in the industry. Remember that clients are more likely to trust the brand if someone notable can vouch for it: Choosing the right kind of influencer, can heighten the clients’ trust.
4. Use proper strategies for email marketing
Whoever told you that email marketing was dead probably didn’t know much about marketing. Emails are still used by the majority of people; they are still the number one form of sending messages online.
Your message has to arrive on time, for example the client has to be informed several weeks or days before an actual sale will occur in order to give time for decisions to be made.
This is why web hosting companies like NetHosting send out several emails informing people weeks before their huge Black Friday sale discounts.
According to research conducted by Experian Marketing Services— Personalized promotional emails were shown to lift transaction rates and revenue per email by a factor of six compared to non-personalized emails.
However 70% of brands failed to use personalization when sending emails. Also, using first names or last names increases open rates. The email sent to customers should be personal, it has to be able to contain the name of the client and has to be able to address them correctly.
Executing email marketing strategies that seamlessly integrate personalization and responsive design approach will depend greatly on the software or service you use. Powerful Email marketing software is going to be powerful for managing and assessing the success of each email sent. With tons of automation features, in-depth analytics and even A/B testing, this service is perfect for measuring ROI and delivering an impressive experience for customers.
Emails are also significantly cheaper and more people are switching their marketing efforts online. A lot of people are guaranteed to stay updated and will read their emails online compared with other forms of communication.
Marketing online is a great way to get your products out there in front of hundreds of thousands of potential customers. In the digital age, you can reach anyone with your message in their bedrooms or wherever else they happen to be.
But that also implies that everyone else out there can do the same thing. So, why should others listen to you and buy your product?
The key here is to differentiate your company from the pack. Package your message in a different way, show it in a new light, talk about the benefits rather than the features, and help others out.