Regardless of your business size, a great, focused marketing strategy can make a significant impact on your profits and sales. But marketing is much more than splashy ads on Facebook or big billboards across Hollywood Blvd. For bigger companies that have more expansive budgets, digital marketing provides several ways to develop your business, grow your customer base, and connect with an ever more extensive network of potential customers.
Create a strong landing page
It’s very easy to ignore your company’s landing page. You can slap some necessary information on the page and get on your way, right? Wrong. It’s critical to spend time (and money) creating a landing page that hooks in potential customers. A landing page is one of the best ways to generate leads, collect demographic data, offer visitors clear and purposeful information, and give prospects a way to take their interest to the next step. Landing page data can also be tracked, tested, and optimized until you see a positive trend of visitors converting.
Take a look at this sample landing page from TrustandWill.com. It provides simple navigation that lives above the fold, so a visitor doesn’t have to scroll to get to the relevant information. Plus, they can easily find information about the company’s products and pricing. Perhaps most importantly, there are two highly visible CTAs to help potential customers take the next step on their buying journey.
Evaluate your competition
You’ve heard it before: “the best offense is a good defense.” With marketing, that same sentiment applies. Generally, companies will analyze competitors based on their products and services on a surface level. While that’s still a crucial step for understanding the market saturation, you’ll need to take your analysis a step further to get an edge.
Consider tapping into your existing customer base and ask what they view as the main differences between what you and your competitors offer. Getting this kind of feedback can prove invaluable for your marketing efforts.
Here are some other ways you can evaluate the competition:
- Track your customers’ referral links on Twitter
- Use the Adwords keyword tool for content ideas.
- Conduct a competitive link analysis using Open Site Explorer
- Secret shop your competitor
Nurture relationships through social media and networking
In business, networking, and creating meaningful relationships that last beyond a single transaction is crucial to success. With a great product or service, you can develop relationships based on trust. In turn, you acquire customers who offer loyalty to your brand, repeat business, and may even become brand ambassadors.
This is why social media marketing is critical for building up your customer base. Make sure to often post on your social accounts, engage with anyone who comments, and make your outreach as personable as you possibly can.
It’s important to show customers and potential clients how much you care – so do your best to respond to comments and questions actively.
Set time frames to track your marketing
Marketing is not a “set it and forget it” task. It’s an ongoing process that involves continual adjustment based on feedback, growth, and metrics. Set time frames for your marketing campaigns – but be realistic. Just like an overnight diet won’t have any results, neither will one marketing campaign (necessarily). Give your campaign time in the market before deciding it’s not working. After a few months, or whatever period you deem it appropriate, reevaluate your strategy. Once you start seeing results, you can do some A/B testing and tweak your messaging or make other kinds of relevant changes.
Figure out your target market
Not everybody is going to be interested in your service or product – and that’s okay! For your marketing efforts to be effective, you want to make sure you’re focusing on the right target customer. To find your target market, evaluate these kinds of market segments:
- Age: children, teenagers, young adult, middle-aged, senior
- Gender: male, female, non-binary
- Education: high school, college, university
- Income: low, medium, high
- Marital status: single, married, divorced
- Ethnic background and religious beliefs
- Family status: married, divorced, children, no children
- Lifestyle: trendy, frugal, exciting
- Socio-economic class: upper, middle, lower
- Hobbies and interests: health, shopping, books
- Attitudes and beliefs: privacy-advocate, climate change, health-conscious
Once you have your market segment figured out, you can write out a sentence about that type of customer to better flesh out who your company is geared toward: “My ideal customer is a young woman in her 20s who is single, middle-class, and wants to make sustainable shopping choices.” Giving your target customer a name and a face might even help you further. You can create a buyer or marketing persona to develop campaigns around your ideal target customer, for example.
Don’t forget about incorporating calls to action.
It’s essential always to lead your customers to the next step. The “next step” can be following you on social media, making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out an application. So, consider adding custom CTA buttons or creating more straightforward navigation on your website that makes it easier for customers to get to that all-important next step.
It’s a good idea to test variations with your calls to action so you can find ways to improve your marketing. Even small tweaks to your messaging, for example, can lead to higher rates of conversion.
Undergrads.com is an excellent example of how to use different CTAs to get your customers where they need to go. Not only does their homepage have two bright CTAs leading customers to book a move with them, but it also has a CTA allowing customers that are on the fence about their services to learn more by clicking “our services.”
Gather and display testimonials
Before a customer invests in a service or product, they’re likely to look at reviews before doing so. It’s in your best interest to find and compile positive feedback. People are indeed more likely to post bad reviews, which is why it’s critical to see those positive testimonials. You may even consider a follow-up survey after shipping a product or after a service has been rendered, to give customers a chance to give feedback. In turn, you can resolve issues before they turn into a 1-star review somewhere on the web for everyone to see.
Conclusion: Improving your marketing efforts, one click at a time
Marketing isn’t always easy or straightforward, but by incorporating some of the tips on this list, you can take steps to become more profitable. Remember to let data lead your decisions and hone in on your target market. Soon enough, you’ll be able to expand your customer base and increase your profits.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365businesstips.com as well as runs a personal blog, mixedbitsmedia.com. She lives in San Diego, California, and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.