Many companies have been looking to move their marketing budget and strategy to an online-first approach. With more and more people gaining access to the internet every day it only makes sense to use the internet as your main lead generation source.
Many businesses want to leap at moving to an online-first approach but have no idea where to start. In this article, I hope to outline some key online strategies and how you as a business owner can start implementing them.
Advantages of online marketing
Online marketing is an excellent way to get your business in front of potential customers that you previously may not have been able to reach with traditional marketing efforts. Below are a few of the biggest benefits online marketing provides in comparison to traditional marketing.
Although digital marketing has become more expensive over the last few years, it is still far cheaper than traditional marketing efforts.
Where you could have been spending thousands of dollars on billboard placements and reaching a minute portion of your target market, if a third of that budget was allocated to your online marketing strategy you would be reaching a far higher percentage of your desired audience.
When we compare traditional marketing platforms such as TV, radio and print to social media and SEO, the level of targeting vary greatly.
Platforms such as Facebook will allow extremely specific targeting, using data gathered over the years such as interests, age and location. This increases the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and as a result, tends to provide higher conversion rates.
Users also can interact with content and have control over what kind of advertising they see, this helps lead to more relevant traffic and again higher conversion rates compared to traditional marketing efforts.
Unlike traditional advertising, with digital marketing, you have direct access to measurable metrics that allow you to track and adapt your marketing campaign ensuring you are achieving the goals originally set out in your marketing plan while sticking to a budget.
Transitioning to online marketing
When transitioning to an online first marketing approach it is important to weigh up your options. Think about your goals, then think about how each strategy can help acheive those goals.
You need to try and focus the marketing goals of each campaign as this will help guide you to the best online marketing strategies for your company.
Here are some core online marketing strategies which can all be extremely effective if used correctly.
Social media engagement
Social media isn’t all about seeing huge numbers of likes and followers, putting out regular and valuable content is crutial to building a trsutworthy presence online. Customers like to see the inner workings of your business and products, this gains their trust inturn makes them more likely to want to work with and/or buy from you.
A recent study by Google found that 2/3 of shoppers said online video gave them confidence in making a purchase.
The main platforms you should be looking to use are LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for your daily updates and quick shares, for longer form video content YouTube is a great platform to invest your time into.
Although it can be difficult to build an engaged following on these platforms, they are a great source for leads and once you have amassed a large following your brand and message can easily be distributed to many past and potential customers.
When you are just starting or releasing a new product, it is beneficial to start with a paid online strategy. It would be similar to launching a TV or radio campaign but at a fraction of the cost and gaining as much brand awareness, if not more, from customers who are relevant to you.
Using display ads on social media platforms can introduce a new product to a large number of people in a short period, and as mentioned before, using data available on these platforms can help you target specific and relevant groups of users.
Here is a list of some advertising platforms you can start using today:
- Google Ads (Formerly Google AdWords, search and display advertising)
- Great for all types of products and services. Google ads can be very useful if you want to top search engine results pages. The platform can also be used for adverts across Google’s network, including YouTube and Gmail.
- Facebook ads (Facebook and Instagram)
- Facebook ads can be very targeted because of all the information they have on their users.
- LinkedIn Ads
- Good for targeting older generations and for B2B services. LinkedIn ads can be run through sponsored posts, which appear on the newsfeed, or direct mails, otherwise known as InMails.
There are numerous platforms that you can use to gain traction for your business online, but try and choose the platforms that best represent your clientele. After all, very few people will be buying concrete from an ad on TikTok.
Although paid advertising is cheaper than traditional methods of advertising, there is still a cost to this method and good budgets can usually dictate the effectiveness of a good online campaign.
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
When someone searches on the likes of Google, results are shown for their query. Search engines use a variety of information to rank certain web pages over another such as relevancy, location and authority.
The aim of SEO is to increase these indicators and gain rankings on search result pages, with the goal of reaching the top of the first page. Most SEO is done on-page, making the content as relevant as possible while using relevant keywords.
Along with on-page SEO there is also off-page SEO which refers to optimising your businesses online presence outside of your own website, this is done by creating links to your website. Incoming links to your website are a major search engine ranking factor. These links can either be built by your team or a link building service that finds relevant links.
Hopefully this has provided a bit of insight into the thought required for a successful online marketing strategy. There is no one set way to succeed online but there are some tried and true methods that can help you get started. It is always a good idea to weigh up your plans and methods to best evaluate what is the right way forward for your brand.