The great big sea of marketing channels can be tough to navigate for online businesses, but there are proven tactics and strategies that can help.
A common mistake that businesses make is trying to market themselves to too broad of an audience, when the real key to success is targeting the right people. It gives you a better chance at finding customers who need your product and are willing to buy. In other words, you wouldn’t try to sell tires to someone without a car.
We’ve assembled some practical marketing methods to help you increase the kind of traffic that leads to sales:
A lot of business owners make the mistake of thinking Instagram is only for Tweens and Millennials, but the truth is in the numbers: Instagram has over 32% of all US internet users, it’s used by roughly 70% of brands, and brand engagement is 10 times higher than on Facebook.
So how are businesses taking advantage of Instagram? Facebook owns Instagram and it’s no secret that Facebook harbors more specific personal information about its users than any other social network. When you advertise on Facebook you can automatically set your campaign to appear on Instagram in front of a very specific audience. The algorithms are built to target the right people.
Another key to success on Instagram is engagement and humanization. Some ways to increase engagement are by promoting hashtags, hosting contests, and reposting user-generated photos (photos taken by happy customers using your products). Engagement goes hand in hand with humanization — you want to show your followers that you’re not just a stuffy corporation, you want them to see your brand as familiar and relatable.
One more great way to get eyes on your brand is by sending relevant influencers free samples of your products and asking them for a positive review. Sometimes this may be paid, or sometimes if they truly endorse the product it can be free. Either way, influencers have thousands of devoted followers who look to them for advice on the latest and greatest in their respective worlds (i.e., a fitness expert promoting a new exercise supplement to her followers).
Ramp Up P.R.
Much like reaching out to influencers, public relations relies on a 3rd party to promote your company. Bloggers, vloggers, press outlets and influencers can help market you to the right audience. As mentioned before, a good way to get your product into their hands is by simply sending them free samples. When determining who to reach out to, Google is your best asset. Enter keywords that customers in your industry frequently use — this should take you to leading influencers and bloggers.
Having your company featured in the press isn’t as hard as it may seem. When reaching out, the key is to make sure your pitch is concise and compelling. They receive a lot pitches everyday, but if you can quickly explain why your company is captivatingly unique you may grab their attention (i.e., local success story, overcame adversity, revolutionary technology, or charitable business structure).
Pretend you were looking for new furniture online. You’d most likely search for words like chair, rug, sofa, table, etc. If the same website shows up in the top results for all of those searches, it means they have strong SEO for furniture shoppers. Websites with the highest organic traffic, are always ranked high in Google searches.
The best way to improve your domain authority is by building backlinks. Simply put, backlinks are when one website has a link to another website. The reason they’re so important is that Google’s algorithm reads backlinks as website credibility. Having a link to your e-commerce website is like getting a letter of recommendation for a job.
The more backlinks you have, the higher your website will rank. Earning backlinks can be tough, especially from the most popular sites, but a good way to start is by scratching their back first. For instance, you can use your blog to discuss other popular innovations in your industry and provide backlinks to the corresponding websites. Hopefully this will catch their attention, and they’ll be inclined to return the favor.
Create Frequent Quality Content
It’s usually not enough these days to just have a great product and a well designed e-store, you also need substance. Creating content through blogs, videos, photos, tutorials, and more, are the best ways to keep your customers engaged and open the door for new traffic.
Sticking with the furniture example, imagine you’re a furniture company who wrote an article about how to clean a wine stain.If someone randomly stumbles across that article, they’ve just established a relationship with your brand. Providing valuable content such as How-to’s, honest customer reviews, contests, and industry referrals is a great way to drive traffic and maintain it.
Creating content takes time and money, so you’ll want a return on investment. The best way to yield results is by having a content strategy that’s finely targeted and compliments your SEO strategy. Make sure to track the market, stay up to date on your competitors, follow trends and be creative.
Related: What is Quality Content?
Pay Per Click Advertising
PPC is the practice of advertising your company in Google’s search engine. The way this works is that your advertisement is displayed on Google whenever a predetermined search word is entered, and every time someone clicks on your ad, you pay. The price of keywords varies by demand. In other words, if you’re in a highly competitive industry PPC can cost a pretty penny.
The best way to circumvent this cost is by bidding on long-tail keywords. For example, if you were a mattress company, the word “comfortable mattress” would mostly likely be very expensive. However, a long-tailed keyword such as “mattress with good return policy” is most likely cheaper and also reaches a more targeted audience.
Related: What Every CMO Should Know About PPC
There’s a lot of methods to driving traffic to your website, but the best strategy to apply to all of your efforts is to highlight what makes your company unique. Also, remember to provide value to your customers without trying to sell them something. This will help you reach the right audience and build long lasting brand relationships.