Every business is interested in growing sales and there are multiple online marketing methods to do so.
To have the opportunity to increase your sales online means:
"Getting in front of the right people
in the right places.
It also means directing them to the right place online
with the right message for them."
That can seem like a daunting task when your business is up against big companies and those with large budgets who also are trying to get in front of the same audience.
One key is knowing that there are multiple ways to get in front of your ideal client online. They can be simple to implement and cost-effective to use.
A second key is understanding how these pieces can work together! We'll look at both.
In this episode I dive into the 9 Online marketing methods that owners and marketers can use to ramp-up their online sales. I go through the 9 with examples and then show you how you can combine different ones to really bring some "POW" to your marketing efforts!
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Let's dig in!
One form of marketing that has exploded in the past 3 years and changed the online marketing landscape forever is Social Media Marketing.
It's leading edge and in-demand for good reason! It's an unprecedented new way for businesses to reach people. At the same time, it's very different than traditional marketing and one thing must be understood: Social Media Marketing is a 2-way Conversation!
Businesses have created their brand accounts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more to use as a method to share their blog posts, to connect with their fans and followers, and to reach interested people.
Typically this is done via posting on the social networks and monitoring mentions of the company so that the brand can respond to questions and items.
The key is in offering value and not being "salesy" in approach. The networks are "social" so businesses need to flow with that.
By offering interesting, helping, and even entertaining content in a style that reflects the company's unique culture , a company can grow their online community.
See more tips on integrating your social and digital media in a conversion funnel here: Digital Marketing Keys.
Content marketing is a valuable method of helping your company be found online and to rank well for important keyword phrases that your ideal client is likely to search for in search engines like Google and Bing.
Typically content marketing is done via blogging by companies where they have team members regularly adding new content to their website via blog posts that are targeting certain topics, keywords, and keyword phrases. Often this can come in the form of a "Resource Center" where the posts are informative and offer help. They can be "How to" posts, or industry information, or guides on how to best use products or services. It is content that helps and addresses questions your potential customers may have.
A great example of a business doing content marketing is this pool company in Virginia, River Pools and Spas. They offer lots of online content that answers the key questions potential customers will have.
For more information on how CONTENT MARKETING and SOCIAL MEDIA work together, see "Content is King, Engagement is Queen and BOTH NEED CROWNS!"
You've likely heard it said by Mari Smith, "Content is King, but engagement is Queen and she rules the house."
"Content is King, but engagement is Queen and she rules the house." ♕ツ♛ #SMSS13
— Mari Smith (@MariSmith) October 1, 2013
Businesses with a Page on Facebook can run targeted ads in the News Feed to reach specific customers.
The News Feed is where users spend the most time scanning posts on mobile and desktop, and with Facebook being the most used social network in the U.S. and across many countries, it's a great place to reach your audience.
Ads can also be placed on the right side-bar area in Facebook where desktop users can view them. Facebook Ads can range from $.05-1.75 per click. There are also methods to deliver ads on a "pay per impression" (for having an ad shown to the ideal audience) and the cost variables range based on the competition to reach that audience.
The value of Facebook Ads is that a business can be highly specific in their target. Facebook knows so much about each user and this is then the way they can help a business reach their ideal audience.
If you want to reach 22-29 year old males living in Elkhart County, Indiana who also like NASCAR and the Indianapolis Colts, Facebook can help you do that! That's the power of Facebook Ads, you pay but you reach a precise audience.
View case study on Facebook Ads driving traffic to a Facebook App (via Blitzmetrics).
If you need to start in an even simpler and easier Facebook Ad route, you can use the "Boost" Ad feature on any post you share on your Page.
There are less features in the "Boost" tool than in the Ad manager and Power Editor but Facebook is continuing to add more targeting features. If you use the "Boost" Ad feature, be sure to not simply use "fans and friends of fans" but drill in and target specifics such as location (city, etc) or age and interests. Learn more about Boosting a post here.
Google Adwords is an "old" standby that continues to perform!
These are Ads shown in search results in Google at the top of the page and in the right column. Like Facebook Ads, the cost is based on competition to appear, and can range from $.20-$3.00 or more per click. With Adwords, the business identifies keywords they want their ad to appear for in search results.
The value is that web users only see the ad if they have typed in a search in Google's search engine which includes the keyword the business is advertising for.
It's a straightforward way to target users that have expressed interest in the specific items you offer!
A new form of advertising that has gained traction in the past year is "remarketing" or "retargeting" ads. Knowing that on average a new customer needs to have seven points of contact with a business before they are ready to purchase, retargeting is a form of advertising where you can reach visitors again with an ad after they have visited your website to help build connection points and complete the "seven touches" more efficiently.
An example of this type of marketing is when a visitor visits the web page for "Product XYZ" but does not purchase. The business can then, via a cookie, track that and deliver ads back to that visitor on Facebook. So when the person that visited the website is simply checking Facebook to see what their friends are doing, the business could reach out via an ad and say, "Hey, thanks for checking out Product XYX! Here's more information and a special offer.." which then directs them to specific web page tailored just to them.
It's a great way to increase the touch points to those that have expressed some interest, and a way to follow-up and hopefully nurture the relationship towards the visitors becoming customers. So if you were on a website and then spotted an ad from that company while you are on Facebook, it's highly likely that you've been retargeted!
Learn more about Facebook retargeting and website custom audiences >>
Similar to Facebook retargeting ads, Google calls their version "remarketing ads." The premise is the same, reach out to those who have visited your website or a particular web page again back on Google Ad properties with ads that allow you to follow-up and "touch" the visitor again.
Since Google has a massive online ad network that includes it's search engine but also includes other websites that run Google Ads on them, the playing field is huge. You've likely had this happen to you where you visited a website, then went somewhere else online and immediately saw an ad from the website you just visited. Yes, this is remarketing!
If you do not have the time for lots of blogging with content marketing, and your business uses social media and has a website, then another online marketing method your company can use is the option to offer deals and coupons.
Simple tools like TabSite.com allow businesses to quickly setup a discount offer such as "enter your name and email address to get a 15% off coupon." This can be added to a tab on your Facebook Page and also the same app can be added to your website. Simply use social media posts, email news to your lists and announcements on your website to drive traffic to the special offer. Ads can be run to drive even more traffic to the special offer. This allows you to reach an interested audience with the offer but also to grow your email list so that you can then reach them multiple times later on via email marketing.
A cousin to the deals and coupons is a free offer. This can be a resource in the form of a multi-page PDF ebook, a video "how to" or even a video training resource. It is not your main product or service but something related that offers value.
The key is to get visitors to sign-up for it via entering their name and email in a landing page form on your website. This helps your business grow your email marketing list, helps you identify interested potential customers, and begins the process of enabling you to touch the visitor multiple times with helpful information to help nurture the connection towards becoming a customer.
Webinars are a related method. This can be a online presentation or training that informs, introduces, instructs, and offers value that leads towards a sales offer at the end of the event.
Again, the key is offering value and having a landing page form for registration of name and email so that your email list grows for future marketing.
Similar to a coupon, deal, or free offer, a contest is an engaging tool to use in marketing as it adds the element of a game and competition to the equation!
People like to win, and if the offer has value they are willing to enter. The keys with a contest or promotion are:
1. Make sure the offer is related to your products or services.
Giving away an iPad when you are a hotel does not makes sense but giving away a chance to win a weekend getaway does!
2. The entry method needs to be simple and straightforward.
Forms that only ask for Name and Email have a higher submission rate than entries requiring more details like address, phone, city, etc. Get the minimum you need that is helpful.
3. Communication to get the word out is critical.
A campaign strategy with plans to use social media, email marketing, and being sure you repeat in different ways the awareness and alerts about the contest are key to the success. Just because you build it does not mean they will come! They need to know about it.
You need a plan to let people know the contest is coming, that it is live, nearly ending, and who the winner is! Note as well that the contest is merely the start of the campaign as it allows you to grow your list of leads from all those who enter. It is then critical to have a plan to follow-up using email marketing and/or Facebook retargeting ads with those who did not win.
Just like the example in the contest section where I note using social media and then potentially also Facebook retargeting ads, using a combination of methods can be a real value to your business.
Businesses could use a contest "enter to win" combined with Facebook Ads to grow awareness and drive traffic for entries, and then post-contest offer the non-winners a coupon as a consolation prize. By combining the methods you use, businesses can create powerful marketing campaigns online that reach the idea audience in multiple ways and by multiple means.
By using multiple methods in combination a business helps ensure they actually reach their audience, as well as the potential to reach them more than once so that it is top-of-mind and thus they are more likely to take action on it.
The key is that not every visitor or participant is ready to buy and make a purchase right away!
Data from studies by Flowtown and Bain and Company show that it takes seven touches, or points of contact, on average for a new sale to occur. This means having a plan to have multiple touch points with your ideal audience is critical.
It is very important to understand how your ideal audience uses the Internet and where they spend time online, then creating a plan that can include the methods that best reaches that audience where they spend time online. Using combinations of these online marketing tools helps ensure your business is reaching your audience, and can help your business build awareness and relationship with them, and ultimately make your business top of mind when the consumer is ready to buy.
If your business is interested using some of these methods but not sure where to start or what marketing methods and combination can work best for your business, then send me a note with your questions and I'll get back to you!
I’m a Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create a updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn’t.