What does online marketing mean to you and your team?
Is it direct outreach, an email list with all your best and potentially best customers, ads on social media, and general social media marketing on top of that? Is it everything to do with how you funnel potential customers to your site, creating a unified brand to work with and convert customers? Is it a slippery, ever-changing algorithm of strategies and options?
There is an argument to be made for any (or all) of the above. Yet regardless of how you come at the concept, the ultimate truth is that it is necessary to expand your business and get more views for your site. If you do not have a plan, you need to get started on one. If you do, you need to devote your best efforts and resources to it. As for why – keep on reading below:
You Cannot Expect People to Find Your Site Just Via Natural Traffic
Creating good content and setting up for natural traffic to your site is as vital as ever, but it alone might not be enough anymore, especially in more competitive industries and niches where every site and company are doing everything they can to get to the top of the search rankings. How is your site going to beat SEO teams of larger corporations that have literally dozens of people thinking about SEO and related optimisation? The answer is to dedicate to online marketing efforts.
And while you can expect these same competitors to also be doing online marketing, focusing on a niche and focusing on your audience when it comes to marketing is where you can break through and your site can find success. Online marketing often revolves around such specificity, and the usage of data makes it easier than ever.
You Need to Stay in People’s Feeds
Unless you have a site that is only referenced on occasion and relies mostly on previous clients for your business, you are going to need a general influx of new customers, new eyeballs, and new sales to keep things going as well as you would like them to. But once you captured their attention the first time, they might not be ready to buy yet or you may have a product or service that people want to come back to again and again. This is where the importance of staying in people’s feeds comes in.
To do so, online marketing via social media accounts, email newsletters, and offers are key, as are programs and offers that incentivise customers to keep in touch (rewards programs and exclusive deals via email are common and effective measures for this).
Good design goes a long way here and is one of the most important things for getting people to sign up in the first place. You want to funnel them towards signing up without being so annoying or in-your-face about it that they instantly tune out any future messages or even leave your site entirely. Make it their decision, put out a good impression first, and you will find greater long-term success in maintaining a good customer base through online marketing.
Online Marketing Leads to Online Sales
It may seem like a near-tautology from the heading above, but if you want more online sales, you are going to need more online marketing and provide pathways to easy purchase. During this pandemic, more people are looking to online shopping, and even if you are reading this as a business owner who has succeeded with traditional retail (and has a dedicated customer base there), you are likely seeing the trends move forward already. It’s effectively moving the suspected future timeline of online retail and dramatically speeding it up.
And while your online marketing efforts and your ideal strategy will be unique to your business, your goal will be a common one: how can I increase online sales? It will be far more efficient than using online marketing to drive people into your stores, and that strategy (if at all possible to implement) will reduce the potential time people have to have a change of heart.
Remember that the Customer Experience is Part of Marketing
Yet while marketing is extremely important, you should not forget that it is part of a greater system. Just because someone is on your website does not in the least mean that you have to stop marketing to them. How many times have you been on a site then quickly bounced off, finding yourself disinterested in the content or features or frustrated with the design? Probably far more than you could possibly count.
Do not let your site be the perfect example of this behaviour, and make sure this is the case through good design. While we cannot give exact tips here (they would be too general to be especially useful, and professional design is only a click away), good design ultimately directs the customer towards what they want and what you want, emphasises key ideas and the right products for them, and makes every step of the buying process easy and frictionless.
And similarly, to the customer experience on a visual and functional level, there is also the matter of making your web hosting work for you as well. A bad technical experience cannot always be avoided (you cannot fix a customer’s bad internet connection), but good hosting will make a difference and can keep customers on your page through reduced loading times, among other benefits.
Mobile Is King
More people than ever are buying their products and services and reading content through smartphones and mobile devices than ever, and more than half of e-commerce traffic is through a mobile device. And even if there is a bit of a lag from traffic to sales overall, you need a mobile presence, mobile-focused marketing efforts, and mobile design that keeps up.
Whatever efforts you are making in redesigning your site and improving the experience for the customer, you better make sure that you are dedicating the same effort (if not more) to your mobile design and marketing efforts as well. Mobile users are likely to have a lower attention span when it comes to what you have to offer. As it is for many things online, you will want to put convenience and ease-of-use at the top of your list. Your efforts do not need to create fireworks, but they do need to leave a pleasant (or at least neutral) impression.
What your exact marketing plan and site design are will naturally differ depending on the nature of your site and business and your primary goals for the time being, but that doesn’t mean that you should sit and do nothing while competitors outpace in terms of site design, online marketing tactics, and more. Whether you are just starting out or have run your website for years, you can start putting more energy and resources into your online marketing campaign and website experience today.