So you’ve set your online goals and decided on a digital marketing strategy. What next? Well the next step is to decide which online marketing strategy channels you’ll need to use. But which ones are better for gaining brand awareness for your business?
The first thing to note is that not all online marketing strategy channels will be relevant for your brand and business, and others will consume more resources (either financial or team work hours) to implement. Utilising several online marketing channels at once actually compliment each other, and can be easier to combine than tackled separately, so check which channels you can realistically implement. After all, it is better to execute one channel well rather than several badly, as this will do your brand more harm than good.
#1. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
In the world of online marketing, SEM is constantly becoming more significant than it has ever been. SEM is a combination of both SEO and PPC (which we’ll discuss below). Whilst search engine optimisation (SEO) is not the complete answer, if done well, it can provide fantastic long term organic results. Yet, if done badly, SEO can have a drastically negative impact on a business’ website. There are no quick fixes for getting a higher ranking website, it is a longer term strategy in achieving solid brand awareness. Ranking organically at the top will take time and the process is extremely competitive.
Excellent strategy ranges from on-page SEO; including checking the types of high quality content (articles, videos and images) on your domain, searching your website in order to remove duplicate content, have different metadata for each page, plus factors including H1 or H2 tags, minimal amounts of internal linking, and of course having a mobile-friendly site.
Regarding off-page SEO, perhaps more important is a solid amount of backlinks, especially from stronger domains (educational and government domains are excellent examples). But do not spam your website with lots of backlinks – better to have 1 or 2 quality links than 100 lower ranking ones. Quality backlinks to your website demonstrates to search engines that your website is authoritative and relevant, making it more likely to rank higher in searches compared to competitors.
#2. Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)
These are ads placed in search engines that appear at the top of search results from keywords or search phrases (usually the first 4 or 1/2 placed at the bottom). These ad placements are above organic listings on search engine results pages (SERPS). The position of your advertisement is subject to a keyword bidding process. Google’s ad platform is called AdWords and is the most known, both Bing and Yahoo also have their own PPC platforms.
Pay per click advertising involves placing ads on search results that when clicked, direct to a corresponding web page on your website. How the ad appears and where it is located is determined by various factors including (although not limited to) keyword’s click through rate (CTR), relevance of the ad text, bid amount, historical keyword performance plus landing page relevance (for example, are the search terms on the targeted landing page).
Paid search is unique in the sense that it can provide very fast results to get your brand out there. If you correctly manage your ads they can appear on the top of page one much faster than organic listings. Furthermore, your ads can be scheduled in advance and turned on and off through scheduling.
#3. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing today has several platforms that you can use and it can be puzzling to know which one to use that is right to aid your business getting more brand awareness. With its ability to reach audiences, social media marketing is rapidly positioning itself at the core of many brands marketing strategies. The top brands are now actively promoting and engaging with consumers on these platforms.
But which social media platform do you use? Well if you sell visual products then Instagram and Pinterest with their visual posts and pins are awesome for displaying your product portfolio. If you provide products and/or services to other businesses (aim for B2B), then most likely LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ are the networks for your business.
Have younger consumers — what about Snapchat? Whether for visual products or services, there is perhaps one network that appears to be able to reach and engage with new and existing consumers especially in B2C, and that is Facebook. Last but not least, a growing trend that more and more marketers love is video marketing, hence YouTube is definitely worth to consider, too.
With social media users willingly adding their geographic location, age, gender and listing their interests — this has made it easier for these platforms to offer advertising opportunities – and rich opportunities for marketers to target. Whether that is driving traffic to your site or increasing brand awareness and consumer trust.
However, social media marketing is time consuming, particularly if you want to do it well. There are plenty of scheduling tools available such as Buffer, MeetEdgar and Hootsuite, however, to fulfil your efforts, the tool needs to be managed daily.
A key point to note: never only post your own content as this may irritate users, social media is about offering informative and entertaining content (even from other brands) to your users.
To reach consumers beyond those who do not ‘follow’ your brand, social media advertising is an opportune way to reach potential consumers. If you do use social media ads then make sure you add their pixels. You can then segment a target audience and showcase your products and services to this highly interested audience.
#4. Content Marketing
Content marketing takes time and resources to produce, but it can be very cost effective when compared to other online tactics like paid search advertising. Customers are online and looking for products, services and solutions to their problems. Content marketing is about understanding what your consumers are searching for and how easy can they find it.
A basic, three or four page website does not build trust or a consumer base. Now consumers require consistent and frequent content to aid them with their search inquiries, and this includes free content. Plus, content will aid you with SEO strategy, helping your business rank well on search engines, further helping your organic ranking and search.
You’ve probably heard buzzwords like “content is king” – but more importantly “user intent is king” – Provide content that solves a user’s enquiries and you’ll rank much better as your content click through rates increase your sites authority.
Content marketing therefore is closely aligned with search engine marketing, often going hand in hand. But do not expect your new created content to immediately attract immense amount of new customers. You need to share your content — for instance, send it to influencers and those in your industry to read, and ask them to share as well. Content marketing is not always about creating content and sitting back and reaping any rewards — it is about raising your brand’s awareness by demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in your business field. Using social media helps you here in sharing your content and combined with email marketing, can get your content out there.
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#5. Email Marketing
Email marketing still remains a popular channel to get new leads and nurture existing clients. Without new leads entering your sales pipeline and your customers staying engaged with your brand, your company would not be able to scale. Email marketing is more than just sending messages en masse to the contacts listed in your CRM. It involves drip marketing techniques better described as a direct sales strategy involving scheduling promotional and educational messages with specific ‘call-to-actions’. It must never be seen as just an ‘email blast’ — email marketing is a campaign that takes place over a period of time, thus building up your brand’s awareness and trust.
Before you begin emailing find out more about your prospects so you can tailor your messages to them. Is your product or service aimed at women, men or both? What age groups are interested in your product? If you sell several products are they sellable to all segments or just certain groups? What languages do they speak? Where are they located? Factor in subject titles, time of day and time of week, a successful campaign will ensure that it has been tailored for their audience.
Unless you know more about who you are targeting, your cold emails will be seen as spam and negatively impact your brand’s awareness.
Another awesome function of email marketing is lead nurturing. Maybe your prospects are not ready to buy from you, but are interested in your products and services. Remind them about what your product and service can do and consider offering freebies — white papers, e-books or discounts to get them either make their first, or another purchase. Plus, think about trying to capture email addresses from visitors, so you can grow your database to begin your lead nurturing campaign.
#6. Conversion Rate Optimisation
Conversion rate optimisation factors more in psychology than technology. When people search online, it is up to you to ensure they stumble upon your website, and once getting there to help find what they are looking for. As mentioned under content marketing, “user intent is king” – once you get people to your website to read your content how easy is it for them to navigate to the answer to their search inquiry. A somewhat familiar issue is that a large majority of websites are poorly constructed and conceived that they represent what their owners want them to read, rather than what the visitor is searching to read.
Conversion rate optimisation then is the process of ensuring that your website is ready for that visitor who is searching online. People do not exactly read on the internet that much, they scan. The majority of visitors read headlines, images and bullet points. Depending on the profile of your visitor, you have only between two and eight seconds to convince them to stay on your website. Searchers click in, take a quick look, and click out.
Whilst on your website ensure they can complete an action you want – email sign up, ebook download or purchase one of your products if you’re an ecommerce website.
OK, not exactly a online marketing channel per se, but PR is still one of the most effective ways to skyrocket your brand awareness. By securing media coverage through various outlets, you are also securing heightened visibility among fans, thus leading them to adopt the mindset that you are indeed an established and well-respected business with a big reputation in the community.
Public relations set out to do exactly what you need: spread the word about your company. As you continue to be an active presence by staying true to a planned public relations campaign, you will increase brand recognition and company visibility. Your product, brand or service may be exceptional, but without a noticeable effort to spread the word, that terrific product will go wasted.
Whether you are a entrepreneur, small business or a large corporation, you will have hundreds of competitors, each vying for the attention of your target demographic.What will separate you from those competitors will be a well thought out and seamlessly executed public relations campaign.Take advantage of the tools that your competitors may not be using and be proactive about shaping your public persona.
You can even handle your own PR, there are plenty of PR software tools like PressCable, Ein PressWire or PRWeb that you can use. Either pay experienced copywriters to write PR for you or even write it yourself. These PR websites then share your news onto reputable news sites, not only gaining brand awareness exposure but valuable backlinks to your website.
Brand awareness is often overlooked when obtaining new sales or leads. Using a combination of appropriate online marketing channels will get your company “out there.” An online marketing strategy should be the cornerstone of your company’s brand.
Once you’ve set your goals, it is crucial to decide which channels you have resources and skills to execute. Choosing the right online channels that will compliment others enables a more focused and far reaching impact.
Need someone to take care of your brand awareness or simply some advice? Chat to us.