Marketing is effective online but not every online marketing channel is right for everyone.
When considering your marketing efforts, you have to be honest with yourself. Don’t get seduced by hip marketing channels or your own ego. Make an honest assessment of your customers and business and pick the right solution. This will save you time and money. This will start to generate results quicker, too.
When trying to choose the best online marketing channel, you first need to ask yourself:
Are people looking for what I have to offer?
You can know this through a “keyword research.” This is the process of brainstorming phrases for which potential customers might be searching and then collecting the data to determine which phrase is more common.
There are several ways you can do keyword research. To identify which marketing channel you should use. There’s even a simple way. The point is, don’t just pick your marketing solution on fads or ego. Where are your customers? That’s where you should be marketing.
If customers are looking for you, you should consider Search Marketing. Search marketing is the practice of connecting people with the solutions they seek. There are two ways to engage in search marketing: SEO and PPC. I’ll talk more about these, below, as well as how to chose which one is best for you.
If customer aren’t looking for you, or you are unsure, you should consider Demand Generation. It might be that your company has a unique solution that nobody has considered before. That’s great! Choose marketing efforts that introduces your company them. There are two basic ways to do Demand Generation online: Display Advertising or Social Media. I’ll help you decide which one of these is best, by asking a second question.
Once you know the broader marketing channel ask yourself another question:
What resources do I have?
Even the biggest companies have limited resources. The two limitations every company comes up to is either time or money. Which of these is your limitation?
If you know people are searching for your solutions, and you have the money, you should consider Paid Search (PPC). This is an auction, held by the search engines, where companies bid to show up in the search results. If you win the auction, you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. This is why it’s called pay-per-click (PPC) or some call it cost-per-click (CPC) marketing.
While this channel costs money, it can start to deliver results fast. You should start to see results within a month of starting your PPC campaign.
If you know people are searching for your solutions, and you have time, you should consider Search Engine Optimiation (SEO). This is the practice of helping your website be more relevant to search engine users. There are three basic things involved in every SEO campaign:
SEO takes time. It takes time for the search engines to review your site. Once they’ve reviewed it, they compare your web page to other, relevant pages. This is not a quick marketing effort. It can take a three to six months before you start to see the effect of an SEO campaign.
SEO also takes time to learn. Once you get the basics down, you’ll also need to spend time keeping up with changes in the algorithms. Don’t forget to keep up with changes in search technology, too.
If you have a unique solution for which people are not searching, and have the money, you should try Display Marketing. With this channel you show ads to potential customers on third party websites. There are several services that can help you with this (including Google AdWords). To show your ad, of course, you need to pay. Sometimes you’ll pay on a cost-per-impression (CPM) model. Other platforms allow you to pay on a cost-per click basis, like a PPC campaign.
Not only do you need to pay for engagement, you’ll need to invest in assets to display. That means you’ll need to pay a designer to create a series of ads, each one in a variety of sizes.
Even though you are paying money for this channel, it is not quick. Creating demand for anything will take time.
If you have a solution that is new to your market place, and have the time, you should do Social Media marketing. To do this you’ll need to:
As you can tell, this will take time.
When I say a solution takes time or money, I’m oversimplifying. Channels that take time, will cost money. Channels that cost money will take a little time.
For example: if you are running a PPC campaign, you need to look into it at least once a week. From there you’ll need to make tweaks and optimizations to get more from your campaign.
At the same time, if you’re running a Social Media campaign you’ll need to spend some money. That might go towards tools, to help you save time. It might go to assets such as images or even copywriting.
This is also why I have a business. Companies pay me in exchange for time. As a consultant, some companies pay me to help them be more efficient with their time and money.
If you have a little more time or a little more money, why not do a couple things at a time? When you combine some of these efforts, you’ll get a little more out of each.
No matter which solution you choose, you must be able to measure it. If you can’t measure your results, how do you know if it works?
What should you measure? That’s easy: what makes you money? Are you trying to generate leads? Track them by their marketing channel. Are you selling products? You need to know which channel generated the most sales.
Sure, you need to keep an eye on other metrics but the most important ones are those closest to your revenue. That’s how you’ll know if the time and money behind your marketing effort is paying off. That’s how you’ll know you chose the right marketing channel.
Reliable Acorn will help you create a custom digital marketing strategy that does just that.Ready to Talk?