Let’s face it. Technology is evolving so fast it’s no longer enough for businesses to merely keep up with it. To stay ahead of the competition, innovation is crucial. Digital marketing is introducing new ways to grow your market share and make customers work for you in ways you never thought possible. Question is: How do you know which one works best your market?
Online marketing expert Clayton Wood, director of sales and marketing of a leading SEO company in the U.S., shares 5 online strategies for various business types and needs.Social Media
Social media has changed the way we communicate, and it has altered the nature of interaction between customers and brands. Now, consumers are more wired to interact with advertisers on a global level as never before. And this, according to Wood, is what makes social media so suitable for retailers, B2Cs, group buying sites (Groupon, Discount Airlines, etc), and interest groups.
“Social media fueled word-of-mouth marketing in an unprecedented scale and creates a virtual environment that fosters interactivity and two-way conversations between retailers and their target market. This provides a great opportunity to capture audiences where they are most receptive. No other form of traditional media encourages immediate feedback from consumers way faster than social media does,” says Wood.Search Engine Optimization
Over 80% of all online transactions start with a keyword search. With over 65% of searches being done in Google, businesses compete to be seen on Google’s first page. To rank within the top 10 search results, or the top 5 which is ideal, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key.
Organic SEO is best for B2B, B2C, educational institutions, and professionals who want to promote their services, require lead generation, and/or reputation management. These businesses often seek the services of an SEO company to optimize their websites. Wood cautions that SEO is only for those interested in long term branding or lead generation strategy. An SEO project can take a few weeks to several months or years, depending on competition, before it gains a top Google ranking. “The return of investment may not be immediate, but it builds long term value for your website,” Wood reiterates. “If you want to be known as the leader in your industry, you HAVE to own the top of the search results.”Pay Per Click Ads
E-commerce companies, websites which require immediate traffic needs, and businesses who rely heavily on lead generation should consider Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising.
Even doctors, dentists, and lawyers may benefit from PPC if they want to acquire new customers. Wood explains that PPC is worth the investment especially if it generates new customers with a high lifetime value. But PPC is an intricate strategy that cannot work by just throwing money at it. He adds that “you must have experts analyzing and tweaking your campaign, otherwise your investment will be wasted. PPC is only for advanced online marketers to handle.”
Businesses which offer hard-to-find products to a niche market are also good candidates for PPC advertising. “Customers rely heavily on the internet if the products they need is something that can’t be bought in retail stores like Target or Walmart.”
But there’s more to PPC ads than just great copy. “Your website must contain really interesting content and credible information that are useful to the customer. It makes no sense to use PPC if you’re going to drive your consumers to a lousy website.”Re-targeting Ads
Ideal for B2B and B2C, service-based businesses, retail businesses, brand representation, and reputation management, a retargeting ad is a cost-effective addition to SEO and PPC.
“Think of re-targeting ads as normal online ads, but the only people who see it are the ones who visited your website but didn’t make any purchase,” he says. “Retargeting ads aim to bring these people back to your site and possibly convert these leads into sales. By putting a set of codes into your site, re-targeting ads are able to track the online activities of these people. These ads are strategically displayed on websites they visit after they have left yours.”Newsletter
Every business can take advantage of email newsletters, regardless of its size or industry. It provides a great channel to keep in touch and maintain relationships with clients.
When inviting customers to subscribe to your newsletter, Wood recommends giving them an overview of exciting things they can expect if they choose to opt-in. Does the newsletter include promotions, exciting deals, or relevant information worth reading? If so, tell them right away to encourage them to sign-up fast.
Wood reminds businesses to provide customers with updates at least once or twice per month just to keep them aware of what’s going on with the brand. “Avoid sending newsletters frequently. It’s estimated that over 50% of email subscribers opt-out when emails are sent on a daily and even weekly basis,” he adds.
About the Author:
Clayton Wood is a marketing director with broad experience in building and scaling SEO back end fulfillment structures for enterprise level online business. He is also a key member of a corporate team at SEOReseller.com managing hundreds of SEO campaigns and several online marketing brands, helping bring equity to many agencies with White Label SEO.