Digital and Internet Marketing Strategy
Digital on online marketing (online advertising) in its simplest form is just using any means necessary to drive more traffic to your e-commerce website or whatever your website may be. I will talk through a few different ways to increase traffic to your website and try to be as practical as possible so you can take this information, run with it and start today.
Of course, the fastest way to get more traffic to your website is to pay for it. There are a few advertising services you can use and setup a PPC (Pay-per-Click) campaign. In a nutshell, you sign up for an account, setup a campaign letting them how much you want to spend per day and how much you are willing to pay each time a user clicks on your ad, select the keywords you want to target and create the Ads to run. The various advertising services include Google Adwords, Bing Advertising, Facebook Ads and online comparison Shopping Engines such as Shopping.com, Pricegrabber and Shopzilla.
The information I am giving mainly focuses on e-commerce stores because that is where I have the most experience. There are a couple of reasons to use PPC campaigns to start driving traffic to your e-commerce store. One obvious reason is you can get sales immediately without waiting for long term internet marketing strategies to take effect.
1. Get immediate Sales. Of course, you should use PPC to get sales immediately and continue using PPC if your profit exceeds your PPC cost. If not, use PPC to help build out long term content and other marketing strategies.
2. Use PPC to test and tweak your product conversion rates. The way things are placed on the page, the content, the product descriptions, the about us page, the shipping info and return policy, whether you have a phone number on the top of your website and safe website symbols such as Mcafee, etc. All of these things can help or hurt your conversion rates. This is the difference between making side money and making unbelievable, work from the beach money. Let’s say you get 100 visitors to your e-commerce store daily. Just using this number to make the math easy. Typical e-commerce conversion rates range from 1% – 3%. So if you are like most average e-commerce stores you will make 1 sale per 100 visitors. If you could get 2 more sales then you have just increased your sales to 3%. Small changes can make a huge impact on your bottom line. Using PPC to get more immediate traffic is a no-brainer but working on conversion rates is just as if not more important than getting a few sales. I will probably do an entire post on increasing conversion rates but just wanted to point it out here to show you how and when to use PPC.
3. Use PPC to determine what content converts the best (from point one) so that you can determine which keyword phrases to target for the long term. You don’t want to build out a content marketing strategy and write random articles that do nothing for your sales. You can find out fairly quickly what content users want and need to invest more time and money into a long-term content strategy.
*** PRO TIP – When trying to decide which PPC advertising service to use remember there are specific users and mindsets you are targeting with each. For example, let’s compare Facebook Ads to Google Adwords in terms of its audience. Imagine you are searching for a new Futon. You go to google and type in “futons for sale” or some keyword phrase. Google Ads (Adwords) show up on the top and side of the search results. The user is searching for a specific product and the Adwords Ads that show up pertain to exactly what the user is proactively looking for. Now let’s go to Facebook. Jim bob user is checking out his latest feed when all of a sudden an Ad shows up on the right that says “Need a comfortable Futon?”. Jim bob was not even looking to buy something, much less a futon. I am just pointing this out to show you the slight differences in why you would choose one PPC advertising platform over another. They each have strengths and weaknesses depending on what you are trying to promote.
Guest Posting or Guest Blogging
Once you have some initial traffic coming into your website you can start to branch out. Guest posting on blogs or similar websites is a great way to get more traffic. Let’s use my website as an example. You would go to google and type in work from home, how to make money online or how to start an online business. If you want to narrow your search down to articles or blogs writing about your subject then just add that to your search such as: how to start an online business blog. Once you find blogs with similar content you can ask if they accept guest posts. If so you can write a great article on their website and get a link back to your website in return.
It is great to find blogs that write about your niche as links from websites that relate to yours will help you more in Google than a link from a random website that is in another niche.
Here are some major, heavy hitting websites where you may try to become a guest post contributor. You may or may not be accepted but if you are then you will create a great place to share content and have a link back to your website. Make sure you have quality articles to submit before you try these:
Become an Entrepreneur.com Contributor
Apply to Be regular Content Contributor
You can contribute on Forbes opinion page. Just submit your completed article here:
Submit a well thought out article to contribute here for consideration: email@example.com
If you want to learn more before you submit an article for consideration you may want to read what they say about becoming a contributer here: Contribute to Business Insider
This will tell you how to submit to FastCompany: Submission Requirements.
After you are satisfied with an article that you think will fit well on FastCompany.com then you can go ahead and submit it to: Editor – Rich Bellis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a website that list out many places to guest post that may not be as hard to get in:
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can be great to build your brand, traffic and customer interaction but it can also become a black hole and suck away at your valuable time. One of the first things you may want to do is figure out where your customers and audience spends most of their time. As a quick example, if you are trying to reach a younger audience then you will most likely not find them on Facebook. Maybe look at Instagram or Snapchat advertising. I am saying this so you don’t try and market on a social media platform that will not even reach your target audience. Of course, there are users on most of these social media platforms but it will save you time and headaches to find where your audience predominantly hangs out.
A good way to run a quick test is to piggyback off of someone else’s social media account that you think may reach your customers. The quickest way to start this is to go to Fiverr.com and pay between $5 – $50 to do a mention of your product on popular accounts: Fiverr.com Social Media Marketing. Fiverr.com is a marketplace for people globally to offer services and tasks (almost anything you can think of) starting at $5. You can also look for those that specifically do Shoutouts. A shoutout is exactly what it sounds like. A user will give a link and/or show description of your product on their social media account and they call this a shoutout. Some will do it and leave your post on there for hours/days or permanently. It all depends on how they market to their audience: Fiverr.com Shoutouts
After you have done some quick Social Media platform tests to see which one your customers respond to best then you can begin building out your own Social Media presence.
*** PRO TIP – Recently I learned a great tip to find out what social media platforms your customers may be active the most. You can go to BuzzSumo.com and type in your competitors URL. This will bring up a list of most shares for content on their site on various social media websites. Here is a screenshot of a search I did for a futon competitor to show you:
From this image you can see that Facebook.com is the main social media platform that users engage with this competitor website by far. So if you were selling futons then you would definitely want a Facebook presence.
Here is a short list with short descriptions of each:
Instagram.com – is very visual social media place. If you have a product that has lots of great images then this may a place to show off your product.
Twitter.com – If most of your product is informational and text driven then you might want to use Twitter as this will allow you to give a short description of what you just wrote about on your blog or website and point users to it. It is a better way of letting your users know there is new content and a short description of what is it about without sending out an email every time.
Facebook.com – Even though I would say this is an “older” social media platform I still wouldn’t count them out as they are continuously innovating. You will probably have a very loyal fanbase on Facebook. Also, if you are looking to get real time feedback or do real time teaching then you may want to consider Facebook Live as they handle all of the technical aspects of running a live video session.
Pinterest.com – This is another social media platform that is heavily focused on visual appeal and images. The benefit is others can tag your product or website images that will then show on their wall and automatically create an underlying link that points to your specific product page.
Linkedin.com – If you are wanting to target business minded individuals then I would absolutely suggest Linkedin.com.
Another helpful piece of information is to know the demographics. For example, pinterest is around 40% female users. Keep this in mind when looking at which social media platform you want to invest your time in.