Happy New Year!
What’s the perfect remedy after a late night of partying and a heavy hangover?
The Op Ed annual blog post on how to spending your marketing budget, of course!
Without further ado…
As we always say, your digital marketing budget should strike a balance between Attracting, Converting, and Keeping Customers.
That’s not to say that 1/3 of your budget should be spent on Attracting customers (PPC, SEO, etc.), 1/3 on Conversion and Testing, and 1/3 on Keeping customers engaged (Social, Content).
The point is that a good marketing strategy will address the end-to-end acquisition and retention lifecycle of your customer.
Here’s a quick list of strategies that can help your business implement such a strategy:
Pay Per Click
Yes PPC is still alive and thriving (here’s our basic guide to PPC). Just remember, PPC really comes down to one thing: making sure people searching for a product or service that your business offers finds you, and not your competitor.
Tip: Think outside the box when it comes to PPC. You don’t always have to go after high cost, broad keywords, use PPC to get more webinar or event attendees, downloads any other soft sell strategy that will have a lower cost per click, and lower cost per acquisition.
Yes, SEO is also thriving. As I’ve written about before, “SOCO is the new SEO“. Traditional SEO is still important (on-page optimization, linkbuilding, etc.), but it needs to be complemented by Social Media and Content Marketing. These tactics taken together will help create more links, more traffic, and perhaps most importantly, more long-term business relationships.
Tip: As Google’s algorithm evolves to better serve the needs of searchers, don’t just focus on keywords but also topics or themes that are relevant to your brand and your business.
Website Testing & Optimization
It’s a stat I reference all the time: companies spend $92 attracting visitors to their website for every $1 on converting them.
Website testing and optimization is important because doubling your site’s conversion rate has the same effect as doubling its traffic. Your site should have a clear conversion path with primary (purchase, download) and secondary (email subscription, social follow) conversion goals. And wherever that conversion point is, you should be testing: copy, headline, price, layout, etc.
Tip: Look at your Google analytics, and I’d bet that most visitors to your site don’t enter via your homepage. That means you need to treat every page as a landing page, with a clear path to conversion.
In 2015, try to put the “Social” back into Social Media. Yes SM is great for syndicating content, yes SM is great for targeting and prospecting, but this year use Social Media as a way to build meaningful relationships.
Tip: Try out Nimble (affiliate link) to help find, manage, and engage others on social media.
Email should still be a big part of any digital marketing strategy. The key to email these days is hyper personalization, meaning you’re able to customize the type of email and the content of an email based on things like: where the email is opened, when it’s opened, what device it’s opened on, and even what the weather is outside where the email is opened. So in 2015, aim to make your emails more relevant to your customer.
Tip: Integrate MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) with your email strategy, so people using their phones can text to receive a mobile-friendly offer via email.
Mobile is big, and getting bigger. Did you know that Mobile coupons and deals convert at a 10x rate of traditional coupons, and they’re faster to create and cheaper to use? Your customers are on the go, so the starting point for your mobile strategy is to ask yourself how you can serve them better?
Tip: For more on mobile check out my interview with Brett Relander, author of recent book on mobile marketing.
As I recently wrote, I think Referral Marketing is going to explode, especially with the rise of mobile and the seamless way to share products, links, and information. I’ve always been a big believer in referral marketing, whether it’s Word of Mouth (WOM) or using a referral tool such as Ambassador, Friendbuy, or Referral Candy. In 2015, set out a Referral Marketing strategy that has goals, KPIs, and is continually being tested for success.
Tip: The best time to ask for a referral from your customer is at the “wow” moment. Whether it’s the delivery of a product, a project, or just when you’ve gone above and beyond, don’t be afraid to ask for that referral when your customer is most impressed.
Blogger Outreach/Influence Marketing
The definition of your customer has changed. Your new customer is anyone who buys from you, as well as anyone who can influence those who buy from you. Bloggers or Influencers are already engaged with your customers, so how you engage with them is becoming increasingly important.
There’s no best way to engage bloggers/influencers. You can interview them, ask for ideas, have them write a blog, attend an event, host a webinar, promote your contest, the sky is the limit. The key is to take the long-view, and look at it as a way to build a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.
Tip: For more on this topic take a look at “Your Competitors Customers are Your Best Influencers” as well as my blog on “5 Influence Marketing Tools to Boost Your Blogger Outreach“.
I’m sure I’ve overlooked some things.
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but a high level overview of some tactics that we’ve employed with our clients and had success with.
In 2015 digital marketing tactics will change, but the strategy should still be about Attracting, Converting, and Keeping customers.
Here’s to a happy and prosperous New Year 🙂