The Big Three Factors of Online Marketing

istock_000012639594xsmall1The best strategies for online marketing has changed significantly in the past few years. With the release of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates many sites found themselves significantly decreased in terms of rankings resulting in panicked calls to SEO providers.

However on the other hand there were many people who found these updates to have the opposite effect on their sites. They experienced a boost in rankings thanks to their great combination of white hat marketing practices than saved them unlike those who looked to cut corners.

To understand what the basics of effective online marketing are, we’ve detailed the major three contributing factors below.

Search Engine Optimisation

When people think of online marketing, this is generally the first place their minds go. SEO encompasses a broad range of techniques that collectively help to create a site that a search engines will rank as relevant to certain keywords and themes. The simple fact is that the vast majority of web users are only going to click on a link that appears in the first page of results. This means ranking highly for relevant keywords is an important factor for many businesses operating online.

To achieve quality and sustainable SEO, there needs to be a coherent focus on a number of different strategies. This includes the production of high quality content, authoritative back-links and expert onsite optimisation. These things can be a difficult thing to achieve for a lay person, which is why there are dedicated outsourced companies who can help you with your SEO.

Content Marketing

This is by no means a new technique. Businesses have been creating magazines, pamphlets and newsletters for decades in an attempt to gain new business and engage with current clients. What has changed in recent years is how content marketing is delivered. Instead of taking the form of printed handouts and tangible objects, there now exist blogs, videos, podcasts and a host of other digitally delivered content rich media.

Online content marketing is a significant contributor to both SEO and having a quality website that people want to engage with. When you have a good website with quality content that is frequently updated, both Google and consumers will recognise this and associate with you positively.

Social Media Marketing

This has been a bit of abuzz industry for a while now, but having settled down and established itself with a solid formation many businesses are reaping the benefits of creating an online presence. Not only is social media the primary way content is shared, it’s also a fantastic way to interact with your existing customers and clients.

One common mistake that people make when it comes to social media is equating audience size with success. This is why people are frequently sucked into ‘buying’ followers in an attempt to increase their audience size and therefore have a ‘successful’ social media presence. Don’t be fooled though – fake followers aren’t going to buy your products or services.

Social Media Marketing Tips

social-media-logos_15773Humans are creatures of habit. We love to develop routines and establish regularities – it gives us a sense of comfort and predictability which is intrinsic to human nature. Just how we all have our regular coffee shop, we all have our regular social media website. For many people this is Facebook, for others it’s Twitter or Google+.

What keeps people coming back to their regulars? Freshness. If something remains stagnant then people are highly unlikely to keep engaging with it. The same is true of social media. If the platform or the content that’s being shared isn’t interesting to its audience, then they are going to move on to other places which are more stimulating.

Many companies believe that simply having a presence in social media is enough. No matter how many ‘likes’ you have on Facebook, or how many followers you have on twitter, what really drives new business and customers in social media is fresh, interesting content that’s engaging.

This is why it’s important to develop a social media strategy around these ideas. You want to engage with your audience, not simple attract a larger one. There are two large questions generally faced by people developing a social media campaign.

What Kind of Content?

One of the hardest questions is simple: what kind of content do I put out there? When faced with a blank status update or a 147 text character box, it is common to freeze up and become unsure of what to do. The best way to avoid something like this happening is to pre-established defined goals for what you’d like to achieve. This could be enhancing your brand, targeting specific customers or pushing a particular product. Once these overarching goals have been set, then you can focus on the best way to deliver your message.

The best types of content that people engage with is the stuff they can relate to. This means when you produce content you should first think “does this create a conversation, or does it just inform?” Sometimes it is ok to just inform people, but this shouldn’t be the only type of content that you produce, otherwise people are simply going to start ignoring you.

For Business to Business social media campaigns, it is less about creating fun and engaging content and more about creating interesting and useful information based content. There should also be an element of human reliability in there as well, sharing other people’s experiences can be a great way of establishing trust and proximity.

How Do I Distribute My Message?

Picking the right platform for your business can be a bit of a tricky question. Some companies operate face and need to get messages out there as quick as possible, so prefer twitter. On the other hand, some companies are better suited to the less frequent Facebook status update. It can be a bit of trial and error, so it is always best to try everything until you find out what works for you!

Online Marketing for Newbies: Five Great Options

Pay-Per-Click-(PPC)-Advertising-topHave you just started your very first business? Do you run an established business, but have always advertised using print or broadcast media? Are you completely new to online marketing? Researching and planning to do online marketing can seem intimidating; there are so many different advertising and promotional platforms and channels, it can be difficult to know what you should select – and most importantly, what you should invest your limited marketing budget into. Here are five great options for businesses that are totally new to online marketing:

Your very own website

In the age of Web 2.0, there are plenty of services and facilities which will help you create an impressive looking, easily updated website for free (or next to nothing). A good place to start, especially if you plan to update frequently or look into SEO, is WordPress. A simple search for ‘WordPress themes’ will give you plenty of ready-made templates to work with.

Facebook

Creating a Facebook business page is totally free, and easy for even beginner internet users, so it’s a great place to start. All you need to prepare are your essential business details and some photographs that showcase where you are and what you do, as well as a short blurb introducing your organisation. Once you’ve connected with your established customer/client base, you can look into extending your reach with paid advertising, sponsored posts and more.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords is easy to set up, and a great way to get noticed when your business website is brand new. By focusing on situations where people search for the product or service you offer, you’re cutting down on wastage – i.e. you’re not paying for advertising to go to people you’re not targeting. One of the best aspects of AdWords is that it is scalable to your budget: you can set a daily budget for the terms you’re focusing on, as well as other parameters – choose to pay per click (through to your website) or pay per impression (per how many times someone sees your ad

Banner ads

Another online marketing option is banner ads, which are displayed on websites in a similar fashion to the way in which small ads are incorporated into newspaper and magazine pages. You may have noticed banner ads whilst browsing the internet yourself. For an introduction to banner ads, as well as some budget-friendly options, visit www.youradchoices.com and view the videos.

Take your mailing list digital

Have you already got a customer loyalty program, or a snail-mail mailing list that your customers can sign up to? Why not take that digital, and turn it into an email marketing program?!  Email marketing is a great, cost-effective alternative to snail mail, and can save you hundreds on postage each month. If your have your customers’/members’ email addresses, and their permission to send them a newsletter or updates on special offers, make the most of that opportunity. Plan a regular email update which includes all the latest company news, industry changes, special offers in your store, and anything else you think may take their interest.