The world is still facing the pandemic, and we all are still trying to adapt to the “new normal” in our lives. The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown has been both financially, and emotionally hard on people. But 2020 was by no means slower in terms of updates from the field of ONLINE MARKETING. Marketing is one of the important activities of the founder’s journey.
How much budget to allocate depends upon how quickly you can move the needle. As traction will determine your next funding amount and investors flock in to get a share of your success. The traction figures take the most weightage in the investor’s pitch. Marketing figures have high influence in your search for how to pitch your business idea.
It is convenient to say that online marketing is a viable process despite the circumstances. By 2023 there will be 5.3 billion (66% of the global population) users of the internet worldwide. In the digital world of people, business leaders must understand that to survive one must be familiar with the tactics of marketing their product. Here are a few steps by step tips to help you while marketing online.
Initial Phase of Planning
The first step to getting started with online marketing is to evaluate your marketing goals and make sure they are profitable. For the initial phase, you need to choose how to construct an online presence that helps you achieve that goal and create a corresponding marketing strategy.
Do- When you are thinking of marketing your product online you should have a clear answer to the simple question “what problem is your product or service solving for your potential customers?”. It is worth investing time in creating a buyer persona as you solve a problem they have! An important part of evaluating goals is to create a bio or buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a fictional character that represents a business’s potential customers, based on what you know about their behaviors, and customer acquisition. Developing a good bio or buyer persona results in stronger and more cost-effective online marketing.
Don’t- The common mistake in the initial stage is not creating a negative persona. A negative persona is opposite to a buyer persona. A negative persona is a representation of who unfits as your potential customer. By investing time in a negative persona you have simply saved some amount of effort and valuable time by being able to segment out the non-customers from the rest of your database of potential customers.
So, the bottom line is with the help of buyers and negative persona we see higher sales productivity.
For making sure your business can be found online the most basic step is to develop a website. A website is the center of all your marketing strategies. All online marketing activities will most likely send users to a website.
Do- You might have the best online marketing tactics but still notice fewer sales productivity because the landing page won’t convert! And this is where you need the help of professional web developers. It is just not important to develop a good website but website developers should know the latest trends of the website’s layout and designing methods.
Don’t- The website build should be of good quality, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of a quality website to the success of your overall online marketing strategy. To ensure that quality website is developed there are many other factors to work on like-
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — SEO helps make your website appear higher on a list of search engine results, you can take the help of a few website builders for SEO. SEO involves many complex steps(explained further)
- Conversion Rate — Conversion rates is defined as the rate under which the percentage of visitors becomes actual paying customers. We cannot define ‘a good conversion rate’ as a good conversion rate for you will be strictly specific to your business type and also it will always be heavily influenced by your marketing campaign.
- HTML Coding — Surprisingly search engines like GOOGLE or bing estimate the loading speed of your site based on your page’s HTML code. The basic sign of poor website quality is HTML error or sloppy coding of the website. Keywords used in title tags, description tags, and also in headings(H1, H2, etc) highly influence the relevancy of the website.
In 2020 it is difficult to imagine a reason for any business not to have a website.
One shouldn’t underestimate the importance of email marketing. As experts believe in email marketing:
“Email has an ability many channels don’t- creating valuable, personal touches – at scale” – David Newman
“Out of all of the channels I tested as a marketer, email continually outperforms most of them” – Neil Patel
Do- The first step of email marketing is building an email list. Emails just not effectively drive traffic & sales, but it also protects your business.
But the question arises here is “how to build an email list in the initial stage of marketing”
The home page has the most traffic as compared to other pages so you should make use of this traffic. Set up a homepage on a website to collect emails rather than showing your latest blog posts or any other informative detail your site offers. Another common feature is adding pop-up form filling before providing access to premium tools.
Don’t- You need to set the right balance between promotional and awareness emails. Too many special offer emails can appear as spam to your subscribers and turn potential customers away. A marketer should just not focus on the number of emails but also the quality of those emails. Adding many links to your emails can also appear as spam to many users.
The bonus tip for a marketer is he/she should keep in mind over 53% of brands spend a week producing emails that are opened on small screens like smartphones or tablets so ensure your email template is mobile-friendly.
Email marketing was, is, and will be a major part of online marketing.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is rapidly becoming one of the most significant elements of online marketing. Even in the time of the pandemic, more people are using various social media platforms regularly.
Do- Social media marketing increases your visibility to potential customers and creating profiles on various platforms is mostly free of cost. With the help of social media marketing, you can easily build brand awareness. In today’s world full of competition, social networks are one of the fastest-growing industries so it’s necessary to cope up with the latest trends.
Social media platforms ensure your business to be in trend if done efficiently. All leading businesses have adequate teams of graphic designing and content creation for social media.
Don’t- There are countless numbers of social networking sites, all of them have unique characteristics and purpose. Let’s face it, it’s 2020 and we all have a pretty superior understanding of social media so trying to avoid social media presence is not accomplishing anything positive for your business.
People are forced to stay inside so to stay connected people are making most out of social media platforms.
Do- The most effective use of display ads is “Retargeting”. Cookies help you to track whether a user has left a page without converting so later advertisers can retarget the user with display ads. But the website which a user visit is not the only factor on which display ads depend, this process also targets people based on their age, gender, interest, or location.
Don’t– Business owners shouldn’t invest all the marketing capital on display ads because it may have fewer conversion rates sometimes. Display ads are the most relevant form of target marketing but keeping in mind the conversion rates and amount of money involved in it, other marketing methods (especially at the initial phase of business) may prove to be more valuable sometimes.
Often marketers come across the terms PPC(Pay-Per-Click) and CPC(Cost-Per-Click) while setting up ad campaigns. PPC and CPC are sometimes used interchangeably but a good advertiser knows the slight difference between both.
PPC refers to any form of online marketing on social media like Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, or Microsoft ads. PPC is calculated based on the keyword used, quality scores, and a few additional factors. While CPC is defined as a data point when measuring the success of those online ads.
We may conclude that Display advertisements greatly expands the brand or business awareness around potential customers which ultimately increases the traffic of the website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
In the online marketing world, search engine optimization acts as an effective marketing strategy with the main focus to increase the business’ reach to potential customers. Types of SEO-
On-Page SEO: This strategy works by optimizing the individual web pages of your website for ranking higher on the organic search results. Factors on which on-page SEO depends are website content, HTML source code, meta tags, heading of the page, and many more. With a strong on-page SEO strategy, your company’s website will become associated with the keywords used to find your services.
It is a set of methods that are used to bring up the visibility of a website in the search engine results page. The importance of visibility is that users who search for a product or service are most likely to use one. We may conclude that on-page SEO helps your business to grow.
Off-page SEO: Basically, this strategy includes all activity outside the website. The main element to focus on off-page SEO is link-building which helps to strengthen the relationship your website has with other websites and it also includes social media related activities.
Backlinks generated by off-page optimization will bring in more and consistent traffic for a longer period of time unlike the results shown by paid advertising which generate traffic in the short term rapidly.
Technical SEO: Technical SEO involves all the technical aspects of a website like a site speed, mobile-friendliness, indexing, crawlability, site architecture, and security. If a website is just performing fine on desktop or pc but not on small screens like mobile or tablet rank of the website will gradually fall.
The thing to remember here is that there is no cost needed to spend to optimize our website. You should never underestimate the importance of SEO as it can save a huge amount of money in contrast with paid advertising.
Marketing analytics is defined as the process of analyzing, measuring, and managing your marketing efforts. The data collected from various analytic tools can help a marketer to maximize his/her effectiveness and minimize the probability of wasting marketing capital.
Do- Analysis can be hugely beneficial to any business as it can help them to understand “how their target audience thinks”. The simplest way to analyze as suggested by experts is by using the free analytical tool ‘Google Analytics’. Google Analytics just not collects data from your website but also from social media and mobile applications. The information or data collected can put a light to see where things are running smoothly and where adjustments are needed.
Don’t- Often a marketer puts major efforts in various online marketing strategies and also those efforts results in a good conversion rate but something it may cost more than what it’s giving you back in return, which is not a sustainable business strategy.
The process of analysis doesn’t require much of your time, we may even say that there is no need for browsing google analytics or any analytic tool daily. A marketer should use his/her valuable time in other marketing strategies. But if a business is running any ad campaign or social media ad campaign regular analyzing is required as you need to keep track of the progress of such campaigns.
If you have an online business presence then you need to have a way of tracking your marketing efforts.
You have to remember that all online marketing strategies mentioned above are more of a long-term strategy. Patience is the key, what you do today may not have an immediate effect on your website but eventually, your website will rank higher.
The level of competition will probably keep on increasing in the near future and the only way to remain in the trend is with your digital marketing strategy. The pandemic is probably the most crucial time to be visible digitally because other forms of traditional marketing are degrading.