Every marketing strategy is a little bit different. It is like a reflection of the company marketing the business. While there is no one right way to market your business, here are some of the best practices that many of the most successful businesses around the world use to market their business. When you understand how the greats do it, you can understand how to replicate and improve upon your marketing strategy.
Below we cover how to do this online through search engine optimisation (SEO), paid advertising, website content marketing, social media, and email marketing.
While all can play a vital role in your business, use this as a guide to determine which marketing strategy fits best for your business.
Search Engine Optimisation Strategy
One of the first components of a good marketing strategy is using search engine optimisation. SEO marketing strategy is simply tweaking your website to perform to the expectations of different search engines like Google and Bing.
- SEO Audit
To do this successfully, you should first perform an audit of your website. Shout performs a technical audit for all of our clients because we know the best way to improve your results are to understand your current ranking.
- Index Website
Every new website needs to submit their site index to Google through their Webmaster Tools (now known as Search Console). Your index is like a big map of your website. Google reads the map to send targeted traffic to specific keywords and website pages.
- Keyword strategy
Now that we have your site indexed and audited, we need to sit down and do keyword research. Keywords are simply the phrases or words someone searching on Google or Bing use to find your website.
By identifying high-value keywords for your website, you can increase your traffic and conversions.
One of the biggest keywords trends, according to IronPaper, is the use of “very precise, long-tail keywords,” because they are more helpful in finding your exact search requirements.
Use tools like Google’s Keywords Planner Tool and KeywordTool.io to find the best keywords for your website.
After you finish your research, you need to place the keywords appropriately on your website. You can include your keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, and in other places on your website.
Part of the reason why content marketing is so useful is that it provides additional opportunities to place high-value keywords on your website.
The more you optimise your keyword strategy to ensure, the more you can ensure your website ranks highly for specific keywords. This is important, since 33% of all clicks go to the first result.
WordPress users should include a good SEO plugin to help them with their keyword strategy. The two most preferred plugins are Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack
- Technical SEO
The next component of a good search engine strategy is proper website management. This is also called technical seo. It includes anything from page speed and internal link structures to user experience and website design.
For example, one of the problems websites have as they get bigger is the number of page errors and broken links.
Therefore, it is very important to set up 301 redirects on your website. Then when users visit a non-working page they are redirected to a working paper with similar content.
Additionally, your website has to load quickly if you want to get organic traffic. Test your website speed with Pingdom or Google Webmaster Page Speed Tool to determine what parts of your website slow it down.
The tools above help you understand what specifically is wrong. It can be anything from bad hosting to large images on your website.
- Website Links
Let’s move away from the on-page optimisation strategies to off-page ones. As we mentioned in the Good, Bad, and Ugly of Website Links, a lot of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt exists around how to create valuable website links.
To be clear, you need to create a lot of value to get natural links back from other websites.
One of the best value adds you can provide is great content. The better your content, the more numerous your links.
Think about how you use the internet. Do you share boring information, or stuff that wows you? Probably the later. The same goes with websites who link to third party sites. They do so, because they know the information wows their audience.
This is one of the reasons why social media is such a vital component of search engine optimization today. The social shares are links back to your website. The more shares from valid social media accounts, the more potential for search traffic.
- Content Marketing- As we discussed in our Content Marketing Guide, 68% of consumers now read content online about a company before making a decision to purchase.
This is one of the many reasons Google placed such a vital importance on content creation. For example, Distribution integrated content marketing campaign brought a 2,000% increase in traffic and 40% uptick in revenue.
While not every company will have that high of a jump, content marketing has the potential to do wonders for your business.
- Mobile SEO- The final piece of the puzzle relates to your mobile strategy. Now that mobile searches account for 60% of all searches on Google it is vital that your website have a strong mobile presence.
Google recently decreed if a site does not have a mobile presence they will not receive mobile traffic.
In the previous section, we discussed how you can get search engine traffic to your website organically. However, most businesses will find that mixing organic with paid advertising in their marketing strategy can be of tremendous benefit to their business.
While almost every major platform from social media to directories to search engines to news sites have an advertising component to them. In this conversation we want to focus in on the top three advertising platforms: Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and Outbrain.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) refers to the ability to drive the highest amount of traffic for the lowest price.
On Google, the key to a good campaign rests in having the highest quality score. Your Quality Score is a number between 1 and 10 describing how relevant your ad is in comparison to the keyword phrase.
The more you can optimise your quality score, the more you can improve your SEM. Here are some strategies to ensure you have the highest quality score.
- Ad relevancy- Does your ad match the search? In the past, advertisers used to blanket Google with keywords. They believe by doing this, they get more returns on their investment. However, it can dilute the quality of your ad.
If your ad is not relevant to the search, you might face some problems.
Take a former keyword search for World of Warcraft (see below). One of the ads, while funny, is a guide for virgins. While remotely relevant, it is probably offensive to some WoW users who just want to play a video game.
(Source: Free Jokes Online)
This type of ad can lower your QS, because many in the target market are embarrassed by the ad. Therefore, they will not click on the ad.
- Landing page relevancy- The next item Google looks at is the relevancy of the landing page. Are users going to your landing page and then leaving? Do they visit other pages? How long do they stay on your page?
The better your numbers, the more Google wants to raise your QS. This lowers your cost per click (CPC).
- Bid Strategy– The final part that can affect your quality score is how you set up your bid strategy.
While this section could be a guide all by itself, keep in mind that Google offers four different bidding solutions: Manually set bids, AdWord Enhanced PPC, Conversion Optimizer (for Cost Per Action bids), and flexible bid strategy.
Use WordStream AdWords grader to split test your different ads to determine the best bid strategy for your campaign.
Retargeted Ads on Google
The final component of Google AdWords are retargeted ads. This works when you link your Google Analytics to your AdWords. That way, Google can track visitors to your website.
Those visitors can then be separated into targeted audiences where Google can target ads to them throughout their extensive ad network.
In effect, you can follow them throughout the web to encourage them to come back to your website. It is why 88% of marketers feel retargeting is as good as or better than search traffic.
The social network has consistently been taking ground from Google AdWords over the past few years. That probably has something to do with the fact that the average CPC on Facebook is $.27 compared to $1-2 on Google.
The other asset for Facebook is their demographic data, which far and away beats Google. That is because the social network mines their network for advertisers to find the right audience to pitch their wares.
Retargeted Ads on Facebook
To set up retargeting on Facebook, install a conversion pixel in the Facebook Ads Manager. It is located in the audience section. You then place the code on your website, so Facebook can track visitors and compare them to Facebook user ids.
Native advertising is one of the hottest trends on the web. The largest company in this space is Outbrain. While others exist, Outbrain serves native ads for over 80% of the leading companies around the world. A staggering 200 million recommendations (clicks) are given each month to Outbrain advertisers.
This is not surprising, since native ads have a 200% higher click through rate than traditional banner ads.
The key to creating a great native ad is promoting amazing content. Just like we discussed the value of content in SEO, native advertising is about promoting that content to drive visitors to your website.
After visitors arrive and see your content, you can ask them to sign up for your email list or purchase your products.
However, first you need an attentive audience. This is where Outbrain helps you. They provide native advertising platforms across the web using some of the biggest web publishers around the world where visitors can see your ads and learn more about your products.
Types of Website Pages
Landing Page– The two most common landing pages are sales and squeeze page.
Sales pages are great if you want to promote a single product. Squeeze pages are designed to squeeze out mediocre visitors to your site and get only the good ones to sign up for your list.
Do not just have one landing page, have multiple page. Research shows the top 25% of websites test at least 4 different pages, while the top 10% test at least 10 pages.
Use tools like LeadPages to easily create multiple websites that you need to test out which landing pages performs best.
E-commerce pages- Global online sales reached over $1.5 trillion last year. For B2C and increasingly B2B companies, using an eCommerce page is a tremendous revenue driver.
A lot of great eCommerce tools exists like Shopify and WooCommerce to help you sell your products online.
Content page- We already discussed the power of content marketing above, but it in case you are still not convinced, keep in mind that companies who prioritise blogging are 13x more likely to have a positive ROI.
Google Analytics– One of the standard bearers for analytics. Google’s free service is used by millions of website owners around the world who want to track visits, demographics, and other crucial numbers for visitors to their website.
KISSmetrics– A growing alternative to Google Analytics. This premium analytics solution focuses on helping you understand the entire online marketing funnel.
Furthermore, the tools KISSmetrics segment specific audiences for you to create tailor made engagement tools like pop-ups for new visitors or special offers to reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Each step in your sales funnel is mapped out with KISSmetrics as you determine the behaviours and characteristics of your target audience.
Optimizely– We discussed above creating split tests for your websites landing pages. Optimizely helps you track split and multivariate testing on the web.
You can test the success of multiple website pages at once to determine the value of each component of your website page.
Crazy Egg– The previous analytics tools break down the numbers of your website. However, Crazy Egg offers visual heat maps to study your website users actions (mouse clicks and movements) on your site.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
58% of businesses now say they have generated leads from social media. While hundreds of social networks exist nowadays, the top 5 social networks still generate the vast majority of traffic and business.
Below are some best practices for the top networks.
- Facebook Page Insights– Understand the best content to reach out to your audience on your Facebook fan page.
- Share Videos and Photos– With over 350 million photos being uploaded to Facebook every day the power of images are as powerful as ever. However, videos are also making a difference. In the past year, Facebook saw a 94% increase in video over last year.
- Run Facebook Contests on Your Fan Page– One of the best methods marketers have found to engage their followers are Facebook contests. Large companies like Eggo, Dove, and others have seen their numbers grow through user generated content contests where the users compete for cash and/or prizes.
- High Quality Images– Instagram is a photo only social network. Henceforth, make sure you use only the highest quality photos. The best size for your photos is 640×640.
- Engage with your fans– It is not enough to just post photos. You also need to engage with your community. Take Sharpie, most of their posts are fans doodles using sharpies. What are you saying is not as important as what your fans say!
- Hashtags– Another way to attract attention is to use hashtags for your posts. For example, National Geographic ran a #MyAWAY campaign to increase engagement with users as well as expand their reach.
To do so, they encouraged users to place photos of a recent escape along with the hashtag. The images helped spread the contest where one user won a digital camera along with other NatGeo goodies.
- Short Tweets- Tweets between 71-100 characters increase engagement by 17%. While you have 140 characters, giving space for a user to retweet encourages them to do so.
- Tweet Multiple Times- With over 500 million tweets every day, businesses must tweet multiple times throughout the day. Keep in mind early morning tweets receive the most clicks. While evening & nighttime receive the most retweets and favorites. 4 PM is the sweet spot for those looking for retweets.
- Image Tweets- If you are looking for retweets than use photos. They receive 150% more retweets.
- Original Content- Re-pinning can help you grow your audience, but original pins helps you stand out from the crowd.
- Guest Pinner– Work with a social influencer to enhance your Pinterest account. For example, Etsy posts various products from their different users. By doing so, they extend the reach of their sellers through their followers accounts.
- Drive traffic– Despite only 100 million users, Pinterest now accounts for 5% of all referral traffic on the web. Comparatively, Facebook’s 1.4 Billion users generate 25% of all referral traffic.
- Complete your profile– Did you know that including a photo has an 11 fold increases the number of views? It is just one of the many components you need to complete to have a solid LinkedIn profile.
- Groups- 96% of posts and 86.30% of conversations happen on LinkedIn groups. They are the core for most users to connect with prospects and referral partners.
- LinkedIn Publishing– 83% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content marketing. Over the past few years it has become a B2B content powerhouse. Keep in mind that likes are the most significant indicator of success. Remember what we talked about with value above, the same holds true on LinkedIn.
Email marketing strategy
The final component to any good online marketing strategy is email marketing. This is where you can take a visitor and turn them into a prospect and eventually a client.
Email is one of the best long-term strategies to build relationships with prospects on the internet. Using social media and search engines to drive targeted traffic to your website is just the beginning. The rest takes place when you connect with these users over the long-term.
Here are some of the best tools to make that happen.
Email Marketing Tools
Sumome.Com– From lightboxes to exit pop-ups to customised mobile friendly web forms, SumoMe can potentially increase your daily signups an average of 20%.
MailChimp– Known for their free service for the first 2,000 email subscribers. MailChimp has a lot of powerful tools to help new email marketers build relationships with their email list.
Infusionsoft– For the advanced email marketer, Infusionsoft provides a number of tools to help you customise every part of your email marketing process. Their persona based marketing and segmentation tools are second to none.
What digital marketing strategy resonated with you? Was it social media? Search engine optimisation? Paid advertising? Maybe it was a combination of the approaches listed here.
Whatever the case, the best thing to do now is to put together a plan for your business.
If you need help, then reach out to us at Shout to learn more about how we can help your marketing strategy.