This article was written by Adam Perl from Techsors.
In recent years, online marketing has become mandatory for all type of brands that wish to create brand awareness or generate leads online. From finance to healthcare, brands are using a variety of marketing services – advertising networks, social platforms, and more – to communicate with their target audience. Some of the activities and their related data are managed internally, while others are managed externally by agencies – sometimes even by multiple agencies.
The problem is that with so many different networks and marketing channels to choose from, companies often find themselves running up budgets on plans that simply do not deliver results. In today’s innovative industry, where people are consuming information through a variety of channels, brands are required to be exceptionally creative with their marketing efforts. Consumers expect brands to have personalities and feel more comfortable engaging with a brand that communicates with them through personalisation, useful information and marketing content that will benefit the reader rather than simply engaging with marketing promotions that encourage them to sign up for cheesy offers.
Consumers expect brands to have personalities
Before you create your marketing plan it is important to understand the audience you are targeting, the type of product you are selling and how your consumers consume your information or use your product.
For example, a financial company would market its product in a completely different way to how a travel company would. Don’t just run out and try all marketing channels. Understand through which channels your consumers prefer to engage with your services and amplify that channel to reach maximum performance.
So without further ado, here are 5 trendy ways to conduct online marketing that I see as the most imperative for customer acquisition and growth.
1. Video marketing – create a video assembly line
Video marketing is often dismissed by brands as it is more complicated to execute than simply opening a Facebook or Adwords account, creating a short ad and going live. Nevertheless, video marketing can be a great source for brand marketing and lead generation, especially if you are putting your videos on the right channels.
A few years ago video creation used to be full size project. It involved script writers, graphic designers, animator and even required a crew to shoot the film. Since then, times have changed and now it’s possible to create quality low budget videos that look pretty darn good. And if you’re going for quantity rather than quality, visual aspects of the video will be overlooked by your audience, if the content is useful and interesting.
Consumers today want information
To create a video you can easily commission a video on Fiverr and get yours done within a week. Alternatively, you can use tools like Animoto or Powtoon to create a busy video in minutes.
One of the biggest mistakes that brands make today, is that they try to create a branded video and impress their clients. This is old school. Consumers today want information. Nowadays, any video which educates, entertains and engages your clients is likely to work better than a branded video – especially if you are aiming for results. Don’t create award winning videos, create either short and quick explanatory videos that can be shipped out and distributed within hours. Try to reach a situation where you’ve got an assembly line of videos that can be used, tested and tossed away if they don’t perform.
Once you’ve got the video done, distribute them through different channels, such as Youtube, Facebook and Vine. They key to video marketing is to create engaging and interesting content. Just remember to make sure that your scripts have call-to-actions, your videos are short and sweet and your thumbnail image looks stunning. Also don’t forget to optimise the video’s performance per platform.
2. Content marketing – don’t just write, think outside the box!
Content marketing has become the new buzzword over the last year and is slowly becoming more popular amongst online companies. Furthermore, due to Google’s constant updates, putting significant emphasis on quality content, companies are investing heavily to create engaging content – content that will last and bring in results.
it’s best to create great content that provides your readers with added value
There are many ways to conduct content marketing; blogs, infographics, videos, articles and when it comes to distribution, that’s easy. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of distribution networks where you can spread your content around. Some of those networks include outbrain, Taboola and of course the major social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Of course you can simply create content, go live and hope for the best, but to conduct a performance oriented content marketing campaign, it’s best to create great content that provides your readers with added value. Great content requires correct UI and structure and the wording should have specific elements that spark user emotion and interest throughout the whole article.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid of sharing knowledge. If your articles give added value, you’ll have a higher chance of becoming an authority in your field and then generating leads that will want to use your product.
While many companies are doing content marketing, some have taken it to the next level. Here’s a small tip; as we all know, you might not be able to attract a user to signing up to your product immediately after he has read your article – It might just not be the right time for him. So why not mark that user and then re-target him at a later stage?
Furthermore, you can even improve your re-targeting performance by marking users that stayed on your page over a specific amount of time, or scrolled down to the bottom of the page – segment those users and then re-target them separately. This way you’ll be targeting segmented prospects that either took an interest in your product or at least have some type of awareness about your product. Your campaign’s performance will be much better than simply targeting a user that bounced off your article after a couple of seconds.
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Oh.. .and never compromise on your content, as it will only come back to bite you.
3. Game marketing – people love playing games
For this you’re going to have to have development capabilities, but if your team can develop applications on IOS or Android, then game marketing could be an option. According to recent data, mobile traffic accounts for more 50% of internet usage, so developing a game and then marketing your product within that came could be an interesting idea.
Game marketing should be done through strategic planning and thinking
The idea behind game marketing is to develop simplistic games around your product that simulate your real product or give your user an exiting experience. Once they’re hooked on your game then you can present them with marketing propositions or convert them from your gaming world to your real live product.
One of the most important things to do before spending large amounts on marketing and development is to set up the measurement and reporting so that you can tell exactly what return you are getting from various channels within your game. Also, you need to take into consideration that you’re marketing to your prospects through a game, which means that you are adding an extra layer to your conversion funnel. So instead of directing traffic directly to your landing page or website, you are going to direct them into your game and then try to convert a fraction of those users to use your real product. This means that your cost-per-acquisition will probably increase, but the quality of users should be much better.
Game marketing should be done through strategic planning and thinking. The aim is to not put all your eggs in one basket (one game) either distribute your traffic to different games and then convince your users to engage with your business.
4. SEO/PPC – the fundamentals
I can’t speak about online marketing without going back to the basics – SEO and PPC.
These days, if you don’t have a Google strategy, then you probably won’t be found. Did you know that according to Jupiter Research, a Forrester Research company, 81% of users find their desired destination through search engines. This basically means that most of your website traffic is probably going to come to you through Google rather than them directly entering your website.
if you’re selling a product that is trend sensitive, it might not be the best idea to invest in SEO
Done correctly, both can get you on the front page of search engines for targeted terms and in front of your desired audience. But both come at a cost, and in most cases it’s worth consulting with a professional to see which one is better for your business. For example, if you’re selling a product that is trend sensitive, it might not be the best idea to invest in SEO. By the time you reach the first 10 results, your product might not be relevant. Investing in PPC might get you on first page in minutes, but if done incorrectly can really run up your budget.
Bidding on specific keywords can cost anywhere from pennies to many dollars, so do your keyword research, know what your competitors are doing and try to be creative as possible. On one hand if your competitors are good at what they are doing, and they’re all bidding on a particular keyword, then that keyword might be of value to you. On the other hand, bidding on competitive keywords can put a strain on your budget, so it might be best to think about your keyword strategy and bid on long tail keywords.
For example, you might find that bidding on a keyword such as “Top broker in” is much better than simply bidding on “Top Broker”. By adding the word “in” to your targeted phrase you’ll lower your bid price while allowing you to target a more refined audience that are searching for a broker “in a specific location”.
One example of a Google strategy consultancy is 3doordigital.com
5. Mobile marketing
If it hasn’t been said enough times before then I’ll remind you again. Mobile marketing is not optional, it’s a necessity. The problem is that most companies are still not doing it right. If you’re sending your traffic to landing pages or a website that requires your viewers to pinch, double tap and scroll to find the information they are looking for, you’re simply wasting money and their time.
Mobile marketing is not optional, it’s a necessity
Try to create pages that are developed for mobile users. Implement correct UX and UI and send your prospects to pages that have one unique selling proposition. Use easy-to-read content and stop thinking that you’re writing for computers. Most internet users scan information rather than read.
When referring to mobile strategies, location-based mobile marketing strategies are slowly getting more traction as advertisers are now taking advantage of transmitters and GPS chips to determine the location of their prospects and provide them with relevant promotions.
Location based technology will definitely take mobile marketing to the next level, allowing advertisers to offer real-time discounts and deals, which will turn them into loyal customers. It’s quite logical, if a client is in the vicinity of a shop, then that shop will be able to lure the client in by broadcasting mobile offers straight to his phone, real time.
Just remember that mobile marketing isn’t for every product and really depends on your goals and conversion funnel. For example, online stores might encounter problems when asking their users to pay for something through their mobile device. In most cases, users feel very comfortable filling out their details on a phone but think twice when they are forced to use their credit card through their mobile phones.
Try understand your clients psychology and adapt your mobile strategy accordingly!
In today’s competitive market, in order to succeed with your marketing campaigns, you’ll have to think outside the box. Don’t just run with the herd, think about the marketing channels you are using and try to adapt them so that they work for your product. And always remember to test. What might not work the first time round might require only a small tweak or two.