Online Marketing Strategies – 6 Growth Hacks for your business.
Do you rely on networking for new business? Do you consider word of mouth to be the big driver of new clients and customers through the door? Or are you already implementing consistent online marketing strategies for business growth?
We talk to lots of business owners in our travels and know that many rely on both networking and word of mouth for attracting new clients. For some location and the visibility it brings helps to enhance the outcome.
We love networking. We love word of mouth referral BUT relying on these factors alone to grow your business puts your growth potential in other people’s hands.
Given the technology we have available to us relying on networking and word of mouth alone limits our growth potential. Not to mention putting a level of control in the hands of other people.
Developing robust, repeatable online marketing systems and process for your business positions it for growth. Consistent implementation adds to your bottom line and it adds to the value of your business. Your business becomes more valuable because it doesn’t rely on personal contacts and relationships for new business.
Putting online marketing systems in place will allow you to grow, with confidence, into new areas both geographically and in terms of services you provide.
Before you implement any online marketing strategies you need to have two things in place:
- A robust lead generation system (AKA places for people to sign up to your email list).
- Analytics and visitor tracking installed and set up for your website.
Without them in place you can’t track or collect data. Making it difficult to measure the ROI for your online marketing investment. Worst case, any marketing investment can be a waste of money because you’ve got no way of making the traffic stick.
There’s nothing about the online marketing strategies I’m sharing here that are revolutionary.
The growth hack is consistent implementation of what you know you should be doing. Understanding why you’re doing each thing and what it means to the bottom line of your business lets you take your results further.
Make your Website ‘sticky’
Your website needs to be properly set up to help you convert visitors into leads and clients. If it’s not any investment in online marketing will be fighting uphill to see results for you.
If I had a dollar for every business owner I’ve spoken to who’s invested in some kind of online marketing but hasn’t seen results….I wouldn’t be a millionaire but it would definitely pay my café lunch bills.
On closer inspection it’s pretty common to find that their business website gives little reason for a visitor to come back. When businesses see few results from their online marketing is often because there is nothing in place that allows them to reconnect with visitors.
The three potential good outcomes from someone visiting your website are:
- Visitor makes a purchase or a booking/enquiry for services. This is the hardest outcome to achieve with a first-time visitor and of most value to your business.
- Visitor opts in to join your email subscriber database. This enables you to maintain contact and deliver value and make offers. An email subscriber is more likely to become a customer than a casual visitor once trust has been established or the person has need.
- Visitor is tracked, enabling you to retarget them with paid advertising. Retargeting a visitor allows you to invite them back to your website to take a specific action (EG read a blog post, attend a webinar, download a free eBook, use a discount code)
The actions you need to take to ensure these outcomes can take place are:
- If you have an eCommerce site make sure that it’s clear what you sell and how to buy from you. If you haven’t made a test purchase through your store recently then do so. Visit some of your competitors and investigate how their purchase flow compares to yours.If you offer services make sure that it’s easy for people to make a booking or enquiry.
- If you don’t have multiple opportunities for people to sign up to your list then it’s time to implement this on your website. It should only require a couple of simple additions.If you do already have email sign up in place then review how well your current placements are working for you. Make sure any popups are disabled for mobile devices.
- Get your tracking codes installed. The Facebook Pixel is quick and easy to generate, we’ve got step by step instructions here. You may need your developer to install it for you but it’s a 5 minute job.If your Google tags and analytics are not yet set up it’s time to get that done too.
Once your website is up to scratch then it’s time to implement some great online marketing strategies for your business.
Grow your email marketing database
A database of engaged subscribers is your little black book of networking contacts. Without it it’s hard to get results from all your other marketing efforts.
Why is it important?
You own your email subscriber list, you’re in control of how often you contact them. Regardless of your personal feeling about email the reality is that a new client is far more likely to engage your services after being on your list for a while than if they’ve come across you by chance on the internet.
I suggest setting a daily/weekly/monthly target to give yourself something to measure yourself against. When you start out list building it can seem a little relentless so it’s nice to be able to see where you’re going.
Let’s say you set yourself a target of 5 new subscribers a day, and an average client is worth $5k to your business.
Even at a low conversion rate of 1% over the year means nearly $100k to your business. A conversion rate of 3%-5% is very achievable.
What’s more you can expect to continue to convert more people over time so the income growth becomes exponential year on year as your list continues to grow.
If you are spending money on paid online advertising then having a main objective of obtaining targeted email subscribers (IE good fit with your ideal client description) is a good idea.
We recommend outsourcing your paid online advertising to businesses that specialise in it.
- Outsourcing this to experts makes sure that your ads are always running and being optimised.
- You get the benefit of their up to the minute knowledge and scale, making your cost per outcome lower than if you were running them yourself.
- Ensures that you are investing your advertising dollars on the platforms that will get you the best results.
If you’d like an introduction to one of the businesses we recommend for paid online advertising drop us an email and we’ll connect you.
Write one blog post per week
Blogging for your business is an essential online marketing strategy for you to invest in.
Adding new content to your website on a regular basis will increase how often people find you in organic search results (provided that you’re writing about stuff they’re looking for).
Regular blogging gives you an easy opportunity to invite people to join your email marketing database.
Blogging enables you to grow your authority with your audience by answering questions for them and demonstrating your expertise and knowledge in a helpful way.
Best of all, one great weekly blog post provides you with the foundation for your social media and email marketing. Investing in that one blog post a week is one of the best productivity and growth hacks there is for your online marketing.
Not sure where to begin?
Start here with my guide to content planning to improve SEO.
Pick a social media platform and post regularly and consistently
Every business, regardless of whether they’re B2B or B2C, has an audience and potential client base on social media. Consistent use of social media should be one of the online marketing strategies you’re implementing in 2017.
There’s a good chance that you’re using social media already. If you’re seeing good results IE new business through the door then double down in 2017 and do more of what’s working.
If you’ve been using social media with mixed results, or none that you can see then I suggest taking a step back and examining why you’re using it.
There are two fundamental goals for your business on social media:
- Engage with potential clients and customers where they’re hanging out already. Provide value for them (BE SOCIAL) and build trust.
- Drive traffic to your website.
If you don’t have an explicit strategy in place to drive traffic from social media to your website then you are leaving money on the table.
I recommend developing your weekly posting plan off the back of your blog. Sharing blog posts to social media gives people a reason to visit your website.
The more people (traffic) you have to your website the more people you will have joining your email database.
Do you see how this is all starting to work together now?
Email your database regularly
There’s not much point in growing an email database if you aren’t going to stay in contact with them regularly.
The key to a good email marketing strategy is to make sure that you’re valuing the time of people on the other end in that you’re not asking for too much of it and you’re providing value in the emails you send.
Give your email subscribers your best stuff, treat them like they’re already your best clients and add value to their day each time you pop up in their inbox.
Don’t be afraid to use your personality in your email copy. People will appreciate your realness more than a stiff, professional tone and feel more engaged with what it is you’ve got to say. Don’t worry about subscribers not liking your personality, if they don’t then they probably weren’t a good fit client or customer anyway.
Check out this blog post about developing an email marketing strategy for more ideas on what to send your email subscribers.
Understand your numbers
Understanding the numbers is the most important element of your online marketing strategy. If you’re not measuring what you’re doing then it’s really difficult to manage it.
You can implement as many online marketing strategies as you like but there’s little point if you don’t understand both the effectiveness and return on investment.
There are heaps of different tactics that businesses can use when they develop their online marketing strategy. Different consultants and businesses sell different services, chances are they’ll tell you that what they do is right for you.
Understanding your numbers makes it easier for you to make informed decisions about investing time and money in online marketing for your business.
Whilst you’ll find heaps of information on how to implement any number of online marketing strategies for your business there’s not much available to help you make informed decisions.
Not sure where to begin? Check out our online marketing quiz. It will provide you with your best next steps and give you some resources to start moving you forward.