Forbes rates internet marketing as one of the top five careers in the nation, with the demand for experienced marketers expected to increase by as much as 14 percent over the next several years. This is due to the fact that as of 2014, internet marketing has grown by over 21 percent, triumphing newspaper, magazine, radio, cinema, and outdoor marketing, with the demand expected to increase to over 23 percent in 2015. Currently, online marketing is only shadowed by television advertising.
Companies are willing to spend more on online advertising as it’s a necessity to survive in today’s world. According to a 2013 survey, SMBs are spending as much as 46 percent of their entire marketing budget on digital marketing. Possessing the necessary online marketing skills ensures a company will thrive online; however, competition is tough and the ability to succeed only becomes more challenging as online marketing trends are constantly changing. Plain and simple, what worked today may not work tomorrow.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 25 tips you need to succeed as an online marketing manger.
#1– Online Marketing Strategy
The very foundation to internet marketing starts with a strategic marketing plan, or you’ll basically be stumbling around in the dark. A strategy will lay out a stepping stone path to success as you’ll identify your targeted audience, how you will reach them, and a plan achieve your marketing goals.
#2– Know Your Audience
Understanding who you’re targeting is valuable to zooming in on your customers, what interests them, and how you’ll meet their needs. This not only involves gender, age, and location, but their needs, wants, and the answers they seek. By putting yourself in your audiences’ shoes, you’ll create an appealing approach, which is less of a hit or miss when it comes to marketing.
#3– Customized Strategy
Online marketing isn’t a one size fits all. Cookie cutter campaigns are ineffective as every audience and industry niche is different. You need think outside of the box to create a customized campaign, including the type of content you’ll use, social media platforms, link building, and much more. Take a step back to develop a unique approach to turn a profit as Altimeter reports 57 percent of marketers have included custom content as their top priority in 2014.
#4– Diversify Social Media Marketing
There are a plethora of social media platforms with more popping up every day. With CMI reporting 87 percent of marketers using social media, giants like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are essential to include in your marketing plan, but don’t feel obligated to utilize every single social media outlet. Instead, focus on those that are most relevant with the highest likeliness to produce favorable results. For example, if you’re targeting older generations, you shouldn’t spend a great deal of time focusing in Instagram as it’s geared more towards younger generations.
#5– Quality Content Marketing
Content marketing is king as it costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing, while generating three times more leads. If you don’t have quality content to support your online marketing efforts, you’re going to fail. Determine the types of content, such as blogs, newsletters, images, and infographics that are most appealing to your audience. Then, find the appropriate outlets to distribute your content.
#6– Leverage Trends Topics
Integrating trending topics into your strategy is a great way to promote your marketing as they have high search volumes and great conversions rates. You’ll be giving your customers exactly what they are interested in as it’s happening, allowing you to become the “go-to” source for the information they crave.
Utilize Google Analytics and monitoring tools to help track the progression of your online marketing to see what’s working and what isn’t. This allows you to make adjustments where needed for a more successful campaign.
#8– Brand Consistency
Brand consistency must be maintained across all marketing platforms, including websites and social media accounts. Not only does this include the company logo, but the tone and overall personality of the company. By doing so, you’ll help build brand recognition and loyalty.
#9– Customer Engagement
Staying engaged with your audience helps build brand loyalty and repeat customers as they see there is a “face” behind the company. No one likes to feel ignored, which is what lack of engagement causes. The more you engage with your audience, the more you’ll become a trusted company people turn to first.
#10– Stand Out from the Crowd
In order to rise above your competition, you need to find a way to stand out. Discover what sets your company apart from your competitors and use it in your favor to offer what your competitors lack.
#11– Work Smarter, Not Harder
You want to be smart and effective to make the most of your time while staying within budget. Find tools and resources that will allow you to minimize the amount of time you spend marketing, while maximizing the reach of your campaign. Link social media accounts, schedule posts, and use email marketing services to help you save time.
#12– Mobile Marketing
Everyone is on the go nowadays, with more than half of internet searches originating from a mobile device; therefore, your marketing needs to be mobile friendly. From social sharing and mobile content to a responsive design, every aspect of your marketing campaign needs to accommodate mobile users as 46 percent of mobile users won‘t return to a website that’s not mobile friendly.
#13– Less is More
In today’s world, internet users want simplicity. They don’t want to spend forever reading a lengthy blog post or have to search a website to find what they are looking for. Keep everything short, simple and to the point, including your website. Forget about the big flashy graphics and instead focus on an easy to use website that includes the key information visitors want.
#14– Ad Retargeting
In 2014, ad retargeting has picked up a lot of steam. Utilize browser cookies to track your website’s visitors to increase conversion rates as you will provide customers with different advertisements and products based on their past web views.
#15– Maintaining SEO
SEO must be maintained at all times to aid traffic. The stronger your ranking, the more your marketing campaign will succeed. This also needs to include your local SEO strategy to allow relevant customers find you, drawing you closer to targeted communities.
#16– Encourage Social Signals
Social signals are now becoming more and more intertwined with SEO as they play a role in organic search rankings. With a well ranking website from SEO, your social signals will benefit from the increase of sharing quality content. Strong social signals combined with SEO creates a win/win scenario.
#17– Abide By Algorithms
Don’t take short cuts with shady marketing techniques because you’ll get caught up in an algorithm update. With a lengthy recovery process, it’s best to just do it right from the start, even if it does take more time.
#18– Link Build Correctly
Take the time to build a quality site with great content to encourage natural link building. Don’t do link exchanges, post to irrelevant websites, or use other spammy link building practices. If you do, you’ll be hit by a Penguin update. Instead, focus on what you can do to make people want to link and share your site.
#19– Advantage from PPC
PPC is very effective for increasing ROI. By creating a dynamic campaign that’s well targeted using long tail keywords, you’ll create an offer viewers simply can’t refuse; thus, enticing them to click to a website. But, please, don’t run a PPC campaign that links to an irrelevant website.
#20– Accessibility and Social Sharing
Create a website that’s accessible from a variety of systems and devices. In addition, social sharing needs to be implements on your website. Utilize social sharing buttons and link social media accounts to your website to allow for social shares and more audience engagement. The easier your site is to use, the more you’ll benefit.
#21– Simple Content Structure
The structure of your content is important as people rarely read through full articles. Utilize headings, lists, bullet points, bold font, and other methods to help structure your content and website for skimming. By doing so, important information won’t be overlooked, and you’ll help decrease your bounce rate as readers find exactly what they are looking for.
#22– Use Images and Videos
Images and videos are huge trending tools for internet marketers. Internet users love images, videos, and infographics. In fact, articles that include images receive 94 percent more views than those without. Create quality, well optimized images, videos, and infographics to aid with your content marketing. Plus, they are great for social shares.
#23– Content Distribution
Utilize as many different content distribution platforms as possible as long as they remain relevant to your audience. Don’t waste your time with distribution outlets that have no interest to your audience.
#24– Know Your Competitors
You will learn a lot from your competitors, so get to know them. Find out what’s working for them and what isn’t so you can take that information and customize your marketing campaign.
#25– Reward Loyalty
Reward your followers and customers along the way. Customers love to feel valued, so offer incentives, rewards, promotions, giveaways, and discounts as a way of saying, “thank you” to build brand loyalty.
With CMI reporting the top 5 marketing goals for 2014 are brand awareness, lead generation, customer acquisition, leadership, and engagement, the proper tools, resources, and methods in place are critical to reach online marketing goals quicker and more effectively. You’ll have a leg up on your competition with the support of a solid online marketing campaign.
Sources: “59 Killer Content Marketing Stats: 2014 Edition” Writtent.com