The internet changed marketing forever. It has allowed small businesses to compete with much larger competitors with eMarketing. Although this is possible, to succeed online, you still need a strategy.
I have prepared an overview of 7 practical eMarketing strategies for you to apply to your organisation. Read on to find out how to increase your traffic, sales and leads.
What is eMarketing?
eMarketing is simply online marketing, or in other words, any marketing activity that takes place via the internet. eMarketing is also known as internet marketing, digital marketing, web marketing.
Benefits of eMarketing
eMarketing has several advantages over offline marketing. For one, eMarketing can be much cheaper than offline marketing for comparable results. A Facebook ad can reach thousands of people for under £20. Compare this to print ads with the same reach, and the ads may cost hundreds of pounds.
eMarketing allows for greater targeting compared to offline promotion. You can use Google Ads to set up search ads targeting people searching for particular phrases. You can also use retargeting to advertise to a cohort that has completed a specific action, such as visiting a webpage. Offline marketing does not offer such precise targeting.
eMarketing also has the benefit of better tracking compared to offline marketing. Various analytics tools allow you to see in detail the actions your audience takes on your web properties. Offline marketing does not offer the same granularity when it comes to tracking and reporting.
Creating an eMarketing plan
If you want eMarketing success, then you need to plan your strategy. Essentially the steps are:
- Research – gather information on your customers, your business, your competitors, and the broader market
- Goals – define the goals that you aim to achieve with your marketing
- Steps – identify which activities you have to take to achieve those goals
- Analyse – you need to track, report and analyse the results of your marketing to improve further iterations
I wrote an in-depth piece about creating a marketing strategy for a business. You can read that if you would like some more information on creating a marketing plan.
7 effective eMarketing strategies to use
Organic search from sites such as Google drives over half of the traffic on the web. Search engines are a channel you cannot afford to ignore.
To rank highly on search engines, you need to carry out SEO (search engine optimisation) on your website. The majority of SEO work involves identifying the keywords you need to target, ensuring search engines can access your content, optimising content for search ranking factors, and increasing the quantity and quality of inbound links.
An example of an SEO strategy:
- Conduct keyword research to identify the search terms your target audience uses
- Run competitor analysis to figure which organic search strategies your competitors are using
- Carry out an SEO audit of your website
- Fix technical issues impacting your website
- Optimise your landing pages based upon the audit and keyword research
- Create new landing pages based upon the keyword research and any gaps identified
- Contact relevant websites for link based upon analysis of competitors’ inbound links
- Track rankings, traffic, conversions and any other relevant metrics to monitor performance
Content marketing is a great way to build your authority and drive relevant traffic to your business. Content marketing refers to all content you create, including articles, white papers, ebooks, video, podcasts, audio, infographics, and more.
Content marketing and SEO work very well together. SEO keyword research can help to identify the topics that will work best for your content marketing. Likewise, great content can drive traffic and links to a website, thus improving organic search rankings.
An example content marketing strategy:
- Use keyword research to identify relevant topics to create content for
- Identify the highest performing types of content for your audience, e.g. articles, video, podcasts etc.
- Review competitors’ highest performing content for ideas
- Plan out a content calendar, ensuring time-sensitive content is published on an appropriate date, e.g. content for Christmas or other national holidays
- Plan out how to promote the content, e.g. organic social, paid social, paid search, partners, syndication, influencers
- Produce the content
- Promote the content
- Monitor performance, e.g. traffic, inbound links, shares, likes, sales, leads
Social media marketing (SMM) can be a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness, engage with your audience and drive conversions.
Most important is identifying the social platforms that your audience uses. There is not much point in spending time and resources on a social platform that your customers never visit.
It is also vital to create the types of content that engage your audience. Perhaps they mostly respond to video content on social media. If so, you should invest in creating engaging videos that your target audience would enjoy.
Timing your social posts is also essential. You can find various studies online regarding the best times to post on social media. You can use these as a starting point, but make sure that you tweak your posting times once you start to gather data on your audience.
An example of a social media strategy:
- Identify the social platforms that your target audience uses and create social profiles on them
- Identify relevant influencers for you to connect with – follow them and monitor the types of content they produce and engage with
- Plan out a social content calendar
- Schedule engaging content to post on your social profiles using tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer
- Use paid social to boost your top content
- Engage with your target influencers and build a relationship with them
- Discuss with influencers how you could work together
- Track followers, shares, likes and other engagement metrics and optimise social campaigns appropriately
Email marketing is still a great source of traffic for businesses. If you do not already have a list of contacts to market to, you will either need to build one up or you will need to buy one. If you are going to buy a list, then make sure that it is a good quality list and follows all regulations regarding e-privacy.
There are some great tools out there for managing your email marketing. You can use platforms such as MailChimp and SendInBlue to manage autoresponders, mass message your audience and more.
As with all digital marketing, you will want to test your email marketing campaigns. Test your subject lines, pre-header text, content, calls to action, and the times that you send your emails.
An example email marketing strategy:
- Create a free ebook/white paper that is relevant to your target audience
- Ensure that your audience is required to provide their email address to receive the book – make sure you comply with GDPR and e-privacy at this point
- Setup up an autoresponder that sends the ebook/white paper to the people that provide their email address
- Have your system automatically add these prospects to an email marketing list
- Schedule automated email follow-ups to nudge your prospects further down the marketing funnel
- Depending on the prospects’ email subscription preferences, also send email newsletters with the latest relevant content from your blog
Organic search can drive a lot of traffic to your website, but it generally takes months to see real results. If you need traffic now, then you can run paid search/SEM campaigns.
You can quickly set up campaigns on platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads. Make sure you have selected keywords to target that will help you achieve your business goals. If your initial strategy is to build brand awareness, you will want to target higher high search volume, top of funnel search terms. However, suppose you are focused on sales. In that case, you will likely want to focus on more specific, transactional searches that are bottom of the funnel. You can read more about marketing funnels here.
SEM can become quite expensive, so you will want to monitor your ROAS (return on ad spend) to make sure that you are making a profit unless this is not your goal.
An example paid search strategy:
- Identify the relevant keywords to target based on your goals, e.g. sales, brand awareness
- Research high performing ads for competitors, looking at their titles and ad copy
- Create campaigns and ad groups on your search ad platform of choice
- Create multiple ads to test different combinations of ad titles and copy
- Identify your target CPC based on your target ROAS and current conversion rates, average basket value etc.
- Create paid search specific landing pages optimised for conversions
- Add negative keywords you do not want your ads appearing for
- Run your campaigns, monitor and optimise as you gather data
Conversion rate optimisation
Getting people to your website is only one part of the problem. Once prospective customers are on your site, you then need to turn them into customers or leads. At this point is where conversion rate optimisation (CRO) comes in.
You can use Google Analytics to track website usage and user journeys. Still, you might find it lacks the detail for you to make specific changes to web pages. You can use a tool such as Unbounce to design and test landing pages.
You can use online surveys to get feedback on your site. There are some great tools out there. SurveyMonkey and TypeForm are two survey tools you should check out.
An example CRO strategy:
- Identify factors that could be influencing your conversions – you can gather this data from customer surveys, analytics tools, other CRO case studies, your employees, or your own experience
- Use a CRO tool to design and build alternate versions of your pages to test
- Run your tests
- Monitor your results, and then implement your findings
- Run another round of tests on the new versions of your pages, experimenting with other factors
It would be best if you tried to automate as much of your marketing as possible. Marketing automation will help to increase efficiency and effectiveness if done correctly.
I won’t go into all of the tools available. You can check out this article on marketing automation tools that I wrote before.
An example marketing automation strategy:
- Identify repetitive marketing processes- you could gather this data from internal stakeholders involved in the marketing process
- Plan out which of these process could be automated
- Identify the tools required to automate these marketing processes and the costs involved
- If there is enough budget, implement marketing automation
- Monitor results and optimise processes further
eMarketing is a great way to market your business. Your competitors are likely already marketing online, so it is time to catch up and surpass your competition if you are not. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what eMarketing is and how you can apply it to your business.