The online business sphere differs quite drastically from its physical counterpart. The competition for a consumer’s attention is much more intense and shifting technologies and trends keep creating new opportunities for businesses to grow.
Amongst all the one-upmanship and ever-transforming tactics, there are some marketing strategies you can always rely on, that have stood the test of modern times, to deliver you results and grow business.
Let’s dive into them.
1. Social media marketing for awareness
Facebook has 2.5 billion users, Twitter has 330 million monthly active users and Instagram has 1 billion+ active. To add to this, the number of people using social media is expected to jump to 3.43 billion in 2023.
With such massive communities on just three platforms, and an ever-growing user base its no surprise that businesses are heavily investing in social media.
The advantages are clear, social media allows you to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Humanize your brand
- Stay top of mind
- Find new audience
- Inform current audiences
- Generate leads
- Promote content
These are just a few of the ways a business can use social media to its advantage. The biggest and the first value you can derive from social media is to increase your brand awareness so more people are familiar with your company. This will serve you well when people consider buying products/services from your industry.
Before you dive into the world of social media, you’ll have to do research and find out which platforms serve your business needs.
Choose the right platform
Seek out your target audience
To get a better understanding of which social media platforms will serve your business needs, learn about:
- Which platforms do they spend the most time on
- What are they doing there and what are they seeking
- who and how do they interact with platforms
- Which demographic trends are found on each platform
- Where are your competitors most active
These questions will give you a solid idea of where to find your audience.
People also behave differently on each platform and they like to consume content differently on each channel. For example, a long post you create on Quora will probably fall on deaf ears on Instagram. So it’s important to know how people consume content on each social media platform.
Define your social media objective
As mentioned above, social media can be used to achieve a lot of marketing goals. As we’re focusing on awareness here, it then becomes important to define how you’ll measure awareness.
The number of followers can often prove to be a shallow metric. It’s better to define success through engagement. Engagement can be measured through number of likes, reposts, comments, clicks, and profile visits.
These numbers will give you a clearer picture of how your social media content performs and will let you gauge what sort of awareness you’re generating through your social media channels.
Define your social identity and publishing frequency
When you’ve decided on which social channels you’ll use and how you’ll track results on them. It’s time to focus on execution.
First, you’ll need to figure out what kind of content you’ll post and what tone you’ll keep. The tone should ideally be in line with your brand identity and you can choose to produce content that relates to your industry.
Finally, figure out a publishing frequency that works for you and you’ll be able to manage and then stick with it. Consistency is very important and social media is a long-term game so you’ll need to stick your nose in it to reap the benefits.
2. Content marketing to grow traffic
Content marketing is the practice of creating and distributing valuable content to attract and retain an audience.
To get your message across and attract people to your website, you need content. It’s suitable for every major marketing goal, including raising brand awareness, increasing sales, fostering brand loyalty, and keeping a company on top of customers’ minds.
A solid content marketing plan will help you rank in search engines, and attract more people to your website.
Know your audience
Similar to how you will plan for your social media strategy, you need to do an audience analysis for content and ask these questions:
- What age/income/sex/location does my audience fall under?
- What is their occupation, race or level of religion?
- What channels do they use to communicate? (Twitter, Instagram, email?)
- What are the interests of my audience?
- What activities do they enjoy?
- Will they find my brand message relevant?
- What attitudes do they have towards subjects particular to my industry?
You will gather this information using:
- Market research
- Analytics tools
With a complete profile of your audience at hand, you will be able to craft content that suits the needs, and uses the tone of your target audience.
What kind of content should you create?
When your goal is to attract traffic to your website. You will create content that solves problems for a larger subset of the audience. At this stage, people don’t really care about your company and the only way they will engage with your content is if you educate them regarding keywords they are searching for, or if your content offers entertainment.
Content at this stage that will come in handy includes:
- Blog posts
- How to guides
If your content offers value, it will start ranking on Google and will attract people to your website.
Now you need to capitalize on this incoming traffic. We cover this in the next section.
3. Email marketing to capture leads and increase sales
Once you have a social media following and traffic starts flowing through your website. It’s time to take advantage of this activity and turn these users into leads and customers.
A great way to capitalize on your social media following and website traffic is to create funnels using email marketing.
Email marketing is renowned for its high return on investment, its reliability as a channel of communication, and its ability to nurture relationships with leads that eventually become loyal customers. It is especially used in eCommerce marketing, blogging, and software marketing domains.
Let’s see how you can put email marketing into practice
Create opt-in forms and landing pages
You need email addresses for email marketing to work. For that, you will create and place opt-in forms (popups, topbars, embedded forms, etc.) on your website that offers users something in return for their email address. Similarly, you’ll create landing pages that you promote on your social channels that collect email addresses in return for some value.
To incentivize people to sign up, offer them value through:
- Play to wins
- Free training
- Webinar sign-up opportunities
If your offer is easy to consume, relevant to your audience, and specific to them, you’ll start attracting high quality leads through your opt-in forms and landing pages.
Once you have leads, it’s time to start sending emails.
Send emails, build relationships, create sales
First of all, you should send an email delivering on the promise you made in your opt-in forms and landing pages. Send these offers as quickly as possible so users know you deliver on what you say.
Then you can use emails in many ways to create value for your business.
You can send:
- A welcome email, and express your excitement for people becoming a part of your mailing list
- Weekly newsletters with the latest information from your catalog, blog or industry
- Tips and tricks, and how-to videos related to your products
- Case studies where your business solution solves problems for peoples
- Season discounts
- New product updates
There are among just some of the email ideas you can use to keep your subscribers engaged. The idea is to build value for your customers, increase your brand value, and increase the number of sales you make.
Email lists are a rare asset in the sense that they give you direct access to your audience, unlike social media following which is liable to changes made through algorithms and change in popularity.
Your business and its needs
This article outlined the best three marketing tools we have in the modern era to expose our brands, grow traffic and users, and close more sales.
As a business, you need to know which of these strategies will best serve you. And the only way to find out is to experiment and measure the returns. In some cases, you might only need email marketing to reach your marketing goals. In other cases, you might need a combination of all three to get you your desired results.
Tell us which of these strategies you already use and how they’ve worked out for you so far, in the comments below.