When it comes to marketing, there’s much more that goes into achieving success than you probably realize, especially if you’re just dipping your toe into marketing, whether traditional or online marketing. Not only is there a lot of psychology involved, such as influence, personality, and motivation, there’s a lot of technique involved so it takes skill and experience to get the results you need from your marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, the online marketing field is growing rapidly versus traditional marketing spending (as you can see below) and is ever-changing since the discipline must always adapt and catch up to the changing ways in which we shop and connect with brands. Plus, the players in digital marketing, such as search engines, social media, and online advertising platforms modify their terms of service and platforms on a regular basis. Finally, changing government regulations impact the tactics you can legally use with hefty fines for violations of the law, such as Can-Spam (permission-based marketing) and GDPR (online privacy).
Get online marketing wrong, and not only will you be wasting money but you’ll likely damage your brand’s reputation resulting in a long-term decline in profits. Gone are the days of spammy links, flashing banners all over web pages calling out ‘buy our stuff!’, and companies attempting to get their name out to just about anyone who will listen. These days, digital marketing is targeted, data-driven, and well-planned. For the most part, digital marketing relies on finding the right customers then providing them with the information they need to make the decision to buy your product that solves a problem- all the while using subtle and clever techniques to influence their decisions. Here are three online marketing approaches that enable you to reach your marketing goals, both in the long and short run.
Online marketing tactics that work
A host of online marketing tactics exist and new opportunities arise from time to time. For instance, TikTok now represents an interesting social media option for businesses, especially those who want to attract new customers who are younger. Although TikTok advertising is still in Beta, this option is likely to expand over the next 12 months.
In other cases, changes in the way social media platforms will impact your success in the future as some impacted your performance over the last 12 months. Anticipated increased oversight by government regulators appears inevitable and these changes suggest a host of changes to your social media strategy.
Below, you can find some digital marketing strategies you must use if you want to capitalize on your market potential along with some factors that impacted these strategies or threaten to impact them in the near future.
Social media marketing
Social networking sites are a great option for increasing brand awareness and generating interest around your business, rather than attempting to make sales, although new options such as Facebook Marketplace and Shops promise to change the way users consume products on the platform. So, constant spamming links to buy your products, harassing users, and putting on pressure to buy is the exact opposite of what you want to do on social. Instead, engage with your audience in a way that’s not directly related to selling products such as running things like competitions and using gamification to encourage interaction. You could share customer photos and reviews, you could even share relevant memes, jokes, and other entertaining or informational content that fits with your brand to help customers understand what you’re about so they want to engage and connect with you. Of course, you should share your advertising campaigns and post links to your site, especially fresh, valuable content posted to your website. But the overall aim is to allow people to connect and browse interesting content, rather than for companies to target and spam their followers to buy from them.
None of that is new. A few things change how you should use social media in 2022 if you haven’t already adapted to these changes. Among social media changes you need to consider when developing your digital marketing strategy for 2022 are:
- The increased popularity of live streams and the proliferation of them across social platforms
- New platforms (ie. TikTik and Clubhouse) and new options, such as Reels (Instagram) and Stories (Facebook), which now appear in users’ newsfeeds to increase awareness of this content
- Shifts in platform use. For instance, Twitter is slowly receding as a platform of choice by many. Meanwhile, the aging of Facebook users as more younger users shift from the platform to others, in part, due to the increased use of Facebook by their parents and grandparents.
- Customer service offered through the platforms in addition to traditional forms of customer service
- Change in the algorithms that makes organic reach harder if not impossible
- Increased emphasis on augmented reality
- Social audio will become a thing as more users listen to podcasts
Content marketing does not explicitly promote your brand but is intended to stimulate interest in your products or services, demonstrate your products, offer valuable information, and influence purchase. This allows you to boost your brand while providing something of value to your customers such as through articles, blog posts, even podcasts are effective methods for promoting your business. The increased focus on visual content is now met with the increased popularity of podcasts. If that’s something you considered, podcast booking agencies are able to make it happen.
While some new technologies make it easier to produce a variety of content to address your marketing needs, changes in the Google search algorithm mean you need to change up your content marketing efforts if you want to get or stay on the first page in search results. Some of these changes happened in prior years, such as the emphasis on mobile-first web development, penalties for black hat SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing and article spinning, and slow load speeds.
New for 2022, although they phased it in over 2021, is Core Web Vitals and the impact of your score on SEO.
Email marketing enables you to reach a broad audience while keeping costs low. This form of marketing received a bad reputation over the years due to spammers, but of course, there are ways to do it correctly. A good rule of thumb is to consider the basics of content marketing and apply them to this too, with around eighty percent of the content being provided to educate, inform or amuse. The other twenty percent can consist of promotional content where you show off new collections and products and other important changes you want your customers to know.
In the US and EU, permission-based marketing is now required by law and hefty fines are assessed for violations. That means you can’t buy or rent email lists (which is still legal for snail mail). Instead, you must build your own subscriber list with permission from individuals. A great way to build your list is to input customers, offer a lead magnet (such as a discount, free trial, or an asset like an ebook) in exchange for their email address, or host events, like webinars, to collect information. All these are currently legal.
Once you have subscriber information, sending targeted emails to subscribers based on their personal needs generates a high ROI, as you can see below.
Email marketing is a great lead nurturing tool to help guide subscribers toward a purchase. It’s also a great way to build relationships with customers and prospects. For instance, sending birthday greetings or thank you notes shows you care.
Of course, this article only covers the basics of how to capitalize on online marketing. The first step is to develop a comprehensive marketing plan incorporating both traditional and digital marketing as well as focusing on other marketing aspects beyond promotion, such as product development and pricing.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.