Online advertising represents both the best of times and the worst of times. On the one hand, the advantages of online advertising are abundant and obvious. It’s an effective way to send an immediate message to your desired target, offering businesses benefits in terms of turnaround time, cost and efficiency.
However, digital marketing also lends itself to oversaturation, to the point that consumers have armed themselves with ad blockers, pop-up blockers and a self-taught immunity to a large portion of the online ads they see.
This creates a significant challenge for online marketers. There’s more to digital marketing than simply sending out emails and updating a social media profile. There are principles that must be adhered to in order to ensure success in online marketing.
Here’s what you can do to help your cause.
1. Know Your Audience.
It can’t be said enough. If you don’t know whom you’re marketing to, you have no hope of reaching that audience. Online marketing makes it easy for you to see what works and what doesn’t. Use this information to guide your marketing and to illuminate the areas of digital marketing where you should concentrate your focus. Knowing how to get a response from your marketing will help to guide you as you attempt to maximize your online advertising success.
2. Have a Plan.
While it might seem like the many arms of online marketing — email marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and others — are distinct properties, they actually all work together. And if you don’t know what the endgame of your marketing is, then it’s impossible to properly execute any digital marketing strategy.
The ultimate goal of advertising should be to increase revenues. Therefore, your goal with online advertising must be to drive traffic to your website, where consumers can make purchases. Metrics like social media “likes” and “shares” are only relevant in the bigger picture of how many of those “likes” and “shares” led directly to sales.
3. Track Everything.
Perhaps the best thing about digital marketing is that it lends itself to tracking. The days of putting up a giant billboard ad and merely hoping that people see it are long gone. Today, every action taken by a prospect can be tracked and aggregated. These numbers are your true indicators as to whether your marketing efforts are working.
It’s very easy to become overwhelmed by numbers, so it pays to have a strategy for the analysis of these figures. At first, limit your focus to your key performance indicators, such as click-throughs on emails, email list sign-ups and social media click-throughs that land on your webpage. As you become more comfortable with the numbers and what they mean, you can expand your scope and see how some of the smaller numbers lead to the big picture.
4. Build Your Email List.
Email might not seem like a great marketing option in light of flashier options, but email marketing is actually the safest and most reliable medium in digital advertising. Modern consumers are on their phones constantly, and their emails are just one click away at all times. That gives you the immediacy you need to reach people and persuade them to act right now. To that end, nearly 60 percent of marketers state that email marketing gives them a better ROI than any other advertising medium.
The more consumers you have on your email list, the better your chances are of converting those individuals. However, the real power of email marketing comes in its ability to break up your audience into different segments and provide different messages to different groups of people. You can send a new email customer a welcome message while simultaneously giving a return customer a promo code for their second purchase, all through the same medium.
5. Create Paths to Purchase. Your data tracking will give you insights into what your customers respond to. But you can also use that data to construct something else entirely — a model that helps you to anticipate what a customer will do next.
You’ll never have one exact path to purchase that every customer follows, but you can hone in on a few common paths. Following unique customers through their paths to purchase can help you to take note of commonalities, which helps you to better service new customers as they reach decision points. To help with this, you can even program your email marketing software to reach out to these consumers at specific points to help nudge them along their path.
6. Embrace Video.
Much has been made of the power of video marketing, and with good reason. Simply put, it’s far more effective than plain text or standalone images in conveying a message. Video gives you the power to truly move someone through a combination of text, images, full-motion action, and music. More than that, though, it’s the ultimate tool for showing the world exactly what makes your business unique.
It’s important to get on board with video now because the world is becoming more video-driven by the day. You don’t want to get stuck behind the times. Figuring out the basics is easier than ever, so look at your business and see where video marketing might help you. A general overview of your company and the niche you’re trying to fill in the marketplace is a great place to start.
7. Revisit and Retool Your Strategies.
Even the best marketing strategies and tactics won’t last forever. It’s important to periodically go back to the drawing board and make sure that what you’re doing is still working. There’s nothing wrong with tinkering with your approach and fine-tuning things to ensure that your marketing is just as relevant today as it was yesterday.
Online advertising is a challenge, but it’s far from impossible. A well-crafted approach and emphasis on the building blocks of digital marketing, particularly email marketing and online tracking, will drastically increase your chances of success. For a little help with developing the right approach to online advertising, contact us today.