Traditional Marketing Tactics Evolving With Technology
If your company deals with certain products and services, it is obvious that you need to do extensive marketing to promote and sell those. Different marketing techniques have been applied since time immemorial. Traditionally, marketing techniques include advertising in newspaper, magazines, television, radio, and billboards. However, nowadays, one of the biggest trends in marketing the products and services of a company is to use digital technology. Digital technology mainly revolves round the Internet. This technology has been proved to be one of the most effective forms of promoting products and services and expanding the reach of the company to the maximum number of potential customers. In the digital space, social networks, website banner advertisements, and website promotion are done largely to promote a product or service business. There appears to be some difference and overlap between digital versus traditional marketing tactics.
Differences between digital and traditional marketing
Given below is a list of differences between digital and traditional methods of marketing:
Communication: In traditional marketing, communication has a one-sided flow. This one directional flow is from the company to the target audience. However, as the users cannot communicate with the company or between themselves, communication is not as effective as in the case of digital marketing technology. With Internet marketing techniques, communication can be multi-dimensional. There are various digital channels through which companies and customers can interact with one another.
Another major difference between the traditional and the digital communication is that the former is better planned and generally takes longer than the modern techniques. This is because publication through mass media takes longer to execute. In digital marketing, communication is instantaneous and occurs in real time. This means that it is possible to reach a large number of customers at the same time and the potential customers can respond immediately and join in conversations with the company.
Flexibility: the way advertisement campaigns are planned and scheduled makes traditional and digital marketing different from one another. Traditional marketing takes time to plan. The campaigns are well planned and follows a specific schedule. There is not much scope of changing plans and making changes in the campaign plans in the middle. However, in digital marketing, there is a lot of scope for changing plans and adjustments along the way. These schedules are based on the behavior of the target audience which in turn will depend on the reactions that the target customers are showing towards your newly launched products. In digital marketing, there is a heightened participation of the customers in the launch and promotion of a new product or services.
Availability and response: In digital marketing, a company is always approachable to the customers through various means. The customers are happy to be able to reach the company 24/7. Whereas, in the case of traditional marketing techniques, response from the company would come either on weekends or during the working hours only. The customers would have to wait for responses from the company.
Advantages of digital marketing strategies
One of the major differences between traditional and Internet marketing is that Internet marketing is fast and more effective. Traditional methods are time-consuming processes and require a substantial amount of time for the results. However, in the case of digital marketing, the result is immediate and you can measure the behavior of your target customers.
2. Cost effectiveness
These days, most of the companies are opting for Internet marketing services to help them promote their products and services.One of the benefits of choosing digital methods for marketing of products and services is that it is cost-effective. Unlike the traditional forms, the Internet is a cost-effective medium for promoting the products and services of a company. The money you spend on marketing produces predictable and effective results!
3. Digital marketing is measurable
You can definitely count the number of people visiting your website and the number of customers you are getting (conversion rate) from Internet marketing. However, this is not possible in the case of traditional form of marketing. It is not possible to calculate the number of people who checked out your banner advertisements or the number of potential customers who have watched your television advertisements.
4. Better brand development
Digital marketing is better for developing a brand. A business that is regularly updated with valuable content on a well designed website can establish a brand and sell the products and services. Creating a website is one of the best brand-building investments that you can make, if you are planning to promote the goods and services of your company. Be sure to contact professional web designers to create a user friendly and responsive website to showcase your company.
Although there are various benefits to digital marketing, it is most effective when used in conjunction with traditional forms of marketing. This is because the audiences for traditional and digital marketing are different and your company may target specific demographics of the population. Maintaining a balance between the two and knowing what to spend on the most cost effective methods is the challenge.
A relatively new form of marketing, many companies have made the transition to promotions in the digital space and many more will follow suit in the next decade. Despite the vast amounts of information about digital marketing, there are still lies circulating around about the methods, channels and ROI of digital marketing. As a result, people miss the vast opportunities available to them through digital marketing. This blog attempts to expose some eminent and common lies related to digital marketing so that people can reach their marketing goals sooner in 2017.
Debunking digital marketing for 2017 and beyond
It is easy for marketers to be misinformed about digital marketing practices. The conflicting views about digital marketing trends and the lack of information to back up statements make this very confusing for everyone concerned. A survey conducted by Adobe: Digital Distress revealed that 52% of marketers (in a poll of 1000) lacked confidence in their digital marketing skills. When the pressure is so great to show digital marketing ROI, only 9% of respondents were confident enough to say their digital marketing strategy was working.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to debunking digital marketing myths is the way decision makers measure marketing ROI. Linking digital marketing to financial performance may just be the biggest myth of them all. Digital marketing is not a ‘one time capital project,’ and measuring the ROI may not reveal the true value that digital marketing is bringing to the company.
Nevertheless, here are some of the most harmful digital marketing lies people should dismiss in 2017…
1. Digital is just social media marketing
Social networking and digital marketing are interconnected. Social media performs an important role in digital marketing but it does not all simplify down to social media. Many marketers like to think of social media marketing as the common denominator, but the fact is; it is only one channel of digital marketing. Basically, to attract a wider community of audience, digital marketing needs to be facilitated by social networks. With 2.206 billion global active social media users and 30% penetration, social media marketing is not an opportunity digital marketers want to miss. Social media allows for word of mouth marketing on a global scale.
If there was another way to reach the target demographic of customers via digital channels, marketers would pursue that. Despite the popularity of social media marketing, it is not suitable for every business. Niche businesses may not connect with users on Facebook or Twitter. Businesses many sabotage their reputation by some social media faux pas. In fact, many businesses don’t have, or need, a social media strategy to acquire customers.
2: Only some businesses need digital marketing
Digital marketing sets no limitation in terms of business size. Regardless of how big or small the business entity is, digital marketing serves its purpose in the digital age. In 2015, there are more than 3 billion Internet users around the world; 39% of all global Internet is high speed broadband and the share of web traffic via mobile devices has exceeded that of desktops. Regardless of the business size, customers are using the Internet to find businesses and increasingly through their smart phones.
Businesses have to adopt digital marketing because their customers find content on digital channels.
In fact, this strategy allows small entrepreneurs to compete with larger enterprises. Furthermore, major corporations often have a complicated process involving several departments in creating content or tweeting compared to small business owners who have more flexibility to do so. Breaking down the silos is an issue larger corporations face that smaller businesses do not.
3: Digital marketing doesn’t work for B2B companies
A notion that digital marketing doesn’t work out for B2B trade is a false assumption because all business institutions can use digital marketing tactics. Numerous B2B companies have content marketers and social media accounts as a proof that digital marketing strategy works in B2B sales. There is a great article by Jay Baer about the social media strategies used by B2B marketers. Every business, regardless of B2B or B2C, will discern who their intended customers are and implement their social media marketing accordingly.
The other myth about B2B companies is ease of content marketing. Because B2B have a smaller customer base, people think that there is less competition in creating great content. Content marketing for B2B companies is no piece of cake though, according to the survey of content marketing trends by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs:
This content marketing survey of North American B2B companies suggests that producing enough content to engage the audience is the biggest challenge for B2B content marketing.
4: Older consumers doesn’t respond to digital marketing
Digital marketing efforts are certainly not wasted on senior citizens because the Internet is no longer just for little whippersnappers who grew up with technology. According to the Pew Research Center, 59% of people age 65 and up are online, and 47% have high-speed Internet. Contrary to popular belief, older Americans are not still trying to get on AOL using a dial-up connection. Many of them are probably doing the same things you do online, like using Facebook Messenger to talk to their friends, and setting up profiles on multiple online dating sites.
There are elements in digital marketing such as UX design, SEO and PPC where older customers can benefit from attention to detail. Finding out how older customers use search engines and what size font is best can impact on sales. If your company targets an older demographic of consumers, then UX design, website content and knowing the optimal times to post is imperative. Tools such as Google Analytics will provide data on when your target customers are online and most likely to see your content.
5: Digital marketing is too hard to measure
According to Forbes, some of the main digital marketing metrics you should be keeping track of are website visits, bounce rate, customer’s retention rate, conversions and cost per lead. Keeping track of everything is hard to maneuver and a daunting prospect if you’re among the 20% of B2B marketers who don’t measure their marketing ROI.
Be that as it may, you can still measure your digital marketing effort. By doing so, you already have a competitive advantage over the 87% of senior marketers who say they don’t feel confident in forecasting the sales as a result of their marketing. Even if you use a few marketing metrics, this is better than no metrics at all. When you invest your time into strategic digital marketing, with goals in mind, this can help position your company for success.
6: Digital marketing should completely replace traditional marketing channels
Both traditional and digital marketing plays a valuable role in industries that revolve around consumer’s preferences for effectiveness. Most organizations still need a mix of marketing tactics and channels, but that mix may vary. Your “blend” may be 50 / 50 traditional and digital marketing or it may be 80 / 20 depending on your organizational culture, your customer preference, your sales cycle and more. There is no one-size-fits all mix when it comes to how much you spend on digital vs. traditional marketing. There can be such a thing as “too much” for just about everything, and that includes digital marketing as well.
7: Your digital marketing project can be done easily, quickly and cheaply
In digital marketing, there are three forces at work; the cost, time and quality. You cannot choose to have all three at the same time. Digital marketing services can be inexpensive but at the cost of time or quality. High quality/effective digital marketing requires time, and expertise in digital marketing is never cheap.
When you hear a digital marketing agency promising to deliver work on time, cheaply and with expertise; there are usually compromises on time, cost and quality.
8: Success in digital marketing has nothing to do with money
There is a common misconception that digital marketing is cheap. After all, signing up for a Google Analytics and social media account is free. Compared to traditional forms of marketing, PPC, social media ads and even programmatic marketing are cheap. Be that as it may, becoming a success at digital marketing can cost you extra money.
Learning about digital marketing and implementing an effective strategy requires time and money in hiring experts. According to Econsultancy, companies are increasing their marketing spend on digital channels. This should not be a surprise in light of the competitive marketplace and how customers behave along the buying funnel. To create an impact through digital marketing methods, a certain change and investment is required. According to eMarketer, the global ad spend on digital channels is 30%; by 2018 56.5% of all ad spend in the UK will be via digital channels and in China, 57.2% will be digital.
9: Everyone in digital marketing is a SEO expert
It is likely that all digital marketers have heard of SEO. Some have dabbled in it and others are more successful in practicing SEO. Expertise in SEO is not a prerequisite of becoming a digital marketer. There are so many peripheral techniques to great digital marketing that learning about SEO could just be one of them. These days, it is impossible to be effective in digital marketing without a foundational knowledge of how search engines work. Online visibility depends so much on search engines that any digital marketing method needs to work in synergy with the search engines.
Finding a digital marketing team with expertise in SEO is paramount to your company’s online success. Because of the changing nature of search engines and SEO, it is best to work with a digital marketing team that is up to date with SEO guidelines.
10: I don’t sell anything on my website; calls to action (CTA) aren’t important
Although a website isn’t transactional in the traditional sense, you should consider it a vital part of the conversion funnel. Calls to action are still relevant, even if they do not directly lead to purchasing something.
Calls to action brings attention to the purpose of your website. Even if you don’t sell any tangible product on your site, there are still things you would like your website visitors to do. You might need them to join your social media group, sign up to your newsletters or register as a member. Conversions does not always relate to sales. It can be a subscription or action you’d like your visitors to take. Calls to action are effective because they tap into the human psychology of expectation, curiosity and reward. Most people visit websites with the expectation of reward (valuable content).
11: Digital strategy and digital project management are the same
Bothdigital strategy and digital project management are considered skills within the umbrella of marketing but the point of view vary. Both skill sets can most definitely be held by the same person, but they really should be separated on small to medium digital marketing projects. When running a digital marketing team, there should be an appropriate staffing between strategy and project management.
The way a digital strategist and a project manager implement their tasks are different. Your digital strategist may plan on a different time scale and think about areas of continual improvement. Long term brand equity, market share value and client retention may be the goals of a digital marketing strategist. A digital product manager, on the other hand, will want results within budget and delivered within a certain time frame. Resource allocation and project functionality becomes a main concern. You can say that the digital marketing strategist thinks further ahead in time.
12: You can measure everything in digital marketing
From one extreme to another…
There are marketing tools available today that allows marketers to study all kinds of data collected from websites. Theoretically, it is possible to measure everything in marketing and put a number to it. However, there are shortcomings to every method used for measuring and this can affect your interpretation of marketing data.
Some parts of the customer purchasing journey is so intertwined; knowing what to measure is hard. And then, there is the issue of what to do with all the customer data? Everything can be measured, but should marketers bother? A consumer centric approach is to measure the effectiveness of digital marketing. Does the marketing effort deliver the solution to customers at the right time? When marketers measure the transactions taking place-such as a customer purchase, they want to know how this can inspire customers to make a purchase again in the future. Measuring transactions is the basis of real time programmatic marketing. Marketers have always wanted to measure what influences customer purchasing behaviors: relevancy, identification, accessibility, value and risk.
13: The same thing that worked for a competitor will work for me
There are many variables which affects the outcome of digital marketing campaigns. One size doesn’t fit at all in content strategy. Your competitor may have different organizational structures, target customers and reputation. When marketers compare their company with a competitor, they are assuming that all things being equal; they will achieve the same results. This does not work in reality at all.
Another problem is competitor data. Publicly available data about competitors only reveal a small glimpse of their digital marketing strategies. Even within the competitor’s company, most staff do not know the marketing strategy behind implementation. It is far more effective to conduct market analysis and test the methods. Companies cannot rely on what they hear; testing will produce a more accurate conclusion. When it comes to your competitor’s content strategy, it is useful to know why they are doing it rather than copy what they are doing. By monitoring your own metrics, you can improve the conversions with a strategy that is tailor made for you.
14: Digital marketing should be 100% outsourced
Outsourcing digital marketing is a way to save time and improve your company’s efficiency. However, it does not replace the need to know about your customers and what marketing metrics to measure. In order to gain the most from outsourcing areas of marketing such as email marketing, marketing automation and content creation, you have to be the conductor of the orchestra.
There are several practical reasons why outsourcing digital marketing may be a challenge. Firstly, outsource agencies in non-English speaking countries may have the language barrier in communicating with you. There may also be delays as a result of the distance. Secondly, quality control may be harder when your marketers are not nearby to discuss issues. Thus, finding reliable outsourced marketers is a must. Thirdly, there is a risk of copyright issues and security breaches when 3rd party providers have access to sensitive company information. Outsourcing can be a great business decision as long as the pros and cons are carefully weighed.
15: Digital marketing strategy is the responsibility of CMOs
These days, digital leadership from senior level executives is key to the company’s success. The CMO and CTO should work together to guide the digital marketing direction of the company; every member of the C-Suite has to have responsibility in digital. Forbes even predicted the role of C-suite members in 2017 and beyond. Formal responsibility has to be given to executives but a digitally led culture within the company should be nurtured. By raising the digital IQ of the organization from top down, marketing in a digital world can be more effective.
The obstacle to digital initiatives is the disconnection of roles between the organization’s members. By isolating digital tasks to only a few members, any digital initiative will be weakened.
16: Digital marketing campaigns can be executed without the support of the IT department
Every digital marketing campaign requires analytic data skills. These days, the interconnection between technology, data and marketing channels allows marketers to target consumers effectively. Programmatic marketing is an example of digital media informed by real time data. Companies are beginning to invest more in people with strong quantitative and data skill sets.
Data science, or the extraction of knowledge from large volumes of data that is structured/unstructured, is a skill that marketers will need to embrace in the next decade. Companies are collecting customer data from purchase transactions, CRM systems, supply chain systems and servers in order to gain a better understanding of what their customers want. With this data, marketers can do predictive modeling and tweak their marketing strategy. It is simply not enough to plan marketing campaigns based on intuition; insightful data has to form the backbone of all digital marketing campaigns.
17: Keyword optimized content is good enough
High quality content is the obstacle to many digital marketing campaigns. Sometimes, it is not a lack of intellectual capacity for content, but a misjudgment of what content the consumers want. There are many reasons why producing high quality content is not as easy as it seems. Most marketers misunderstand what high quality content actually means.
Let’s take Google’s Quality Rater guidelines, which has been leaked online, and talks about what constitutes high quality content. Firstly, marketers need to create content at an expert level-amateurs need not apply. Secondly, there is an emphasis on the user experience; a satisfying user experience is necessary for content to be considered high quality. Thirdly, Google recommends fresh content (frequently updated websites) with a satisfying amount of website information. This implies more, rather then less content. Lastly, Google recommends interactions with other authoritative sources to draw upon their expertise.
These days, content marketing can be in various mediums (infographics, blogs, white papers) and distributed along various digital marketing channels for different demographics of consumers. No matter what the content, content marketing has to be aligned with the marketing goals and this is a continual challenge in the changing digital landscape.
18: Digital marketing means getting millions of website traffic
In effective digital marketing, one must consider quality rather than quantity of website traffic. Attracting specific, and targeted website visitors has higher probabilities of conversion than thousands of visitors with no interest in the website. Marketers call this targeted traffic and there are many discussions ad nauseam about getting traffic to the website.
Large amounts of website traffic used to be considered an assurance of potential customers, but in reality, it is not an assurance of paying and profit-generating customers. The most successful marketing campaigns do increase website traffic but they also increase conversion rates at the same time. Large amounts of traffic without conversions is a vanity metric, and therefore meaningless. It would be to the greatest advantage of a particular business to have only 100 website visitors where most would convert into paying customers, instead of getting thousands of traffic that do not generate any profit at all.
19: SEO is dead
SEO is very much alive, although the digital landscape have changed. These days, people trained in SEO have to continuously update their practice with each search engine algorithm update. The major search engines such as Google are preventing bad content from being found by users. This means manipulative tactics (buying links, spamming, private blog networks) and poor quality websites are slowly being eradicated. When people say that certain SEO practices no longer work, this does not mean that SEO itself is dead. After all, most searches start from the search engines and this will be true as long as search engines are alive. SEO is simply becoming more sophisticated and less partial to manipulative tactics. Instead of wasting time in fooling the search engines, marketers should create better content that people will want to find.
20: “My competitors are not into digital marketing, so why should I?”
This is a notion wherein no action is being taken until there is an indication of attack. This attitude is a complacent one, trusting that their current customer will continue to patronize their businesses through traditional means and channels.
Much has changed in marketing and the behavior of consumers is the driving force. Consumption of content via digital channels mean marketers can no longer ignore their customer’s needs. In the competitive marketplace, consumers can quickly find a more reliable and up to date brand.
The marketplace decides the victor in their digital marketing efforts. Potential shifts in the digital landscape means marketers have to adapt quickly to new channels of marketing and technology. Digital marketing lies once had a grain of truth in them; the evolving marketplace does not care for that, only results. Businesses have to be prepared for paradigm shifts in marketing or they will be left far behind. What works today may not work tomorrow so businesses cannot hold onto the same marketing concepts for long.
Email marketing is one of the most effective methods to acquire customers in 2017. However, it can be challenging to create emails that are successful. When we create the perfect email for marketing, we aim for success in order to engage and absorb the advantages of our content marketing and to progress in our digital marketing. A perfect email helps to achieve the email marketing objectives or KPIs of the business. The challenge for the marketers is to answer the demands of their consumers and continually improve the process to create better emails that help to reach their goals.
Thus, the aim is not really perfection but improvement for your email marketing. The ‘optimal’ email can still be subject toconstant and consistent improvement. To improve with your email for marketing, you can take on these challenges:
First impression lasts. It is important to note then that what your opt-in email subscribers think of your emails matter. Create and improve your email that looks great and deliver real results. Each element in your email structure deserves scrutiny.
Your pre-header is simply an area at the very top of your email above the header where you can insert or display text and links and it is very important. This is important because your pre-header text is an extension of your subject line, the first line of text should be a marketing message that outlines the content of your email, your “view online” link must still be visible underneath or next to your marketing message and your subject line must be creative and not repeated. Your pre-header plays a big part in helping subscribers determine if they want to open your email or not. As you can see, crafting the right pre-header can affect the open rate on mobile or smart watch devices. The limited space only allows certain words to be seen:
Your email header consists of your logo, navigation, forward to a friend, social media icons, phone numbers and other relevant and useful information for subscribers. It is the first things that subscribers see and the most clicked-on areas of an email.
To improve your header, it is important to keep it consistent with your website, to make it more trustworthy, reliable and instantly recognizable.
Your primary message is where you show your subscribers your promotions of your products or services, encouraging people to sign up for an event, or make a purchase before X time. Make sure that your primary message contains a large title, one paragraph of text, a clear call-to-action, and an image. It is not good to go overboard and write a novel within it, just make your subscriber read your primary message in less than 10 seconds.
Your secondary message lies underneath your primary message. If your subscribers are not interested in your primary message, you can offer your secondary message as an option for additional stories or products to click through. It has the same format with your primary message but less is more, meaning: do not overwhelm your subscribers with text!
Email Marketing Challenge #2: A/B Testing Your Email Campaigns
Your email marketing must be efficient and effective to ensure improvement. Through A/B testing you will understand what resonates more effectively with your audience.
A/B testing benefits:
You no longer need to rely on intuition alone; instead, you can be sure by the reliable data driven insights as you test your buttons, images, headers, products photos and other visuals in your email campaigns.
It measures the actual behaviors of your customers online
Measure very small differences in the performance of various aspects of your emails
Affordable with any budget due to the variety of tools available
You can always use the A/B testing method by comparing the results of your two identical emails with one changed variable (header, call-to-action button or product image) to see which improves the conversion rate of your email. You run the test and process the results that give you greater insights in improving your email. Consistent experimenting can help to optimize your goals with your email campaign and make your emailmarketing more engaging.
Email Marketing Challenge #3: Build Better Email HTML Templates
Size matters. Your emails must be 600-800 pixels maximum width to ensure better viewing within the preview-pane size used by clients.
Design matters. Simple design speaks more. Use grid-based layers and avoid complicated or complex elements that require HTML floats or positioning.
Image matters. Too many images on your email can cause it to load slowly. Images may be initially blocked by email clients or background images may completely fail to load.
Performance matters. Emails that look good may not do well; do not design an email that is essentially one large and slice-up image, it performs poorly.
Fonts matter. Use basic, simple and readable fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, and Times New Romans.
Motion matters. You can use a .gif for motion effects in an email.
Email Marketing Challenge #4: Use of MailChimp and Subject Heading
MailChimp is an email marketing software (EMS) which gives you a number of easy options for designing, sending and saving templates of your emails. With MailChimp, it will help you to track your results so you can check the responses that you receive from your clients. This gives you better insights and ideas about how you can improve and make changes to your campaign in order to get a more positive response to your emails.
Through MailChimp, you can determine the best email subject heading or subject lines. Subject lines are usually short, descriptive and provide reader with a reason to open your email and engage with your content marketing. Create your subject lines that is more personalized by using a subscriber’s first or last name to make it more engaging. MailChimp research suggests including a city name is more effective. Use different subject lines and keep it short-50 characters or fewer is enough. In addition, avoid splashy promotional phrases with your subject lines. Try framing it as questions to bring out the curiosity of your subscribers.
Digital marketing is one of the most complex tasks that any entrepreneur has to complete in the online world. It takes a lot of effort and patience before it gives you satisfactory results. More than that, it takes up time and brainpower to make it work smoothly.
You cannot simply rely on your traditional approaches in digital marketing. You need to come up with a genius marketing strategy that takes into account everything starting right from SEO, content marketing all the way to social media marketing, email marketing, and inbound and outbound marketing.
Digital marketing strategies to follow
Gone are the days when you can spend most of your marketing budget on TV or mass media outlets and expect success. Customers in a digital era use multiple social channels and their attention is diverted by many competing content. What is an ambitious company to do? Here is a small to do list to help you navigate this area safely and with less headache.
1) Build an online reputation
Whether you plan to do it yourself or use an online marketing agency be sure to place yourself in a place of authority and keep track of all the business activities. Building a great and solid foundation include you coming up with efficient and detailed processes for all the tasks that need to be performed.
This can include the social networks you need to update regularly and the list of blogs that you need to view daily. This may also include the team members that need to perform each task and the hierarchy that needs to be followed in every situation.
2) Focus on the right audience for online marketing
A campaign can only be successful if you know who your audience is. Start researching and think about your target market. Try to find out what appeals to them, what is their common need, what they value the most and what is the general trend. This will enable you to come up with the right kind of strategy to approach your potential customers in the right way.
3) Reach out to the customers through paid digital marketing
Initiate communication with your potential customers by using paid digital marketing methods. Let them know that you exist by posting ads on popular websites and using email marketing. Encourage the clients to subscribe and then reach out to them to make them feel valued and respected. This way you can gain their loyalty.
4) Use inbound marketing to keep connected to your customers
Inbound marketing is proven to generate more revenue than outbound marketing. Make sure you keep connected with your customers. This will let you know about the general demands, their perception of your business and the most popular products. This again leads you to formulate the marketing strategy that works for you.
5) Trial and error with online marketing strategies
There are numerous ways available to an online marketer to reach out to the customers. You should try some of them and see what works the best for your business. Care needs to be taken; however; as when you try to wear many hats just in the beginning, you end up damaging your business more than helping it grow. Focus on one strategy at a time and let it grow and bear fruits for you. It takes years of experience and expertise to be able to handle multiple marketing options. So hang on and be slow and steady.
Emails are easily the first online marketing tool employed by companies to reach out to their customers. Even today, email marketing remains a cornerstone of all digital marketing strategies. Did you know that the average customer reads their email 3.8 times a day? According to Capterra, a $1 investment in email marketing yields $44 in return. In the same study, it was found that email was 4000% more effective in acquiring customers than Twitter and Facebook.
On the other hand, this marketing tool has changed a lot over the years which means, various tactics and strategies have been rendered useless. At the same time, there are many email marketing myths which are still believed by marketers.
Email marketing myth 1: all subscribers are active customers
This is completely untrue for a variety of reasons. There can be many subscribers who have only opted for the newsletters through proxy forms in order to gain incentives such as bypassing a gateway for premium content. Others may have opted for the subscription by mistake. In studies by Capterra, it was found that 72% of consumers signed up in order to get discounts; only 8.2% subscribe because they love the brand. When brands reviewed their subscribers, it was found that over half were inactive. In fact, according to ExpressPigeon, a fifth of marketing emails never reach a subscriber’s inbox. Moreover, subscribers who stay too long on a list may start to complain and reduce your deliver-ability rate.
Email marketing myth 2: higher frequency of emails causes unsubscribes
It is often thought that sending emails more often will increase the rate of unsubscribes. However, research and statistics suggest otherwise. It is actually possible to decrease the rate of unsubscribes by sending your marketing emails regularly. Of course, you should avoid sending them too frequently or it will lead to your mails being marked as spam. You should instead create a proper schedule. An email every week would be a good frequency to maintain for your email marketing campaign.
Email marketing myth 3: the same email can be sent to everyone
Many marketers tend to send the same email to everyone in their list. Therefore, potential customers, existing customers and even the new customers get the same email. However, this is a bad process and you will be losing out on conversions and leads. You need to create specific email marketing campaigns for each person based on where they are in the sales journey. After all, a repeat customer is will not require as much persuasion as a potential customer for making a purchase. Tweak the content of the emails based on the past behaviors and history of the customer by opting for a dynamic content.
Another effective method to increase open rates is through email segmentation. By segmenting your email marketing lists, you can send targeted content that consumers would be interested in. Relevant email content always achieve better open/response rates. Statistics into list segmentation by MailChimp shows that open rates were 14.47% higher for segmented email lists; clicks were 58.89% higher, unscubscribe rates were 7.88% lower and emails flagged for abuse were 6.40% lower in segmented emails.
Email marketing myth 4: list cleaning means removal of old email addresses
Years earlier, you would have only needed to remove the invalid or bad email addresses from the list and it would be enough. However, this is no longer the case. It is important to clean your mailing list regularly to keep the delivery rate of your emails higher. At the same time, it is not enough to clean the list as you need to make it hygienic in order to be useful. The lists should be cleaned of customers who are unengaged and updated on the basis of new customer preferences. Removal of spam traps is necessary as well. Your aim should be to ensure that you can target and communicate with the customers better by taking into account the changed preferences of those on the list.
Email marketing myth 5: the subject line is critical to success
While it is a fact that the subject is important, it is not the sole reason for a successful campaign. There are many factors which affect the decision of the customer to open the email. According to statistics, the subject line is only the second most important factor. People give more importance to the sender name than the subject line. Multivariate testing can be performed to find out which of the factors are bringing you the most success.
Email marketing myth 6: subject lines have to be short
This is another partially correct statement. It is not always necessary for the subject lines to be short in order to achieve better open rates. Longer subject lines can work just as well. However, the suitable subject length is actually determined by the industry that you are operating in. In some industries, you will get a better response by using longer subject lines while a smaller subject line is more preferable for other industries. You need to research and A/B test the length of the subject lines and choose the one best for your email marketing needs.
Email marketing myth 7: creative content appeals more
It is certainly important to keep your content interesting enough for the readers. However, it is not everything. You will have to create the right kind of content and send it to the right customers. There will be various segments in your email list and each of these segments will have their own particular motivations which your content needs to take care of. Therefore, sending the relevant kind of email content is more important than highly creative content.
Email marketing myth 8: images are better than text
Images may be attractive but they should not replace the text completely in your emails. There are many people who turn off images in their email. Therefore, they will not be able to view the images immediately. Text will be safer as it will always be visible. If you do use images, you must ensure that alt text has been added so that the customers can view the message even with their image display turned off.
Email marketing myth 9: emails have higher CTR on the weekdays
Many companies assume that customers only access their emails during the working week. In fact, according to Hubspot, emails sent on Saturday and Sundays had higher CTR compared to emails sent throughout the week. Every business is different so it is worth testing the optimal times to send emails.
Email marketing myth 10: social marketing acquires more customers than email marketing
In 2017, this cannot be further from the truth. Email marketing’s effectiveness is second only to organic search. It accounts for 7% of all Ecommerce acquisitions (Dotmailer, 2015) and is more effective than Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, there are more email accounts than social media accounts; email is the most popular activity on smartphones for consumers between the ages of 18-44.
The popularity of Twitter is growing. It has proven itself to become one of the best social networks in the world. Therefore, it is important for your business to include Twitter in your social media marketing campaigns. In fact, it is possible for you to generate Twitter business leads. This social network can be used for discovering qualified leads for making your business a success.
Social media marketing via Twitter
Twitter has a variety of features. If you wish to make the best use of this social network, you will have to find out the features that can be used for your social media marketing needs. You can use the following tips so as to make it easier to search and gain more qualified leads.
You can promote individual tweets or your Twitter account using Twitter ads. The beauty of Twitter ads is better targeting for users who are already following similar businesses and interested in your type of product. Businesses on Twitter can select the geographical location, time zone, budget, user interest and gender to promote themselves. The disadvantage of Twitter ads is the cost, which is relatively steeper than other social media marketing methods. You will need to pay for each follower as a result of seeing your Twitter ad.
Research your hashtags and keywords
It is certain that you will find your targeted consumer base and audience on Twitter. After all, it is used by over 300 million people every month. You will have to take advantage of this huge reach by searching out your audience actively and engaging with them.
In order to do so, you should first make a list of hashtags, as well as keywords, that are related to the name of your business and products. You can also take note of the competition and the hashtags used by them for their businesses and products. With the list you just compiled, you can conduct a simple search.
Through the results, you will be able to locate potential and prospective customers who are possibly interested in your products and business. You should start engaging with them by getting their tweets shared or mentioning them in yours.
You can make use of the advanced search options in Twitter to filter the results and target in a more specific manner. After all, you may want to target customers based on their location and proximity to your retail store. You can even use the search filters to find people who are tweeting about you or looking for products that you sell in real time. You can make use of this feature to reach out to those people and engage with them. You should not forget to look out for influencers.
Find out the interests of your customers
It is important for you to learn more about the interests of your customers so that you can improve your digital marketing campaigns. Twitter makes it easier for you to search out the interests of the customers. After all, people love to talk about their interests, lifestyle choices, motivations and a plethora of other topics. You will have no problems in making use of these pieces of information for your social media marketing needs.
While searching for your customers, you should also pay attention to the other topics they tweet about. This allows you to find out more about the possible interests of your targeted consumer base. You can use the common hashtags you have found to understand more about the audience. By understanding the demographics of your audience, you will be able to improve your marketing campaigns.
Start Twitter contests
Voting contests can be very effective at garnering the attention of your customers and improving engagement rates. However, they can do more. Voting contests allow you to gain invaluable insight into your customers. You can also increase your mailing lists which can be another way of gaining leads. The contests can also help you to learn the preferences of your customers with respect to your products and services.
In order to make the best use of contests as a lead generator, you must offer a suitable prize. The prize should be related to your business or it can be one of your own products. The prize can act as an incentive for people to participate. Moreover, it will attract those who have a genuine interest in your business and products.
Share interesting content on Twitter
Content marketing is essential if you are trying to make use of social media networks for generating leads. Of course, you need to modify the content based on the network you are using. For Twitter, you can opt for trivia, quotes and even questions to get the maximum number of shares. Of course, you must ensure that the entire post fits in the character limit of Twitter along with the appropriate hashtags and possible comments from your customers while retweeting. For many businesses, content marketing is the hardest thing to accomplish on Twitter since the competition for user’s attention is fierce. The best thing is to schedule Tweets using social media marketing tools for the optimal times and outsource content creation to a digital marketing team.
Make use of Twitter Cards
Twitter cards can be invaluable for your business as it allows you to add multimedia such as images and videos along with textual content such as product descriptions. You will require a website developer who can attach the code to your website. There are many cards out of which one has been specifically developed for helping you generate leads. Called Twitter product cards, they can give your prospects and customers the information about a particular product. You can use them to collect emails for further leads.
Knowledge is power. It can be transferred from industry experts, and that is what this list of marketing blogs to follow is all about. To compete successfully in a fast changing digital space, every business owner and industry professional have to be informed. The best resources for professionals are always up to date, relevant and actionable. When we talk about marketing being a long term strategy, this involves planning and being aware of all the consumer trends. Consumer psychology and behaviors lie at the heart of all marketing endeavors. Industry professionals need to be asking the questions that revolve around consumers. This is why all the marketing blogs selected for our 2017 list of best marketing blogs to follow contain useful insights, data and statistics about different consumer demographics.
It is not enough to simply rely on digital experts to execute marketing strategies. Business owners need to understand the logic behind the method. There is a method to the madness in digital marketing as consumer preferences shift overnight.
Recommended general marketing blogs 2017
Convince and Convert : Actionable insights on a variety of marketing topics from conversion optimization to content marketing. A great resource for all marketers in 2017, and up to date about aspects of social media as well.
Sethgodin.com : Thought leader Seth Godin has a brilliant mind and the ability to communicate his thoughts eloquently. Lots of valuable content about inbound marketing and branding.
Entrepreneur : For the time poor entrepreneur, this marketing/business blog is easy to digest.
WordStream: This engaging blog is actionable and covers some of the most interesting marketing topics. Here, you’ll find coverage about PPC, marketing analytics, ROI and email marketing tactics.
CopyBlogger Blog : Probably the best Content marketing blog out there. Lots of helpful and actionable posts.
Search Engine Watch: A great general marketing blog to follow; read about PPC, whitehat SEO and other industry updates.
Vertical Response: Targeting small businesses, this invaluable blog covers aspects of email marketing and how to optimize email conversions.
Read Write: A treasure chest of information about startups, emerging technology, apps and coding.
Inbound.org: Learn about inbound marketing, SEO and content strategy from industry experts. The blogs are intelligent and actionable.
Gary Vaynerchuk: Entrepeneur and investor Gary Vaynerchuk offers a different perspective about social media marketing and building businesses for the long term. His YouTube Channel Gary Vaynerchuk is insightful about marketing brands and how to create value.
Nick Kolenda Marketing Psychology Blog: A blog that explores different aspects of consumer psychology, backed up by data and academic research.
Evan Carmichael Believe Blog: Entrepreneur Evan Carmichael’s blog is an interesting salad of inspiration, entrepreneurial related videos and business advice.
Tai Lopez: Marketer and business owner Tai Lopez has a business blog and addictive YouTube Channel that delves into consumer psychology and building businesses that thrive.
Neuromarketing Blog: Combine neuroscience and marketing; what do you get? This insightful blog should complement different marketing B2B and B2C strategies.
EConsultancy: A popular and high quality blog covering all aspects of Business 2 Business and B2C marketing. A must read for marketers in eCommerce sectors.
SproutSocial: Long form blogs about social media, analytics and other technical marketing topics.
Unbounce: The best blog about conversion optimization and bounce rates. Covers A/B testing and landing page optimization.
Yaro Starak Blog: Business owner Yaro Starak is an inspiration to the online business community. His blogs about blogging and building a customer base are invaluable.
Brian Solis Blog: A different take on online marketing and brand equity. Brian Solis is a thought leader no serious marketer can ignore.
Social Triggers: As the blog name suggests, this is a resource for social media marketers and business owners wanting to improve their conversion rates.
Hootsuite Blog : A brilliant blog from a brilliant tool; covers marketing automation, social media and other digital trends.
Social Media Examiner : Am indispensable resource about social media marketing. Bookmark this blog for all your social content needs in 2017. Digital Marketer Blog : A helpful blog about tracking marketing and other metrics
HubSpot Blogs : One of the best marketing blogs to read for beginner and advanced marketers. Hubspot is a tool that helps with sales and inbound marketing; the blog is very actionable.
MOZ : The Moz Blog is synonymous with whitehat SEO. Here, readers can find in-depth blogs about SEO, Google updates and inbound marketing. The contributors are great and the blogs are some of the best quality you’ll find on whitehat/grey-hat SEO. Whiteboard Friday with Rand Fishkin is a must see. The comments are worth a read too.
The effectiveness of Internet marketing strategies
Building up a concrete marketing strategy is vital for the success of any online business. It is important for fresh businesses to make a place for themselves and gain market share. It is just as important for existing businesses to keep themselves afloat and ahead of times. Let us assume you are aware of the role Internet marketing plays in achieving these tasks. But are you also aware of how to really measure if your online marketing strategy is working fine? Here is a walkthrough to guide you about what to look out for and how to use the data and convert it into information that will be essential for your online marketing strategies.
Establish clear-cut goals and milestones for your online marketing
Before diving head first into the pool of marketing, know what you want to achieve. Having this goal will enable you to estimate how far you are from the checkpoint and whether you are on the right track or not. Create yearly, biannual, or quarterly marketing goals. This will serve as the indicators during the strategy analysis. After all, you need a reference point to know where you are standing. These goals can be the amount of sales increment you want to achieve, the traffic you want to generate and the number of repeat customers you should have by the next six months.
The Internet marketing tools that you need
Many website offer free software that help you analyze accurately the functionality of your marketing attempts. Among these are Google Analytics, Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools), Hubspot, and Act-on. Learn how to use these and know how to interpret them. To gain the most out of them, you should be an expert marketer and analyzer who is able to read the data and squeeze the valuable part from it and then utilize it to improve, develop and evolve. If you can’t analyze data, no worries; you can get a digital marketing agency to do the job for you.
After reaching this point, many business owners appear at a loss about how to proceed. You have the goals, tools, and the data. Now, what do you need to do?
Now you need to get things working for you. Here are the basic things you need to look at.
Measurements for Internet marketing success
Your website is SEO optimized, you have invested precious time and money on digital marketing methods like social media marketing, content marketing, inbound and outbound marketing, and goodness knows what. Still your business growth is stagnant or otherwise too slow.
At this point, you need to find out the total visits you are receiving, the percentage of unique visits, return visits, visitor to lead conversion, visitor to customer conversion, the number of referrals and links, the way your information is being used and the bounce rate. Having this set of data, you will know the health of your system. If the total traffic you receive has, more number of unique visits than return visits, then it is an indicator that you need to work more on the services you provide.
Measuring the digital marketing metrics will help you make informed and better decisions. Digital marketing is unpredictable but having a strategy with you and knowing how well it is doing is never wasted effort.
Marketing today is all about how effective your content is in converting and engaging your audience. Content marketing is a strategic approach in attracting and retaining an audience. Imagine what your content have to communicate about your product; is it informative, interesting and impressive? Your prospective customers will want to know what benefits your brand can provide them. It does not matter how good you think your product is, your audience must be convinced of the value.
In a recent research by Forrester, it was found that 65% of buyers saw B2B content marketing as useless. Content marketers compile information and comparisons about a product but they often miss the mark in convincing buyers. Buyers are human, with fears and individual pain points that needs to be addressed. A content marketer needs to know the value of a product to a potential buyer and they need to get personal in getting that answer from buyers.
Effective content marketing starts with the content marketer
Digital marketing can become successful with great content. Great content has the power to magnetize buyers through multi-channel and cross device marketing. In fact, content marketing is so important that 68% of lead marketers think that this is an essential skill to look for when hiring a marketing professional. When you look for a content marketer to take your content marketing to the next level, the following qualities should be present along with a stellar portfolio of content.
Passion for creating high quality content
A great content marketer will be brilliant at communication and express themselves prolifically through content. Content marketing requires content in different mediums: text, visuals, rich media and even VR (virtual reality). The content marketer must possess the skills for editing and creating high quality content consistently. If in doubt, ask for a portfolio of published content from a prospective hire. These days, companies hire teams of specialized content marketers with expertise in content strategy, content coordination, written and visual content formats. Here is a great article by Chris Lake of Econsultancy about the content marketing team matrix.
An understanding of what the audience wants
According to the Forrester research, the majority of B2B content marketers did not know what their audience wanted. Understanding what the audience wants is not just about segmenting the demographics and customers according to their purchasing behavior. Content marketers have to engage with audiences on social media, unearth insightful answers and map the content according to different personas. As you can see from Chris Lake’s content marketing team matrix above, skills in listening and getting insightful answers is key to a successful content marketing plan.
They are creative and rise above the noise
Great content marketers think outside of the box constantly. They temper creativity with execution skills to get the impactful content they need. Companies have to stay one step ahead of the game and this is how they keep their content fresh and relevant to their audience. In a world where everyone creates content, at an alarming rate, content marketers need to know how to get attention with content.
There are many ways for content marketers to get the audience’s attention, which will not be covered extensively here. Defining the audience persona and finding the best channels for content distribution helps in getting attention from the target demographic. There are subtle ways through visuals, headlines (here is a useful article about headline psychology), and content positioning.
Many content marketers experiment with content timing and frequency to gauge the best content strategy. Content published at regular intervals, optimal viewing times and holiday seasons have yielded better conversions. Earning the right to the customer’s time and having a content marketing schedule can make the content rise above the noise.
They are curious to learn and develop new content marketing tactics
Great content marketers will keep their eye on current content marketing trends and learn about the different platforms to produce content marketing for. You never see a great content marketer getting complacent about their style, form or channel of content marketing.
They have a clear vision of their content marketing goals
A content marketing strategy should never be vague. Great content marketers know where they are headed in terms of their marketing goals and will pursue this single-mindedly. When you work with a great content marketing team, they will let you know about their vision for the content in line with your business goals and keep you updated about their progress.
Here is another slide from the Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends 2016 report from CMI and Marketing Profs showing the content marketing goals organizations have for 2016:
Measure where they are headed in content marketing
Successful content marketers have metrics and tools to track their content marketing progress. They will measure the metrics for a marketing campaign and keep you in the loop. Using metrics will show you how effective their efforts have been in generating traffic, leads, and conversions into customers. If you do not see results within a certain time-frame in sales and conversions after implementing your content marketing strategy then you should consider hiring different content marketers.
Email marketers like to brag about their open rates, increasing return of investments and sales within their email list. It is in fact one of the strongest and most efficient form of Internet marketing used by big and small entrepreneurs today. It aims to reach customers through its personalized content marketing strategy. By directly conveying custom messages to your leads, it is a marketing campaign that can possibly convert more leads almost every single day. When implemented correctly, email marketing can also increase your brand awareness and build client loyalty. However, you need to write persuasive email content, newsletters, product information, and probably videos to reach your opt in email subscribers and increase sales.
Results Driven Email Marketing
Email marketing should be part of every entrepreneur’s content strategy; it needs to be integrated with other channels of online marketing. In order to make an effective email marketing strategy, you will need to consider your target audience, their preferences, and the benefits they can get from continuing to subscribe to your emails. There are countless ways to reach your subscribers, and these may entail integrating social media with other types of owned media.
Here are email marketing techniques that will be useful in carrying out your email marketing campaign:
1.Properly introduce yourself in emails
When you send emails, ensure that you properly introduce what you are offering. The first email that you send to subscribers should remind them of the company, what it is about and how it is of use to the reader. Adjust the tone to suit your audience and never forget to cater to their interests. Many company emails remind the subscriber of their last purchase or what new products/services they can look forward to in the future.
2.Limit your subject lines to 50-70 characters
Your subject line must come with more or less 50 to 70 characters only. Studies show that a short but catchy subject line are opened more frequently than those with long subject lines. Ensure the subject line is catchy, so there is greater chance that readers will open your email, and realize your offer is something interesting.
3.Optimize your email sending times
Learn to send at the best times. Studies show that the right time to send your emails is at nighttime, specifically between 8PM till midnight. It helps if you send your email around this time, so it will not be combined during the busiest times of the day, when most people are working. However, you need to know your demographic’s email behavior and the industry that you are in.You need the perfect timing to send your target customers with emails. You can also test to check when the best days are for readers to read your email.
4.Special deals in your email content
Provide special deals and freebies. This will increase the open and conversion rates of your email content. At the very least, your subscribers will be curious enough to spend time on your website. This can lead to sales or bookmarks for a revisit.
5.Create mobile friendly emails
When you create electronic messages, ensure that the design suits mobile users as well. The present generation now own different sorts of mobile devices, which can be useful to expand your targeted market. It should also help you to continually send optimized emails for them to read.
6.Convey your email message quickly
When you write your email, focus on a pointed message that helps to increase the value of what you offer. When you put fewer words in your email, busy readers can catch what you are trying to convey, especially when viewed at a glance. You can utilize visual aids to show readers what they ought to buy after reading your email.
7.Use a reliable newsletter service
Utilize a reliable newsletter service. There are a number of providers that can save you time from your email marketing campaigns. They help you create email lists. They can create sign-up forms on your website. They also help monitor email analytics such as click-through, open rates, and number of unsubscribes.
8.Add social sharing options in your email content
You can add social sharing options in your email messages. This will allow your emails to be shared by the original recipients with their networks. When more people learn to know about your content marketing, it simply means increased lead generation and rates of conversions.
9.Encourage email sign ups
Frequent website visitors are ideal email subscribers. They are already interested in your content and are more likely to convert. Encourage them to sign up by putting email sign up forms on important pages throughout your website. Remind them of the value you will provide once they become a subscriber. Even better, give them a special offer for signing up with their details.
10.Test and refine your email strategy
Lastly, you need to test and refine your email marketing strategy and repeat the whole process as necessary. Repeatedly testing your strategy will make you find a few techniques that don’t work well. When things aren’t working in your favor, you should find other alternatives that makes your email marketing efficient.
The above lists help determine the success of your email marketing campaign. You may need to research more steps to developing a great email strategy. The important thing for sending emails is gaining conversions. You get the required number of leads who would be potentially buying from you. Just ensure that your emails don’t end as spams or you’ll never be getting what you are expecting.
More importantly, you have to retain a valuable reputation both online and offline. This reputation should uphold your online presence, and remind your consumers of how valuable you are. How you present your email to your potential customers can either make or break your business reputation. Send them high quality messages that perk their interests with special offers and valuable promos. Just like content marketing, make this marketing technique appear legitimate to your most valued customers.