Optimizing the Online Marketing Mix
In the marketing world, they say that the only way to maximize sales is to broadcast your goods or services to as many people as possible, and this can be done through many different avenues. For the longest time, this was traditionally done through the radio, print, and on the air through television commercials (DeMers, 2017). Nowadays, the most common method to market is online. With roughly seven (7) billion devices connected to the internet, this staggering number is only expected to grow at an annual rate of roughly 10% percent, year over year (Lueth, 2018). Hence, the stage to showcase a firm’s offerings has never been bigger than it is now. But with so many different ways to market online, what are among the best methods? In this blog, we’ll review three (3) outlets that will help you get the best bang for your web-based marketing buck and maximize your returns on those investments.
The Foundation of Digital Marketing: Being Creative, Focused, & Consistent
Unlike traditional media outlets aforementioned, digital marketing is, in a way, its own type of marketing. The complexity of the marketplace online is significantly different than radio, television, or print advertising. Why is that? One needs to consider the types of devices that could display promotional material digitally. Early on, this was desktops and laptops. However, as the second date of the 21st century rolled around, this expanded heavily into cellular telephones, tablet devices, wearables, vehicles, and now even appliances. Couple this with the fact that recent research has claimed that the average attention span has shrunk from 12 seconds in 2000, to just eight (8) today (Ainsworth, 2018). In essence, the timespan to pass a message on is less than what a goldfish can maintain!
To stick out from the rest of the crowd, businesses need to think well outside of the box, so that the message they convey gets straight to the point in as little time as possible. Keeping it as simple as possible, start with the product or service that is most likely to generate the best return on marketing investments (ROMI) or the one that has the potential of doing the same. Once that has been decided and the outlet chosen, keep the message consistent and clear. Over time, expanding to other outlets can broadcast the consistent message over multiple channels at the same time. Similar to putting an ad in the newspaper, playing a radio commercial, and a television commercial at the same time, the reach exponentially grows as new outlets are used to showcase the firm’s offerings (Sean, 2018).
Online Marketing Outlets to Maximize Customer Impacts
If a business owner were to research how many ways one can market their business, there would be hundreds of ways to do it. Realistically, it boils down into three (3) categories: search engine optimization, search engine paid advertising, and social media marketing campaigns. Though one could go into an hour-long lecture of each of these three (3) different ways to market online, we’re going to provide the highlights of each below. As with any marketing campaign, it is always up to the owner to choose what is best. Some or all of these may be magic potion for business success…or not.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When talking to marketing firms, business owners tend to get a little confused when they hear about SEO marketing. What is it exactly? This is a tool designed to provide increased search engine visibility for businesses and persons alike to drive traffic to their website. In itself, it is a science that combines logic, creative wordsmithing, and a little bit of luck. With Google comprising of 80% of all search engine searches, it is important to get it right the first time. Within a website, the title of the site itself; its pages, the content within them, and metadata (tags that search engines use to match a query for a good or a service), these elements help rank and file results when someone searches for it. For example, if one is a pizza shop and they offer triangle pizzas, using general terms like ‘pizza’ won’t get them very far. However, if they use the term ‘triangle pizza,’ that will stand out like a sore thumb (in a good way). While it is up to one to determine how many keywords and phrases to use, don’t overdo it because keyword cannibalization can result. Compared to the other methods provided, this one is the most difficult one to perfect. But over time, and through in-depth analysis, one can easily see what works and what doesn’t (Moz, 2018).
Search Engine Paid Advertising
The second way to get the word out to others is to commit to a traditional form of advertising done online – paid ads. The most common form of paid advertising online is through search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. One can create an advertisement within their defined budget, then get charged a certain price each time someone clicks on their ad. These advertisements tend to go to a landing page (e.g. a store entrance or a window display) or the site directly. From there, the customers can wander through the site and see for themselves just what that company has to offer. If they choose to make a purchase, that provides validation that the advertisement was successful (Burke, 2018). It should be known that this type of advertising should be easier than embedding keywords within a website. It is also likely one of the most saturated places online to try to advertise (Dod, 2016).
Social Media Platform Advertising
Likely to become the fastest-growing market for businesses getting their message across is applying the use of social media platforms throughout your marketing strategy. Most people think that this is simply Facebook and Twitter. In fact, it is far more than just that. Others such as Reddit, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest fall under this umbrella too. Combined, all of these platforms have billions of users in total and many millions online at the same time. Case in point, “81% of Americans had a social media profile!” (Sean, 2018).
The kicker with social media advertising is to start small and gradually add more once the existing load is comfortable to handle. These loads can also shift much in the same. For example, for a company that focuses in fashion, Facebook may not present the strongest audience. Since shoppers need to have a visual of what they may be interested in purchasing, Instagram, Snapchat, and even Pinterest are potentially the most viable promotional avenues. This implies the concept of influencer marketing. Summarized in speech, the more people who are positively influenced by what is mentioned are likely resulting in the strongest referrals business can be derived from. Given it can convey a message in the short attention spans we have, this marketing strategy will guide us well into the future.
The Best Marketing Road to Take
As we come down to the end of the post, we have three (3) directions to offer potential customers online. Enhancing the website to maximize the impact, paying for clicks to get traffic to the site, or using social media as the driver to generate business are excellent methods to generate conversions. What is the best road to take? It is hard to tell. While optimizing one’s site and paying for clicks can be beneficial, social media advertisements can be highly customized to target specific audiences, times of day, and other important metrics. However, some people still and won’t ever have social media accounts. Those are potential customers that are alienated from advertising presented there.
Truthfully, the best answer is to apply all the aforementioned into an overall marketing plan. It is okay to put more weight onto one particular marketing type or to tilt it more heavily on a pair of the three (3), and keep the others down to a minimum. Marketing strategist must track the data and define positive and negative trends. The dynamics of online marketing compared to the old-fashioned ways to getting a word out, is that it can be adjusted in a matter of seconds. Hence, as tastes change, so can the advertisements that are presented.
Thus, as the tastes of our audiences here at Integrity MCG change for our blog, we’ll roll with the punches; we’ll let the waves guide us, we’ll and stay one step ahead to provide exceptional blog posts well into the future. For now, have you tried any of the three (3) methods we talked about today? If so, leave a comment and let us know what worked, how it worked, and why it was the best route to go. Or not? Your feedback can help a fellow business owner sidestep a pitfall they may overwise walk right into.
Dr. Danielle Jenkins provides insights and tips on how to strategically run your business in the most efficient manner possible.