By Alexander Grosu, for Edwardsturm.com.
There are more than one billion websites out there. More than 3 billion users navigate the Internet every single day – and the number increases each second. Millions of blog posts are published on a daily basis.
To say that businesses cannot survive without being present in the web-o-sphere is an understatement – and, by this point, a severe cliché too.
Regardless of what type of business you may run, the success of your enterprise has become closely linked to the success of the digital marketing campaigns you run. What are the key-points to keep in mind when designing a marketing strategy? Here are some of the essentials:
Segment Your Audience
Knowing your target audience is absolutely crucial if you want your marketing campaigns to succeed – and this stands just as valid in traditional marketing as it does in digital marketing.
Why is this rule so critical for the success of any marketing effort?
Because it helps you understand who your users (and potential buyers) are. From the types of products they are most likely to buy, to the music they listen to, and even to their political inclinations, everything can make a huge difference in the way you will design your campaigns. Making yourself and your business relatable is crucial not only in a B2C environment, but also in a B2B one as well – so take your time and get to know your ideal customers. It will pay off!
What does segmenting have to do with this?
Unless you’re selling a very niche product that targets a very small segment of the population, it’s more than likely you will want to aim towards multiple types of people. Segmenting the audience according to different relevant traits can help you make your product more appealing for each of these groups, thus increasing the odds they will eventually convert into buyers.
This is a strategy that can be applied in almost every digital marketing branch, from email marketing to social media and SEO – so it’s a healthy approach to take regardless of the specific media by which you choose to send your company’s messages.
Know Your Users’ Place in the Sales Funnel
The sales funnel is one of the basic elements of a successful business – so it’s advisable to keep in mind throughout creating marketing campaigns or strategies.
What exactly is the sales funnel?
Put shortly, the sales funnel refers to the entire process by which a company attracts users and converts them into buyers. There are many approaches as to how the sales funnel should be depicted: some say it has only 4 phases, while others split the whole process into 6, 7, or even more phases. Despite the differences between these approaches, they all cover the road that users take, from awareness to purchase – and the first steps of this process are always connected to your company’s marketing efforts.
Why is it important to know where your users are in the sales funnel?
Because it will allow you to pin-point what every group of users needs to read about, so that you can create messages that are 100% geared towards each and every one of them. For instance, offering product trials for users who are still in the awareness phase will not yield the results you aim for. However, offering the same trials to someone who’s further down the sales funnel, and already knows what’s desired, can convince that potential buyer that your product is precisely what’s needed.
Do Not Dismiss the Email
Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing – and although it follows in a forbearer’s footsteps (i.e. direct mail marketing), it has survived the rapid digitalization of the modern world.
Some may say email marketing is no longer efficient. This is incorrect. It still stands as a very useful and profitable way of marketing your products and/or services.
Why is email marketing frequently seen as being less important?
It is generally believed that email marketing worked at its best back when people used email not only for business or official matters, but for personal communications as well. With the rise of social media networks that allow instant communication, many have shifted towards using email for the more formal communications they have to make.
Why is email marketing still useful for businesses?
Because a lot of people use their emails when maintaining communication with their sellers. Because many other people open their emails for newsletters, free PDFs, vouchers, and coupons. Because all these can be applied in both a B2C and a B2B context.
Search Engine Optimization Is Imperative
It doesn’t matter how great your products are, how amazing your website looks, or how immensely useful your content is – if people cannot find it on the Internet, it is unlikely that they will ever interact with it. This is precisely where SEO comes in to help.
Isn’t Search Engine Optimization considered to be unreliable?
No, not at all, actually. SEO has been severely misunderstood – but with the Google Panda and Penguin updates released a few years ago, optimizing websites has become a reliable and more than necessary step in marketing a product the right way.
Before the aforementioned Google updates, SEO mostly consisted of black-hat link-building, cloaking, and keyword stuffing. However, when Google released its modern algorithms, these practices became completely useless. Even more than that, these tactics are now considered to be downright dangerous for the success of a website.
How to do SEO correctly?
Search Engine Optimization is a complex and time-consuming process – so it cannot be contained in just a few phrases. Yet, there are some basic “pillars” of SEO that every marketer and business owner should be more than familiar with – and these are the most important ones:
- Research 3-5 keywords that are relevant to your business. Make sure you strike the perfect balance between the keywords’ relevance and their competitiveness (the less competitive they are, the more likely it is that you will succeed in ranking them on a search engine’s front page).
- Use these keywords in your website’s design, content, and base architecture. You should not stuff the website with keywords, but use them completely naturally. A good way to test this is by analyzing everything from the point of view of a reader. The more keyword-stuffed your content is, the less readable it will be for a human.
- Keep an eye on your metrics. Google Analytics and Google Search Console provide a lot of data you can use in making better business decisions for your website and for your general digital marketing strategies. Learn how to work with these tools and how to extract the most relevant data for your particular business situation – they will be more than useful!
Should I hire somebody for this?
Possibly. If you’re a business in which evergreen content or organic search traffic is of strategic importance to you, and you don’t have the time to learn or do everything yourself, it may be worth hiring a professional SEO who can do this all and teach you everything that you want to know.
Digital marketing is a manifold discipline – so it would be impossible to sum it up in one article or with just one expert. With that said, using the tactics above will push your online marketing efforts further, and help you run a more lucrative business.
Stay tuned with the latest developments in digital marketing, stay creative, and, more than anything, stay true to what your company believes in!
Do you have any great digital marketing successes? Share them in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.