Have you ever wondered, what is online marketing? What is it about being online that makes it different from any other marketing?
Recently I have been asked this very question by a couple of people who attended my training workshops. I guess as an online marketer I just assume that people know the difference, but as this proves, you should never assume anything. So here is what I told them…
Online marketing simply means marketing that you do online. This could be via your social media accounts, your email list, your blog or your website. It is pretty much any marketing that you do via the internet instead of out in the real world.
How you market isn’t really that different though. The rules are the same whether you are marketing online or offline but there are a couple of things you need to consider when online marketing that you might not necessarily have to think about when you are marketing in the more traditional ways.
This post is going to talk to you about how to improve your marketing for online purposes, but it might just help you improve your offline marketing as well.
Make your marketing measurable
Effective marketing is something that you can measure and analyse. You need to know what is working and what isn’t so that you can repeat the good stuff and discontinue the things that are not bringing the results you are looking for.
In its simplest form, marketing is what is used to introduce your client to your product, service, brand or cause. It should be aligned to the needs and expectations of your “ideal” customer or those who want to buy what the business is selling.
The data that you collect from marketing, ie the total sales of certain products or services, the uptake of particular offers or the opt-in rate of certain promotions can tell you where you need to be spending more time and effort.
Knowing that a particular product is in demand will help you decide which products to develop and offer for sale in the future. But you won’t know this until you go out and market your product and then analyse the results.
Too many people think that online marketing is just about sticking a post out on social media and waiting to see what happens. This is not going to help you decide how to develop your future products or services, or even tweak your current ones.
Make use of the free analytics tools that come with most social media platforms. Look to see how much engagement you get from each post. Which ones stand out? Why do you think they stand out? Is there a pattern to those that get more engagement?
It may be that your short videos do really well – so do more of these. It may be that posts that go out at certain times of the day do better than those that go out at other times – Post more around this time of day. Okay, you get the picture.
DON’T get too hung up on followers. You are not going to do as well with followers as you think. Here’s a great example….
I have a page with 10,000 followers…
I then put out 2 posts. Look at the reach they get…
As you can clearly see, a measly 27 and 24 people got to see these posts. 27 people out of 10,000, how is that even possible?
But then I created another page which has 37 followers…
I then put out 2 posts. Look at the reach they get…
I have reached 192 and 145 people with these posts – out of 37 followers. How is this possible?
To be honest, it’s really simple. It’s all about the algorithms. Facebook want its users to enjoy their experience and so they will only show your followers content from you if they think they would enjoy it, or be interested in it.
How do they know this? Well they look at posts that you have previously put out on the same theme to see whether they liked them or commented on them. They will also see what other similar posts they have engaged with across the platform.
The 10,000 followers I have I collected in 3 days. These people don’t know me, they have never been to one of my workshops, they have never been a client and they don’t really know, or care what I do. Is it any wonder then that the engagement I get from these followers is minimal. Because my posts get minimal engagement, Facebook don’t show them to many people.
In contrast, my 37 followers are extremely engaged. They know me, they like me, they trust me and more importantly they are very interested in what I’m posting about so they like and comment on pretty much everything I put out.
Facebook notices that 95% of my followers like my content. This signals to Facebook that it must be good content so they show it to more people on the platform who have shown interest in similar posts. I therefore grow my follower by attracting the “right” kind of follower, the one who will engage with me and my content.
If I hadn’t tested and measured this, I would never have realised my error. I would have continued to collect followers thinking that this was what I needed to do.
Clear strategic goals
To be able to get the most out of your marketing you need to have a strategy. Without a strategy you are just groping around in the dark without any clear plan or objective.
I would not have been able to get my first 37 engaged followers if I had not had a strategy in place. It is the type of posts that I put out that mattered, it was the type of person I aimed them at that mattered and it was the place and timing of the posts that mattered.
A strategy will help you to replicate what works much more quickly and easily and it will also make a massive difference to the effectiveness of your online marketing.
Your marketing also needs to have outcomes. You need to establish what you are trying to achieve with your efforts. This might be to increase brand awareness, increase leads, increase sales or promote a particular product, service or event.
You need to know in advance what you are measuring so that you know whether or not your marketing is working. If you don’t start seeing the results you are looking for, you have an early warning to make some changes.
For example: let’s say you want to increase your brand awareness as you are new company on the scene. You will want to make sure that every post that goes out has your logo on it. You will also want to be saying the same thing (or at least giving a similar message) on everything you post out and promote online.
You are aiming for your logo to get noticed and the message to be associated with that logo. You want people to start putting the 2 things together. Think of McDonalds and Loving It, or Nike and Just do it. In other words, you are aiming for a bit of uniqueness in a sea of sameness.
Stand out from the crowd
Online marketing is different from other forms of marketing that you may have been involved with for one main reason…..
The competition online is STAGGERING. While the exact number of websites keeps changing every second, there are well over 1 billion sites on the world wide web (1,518,207,412 according to Netcraft’s January 2019 Web Server Survey compared to 1,805,260,010 in January 2018) (stats provided by millforbusiness)
As of this year, 2019 there are 50 million businesses using Facebook pages to reach their customers, and this number obviously grows every day.
There are now 3.48 billion social media users worldwide and they have some interesting views about the businesses that they interact with online.
80% of companies online are under the impression that they deliver exceptional social media customer service, while only 8% of their customers say that they agree. (Source: Smart Insights) Strive to be one of the companies that does social media customer care right.
So how can you possibly stand out in the crowded place that is online marketing? Simple – be different.
There are many ways that you can make an impression and stand out from your competitors. Here are just a few…
- Have a unique offer (Dyson)
- Provide a service in a different way (Uber)
- Develop a new approach to an old problem (AirB&B)
- Provide additional services to your competitors (McDelivery)
- Provide additional value to your competitors (Safestyle UK Windows)
- Get your message to resonate exactly with your audience (Nike)
Each of the above companies are saying or doing or offering something different to their competitors and so they are standing out from the crowd. Your job is to define your USP and then market it effectively.
Success is determined by your customer
At the end of the day, your marketing success will be determined by the actions of your customer. If they buy – success. If they don’t – well you might need to rethink your strategy or messaging etc.
You will have far more success with your marketing if you start with your customer and then work backwards to develop your online marketing strategy. Here’s how to do that…
- Define who exactly your ideal customer is
- Determine what their main problem or concern is
- Tell them how you can solve this problem for them as succinctly as possible
- Use your branding to get your message out there (logo, colours, fonts, images etc)
- Be consistent with your message so that you don’t confuse your customer
- Use your social media platforms in the way in which they are meant to be used (engagement rather than promotion)
- Make good use of your website to generate leads and attract sales
- Use your blog to help with getting your message out there
Once your online marketing campaigns have been running for a couple of weeks, start to analyse them. How much engagement are you getting? How many more followers are you attracting? How many leads are you generating? How much of an increase has there been in revenue?
Work with us
I know that online marketing is not easy, and it certainly takes a long time to learn and get right, so I completely understand if this is something you would rather get someone else to do for you and I might be able to help you out there too…
The Honest Marketing Group is a small agency who have a combined 55 years experience in brand development and marketing. Lisa has over 25 years branding and marketing experience and has worked with some of the UK’s most famous names and brands. Lynne has over 10 years online marketing expertise and has worked with some of the world’s leading online marketers to hone her skills.
Our main aim is to help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed by your “ideal” customer. We can help you do this by assisting you with developing your USP (that thing that makes you different), branding (the thing that gets you noticed) and marketing (the thing that gets you customers).
We offer a completely free and no obligation 1 hour consultation where you can get to know us better and we can learn more about you and your business and what your objectives are.
So, if you think you need some help, give us a call and arrange your free consultation today. Our contact details are all here or just click the button below, we can’t wait to meet you.