Setting a goal is the first step; planning on how to achieve it, the next one and finally working upon the plan makes you get closer to your goal. This goes well for all sorts of organizations.
A company even needs to plan actions to achieve its marketing goals. And this plan is called a digital marketing strategy when the company decides to reach out to the audiences via online channels like social media or search.
The impact of the Internet and technology is not hidden from any of us. So, now it’s not the time when only traditional marketing strategies like billboards and newspapers will be enough. Developing a digital marketing strategy will help you expand your opportunities and achieve your marketing objectives.
Thus, in an era where 27.6% of the purchases are made online, the leap from advertising over billboards to advertising over social media platforms has become mandatory.
Moreover, without a proper digital marketing strategy, companies may not be able to allocate resources well. A strategy gives you an overview of the steps that you will be following for executing a marketing activity.
How do digital marketing strategies work?
Out of 7.83 billion people in the world, 4.66 billion are active internet users. Since most people spend a huge time online, it would be easier for you to target potential buyers through digital channels. Thus, the need for digital marketing has grown more than ever.
After having read about the importance of digital marketing, you must be curious to know – how do digital marketing strategies actually work?
Well, the digital marketing strategies work for all businesses in a similar kind of manner. They find out about the audiences’ needs and create online content for them as per their preferences. And in the process, businesses generate sales, leads and gain customer loyalty. Let’s read in detail about it:
- The digital marketing strategies allow you to target a specific audience segment by keeping track of the users’ online activities and demographics. The data can then be used to offer the products or services that the users prefer. For example, while scrolling over a social media platform, if a user clicks on a brand’s display ad, the brand can then target the visitor with related ads.
- Generating leads is one of the important aims of marketing. If you rely only on the traditional methods of marketing, you may not be able to generate enough leads. While digital marketing strategies let you develop and nurture leads in a systematic manner. For instance, when a user visits a website, the strategy can be built to ask his/her details like email id. Later on, this lead can be nurtured with relatable mails.
- Digital marketing platforms make it easy for you to optimize your advertisements as you can track your advertisement’s performance.
- The strategies help you track the entire buying journey of the customers so that if they get stuck at any stage, you can solve their issues and impact their purchase decision.
Top Digital Marketing Strategies to look at
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is basically the process of improving the visibility of your site for related searches. Nearly, 75% of people are not likely to scroll past the first page of the Google search results. So, it’s important for your site to rank high on the search results so as to attract visitors.
Search engines like Google and Bing collect pages from various sites using bots aka crawlers. The collected pages are then analyzed by algorithms based on numerous ranking factors. Some of the factors are keyword research, web design, UI/UX, content quality, site speed, etc. After the analysis, the ranking of the pages is decided.
To implement an effective SEO strategy, here are a few steps that you must follow:
- Keywords are important factors that affect search engine optimization. So, the first step of the strategy is to conduct keyword research. You can do this by typing a keyword into Google’s search field and it will provide you with a list of suggestions. You can also make use of tools like SEMrush or Ubersuggest to gather keywords.
- Using the keywords, you can create better or different content for marketing. To strengthen your content, you can add hooks like backlinks or Ultimate Guides to your content. And most specifically, your content must match the search intent.
- After preparing the content, you can further build links to it. You can check the backlinks of your competitor’s site and find pages where adding your link would make sense.
SEO services can benefit almost all types of industries and businesses as it offers high ROI and long term benefits.
- American Egg Board, a United States checkoff marketing organization was developed to connect America’s egg farmers with potential consumers. It relied on organic traffic to communicate the demand for egg consumption. Year after year, the organic visibility of the site decreased. So, the organization started working on its SEO strategy. The site’s UX was enhanced; the content was prepared using short-tail, medium-tail, and long-tail keywords; and the user’s intent was focused. And finally, the organization promoted the content on social media. This led to an increase of 87% in mobile traffic and 22% in website traffic.
- Belden Brick, an American manufacturer, and distributor of brick and masonry-related construction products and materials had many web pages. So, it got difficult for the company to update its existing website. This led to a decrease in the number of leads. The company then redesigned its entire website with the help of backend developers who cleaned up formatted content, HTML, and CSS codes. Within a year, the company recorded an increase of 85% in conversion rate.
General tips for SEO marketing
- Keep updating your site with quality content
- Focus on the UX and interface of the site
- Focus on the user intent
- Add visual content with custom images, graphics & illustrations
- Manage the page speed and page experience issues
- To avoid keyword cannibalization, combine the content of multiple pages into one piece
- Optimize the content after considering the analytics
2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing
PPC Marketing is a form of online advertising where marketers pay a fee to the host of the platform every time a user clicks on their ad.
With a PPC marketing strategy, your ad pops up whenever the user’s search includes your keyword (that you did bid for). This way the ad shows up on the top of the search engine results page and you pay only when the user clicks on the ad. This is how sales and leads are generated.
To begin a successful PPC campaign, you need to start with researching the keywords. You can use tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner to collect keywords. You need to then structure and organize the keywords. After finalizing the keywords, you need to then develop an attractive ad. You can enhance the ads using app extensions, review extensions, location extensions, or call extensions. And finally, the users clicking on the ad must land on pages that are most relevant to their intent and interest.
Industries offering training programs or service providers can make use of PPC marketing strategy. Others who often gain lifetime clients (such as lawyers or doctors) can also choose to invest in a good PPC strategy.
- Specializing in auto parts, the Van Demon company enlisted the help of Click Consult – a marketing company to help with their PPC strategy. Click Consult worked on implementing a Google shopping strategy that focuses on increasing sales and conversions while running PPC audits and competitor analysis for the same. The final result was a 512% increase in conversions and a 59.4% increase in ROI.
- The Truprint company specialized in online prints and personalized gifts. Truprint worked on their PPC strategy by developing their existing campaign and launching a new dynamic remarketing campaign alongside it. They distributed the PPC budget by analysing competitors and distributing it across multiple channels and sources. The result was a 355.35% increase in their ROI.
General tips for PPC marketing
- Set a definite goal to better compare your campaigns.
- Optimize the PPC campaign using top-performing keywords and adjust the keyword bid by analyzing your competitors and overall global volume.
- Filter out the keywords that are not performing well by performing site audits at regular intervals.
- Use negative keywords
- Create creative and distinctive ads and use the appropriate tools for them.
- Make relevant landing pages to increase quality score, clickthrough rate, and conversions.
3. Content Marketing (Blogging & Article Writing)
Content Marketing refers to the process of promoting your products or services via online content that includes videos, text, posts, graphics and more. It is generally a passive marketing method that does not directly advertise the product. Rather, it aims to educate and generate interest in the product.
The term Content marketing extends to a variety of items. It includes everything from e-magazines to webinars, blogs to videos, podcasts to social media posts, infographics and more. In fact, it is an umbrella term that includes many other strategies shared in the article such as podcasting. However, here, we are focusing exclusively on content marketing related to blogging and article writing.
Article writing and blogging generally use a blog or content management system added to a website to garner traffic via strategically used keyword clusters. Blogs work on the principle of SEO to increase site traffic by capitalizing on trending topics, using the right keywords, length, and backlinks to add authority and trust to the website. The result is a better domain and page authority and higher chances to rank for the exact blog page and the original domain.
However, content marketing strategy is more than just putting forth an army of content. You must understand that the aim here is to generate users’ interest enough to organically attract users and make them take the next step in the sales funnel. This means, providing real value to the customer is of utmost priority..
According to a 2016 survey, technology-based companies engaged in content marketing the most with 26% of them having engaged with it. Advertising and manufacturing companies came next. Engineering and pharmaceutical companies remained on the lower rungs.
- OptinMonster started out as a lead generation tool. However, they built trust in the market by offering a blog that listed free tips and conversion secrets. It then expanded to include everything related to digital marketing. Today, their user base has grown to include 300,000 people.
- Ahrefs, a well known SEO toolset actually deleted posts to increase their traffic! Ahrefs has its own blog that features hundreds of posts. However, their team noticed many posts that received no visitors. After an audit, they chose to delete 266 posts which actually improved their Google ranking and increased their traffic by 86% in a matter of 3 months!
General tips for content marketing
- Always perform extensive research on trending topics. You have to write on what others want to know rather than what you want to share.
- View your content as a part of a strategy. You must engage the audience and make sure that there are enough CTAs to pull them into the funnel.
- Always repurpose or update old content.
- Find a niche and stick to it.
4. Downloadable Content Offerings (eBooks, Whitepapers, Webinars)
Creating a blog is a common way to depict your content and be authoritative. But the blog needs to rest over a stable base. Your blog may be generating good leads but you have a chance to take it a step further by including downloadable content like eBooks, whitepapers, or webinars.
So, for developing downloadable content, you need to first define your topic. You must focus on the topics not covered by your competitors. The next focus must be on developing strong content. You can enhance the content by adding graphics using Canva or adding infographics using Piktochart. Then, once the content is ready, you need to create a relevant landing page for the content, and finally promote the content.
Industries that provide training programs or courses can greatly benefit from this strategy. Many college websites offer free short brochures and books related to their courses.
- The “Game of Thrones” created a huge buzz online when it was made. Lawrence of Morocco offers tailor-made holidays, taking advantage of the situation as much of the series was filmed in Morocco. They created related content linking back to their product offering. This way they were successful in generating huge traffic to their website. They could pull out the strategies as they used infographic-style maps to depict the real-life location where this show was filmed. It resulted in an increase of 11,000 visitors to the website within two weeks.
- A startup named College Raptor had absolutely no organic traffic when it began but it went up to 100k visitors per month within a year with the help of full-stack content marketing. They created a strong piece of content using publicly available data. They picked up several blog sites which helped them develop high-quality backlinks. This improved their website’s ranking and search visibility.
General tips for downloadable content offerings
- Publish the best of your content
- Develop the content after analyzing the data and analytics
- Keep updating your content from time to time if needed
- Try to build content that covers topics that your competitors aren’t
- Back up your content with data wherever necessary
- Add graphics to make the content appealing
- Create relevant landing pages
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing is the process of sending commercial messages through emails to prospects and targeted customers. It’s a powerful digital marketing technique. It includes developing and promoting emails, testing, and maintaining them. It can be used to increase sales and deliver important information.
The email marketing software and automation tools make it easier to manage the process of sending and monitoring email campaigns. It helps you track email open rate, bounce rate, click rate and other important metrics. People want to stay informed and updated about your brand, and email is one of the best ways to stay connected with the audience.
Email marketing involves the process of developing promotional emails and optimizing them. The email marketing campaign demands setting up a goal so that you can customize and reach out to your audience. Crafting convincing email content generates or builds your brand and broadens the audience.
- Everyone has heard of Dropbox, the popular online storage service designed to reduce busywork. The company focussed on improving the design and creative outlook of its website. Their email marketing strategy has helped them to create a $10 billion empire. They did bend the traditional rules of email marketing and rather focussed on building a user experience through the principles of design. Thus leading to the growth of the company and its brand name.
- An example of a technology-based industry using email marketing is Ambition. A cloud-based business intelligence software, Ambition offers sales coding and gamification software. They ran an efficient email marketing campaign over six weeks, with targeted sales and cold emailed 578 prospects. They focused on the strategy of follow-up emails. They followed up constantly with the prospects that they managed to divide the time interval between each email by at least a week. The regular engagement with the audience helped accelerate their success.
General tips for Email Marketing
- There are various email platforms to choose from. A company must make its choice depending on the type of functionality of its business. Email marketing service plays a vital role in defining the reach of your business.
- Regular engagement with the customers should be a priority. The content must be updated at regular intervals of time to keep its audience informed.
- The email crafting skills are essential for a company or a brand as it provides the customers with the overall functionality of the company.
- Hiring a professional digital marketing agency to take care of all the email marketing needs is quintessential. The sole focus of the company must be in providing and generating an environment for its customers wherein their demands are considered.
6. Social Media Marketing
As the name suggests, Social Media Marketing uses social media to connect with customers. Businesses today maintain an account on a variety of platforms to keep with the target pool and educate themselves about newer trends. Even Police stations have their own accounts, though this is more to do with updating information than garnering attention.
Many brands effectively use different holidays and occasions to send out personalized posts and blogs that can attract customers. Just like your brand name and reports, a social media channel also has a voice. Some brands may market themselves as relatable to millennials, while others might focus on the older generation and target their soft spots. Influencers are also a rising trend.
Celebrities and known personalities alike take commissions for posting about services and products. But more than maintaining a strategy, you need to use the right tools to analyze the trends as well. Tools like Buffer have made it easy to schedule bulk posts, analyze top trends, keep track of user engagement times, and more.
The top industries that have benefited the most from Social Media Marketing are the entertainment industry, fitness and healthcare, retail goods, and teen product manufacturers.
- In 2013, Mercedes launched a campaign where they contacted 5 top influencers to make a video for Instagram with one of their cars. Whoever got the most likes won the contest and would receive the car as a gift. As a result, Mercedes received a total of 87,000,000 organic impressions!
- A popular trend now is to float hashtags. Dove capitalised on this with the #SpeakBeautiful campaign. According to their survey, 80% of women came across negative body-related images and words, and the campaign aimed to improve their social media experience and spread positivity. The campaign got them 800 million organic impressions.
General tips for Social Media Marketing
- Strategies must be specific for the social platform they are aimed at. An Instagram-based advert may not work well on LinkedIn.
- The most important thing is to analyze the results and user opinions! This determines the success of the campaign and may pave way for future campaigns as well. Many companies have extended camping or launched part two for successful campaigns.
- A/B Testing is an important step before floating any campaign.
- Social media is a way for users to interact with the brand directly. Hence, replying and engaging with the retweets and reposts is important to keep the content flowing.
- Most social media algorithms favor consistent sites. Otherwise, you might have to resort to paid ads.
7. Link Building/Earning
Google uses backlinks to determine the trustworthiness of a site. Sites with a higher number of quality backlinks are favored more by Google. Link Building is a process aimed at increasing the assurance rating of a site by making it trustworthy enough to be used by journalists and researchers as a backlink.
However, you must understand that Link Earning is not an active digital marketing strategy. It is more of a need and necessity for any website, just like being trustworthy, featuring truthful information, and having good navigation and graphics.
Link building, on the other hand, is an active strategy. It aims to get good testimonials, build business relationships, and actively engage people so that they use their website as a backlink. An easy way would be to feature something that is easily shareable on other sites like job listings, statistical information, infographics, data, and content worth sharing. Another way is to leave comments, community participation, and link your site in a non-spammy way.
Generally, it takes a long time to gain that amount of trust in the digital workspace. Link building and earning should be a strategy carried side-by-side with other strategies. Hence, it must be implemented across all industries.
- Andrew Dennis, a columnist, ran a trial link-building campaign for Search Engine Land. He used two primary tactics. The first was to offer interviews, announce partnerships, business announcements, charity events, and the like. The second was competitor analysis to build similar links. Based on their strategies, he started a directory as well. After a period of three months, he noted a 146% increase in the site’s Google ran 868% increase in its organic traffic!
- Ahrefs tried the Skyscraper technique to build their backlink database. They used their own keyword explorer to find a topic and looked up link prospects for it. From this, they created a statistics page and sent out outreach emails asking users to look up the article. On the whole, they achieved an 8.7% conversion rate.
General tips for Link Building/Earning
- The simplest method is to simply ask for links and offer backlinks in exchange. With this, you must keep in mind to contact like-minded websites that actually add value to your site.
- Look for the places your competitors acquired backlinks by using tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs etc., and start outreaching. Make sure not to spam or bombard publishers and owners with crap emails.
- Use a backlink analysis tool to keep a track of any negative links that are affecting your score and try to get rid of them.
- Never buy backlinks! Google states that this is a breach of their policy.
- Start a blog and provide share-worthy information.
8. Marketing Automation
Repetitive tasks are the bane of any employee’s existence. Not only do they cut into precious time, but they are extremely mundane as well. This is where Marketing Automation comes in. Marketing Automation is a way of using AI and other technology to reach out to the customers and nurture leads – all with minimal human intervention!
Marketing Automation uses a variety of techniques like sending out trigger-based emails, carrying out drip campaigns, sending personalized messages on Twitter, Facebook, etc. and so on. They help to increase the ROI while reducing employee intervention. You can simply set up these campaigns and wait for the results to roll in. Employees can intervene at the relevant stages. At other times, it is simply a matter of monitoring the process.
There are various tools like Marketo, HubSpot that allow businesses to streamline their process. Marketing Automation can be both B2C or B2B. It includes everything from surveys and feedback forms to welcome messages and cart abandonment reminders. Marketing Automation is mainly used by B2C industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and real estate.
- SmartBear Software implemented email campaigns followed by lead nurturing onto their system. They attended webinars and worked on a case-by-case strategy. The result was a 200% increase in the number of leads!
- Crain’s Business Insurance, as a trade publication company, faced challenges with the decline of print media. They used marketing automation to revamp their database, transferred to an online platform, and engaged in content creation. They saw a 43% increase in the number of subscribers for their newsletter.
General tips for marketing automation
- Since Marketing Automation relies on a tool, it is important to select one that best suits your business and offers a customized template for it.
- Spend time trying to understand your clients and developing the best strategy for it. Marketing Automation relies on two things – content and strategy.
- Marketing Automation is a relatively new field and hence, many people might need some training. Do not shy away from this. Most tool developers offer webinars.
- Use methods like Agile to help with data processing.
- Work on customer personas, develop a list based on engagement, and segment contacts for the best results.
9. Lead Nurture Strategy
Simply achieving a lead or a potential customer is not enough. You need to make sure the lead remains onboarded and actually uses the service for a long time. Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with a lead-based sales funnel. This is done by offering them value from their association with the service.
Based on a Marketo survey, over 50% of leads are not actually ready to commit to the service and 80% will actually never make a purchase! Hence, Lead nurturing is important to get a higher conversion rate and to hold onto customers. Lead nurturing is generally done as a part of marketing automation, using the same tool.
The common strategies used involve making customers aware of our services, sending personalized emails at strategic times, following up in case of possible sales opportunities, and boosting engagement by targeting them on multiple social platforms. Lead nurturing is not an individual strategy. It works in conjunction with social media strategies, email marketing, and marketing automation. Some platforms used are LeadBoxer, HubSpot, and Unbound.
- Introduced in the 1920s, Airstream is a US-based company that sells RVs. They created an email survey that offered information about their products and helped users select a customized product based on a quiz. This was known as the Airstream Match. The result? A 78% increase in the number of leads!
- Centrics IT shifted from a manually sorted to an automated system of lead nurturing with the help of a marketing automation tool. They saw a 59% increase in the number of leads.
General tips for Lead Nurture Strategy
- Always target users on multiple channels.
- Create customer personas and target people with personalized content.
- There are 10 different stages from the point when a customer comes in contact with a company to when they finally make a purchase. This means, there are 10 possible targeting stages and also 10 possible customer dropout points. You must follow up in a timely manner at each stage.
- Use lead scoring to find the value of leads sourced from different platforms and follow up based on level of importance.
10. Public Relations (PR)
Digitally maintaining public relations is a bit different from keeping them offline, though both have the same goal – to increase the awareness related to the site. A digital PR strategy can work in many ways. One way is to get high-quality shareable content by setting up interviews and business broadcasts. PRs can look for collaborations with journalists, influencers, bloggers, or eminent personalities.
PRs can also space out to other forms of digital coverage like signing the brand up for featuring in a YouTube video. PRs can help with building a positive brand image. It manages the launch of campaigns and awareness programs, including but not limited to curating the emails and posts to align with a particular campaign.
The main aim of digital PR is to make the website trustworthy enough to be subject to high-quality backlinks. Most often, this comes in the form of high-quality content or specific and unique content. Digital PRs must collaborate closely with the marketing team. All types of industries can benefit from a controlled online image.
- Part of the United Methodist Church in Edmond, One Church was an extension that wanted a brand revamp. They contacted a digital PR agency that worked with them to create a complete online presence ranging from a logo design to hosting interactive sessions. Since then, One Church membership has grown until they were able to launch their own campus worship service.
- Spread across 18 countries, The Alternative Board offers business advice to SMBs. TAB contacted a digital PR agency to help with their brand image. The agency worked on signing them up for executive interviews, created polls, leadership surveys, and so on. The result was a total of 173 media placements on platforms like the Huffington Post.
General tips for Public Relations
- Collaborate with well-rated journalists and networks to gain trust and improve backlinks. Interviews often provide unique and shareable content.
- Digital PRs can focus on a blog that constantly updates with newsworthy pieces.
- Provide interesting insights in the form of infographics, previously unknown statistics that people might link and share.
- Collaborating with influencers and making sure that the brand appears on pages that have their target customers.
Podcasts and videos are taking over written content as marketing strategies. And why not? More people are open to listening to a podcast while performing other tasks than devoting the time singularly to reading articles. Podcasts are on-demand audio recordings that are posted on channels like Spotify or Apple Music. They can also be posted on the brand’s own website though offering multi-channel options is always better.
Podcasts help a brand to understand exactly how many people are interested and also gauge interest across the duration by focusing on the topics discussed. Podcasts are special in that, you only reach your target customer! When working with other platforms, it is the platform’s target segment that you are working with.
However, podcasts irrespective of the platform are only heard by those interested in them. A gardening podcast will only garner gardening enthusiasts, and thus each listener is a viable lead. Podcasts can discuss general topics, host interviews, reiterate blog content, and more.
However, they are generally high budget campaigns and not suitable for all types of industries. A paint company might hardly be able to find interesting and engaging topics to engage clients on. However, podcasts can also branch out to other topics, based on the campaign. For example, a beauty company may run a series of podcasts inviting celebrities to talk about their beauty secrets. Currently, tech companies are vying to enter the podcast industry.
- Headquartered in Minneapolis General Mills is a well-known consumer food brand. They hired an experienced podcaster to create “A Taste of General Mills” – a podcast that offered interviews and insights into the General Mills industry. It was available on the General Mills page and was successful enough to warrant multiple seasons.
General tips for Podcast Marketing
- Podcasts are niche marketing items and must be promoted extensively.
- Topic selection and hosts can make or break a podcast. Make sure your topic is something that your target segment will actually be interested in.
- Make it easy for everyone to follow through by transcribing it and also putting it up on YouTube.
- Instead of starting your own, you may test the waters by having an episode of collaboration with an established podcaster.
- There is a rule: you must try to release at least 3 episodes on the first day. Users must be able to sample different ideas.
- Make podcasts listen-worthy by including secret tips, contests, and giveaways.
12. Media Relations/Media Buying
With most social media platforms encouraging businesses to opt for paid adverts, it is difficult to promote oneself without shelling some cash. Media buying refers to the process of strategic placements of adverts by buying ad packages.
Media buying is a culmination of various stages, which decide where and what the agency should invest in. It involves a study in SEO, PPC, Social media ads, print ads, partnerships, and more. It is a five-stage process that begins with the identification of the target customers. This is followed by understanding their interests, finding platforms they are most active in, delivering a motive, and finally investing in the ad placement package.
Even after this, multiple ads and campaigns may be needed to carry out to find the most opportune spaces. Offline, media buying can occur in other places like billboards, print media, airports, malls, etc. Online, you can focus on radio stations, mobile apps, social platforms, OTT video networks, and televisions. Any industry can engage in media buying. Even top brands like Disney, Coca-Cola, Walmart work on this principle.
- Panda Express targeted their users using television ads, radio ads, and print media. They hosted bonus tv schedules, pay-to-enter contests, and sponsored reports. In a span of just 5 years, their client locations increased from 400 to 850 places.
General tips for Media Relations/Media Buying
- The biggest thing that plagues a media buying campaign is the cost. The wrong investment can result in a huge loss, hence invest enough time on the research stage to find the proper channels. Monetizing the right channels based on volume, CTR and difficulty can be a trial and error process.
- Focus on different devices and find the targeted traffic for each. The people who use certain mobile apps may not watch OTT platforms. Similarly, mobile and desktop traffic also represent different segments.
- Always perform a competitor analysis!
13. Customer Reviews
Reviews are a by-product of any service or product that is vital to its growth. However, only 28% of customers have been known to engage in writing a review! Those motivated to write reviews are either doing so for a perfect product or listing complaints. But here’s the catch – positive reviews can be converted into a channel of marketing as well!
Reviews are the most engagement a potential buyer has with a product online. Many rely on reviews to give them detailed information. One way to promote these is to maintain a positive presence on top reviews. Did someone leave a negative review? Make sure you reply with an apology and a plan for the future. This makes the reader aware that the company is trying to improve and cares about its customers.
Moreover, reviews should be transparent. Reviews that are not posted immediately give the customer an impression of possible censorship. Reviews can also be displayed as testimonials on your site home page! It is important to make the process of reviewing short and sweet.
Some industries are more affected than others by reviews. Restaurants, healthcare, retail, and banking industries are the ones where reviews hold much value. Local businesses also depend heavily on review and word-of-mouth marketing.
- Businesses with reviews marketed on 4 different sites claim that they saw a 58% rise in revenue. Moreover, on replying to these reviews at least one out of four times, they saw a 35% average increase in revenue.
- According to Spiegel, the likelihood of purchase increases when the review is credit instead of being anonymous. The difference is as much as 15%.
General tips for Reviews Marketing
- Follow up with buyers after a few days to ask for a review. Many websites encourage this by offering rewards for reviews.
- Share positive reviews on social media while acknowledging the person.
- Maintain a presence in the review section and reply to all reviews, both positive and negative.
- Create a simple reviewing process, while endorsing transparency.
- Make reviews more engaging by using extensions that allow users to upload images, videos etc.
14. Native Ads
No one likes scrolling through a feed and seeing a sudden and unrelated ad. Though pop-up ads are a standard for many websites, whether users actually like being taken away from their content is debatable. That’s where native advertising comes in! Native Ads are ads that are so cohesive with the chosen platform that they merge in.
Here, the focus is more on the type of content than the matter. Hence, a video showing the features of a vacuum cleaner may not be so out of place on a Youtube channel discussing home electronics. An editorial that shows product catalogs may fit right into the catalog section of Issuu. Moreover, placement is just as important for the transition to not be noticeable.
Native ads are sponsored, however, they do not stand out. Most social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram also try to show ads in between stories and posts in a native manner such that it blends in. However, for truly Native Ads one might have to expand to other platforms that offer better opportunities.
Brands from virtually every industry use native ads. Some good examples are Netflix, The Washington Post and all NFL teams.
- Digital Marketer worked on targeting ads for Facebook and creating landing pages to get in leads. Using exclusively feed-based ads, they increased their ROI by 801%.
- BuzzFeed was one of the earliest brands to use an algorithm to deliver personalized content to users. They used a similar algorithm to display paid ads on their website. Today, they are one of the largest viral content platforms.
General tips for Native Ads
- Make sure the advertising copy is similar to other content on the platform.
- Find the right platform and section to blend in. Other ways would include finding the right kind of influencer to collaborate with.
- Always include a CTA! While not immediately noticeable, the CTA will distinguish it from a regular post and cause people to follow it.
- The entire purpose of native ads is to prevent ad fatigue and not disrupt the user’s workflow. Be mindful of this.
15. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing refers to a form of marketing where the affiliate marketer is rewarded on the basis of sales or leads generated through the unique affiliate link . The reward can be a one-time or recurring commission basis. Many stand-alone people practice affiliate marketing where they find the best products that are in vogue and set up affiliate links within content like product reviews.
Affiliate marketing works since it engages other sources to market the product and thus, results in building trust. The work process is similar to that of building backlinks. If a trusted affiliate who has good readers or subscribers base reviews and writes a positive crit about your product, it automatically increases the trust around your product, resulting in sales and leads.
You can launch an affiliate program through Shareasale or other tool, set up the creatives & attractive commission payout structure, and Voila!
- The Wire Cutter, a website that reviews electronic gadgets had a total cash inflow of around $30,000,000 in 2016. The company has grown from posting simple reviews to performing honest and in-depth tests and reviews. They are transparent about their money-making policy which sources from Amazon’s Associate program and other retailer links.
- Snapsort offers comparisons between camera specs. As of now, they earn from Amazon links from top brands like Canon and Nikon.
General tips for Affiliate Marketing
- The main crux of Affiliate Marketing is good content. You have to offer honest and insightful work that will propel people to buy the item from the link!
- Choosing the right kind of products and services to advertise is also important. There are some products that do well with comparisons and offer scope for in-depth reviews.
- Customize affiliate links for different geo-locations. If you are working on a worldwide page, then US links should go to the US store and Australian links to the Australian store.
Digital marketing is a wide niche and the strategies often depend on one another. A PR strategy is nothing if not implemented alongside a social media campaign. And a social media campaign may fall flat if not accompanied by lead nurturing.
Not every strategy is suitable for every business! The scope of growth, ROI, and amount of investment needed in each are different. Some like podcast marketing are suited to companies that sell products with interesting assembly lines, whereas others like marketing automation may benefit services companies.
Having said that, SEO is one such strategy that encompasses multiple avenues and is beneficial for all types of business. Unlike some methods like review marketing and media buying, SEO focuses on building organic traffic and is thus, the most likely to bring invaluable and long-term customers.