Welcome to Kiran Gutha‘s blog on Digital Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs. For entrepreneurs, digital marketing strategies are an indispensable part of the business plan. Businesses that want to reach more customers, they must include a solid digital marketing strategy.
As commerce continues to go global, companies that lack an easy-to-find, accessible website – the cornerstone of web marketing – won’t reach customers that don’t live in the same town or have never heard of the company.
For businesses that aren’t household names, such as Coca-Cola® or McDonald’s®, global visibility begins on the Web. Having a sound Internet marketing strategy ensures the best chance of success.
Approximately 63% of the U.S. population will make a digital purchase this year, yet only 6.5% of U.S. retail sales are expected to come from internet transactions. Source – eMarketer
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Digital Marketing Strategies & Trends
With the widespread growth of tablet and smartphone use, access to the Internet through a mobile device will be available to about 60% of the population, or 4 billion people, in 2019.
Mobile optimization will be an integral part of website design now and in the foreseeable future. Websites will need to be mobile-friendly, and mobile usability is a factor for Google search rankings.
As access to the Internet through a mobile device continues to grow, businesses will need to adapt in all areas of digital marketing: responsive website, mobile ads, and mobile designed content.
Social media networks also showed an increase in membership and usage. There are multiple social media platforms and different strategies to use on each.
All have their place in a social media strategy. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of U.S. adults who are online use Facebook, according to Pew Research. Women dominate the usage as the statistics below show.
Businesses continue to refine their tactics and strategy with a focus on:
- Engagement: How to engage the audience and best connect (customer service).
- Audience: How to find and target their audience
- Tools: What are the best social media tools?
- Measurement: How to measure their return on investment from their social activities?
Email marketing will continue to be a part of Internet marketing strategy and should be in sync with content and social media.
According to ExactTarget, most U.S. consumers (72%) prefer email marketing, and 40-60% of consumers are reading email on smartphones.
The email needs to work across all devices. The number one priority for online marketers is to redesign an email to improve click-through rates on a mobile device.
In a recent survey of marketers, 91% were using email marketing campaigns. Below are some of the tactics and results as reported by exacttarget.com:
- Email capture via Facebook was found to be used 45% of the time, and 31% rate it as effective.
- General email signup on the website used by 74% of respondents. Respondents rate it as 42% effective.
- Sign-up requests specific to different sections of the website were used by 52% of participants and are 45% as effective.
Email lists experience a 25% attrition rate due to bounces, unsubscribes, and inactive users. A big reason for customers to unsubscribe is because the content consistently doesn’t relate to them.
Besides the content that doesn’t relate, marketers need to monitor their email frequency. If customers are opting out at a growing rate then you have to question the frequency of your email – are customers overwhelmed by the amount of email you’re sending? – would be the next thing to look at after content.
Content is the cornerstone of an online marketing strategy. Creating good content in a sea of competition and distraction is a challenge. Budgets for search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC) and media could be impacted by the need for more frequent and higher quality content.
Content is also a Google ranking factor and will help sites attract high-quality inbound links, build trust, credibility, and authority with your audience.
When creating content, the goals should be focused on the audience with respect to a mobile view. This can be tricky as longer content is generally better for a desktop experience while mobile needs to remain highly informative but stated with a lower word count.
Using images is a good way to keep people on the page longer and increase engagement. Forty percent of people respond more when there’s an image in the content.
Video marketing is another pillar of content marketing. Generally, videos are informative, entertaining, or promotional. Video is more personal and easier for an audience to connect with. It can be highly targeted and that is why it is so effective.
Video tends to build credibility and trust. It builds engagement, can double time on page, creates more opportunity for inbound links, and has been found to have higher click-through rates, increasing it by as much as 200-300%, according to wirebuz. It also increases the searchable footprint.
Whether you currently run your own business or are thinking about starting one, you need to know the top website marketing strategies in order to use the Web to its fullest potential and become a successful entrepreneur.
Matt Bacak and Ken Lemieux are two successful and experienced Web entrepreneurs. Here are some of their thoughts on what works and what doesn’t in Internet marketing.
Digital Marketing Strategies From Web Entrepreneurs
Matt Bacak, an Internet marketing specialist and author of books including “Secrets of the Internet Millionaire Mind” and “The Ultimate Lead Generation Plan,” recommends the following:
- Create a website focused on usability rather than beauty. An attractive site does not necessarily mean one that sells.
- Avoid using technologies that will make it difficult for some visitors to access and navigate the site. Flash and Java can cause these problems; simple HTML works for almost everyone.
- Limit the number of audio and video files you use on your site, and make sure the ones you do use are compressed. Larger files can slow loading of the site, and impatient visitors will often simply navigate away.
- Employ a skilled graphic designer to produce an attention-grabbing header for the site. It’s the first thing most visitors see and therefore must be impactful.
- Develop powerful headlines for your site. If you use accompanying images, make sure those images complement the headline’s message and push the visitor to your desired action.
- Make sure your “squeeze page” does its job by using language that prompts the visitor to provide their contact information.
On his website (mattbacak.com), Bacak also stresses the importance of email lists in your website marketing strategy. “There are many [website marketing] strategies to making money on the Internet, but nothing makes sense unless you have a big list,” he says.
“Email marketing is the most profitable way to make money on the Internet. When you build a list of hot and hungry prospects you control your future.”
Once you have your site set up, launch an email newsletter, and collect lead information through the signup process. Give people something free and useful and they will return to your site, increasing the possibility they will make a purchase from you or one of your sponsors.
One of the most obvious website marketing strategies is to simply create a highly visible site for your business. Web entrepreneur Ken Lemieux is the owner of Lemieux Graphic Design, an Internet-based firm that designs brand identities, advertising, sales collateral, and websites.
He recommends a marketing strategy that begins with optimizing a site to take advantage of non-paid, or organic, search engine results.
“Before you expend resources on web-based advertising, you want to optimize your site for the search engine spiders,” says Lemieux.
“Semantic markup is an essential starting point for search engine optimization. Code your site so that, when a bot crawls your page to index it, the text from the code tells it which parts of the page can be read by people.”
A spider, alternately known as a “bot,” is a program that analyzes (“crawls”) website content, then indexes the site to enable it to be quickly found through a search engine.
The more highly a site is ranked, the more likely it is to appear on the first page of search results – and therefore be found and visited by the person performing the search.
Lemieux says paid online advertising is a good way to bolster your online marketing efforts and is sometimes necessary in order to stand out among similar businesses on the Web.
“If organic (search) isn’t working on its own, and you’re in a crowded space, you will need to use Google AdWords to generate traffic.”
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