How Will You Grow Your Business in 2016?

5 ways to crank up your online marketing effectiveness this year
Digital Marketing
January 29, 2016

Crusader explores different strategies to make your online presence work harder for you. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing remains the best online marketing channel because of its ROI, automation, and ability to segment lists.

Our Go Mobile article describes how the growth of mobile use has affected the way that emails are consumed; 48% of emails are now opened on a mobile, 27% are opened on a desktop, and 25% are opened within gmail or a similar webmail application.

Website opt-ins, like receiving a free guide, demo, or trial of your product/service, help build your email lists of warm leads. We call this a conversion; when someone completes a task on your website like signing up for your email newsletter. Further segmenting that list by customer preferences, demographics, and product or service helps when sending relevant and targeted messages to them. 

The importance of email marketing:

  • Email conversion rates to a sale are 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter
  • Analysts can track customer interaction with your content
  • Building high quality email lists lead to more sales
  • Prospects and customers genuinely want to her from you

Why not start building a list of warm leads, suppliers, and current customers to market to by using the highest ROI channel available to you?

Social Media

You probably have some experience with social media. Heck, maybe you’re reading this on one of Crusader’s social media channels right now! I’m talking about Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, among others.  At the core, most of us know how to use social media on a personal level, but do you know how your business can leverage the features of each platform? And should you actually spend time and money on that Pinterest, Instagram, or Foursquare account?

First, lets look at some benefits of social media marketing. It’s a fantastic way to increase brand awareness since more than 59% of Canada is active on Facebook alone. You can legitimize your brand by way of social media so people can see that you’re alive and actively engaged in your community. But, it’s a two way street; you could be on your way to delegitimizing your brand if your page lacks activity and doesn’t respond to customer inquiries. To make these platforsworth your time and money, social media channels need to contribute to your bottom line. There are many tactics you can use to create content that drive leads into your sales funnel. The ability to target potential clients by interests and demographic data allows marketers to be precise with their messaging.

The top social media platforms:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Google+
  • Pintrest
  • Instagram

Try it for yourself. Evaluate how each platform allows you to engage your target customers. Can the platform effectively:

  • Align with your business goals and overall strategy?
  • Get in touch with your target market(s)?
  • Engage your target market(s) with different types of content?
  • Allow you to respond to customer inquiries?

Social media marketing is something that every business must do well. 

SEO

In its essence, Search Engine Optimization or SEO helps you position your website in organic search results at key points in the buying or information process. The goal of SEO isn’t to cheat the system, rather it's to create a seamless user experience and communicate your intentions to the search engines so they can recommend your website to relevant searches. 

So how is relevancy determined?

  • Content: the text on the page, titles, and descriptions are all relevant
  • Performance: How fast is your site and does it work properly?
  • Authority: Quality content that links to other authoritative sites
  • User Experience: Look, usability, safety

What search engines don’t want:

  • Keyword Stuffing: overuse of keywords anywhere on the page
  • Purchased Links: paid links to other sites
  • Poor user experience: button too small, no mobile version of site, and slow load time

There are many SEO best practices that could turn this post into an ebook in no time. Check out MOZ for your own learning or contact us and let Crusader do the heavy lifting. 

Ad Campaigns

Digital advertising can be a great way, in some cases the only way, online business attract new site visitors. Before you get started here, be sure to set your goals (budget), define your target market(s), and shape your message and campaign. Now where to go? Here’s the top list of channels to choose from:

Facebook 

Once your Facebook Page is up and running, you can create Facebook Ads to reach different audiences to meet business goals. As Facebook is more than happy to point out on its Facebook Ads homepage, over 1.4 billion people globally are on Facebook, with more than 900 million visiting the site every day. With such massive audience reach, Facebook is an attractive platform for all types of businesses, although it is generally regarded as primarily a business-to-consumer focused marketing channel. Learn more about Facebook ads here.

Twitter

Reflecting a common approach taken by many leading social networks, on its Business Solutions homepage Twitter highlights four popular campaign goals for businesses interested in social advertising: build an audience, generate more traffic, leads, and sales to your website; promote your mobile app; and raise brand awareness by promoting your content. Learn more about Twitter ads here.

Google’s AdWords 

is an advertising service for businesses wanting to display ads on Google and its advertising network including some 2 million websites. The AdWords program enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only pay when people click the ads. The ad service is largely focused on keywords and can get quite competitive depending on the keyword. The average cost per click (CPC) is between $1 and $2 on the search network (the paid results when searching Google) and the average CPC on the Display Network (graphic/video ads on other websites) is under $1. Interestingly, the most expensive keywords in AdWords and Bing Ads cost $50 or more per click.

Content 

Today, customers proactively reach out to brands and businesses for help. For example: 

The answer to this customer-driven environment is content. Content marketing is the process of creating high-quality, valuable content to attract, inform, and engage an audience, while also promoting the brand itself. 

Business can benefit from a content strategy in a few ways:

  • Increased brand awareness - help answer buyer questions to problems and present a solution
  • Increased brand preference - show that you’re of as a thought leader 
  • Greater reach at a low price - over time a library of engaging content will help buyers find and use your product/service

A content strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. You probably already know who you sell to and how that buying process takes place. Keeping that in mind, choose appropriate tactics to appeal to at least two customer segments. Top used content marketing tactics include:

  • Blog Posts
  • Ebooks
  • Cheat Sheets
  • Infographics
  • Case studies
  • White Papers and Reports
  • Slide Decks

You might be sending emails, posting blog articles, and active on social media, but could you evaluate what works and what doesn’t work? What are people engaging with most? Analytics integration can go a long way when reviewing the success or failure of certain content marketing tactics. 

Hope these tactics give you some insight into improving your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2016! Contact us and let us know what you think.