How to create an effective online marketing strategy in three steps
By Ken Dirkzwager - October 11, 2016
Online marketing is the study and strategy that is used to promote and sell products or services for a company through the internet. Online marketing is divided in three different steps; creating online presence, generating traffic, and traffic conversion. We will give a general explanation of these three steps without going into any technical details.
Step 1- Creating online presence
Online presence is crucial for the success of any type of company nowadays. We live in a technological era and we have two different worlds; the physical world and the virtual world. According to recent studies, 68% of the time an adult is awake, they spend it in the virtual world through a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone. This is a clear indication that in order to run a working general marketing campaign for any type of company there needs to be an online marketing strategy and it all starts with the creation of a website. A website is beneficial to any company in many ways; among the benefits, we can find:
- Trust increases from clients towards the company.
- Credibility increases from clients towards the company.
- Data report tool to study visitor behavior (Google Analytics)
- Unique and original design
- 24/7 Availability
- Own the platform (Unlike Facebook who can close your page any time they feel like it, you actually own your website, therefore you are investing in something that’s 100% yours)
It is very important that your website is compatible will all mobile devices: laptops, tablets, and smart phones.
Mobile Compatibility is the capability of a website to adapt to any screen size that the individual might be using, this helps the visitor navigate the website very smoothly and comfortably; this allows the visitor to stay on your website and facilitates the possibilities of conversion.
Nowadays there are more mobile searches than desktop searches on Google, and according to recent studies if a website is not mobile friendly the possibilities that the user leaves unsatisfied is five times more likely. Mobile compatibility is very important for Google, since April 21st, 2015 Google’s algorithm started penalizing via positioning all websites that ARE NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY. Of course, you can expect that the most used search engine in the world wants all websites that it presents to its users to be mobile friendly and with great sense of navigation. To have an effective online marketing strategy mobile compatibility is a must.
Social Media is also under the first step of creating online presence and it is extremely important. All businesses should have social media because it does not represent an extra cost and because all users, potential, and current clients are on social media. You can also find a lot of advantages by creating business profiles on the most popular social media platforms; advantages such as:
- Fast and easy to create
- Precision targeting in ads: Focused targets like name, age, gender, interests, and location
Although social media is great, a business should not rely on it as a principle source, a Facebook page is more like a complement to your website. The clear disadvantage of a social media page in comparison to a website are that any social media page you create, doesn’t belong to you, which is why you accepted the terms and conditions when creating this profiles. Unlike a website (that is 100% yours), at any given time without any explanation social media developers can close your businesses’ page. We also need to remind ourselves that you can’t be too creative in the design of your social media profiles because it falls down to a standard platform, the same that your competitors use.
Step 2- Generate Traffic
Step 2 is one of the most important ones when it comes to an online marketing campaign. In order to generate traffic you need to invest certain amount of money, the amount depends on what strategy you choose.
PPC Campaigns (Pay Per Click)
Google AdWords: Google AdWords PPC is the positioning of a website through an ad on the first page of Google. Google AdWords PPC is critical if you want to generate traffic for a website.
Google has more than 100 billion monthly searches and some of these searches got to do with products or services certain companies offer in the areas that the search is being done. In other words, people seek specifically what they are looking for in Google. The principal concept of Google AdWords is that people that look for the services or products you offer, will find them in the area that you offer them.
Every click your ad gets represents a cost, this cost varies depending on the services you offer; that where the term PPC (Pay Per Click) comes from. Since it’s a PPC campaign companies should have a limited budget per day otherwise Google will keep running your ad and this might generate more expenses.
Monthly Budget. How to know an estimate of how much I will spend a month?
It is very important to know that the click money goes to Google and not to an online marketing agency. If you hire a marketing agency (which is highly recommended), this represents an extra cost for your company. Google recommends to at least having enough budget for 14 clicks per day to see better results, in some cases you can have less than 14 clicks a day. Taking this under consideration the only thing you need to know is how many clicks a day your company needs to generate ROI (Return on Investment) and multiply that times the cost per click of the keyword (or service) you offer, in order to get the cost of the click you will need to use keyword planner (If you hired an agency they should tell you the cost per click). The answer will give you your daily budget; after that multiply your daily budget times the number of days in one month that your ad will run and shall give you the monthly budget.
Cost of the click: $5
Number of daily clicks I authorized: 10
Number of days the ad will run in one month: 20 days (Monday to Friday for 4 weeks)
$5(Cost per click) X 10 Clicks (Number of daily authorized clicks): $50 daily.
$50 daily budget X 20 days: $1,000 monthly.
Google is a very effective traffic generator technique that has proven to work over the years as a short term investment. Many small, mid-sized, and big companies use this method because of the great margins of ROI.
Yahoo!/Bing PPC is effective for clients with less budget and that are interested in competing in less considerable markets but receiving good results for their companies. Google currently controls 65% of searches across the nation and with Yahoo!/Bing you will have the opportunity to concentrate on the other 33% of searches; it is the second biggest search engine after Google. The functions and model are basically the same as Google AdWords.
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Local SEO is one of the most known traffic generating methods and its effectiveness is awesome. S.E.O is a website’s organic positioning on the first page of a search engine like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. It is fundamental to use SEO to generate traffic to a website effectively and efficiently.
It uses the same logic as PPC campaigns, the difference is that the website positions organically and not through an ad.
¿What’s organic positioning in a search engine?
Organic positioning in a search engine is the “natural” positioning of a website by using methods other than PPC Campaigns to achieve the first page. In other words, organic searches are all the options that Google gives you on search EXCEPT for the ads.
How to tell the difference between an ad and an organic result? Piece of cake! Notice the image below; its Facebook using Google AdWords to promote their own Facebook Ads; if you see closely it has a little green square with the word “Ad” on it, all the searches that say Ad are generated by Google AdWords, the rest are organic results.
Local SEO is a mid or long term investment because it usually takes to 6 months to reach the target but the time frame really depends on the company; some companies take less and others take longer.
Now that we learned the difference between an organic search and an ad lets go over the advantages of having SEO as a strategy, notice that the biggest advantage is NOT PAYING FOR CLICKS.
- Cheaper than PPC
- Clicks without a cost
- Proven to work method
- Exact data of performance
There are some companies that invest on SEO and not on Adwords because of budget issues. Other companies love to invest on both to have presence on both organic and ad results.
Step 3 – Convert Traffic
What is a conversion? A conversion is the moment when the visitor take a desired action (thanks to the marketing message that was sent), this action may be: filling a contact form, making a phone call, subscribing to a blog, buying online, and others.
It is the single most important step in online marketing because it is not worth being on the first page of Google if you will not get conversions from it.
In order to convert in an online marketing campaign you need to take many factors under consideration. There are many conversion techniques that you can apply on a website to convert, some of them are:
- That the loading speed of the website is fast otherwise visitors get bored of waiting and just leave.
- To have relevant content on the side and written with a purpose.
- Taking the psychology of color under consideration.
- Do the proper online research and studies of your target and product/service that you will offer.
- Have a conversion web design.
- Total optimization of the website.
The relevancy of the keywords you choose are very important in order to get conversions; there are many keywords that are easy to rank and the reason is because they are not relevant and not many people search it, therefore the possibilities of conversions are way lower than those that are relevant keywords.
To get high percentage of conversions you need to study your visitors’ behavior and adjust your website to what they like and what they don’t like; this can be done thanks to tools like Google Analytics. It allows you to follow a visitor from start of finish and lets you focus on the parts of you website that most visitors lose interest in.
Complements: E-mail and Video Marketing
There are certain complements that will help your performance in online marketing. Two of the most important complements are email and video marketing.
Email marketing is a strategy that consists in massive emails that are sent to a certain group of contacts, most of the emails are educational. This helps to keep constant communication with a company’s data base of contacts including current and potential clients. To have a high class email marketing you need to have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) which is basically a digital platform where all contacts are recorded. The main purpose is to have them organized in a professional way and this helps you see the level of interaction that your contacts have with the emails you send throughout the life cycle of a client.
Video marketing is the most trending strategy online, the results are just amazing! Video marketing has been growing during the last years in a considerable way, it is said to be the future of online marketing. Statistics show that:
- 96% of customers click (convert) after watching a video
- 65% of consumers watch at least ¾ of a video before clicking (converting)
- 64% of visitors buy after watching a video
- 1 minute of video is the equivalent of 1.8 million words of written content
- 100 Million users watch videos daily
The advantages of video marketing are:
- Generates brand awareness
- Creates interaction and dynamism between the company and the online user
- Brings high conversion rates
- Helps in SEO positioning
By doing these three steps and its complements you will reach an effective online marketing strategy
To get the most out of online marketing, it is necessary that you take these steps and its complements under consideration; this will definitely help in the development of any company. It is always recommended to look for an online marketing agency to help you complete these steps because they are very complexed.