As an entrepreneur or marketing manager, how do you guide the digital experience and contextual click path from a stimulus all the way through a desired outcome? Customers discover brands across a variety of screens whether it’s via TV, smartphone, tablet, PC, etc. Most brands, however, consider a limited journey from discovery to either Google Search or ultimately to the company’s web site.
Here are eleven commonly overlooked ideas to improve your marketing and sales tactics…
1. Remember to listen:
Proactive listening is by far the most underused online marketing tactic. Too many companies have lulled themselves into believing that social-media monitoring is just waiting for someone to say something bad or ask a customer-service question. But strong social listening involves proactively listening for marketing and sales opportunities; stepping in front of demand, not just following it.
2. Build out your company story and team pages:
These days, consumers want to connect and support not just a product, but the company and mission behind it. Too often companies throw together “About Us” sections that are sterile and less than compelling. Businesses need to spend time and resources putting up pictures that reflect their team and culture, and shaping the “why” behind the company for everyone to consume in a beautiful way.
3. Invest in phenomenal content:
Brands tend to put all their focus on the “top of the funnel,” where brand awareness happens, and the “bottom of the funnel,” where people respond directly to offers and promotions. You’ll often see brands put a ton of the effort into designing a beautiful homepage and optimizing conversions, but then half-ass it when it comes to the content in between.
4. Arrange for face time:
Relationships are more powerful offline. There are countless online marketing strategies, but business comes down to relationships; and there’s no better way to strengthen a relationship than by taking it offline as often as possible.
Use LinkedIn or Facebook to get a new connection? Great! Call them, meet them in person and get to know them on a personal level. It will do wonders for your business.
5. Measure your online marketing efforts:
Too many businesses spin their wheels with their social-media efforts and have no idea whether what they’re doing is impacting their revenue and growing their business. Start by determining your objective and a timeframe for which you want to achieve it. Next, what social media platforms could you use that align with your objective and target audience.
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6. Guest blog as part of your content strategy:
Online marketing is about producing amazing content that benefits your target audience. These days, most companies understand the importance of this, but they fail to take their content strategy off their own website domain. Guest blogging builds your brand awareness, authority and credibility, driving high-quality traffic to your website that persists over time (i.e., doesn’t stop when you turn off the budget).
7. Use data to drive decisions:
So much of what online marketers do still today is make campaign and product decisions based on gut or outdated notions when it’s never been easier to let markets, splits test and conversion funnels make the most profitable decisions for you.
8. Craft a powerful title for your LinkedIn profile:
That tiny one-liner under your name is the most important element in your LinkedIn profile. Why? Because unless someone clicks on your full profile, your name and title are the only things visible on LinkedIn lists, such as the list of “People Also Viewed” and “People You May Know,” as well as when you accept someone’s invite to connect. So, your title had better do a good job of communicating your positioning and brand.
9. Stop arguing and test:
Oftentimes, you’ll find people who engage in arguments about whose idea is superior to the other. A heated debate will ensue and might even lead to people resenting each other. More often than not, this is due to too much ‘gut feeling’ and to please the ego more than anything. Instead of arguing over which idea is better, take the time to test your theories.
10. Don’t use generic emails:
How often do you use a “email@example.com” email? Unfortunately, you’re losing clients by the truckload. Want to try something new? Put an actual address to the email — of an actual employee. Let that employee know he might get slammed when the email goes out, and offer help. But then, reply to every person who replies.
11. Target your marketing to different audiences:
Many businesses blast their customers with ads and messages that aren’t relevant to them, which makes their efforts useless. It’s important to segment your audience on each channel — whether it’s email, Facebook or banner ads — to understand what message your business should send to what group. If the content your business is sending to your audience matches their interests or buying habits, the more likely it will be engaging and result in a purchase of your product or service.
Remember that there’s a person on the other side, who has a life full of commitments, stresses, activities and deadlines. They are not thinking about your brand 24/7, despite the fact that we’d love them to. So, we have to insert ourselves into the conversation and add value to their lives… that is, their complete lives; not just the part that affects the brand.
40Billion is the social network of entrepreneurs and crowdfunders — a social platform for connecting business owners and promoting the things they create. Use 40Billion to find professional contacts and projects, get affordable digital marketing and social media promotion, and show off your creations to the world. Awarded Best Small Business Marketing Platform by US Business News!