Being the hangout zone of over 2 billion people in the world, the internet is hard to ignore especially if you are a marketer. How do you win the hearts of netizens and random online freaks around the globe and meet your marketing objectives?
Here are the 10 commandments of online marketing to set you in the right direction:
1. Thou shalt know thyself
Seriously, for any campaign to be effective, you need to first know what you are selling and what your brand represents. Understanding the brand identity sets the tone for all your marketing communications both online and offline. Familiarity with who you are and what you want will help come up with campaigns, content, and ideas to market yourself on digital platforms including website, social media and mobile apps.
2. Thou shalt know thy audience
Just like you begin writing by keeping your readers in mind, you formulate your digital marketing strategy by keeping your target audience in mind. Understanding the buyer persona of your audience can get you valuable insights on their online behavior like the time they spend online, the websites they are most active on, their interests etc. This can help you tailor your campaign to attract them.
3. Thou shalt not make thy website crappy
A crappy website that is cluttered and confusing, and ridden with errors will make your leads go away even before their browser uploads your entire web page. Your website is the first impression your visitors get. Make it as attractive, sleek and user-friendly as possible starting with catchy, warm well-written web content with some non-pirated, original, attractive images. People love simple and non-complicated things. Make it easy for users to search, navigate and make purchases on your website. Make sure that your website is SEO friendly — optimizing it for your intended keywords. Ensure that all errors and broken links have been fixed.
4. Thou shalt not ignore smartphones and tablets
A huge percentage of internet users access the online world through their handheld devices. Most people including myself search for stuff on their smartphones. Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile and handheld devices. Ensure that it is easy to read and navigate on smaller screens.
5. Thou shalt seek the power of search marketing
Over 80% of online consumers rely on search engines to find information about products and services. Keywords are the basis for boosting your search marketing. With Google Adwords, you can identify and bid for keywords in the campaigns you select for marketing your products or services. Dig up a little bit and apply basic SEO techniques. The next step is to optimize your content to include those keywords.
6. Thou shalt not steal content or create shitty content
Engaging and useful content is the key to success of your search marketing efforts. And no, you can’t steal. There is a difference between sharing and stealing. The key is to create content that is useful, interesting and relevant regularly. Having a blog that is updated regularly with useful content can help you get ahead of your competitors. Sharing good content is caring. Sharing spam will make people hate your guts. A concoction of poorly written copy that is too lengthy or painfully boring and messy will have a reverse effect. Research, scout for information and use the creative wizard inside you to churn out good quality, adorable content that will get you likes and leads. The key is to be interesting and not annoying.
7. Thou shalt respect social media
A wise man once said, “What happens on social media stays on Google forever.” Social media is a great medium for creating a favorable impression for your brand and also for building rapport with online users. The strategy should be to be interesting, friendly and responsive.
Always be respectful, polite and careful with your interactions. Listen to their feedback, suggestions, and complaints. If someone is asking a question on social media, guide them. If someone praises your brand on social media, thank them. If someone is complaining about your service, listen and acknowledge.
If you are nice to them, they will be nice to you too. The key is to actively listen and communicate on social media. This will also encourage more people to engage with your brand and share feedback. There is nothing more effective in marketing that a satisfied customer and none worse than a bitter one.
8. Thou shalt set up conversion funnels
To understand the behaviors that lead to a successful conversion, it is imperative to set up a well-optimized conversion funnel to track the journey of your visitors from potential leads to end users or customers. Understanding your micro and macro conversions will help you in formulating better strategies.
9. Thou shalt monitor thy results
The key to successful campaign lies in continued efforts to improve your online presence. Monitoring your web traffic with Google analytics and tracking the progress of your online campaigns on a regular basis will help you in getting useful insights. Don’t drown your marketing budget blindly into unsuccessful marketing techniques. Use data and analysis to guide you in the right direction. Which channel is working the best? What is the best time to start campaigns on respective channels? You can use your findings to create better content, distribute it effectively and plug-in any loopholes that prevent conversion.
10. Thou shalt quit fooling around, and start planning, learning, and adapting
“Learn and grow” should be your motto. The online world is very dynamic and it is important to stay updated, learn new skills and adapt to the changing environment. Research often, experiment with strategies based on observation, see what works the best for you.
With these commandments, combined with thy creative ideas, awesome content and knowledge, ye shall be on the path of making thy brand an online rock star.
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