Digital Marketing Secrets For A Successful Website
Let us say you are a new ecommerce startup with a niche target audience with a new website that you’ve just launched. What options do you have and what steps can you take to ensure your website and your business gets traction in the online space? After all, you have to compete against existing businesses and other competitors who may be spending much more on advertising.
One financially savvy way to get more visitors to your website is through digital marketing. This works for both Business to Business (B2B) companies as well as Business to Consumer (B2C) companies. Digital marketing is about promoting your website and getting it greater visibility and more online visitors. The website promotion will take place where your potential customers are — either on social media or reading blogs or looking at YouTube videos and searching for things they need on Google and other search engines.
Doing digital marketing right requires getting the SEO right on the website and the website’s blog. If your target market is, say, adventurous sports enthusiasts and you are into selling outdoor clothing, gear, camping stuff and so on, (http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/products/outdoor-gear.jsp ) you should make your website’s copy search engine optimized for these words so that your website shows up in search engine search results when people search for outdoor clothing or camping equipment, mountain biking gear or mountain bikes and so on.
The trick with having the right SEO is to know the keywords your target customers use when they search for products that you sell — the right keywords and all their variations as well. This is work for SEO professionals in digital marketing companies. They’ll do the keyword research using Google Analytics as well as looking at the keywords that your competitors rank well for. Instead of pouring your time or energy into doing this research, you will be smart to outsource this work to SEO companies in common outsourcing destinations such as India. India-based SEO companies will have hundreds of man-years of experience in doing exactly the sort of keyword research that your website needs followed by developing a digital marketing campaign plan.
Digital marketing has four common components:
1. Digital advertising
2. Social media marketing
3. Content marketing
4. YouTube viral video marketing
You can use digital advertising to tell the story of your brand. Digital advertising, unlike traditional advertising can happen across multiple channels — text, images, videos, and more.
Your digital marketing should be extremely targeted and focused so that your investments in any online advertising give you good return on investment (ROI). Your options to advertise include placing banner ads and display ads on websites and other advanced techniques such as programmatic ad placement. Native ads on news websites and social media are one more recent innovation in the evolving landscape of digital advertising.
One key element of a digital advertising strategy is to define your goals — whether you want to acquire new customers, nurture potential customers by building relationships with potential customers, ensure continued customer loyalty by maintaining a relationship with them through advertising that does not appear to be pushy or invasive, or refurbish your brand image or just reinforce what your represents for customers.
Digital ad types include pay-per-click (PPC) ads on search engines. These accounted for $9 billion or 40% of the total internet advertising revenue in 2014. You need to find the right PPC keywords to have an effective PPC ad. You can do keyword research using tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Your keywords should be relevant to your business domain, align with your website’s SEO keywords, and in general the keywords should translate to new business for your company by driving traffic to your website.
It will take digital advertising experts to design a PPC ad with a high Quality Score from Google. Hence, outsourcing digital marketing to digital marketing professionals in India is a good decision and a cost effective one.
Display ads meanwhile come in many different types. Some are static display ads which have an image, your brand logo, a clear call-to-action (CTA), and some advertising copy. Some best practices that go into creating static display ads include:
✓ A clear CTA: To get the best out of your advertising dollars, you should use a short, catchy CTA such as “Download Now,” “Buy Now,” and so on.
✓ Good image: Images that stand out from others will likely pull in customers and persuade them to click on the ad. A good image can increase the clickthrough rate (CTR) immensely.
✓ Catchy headline: The key to great copy is a great and enticing headline. This is even more important digital ads which have to compete to get the website visitor’s mindspace.
✓ Business logo: Don’t forget to include the company logo prominently. This helps the online visitor associate the display ad with your brand and company. The best place for log placement is one of the corners: top or bottom left or right.
✓ Promotional content: If there is some promotional offer on the ad such as a time-sensitive discount, that will also help increase the CTR rate.
✓ Creating urgency: This is done by the time-sensitive nature of offers and so on mentioned above.
✓ Appropriate landing page: Landing page optimization matters. Hence, if your ad talks about giving discounts, on clicking it, the landing page should point to a page where there are further details about the discount.
✓ Size matters: Some effective sizes of static display ads are 300 X 250, 600 X 160, 728 X 90, and 600 X 315.
✓ Testing your ads: Testing of your ads can make them more effective and you should keep testing iterations of your ads.
Apart from static display ads, there are video display ads which typically increase engagement though it takes skill and professional expertise to create a video display ad that will work.
Other digital ad types include cinemagraphic ads and Flash ads.
Mobile and smartphone usage has exploded since the launch of the iPhone in 2007. Mobile ad spends are growing faster than any other segment of advertising. Mobile ad spend is likely to exceed $18 billion in the U.S. alone according to data by BI Intelligence.
Mobile ads are either:
✓ In browser ads or
✓ In App ads.
The mobile browser ads are similar to browser ads for the desktop Web described above such as static ads, video ads, banner ads, etc. There can also be in-app ads meant for mobile and smartphone users.
Social Media Marketing
The other powerful technique is social media marketing which combines the power and viral potential of different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, and others. The advantage about using social media is that they are pretty cost effective. You get to create accounts and post content for free although each platform will charge money to promote content. You get to interact with your customers via social media since most people are on multiple social media platforms these days.
Different options for different folks. Social media has its own rites of passage and rules of the game as it were. If you wish to be a power user of social media, you have to learn each medium’s peculiarities and become familiar with the tone of voice that works best with each social media platform. Twitter is about deploying hashtags, Twitter trends, and breaking news and attracts those who tend to be interested in current affairs and other public events. Twitter is primarily a public discussion forum as opposed to Facebook which is used by most people for sharing stuff with their friends and family and closed and private groups.
Facebook vs. LinkedIn. So if your social media marketing plans include Facebook posts to your business’ FB page, be regular and maintain a routine of five to 10 posts a week while your business’s Twitter account needs to be more active — as in five tweets a day at a minimum. Meanwhile, LinkedIn is a platform for professionals and if you post there, you may be okay with a post per day or even one detailed piece of content written on LinkedIn’s own content platform per week.
Be interesting. Celebrated authors know that the key to writing popular content is ensuring that your readers are entertained. So, never bore your audience in your social media posts. Your content should be informative, entertaining and meaningful for your customer. Repetitive marketing content will likely bore them; hence, that is best avoided.
A place for conversations. Social media is above all a platform for conversation. Unlike traditional advertising — TV or billboards and so on — what social media offers is a place where businesses, brands, and content owners/producers such as writers and experts get to interact with their interlocutors. So, you get to interact with your existing and potential customers on social media. This is an opportunity you must use as it will benefit you financially as well as this being what social media etiquette calls for. Being an interactive platform, social media posts can be places where heated arguments may ensue. This is where you need to have the cool temperament and not get sucked into a slanging match. When your startup business screws up in some way, the best way to deal with it is to admit your mistake. People will prefer those who admit their mistakes any day over those who dissemble.
Paid social media advertising. Since advertising is how these social media companies get most of their revenue, they offer different advertising options to digital marketers to choose from. You can choose which social media platform suits your needs best and has the maximum existing and potential customers for your business and overall will get you the best ROI on your advertising spend and then start spending some money on relevant ads in social media.
If Facebook is what you choose, you can choose to promote your FB posts by paying FB. On Twitter, you can send promoted tweets which can have a relevant call to action (CTA) and some time-sensitive promotional aspect such as discounts and so on. Twitter also offers Website Cards and Lead Gen cards which make it easier for brands to get the Twitter user’s contact information from the user’s own Twitter account.
You can advertise on LinkedIn and YouTube too. There are also in-search and in-display ads on YouTube. YouTube also has in-video overlay ads.
Content marketing is a newer avenue of digital marketing and it can be a great option, especially for small businesses and startups as it’s a good way to spread your brand message and pull customers into the marketing funnel, build long-term relationships with customers and generally, it’s a way to do digital advertising in a non-pushy way and your costs will be minimal too. You can send out email newsletters using services like MailChimp or ConstantContact.
To get the right content for your website’s blog, you can either get someone to write regularly or outsource this task to a digital marketing and content marketing agency or company in India. You need to optimize the website content in line with your business-relevant keywords.
Outsourcing works. Outsourcing the website’s SEO work to an India-based SEO company will make eminent sense for small businesses and startups as that will let you focus on your core business activities while the specialized tasks related to digital marketing are taken care of by experts who have the desired expertise in their domains developed over years.
Creating Engaging Content.
Not all content is created equal. As our brains are wired to respond to visuals, content with images will get higher traction and clicks. Therefore, your content needs to be built around some form of visual storytelling or use visual mechanisms to inform such as by the use of colorful infographics. Use and placement of images in articles is highly recommended.
Mobile is where the future is.
Mobile is the way to go as more and more customers will interact with your content on their mobile devices. Hence, your website and blog need to be mobile-ready and your content needs to be developed keeping the mobile aspect in mind.
Use of tools such as Google Analytics will give you insights into how users came to your website and the content can be optimized based on these insights.
Content marketing and social media marketing go hand-in-hand to some extent. Your blog’s content should be shared on your different personal social media accounts as that will give a sense that you have a personal stake in the content and are backing it up with your own personal reputation.
YouTube Viral Video Marketing
Viral video ads stick in our minds and memories not for months but even years. This makes sense since the human mind is designed to respond to visuals way faster and in a much more visceral way to images and to video than it is to text.
Reading about a baby’s birth is one thing but actually seeing it happen in a slow and messy way has a different level of impact on the viewer. Not surprising that baby delivery videos on YouTube have millions of hits.
There is a reason why responsible media companies refrain from showing “sensitive” content or show them with adequate warning to the viewers and entirely refrain from showing videos such as those of beheading of animals or humans. We can read about the same in text but that is nowhere as visceral or gruesome as actually seeing a video of it.
Since creating video content and uploading them to YouTube is relative inexpensive these days, you can raise your brand’s visibility with a smartly done YouTube video. Can virality on YouTube be ensured? Well, if the video can harness the usual points of interest that is common to most people who watch videos and do that in a unique manner, you can possibly have a video with viral potential. Hence, videos with cats or babies have a good chance of going viral. Videos with content that is clever and ‘shocking’ in some manner also has a good chance of going viral.
After you create and upload your video, you need to promote it on social media and possibly try and rope in a social media star or celebrity to start the promotional ball rolling. If the snowball effect takes effect, your video will go viral in a matter of hours or days.
For the best returns from your YouTube video, you need to transcribe it so that it gets indexed by search engines.
Measuring The Effectiveness of Your Digital Advertising Effort
You may end up wasting your digital advertising budget if you don’t make an effort to measure the effectiveness of your digital advertising campaign. Look at some of the front-end metrics such as impressions, clicks, reach, and CTR to learn about how far your ad has traveled.
CTR is calculated as clicks/impressions. So, if your ad was seen by a million people on a given platform and a 1,000 people actually clicked on it, then the CTR is 1,000/1,000,000 = 0.001 or 0.1%.
Other metrics to keep track of include Engagement rate, Conversions, Cost-Per-Lead (CPL), and Effective Cost-Per-Thousand (eCPM).
There are additional backend metrics that need to be tracked as well. Digital marketing companies and SEO companies in India have dedicated professionals who’ll provide effective guidance to startups who may be new to the digital advertising landscape and may find the plethora of advertising options and jargon somewhat confusing.
Outsourcing Digital Marketing
There is a good case to be made for outsourcing your digital advertising and marketing effort to professional digital marketing agencies and companies in India. A good digital marketing company such as Mind Digital will have hundreds of man-years of experience in running successful digital marketing campaigns for a wide spectrum of clients — established brands who may be trying to increase consumer engagement in the digital space as well as small businesses and startups trying to introduce themselves to the digital consumer.
The benefit of digital marketing for promoting your website is that this can be highly targeted and can be accomplished on a relatively small budget.
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