Figuring out a strategy for online marketing can be overwhelming.
You need inspiration. You need commitment. You need luck… Sometimes it is just about having the right content in the right place at the right time.
Despite these frustrations, nailing down a formula for your marketing can be an exponentially valuable asset for your business. In this article, I want to share a few tips from my experiences that will help you better understand how to craft proper posts for the people you are trying to reach.
1. Identify and Understand your Target Audience
This is the “who” to your marketing strategy.
You need to evaluate your brand’s selling points, mission/vision, core values, and business related goals. This will start to give you an idea of the kinds of people you should be primarily targeting. Until you do this, it will be a toss up as to whether or not your campaigns will work!
As well, you should obviously consider the groups that would benefit most from your product or services.
If you are really having a hard time identifying the groups that you should be targeting, pull some research from your current pool of clients. Set up a survey on your website that asks them about who they are and why they use your services. You could even be more direct about it and ask them for a testimonial. That can kill two birds with one stone since you could then post the testimonials on your website for potential customers to read.
2. Be Eager to Experiment and Produce Actual Data
When you regularly evaluate your active or past campaigns, it becomes MUCH easier to nail down what strategies or methods give you positive results. Doing this regularly will be invaluable for developing effective future campaigns and strategies.
Evaluating your campaigns will normally comprise of three steps:
- Identify which medium (image, article, video, etc…) gets the most shares, comments, and traffic
- Determine what content is bringing the most leads (potential customers) to your company by looking at your site’s Google Analytics account
- Evaluate your return on investment for different pieces of content (conversions)
3. Replicate Content Strategies from Other Niches
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. At the same time, you need to stay interesting, relevant, and creative. It can be hard when you are generally trying to reach one kind of client to come up with new ways to reach that client. We can get stuck in a rut of presenting the same topic in the same way through the same methods. You may even be getting excellent results from this content. However, getting stuck here can make you lazy in your marketing and your business will never see growth.
The solution is to find content strategies that other businesses are using in other niches. Just start looking at the content that has been effective for other blogs and sites. Use Buzzsumo, Topsy, and Cognitive SEO to find the content that has the most shares and likes. Select five to ten of these pieces and then adapt the techniques they used. Observe the results from these new campaigns and find what works best for you!
4. Understand Other Aspects of Online Marketing
Your content marketing strategy will be most effective when combined with other methods of online marketing. Having an in-depth understanding of how your social media accounts work as well as understanding techniques for conversion rate optimization (CRO) will greatly supplement your content marketing strategies.
Knowledge of CRO can help in crafting content that will generate sales and leads for your business. Much of this comes down to an understanding of how to present a “call to action” that will effectively entice potential clients/customers to your business. This can include which color, font, or design would be the most attractive to your audience.
Social media skills are what will help you to promote your content to specific groups. Even if you are a brand new business with absolutely no audience, understanding the in’s and out’s of social media is one of the quickest ways to develop an audience and client base. Seeking out the people who have shared your competition’s content is an excellent place to start. Reaching out to those people with your content can start the ball rolling toward spreading your message. BUT REMEMBER, you are just wanting these people to SEE your content. Don’t hound them for “shares”. They know what to do and will only think you are trying to use them if you ask them outright to share your content.
Listening to your current customers on social networks can be an excellent source for blog topics. Pay attention to the questions they are asking, the concerns they express, and the comments they make. When you post reactively like this, you can know for certain that you are creating content that your audience will care about.
5. Learn from the Best
I would never claim to be best. There are a LOT of people out there that know a lot more than I do about online marketing. Pay attention to these people. They will give you new ideas, comment on current trends, and give you insights on best practices.
Google is your friend! Do some searches on who the movers and shakers are in the world of online marketing. Most of them are willing to give out their considerable knowledge and experience for free on their blogs and YouTube channels.
It takes patience and consistent effort to become an effective online marketer. Whether you are doing this for your own business or you are starting your career as a full time marketer, these are invaluable skills that will lead to success.