What are the best online marketing channels? There isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. Every business is different. But, there are certain channels that tend to be more cost-effective and provide higher conversion rates.
If you are looking for a way to stretch your online marketing budget, then explore the most cost effective online marketing channels.
Here’s a quick overview of the online marketing channels that’ll be covered:
- Email marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Social media advertising
For some reason, many entrepreneurs believe that email marketing is outdated or ineffective. This is simply not true. Email marketing remains the most cost-effective way to increase conversion rates and boost sales.
Compared to all other online marketing channels, email marketing offers the lowest cost per lead. While social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have millions of users, everyone has an email address.
As long as you’re smart about your email marketing strategy, you will get positive results.
Make sure that your emails encourage your subscribers to take action. This could include visiting your website or purchasing a product or service. You should also create a sense of urgency in your emails.
Also, don’t ever purchase an email list. You should always build your own list using opt-in forms and other methods.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is another marketing channel that is thought of as being past its prime. Again, this isn’t true. PPC is affordable and effective. You just need to optimize your PPC campaign.
Before you put together your PPC campaign, you need to perform thorough keyword research. The key to an effective PPC campaign is choosing the right keywords. Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to research keywords and find phrases with low competition and medium search volume.
Along with keyword research, you need to have a title and description that grabs attention. You have limited space available. Your title and description used in your PPC advertisement shouldn’t be vague. It should be clear and direct.
By having a clear message in your PPC ad, you’ll naturally notice higher conversion rates. Focus on a specific demographic and speak directly to the customer.
Social Media Advertising
While email marketing and PPC advertising have been around since the beginning of online marketing, social media marketing is relatively new by comparison. There are two methods of using social media as a part of your online marketing strategy – regular activity and advertising.
First, you should be active on social media. Create a schedule for sending out new posts or tweets. This helps you build your subscriber or follower base.
Along with regular activity, you should include social media advertising in your marketing strategy. This could include Facebook Ads, promoted Tweets on Twitter, and advertisements on LinkedIn.
As with PPC advertising, you’ll need to optimize these advertisements to increase conversion rates. Again, use Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool to find the most effective keywords. Focus on a niche category.
Here’s one more online marketing channel to include in your overall strategy – blogging. Blogging is extremely cost effective. You likely already have a website. You just need to start adding regular blog posts.
Blog posts can be shared on social media, linked to from advertisements, and are incredibly beneficial from an SEO standpoint. Blog about topics relevant to your products or services.
You should also create a schedule for your blog posts. With a regular schedule, visitors will know when to come back for more posts. This increases repeat traffic and allows you to develop a loyal group of followers while also establishing yourself as a voice of authority in your niche market.
As you start developing and refining your online marketing strategy, consider using the marketing channels described above.
If you regularly spend money on content for your website copy or blog posts, you understand how frustrating it can be to see this content come and go. A few weeks after you post a new blog that you spent good money on, it may no longer hold any value to your website.
When good content goes unnoticed, it’s tempting to want to reuse it in some manner. Unfortunately, a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners go about this in the wrong way and get penalised by search engines. This can dramatically decrease your search engine rankings.
So, does this mean that you can’t use existing content? No, you’re able to republish content, as long as you go about it in the right way. Use the following suggestions to republish your existing content without getting penalised.
Correctly Letting Search Engines Know About Your Duplicate Content
First, you need to make sure that you’re letting search engines know that this new post is duplicate content. The way to do this is to include a canonical URL. Syndication of articles is a major business. If you spend any time on news aggregator websites, then you’ve seen syndicated content that’s posted on multiple news sites.
How to Add a Canonical URL
If search engines had to penalize every site that uses syndicated content, then news sites would have trouble staying at the top of the search engine rankings. The solution is the canonical URL. Adding this little bit of code is easy. You simply add a link tag in the <head> section of your HTML. The full code would look something like this:
<link rel=“canonical” href=“http://example.com/post” />
Adding the canonical link lets search engines know that the content they’re crawling is a duplicate of another URL. The URL that is included in the link tag is the URL of the original post. This link tag must be placed on every page where you plan on republishing your content.
Additional Tips for Using Canonical URLs
Make sure that you don’t edit the content that you’re republishing. If you notice grammar mistakes or other small errors, you can fix them, but don’t edit major parts of your article. Otherwise, the search engines will still count the pages as two separate posts.
The canonical URL link should never be used as a form of black-hat SEO. It should only be used in its proper context. This will defeat the purpose of using the canonical URL in the first place.
You should also include an actual link at the beginning or end of the duplicate content that links back to the original source. This will be beneficial if you are syndicating your content for use on other sites. Each time the content is republished, you’re adding another back link to your site.
Republishing content is a useful way to get more value out of the content that you pay for. Spending money on the creation of original content can be a major part of your marketing budget. Most people can only pay for so many articles per month. Instead of letting these articles go to waste after they’ve outlived their usefulness, consider using a canonical URL to republish them.
You can republish your content on a separate website that you own or allow other sites to republish the content—as long as they correctly use the canonical URL link.
If you have old content that you would like to republish, make sure that you’re going about it in the right way.
There are many different strategies for driving traffic to your site and increasing customer retention. While you could spend large sums of money on advertising and marketing, there are other solutions available. Building your own website community is a great method of building loyalty and repeat traffic.
What’s an online community? Basically, a community is a group of regular visitors that frequently discuss topics and regularly interact with each other. Instead of just randomly commenting on blog posts, these visitors are actively engaged in what’s going on.
Here are some tips to help you begin to build an online community in order to boost customer retention and keep visitors coming back for more.
Create a Community on Your Website
The first step is to create a community on your website. This can be done by adding a forum to your site. If you use WordPress, this is relatively easy. You can create a sub-domain and install a forum theme on the sub-domain. For those without WordPress, there are many great forum templates that you can use.
You should build a forum that is relevant to the product or services that you carry. Promote the forum as you would any other website. Use proper SEO to help drive traffic to the forum. Include links from your main site to the forum and discuss your forum on social media.
Respond to Every Blog Comment
Along with creating a forum, you should respond to every blog comment on your blog posts. Again, if you’re using WordPress, this is easy. You choose to receive an email notification every time a new comment is left on your site. This also applies to your forum.
Every time someone leaves a comment, if it’s worthy of a response, then respond to the comment. Try to respond as quickly as possible. When a visitor sees that you actively respond to comments, they’re more likely to come back and leave other comments.
Create a Subscriber List
You can include an opt-in form on your forum for users that wish to register. In fact, you might want to think about requiring user subscription in order to post a comment on your forum. If you have quality content, users will want to subscribe.
Don’t bombard your subscribers with useless emails. You should keep this subscriber list separate from existing email lists. Have one list that is exclusively for your community subscribers. The emails that you send should be relevant to the forum and the community.
Integrate Social Media with Your Community
Combining the best of both worlds, you can integrate your social media business profile with your online community. How does this work? Through your business profile, create a social media community. Make this a mirror reflection of your online website community. Follow the same principles—responding to comments promptly and encouraging people to leave comments.
Create Exclusive Content for Your Community
Creating exclusive content that you only share with your community members will help increase loyalty. Your members will appreciate receiving content that’s not available elsewhere. Make sure the exclusive content is valuable and informative. You still need to focus on quality when creating this content.
Building a community can be a lot of work, but it’ll pay off in the end. You’ll find that you have a large number of regular visitors and steady traffic to your site. This can help you boost sales, increase customer retention, and compete with major players in your industry.
You don’t need to necessarily be at the top of the search engine rankings to remain competitive. Use these suggestions to begin building a community.
When you create a landing page or release a blog article as part of your internet marketing approach, it’s sometimes a good idea to allow comments. This can help increase engagement and could lead to more subscribers for your mailing list. At the same time, you could end up with lots of spam comments.
How do you manage your blog comments to increase the effectiveness of your marketing content? There’re a few simple steps that you can take to prevent a free-for-all.
Use a Trusted System for Your Comments
You shouldn’t allow just anyone to comment on your blog. This can quickly lead to spam comments, random messages, and internet trolls. Before long, your comment section could be packed with comments that’re completely unrelated to your content.
Use a trusted system for your comments. This means a system that requires a login. There are two main options – social media plug-ins and third-party plug-ins.
Google Plus, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter have plug-ins that you can place on your site for your comment sections. This helps to cut down on the random noise-makers that plague open comment sections.
Another option is to use Discus or another third-party comment plug-in. These plug-ins also require a login. By ensuring a user has some type of profile, there is less of a chance of anonymous comments.
Community Only Comments
If you find that you still get anonymous, irrelevant comments, you could restrict comments to community members. Before someone could leave a comment, they’d need to sign up to your community and join your mailing list.
Restricting comments to community members can help increase the quality of your comments. Though, it can also decrease the number of comments your content gets.
Don’t Allow Comments
You don’t have to allow comments. While comments help create an engaged community, provide feedback, and allow you to answer relevant questions, they can also be distracting. If you feel that your comment section is more trouble than its worth, you could remove it completely.
There’s a downside to removing the comment section. A recognisable brand won’t see a major impact by removing the comment section, but, a smaller business may find it more difficult to build trust with their customer base.
Choosing the Option That Works for You
How do you choose the right option? You basically have four options — you can use a social media plugin, use a third-party plugin, restrict your comments to community members, or not allow comments at all. Each of these options has their own advantages and disadvantages.
Social media and third-party plugins can help you build a community. They’re more open and allow a greater number of users to comment on your content. This can be beneficial for businesses that’re still establishing themselves. They can also lead to irrelevant comments and discussion unrelated to your content.
Community only comments can restrict unrelated comments. Though, they also limit the number of comments you get. This could be a suitable option — if you already have a large community established.
The final option is to not allow comments at all. This is mostly reserved for major brands that don’t need to engage with their customers.
Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option. The decision should be made before you begin releasing content. You may even use different options for different types of content.
For example, on landing pages connected to a PPC advertisement, you might choose to include social media or third-party plugins. For blog posts, you might want to restrict comments to community members.
These tips will help you make better use of your comment section, depending on your marketing strategies.
Blogging has become one of the most popular ways for people to share ideas, engage in dialogue, and interact with others who share a common interest. They usually are short essays published online according to a regular schedule, such as daily or weekly, revolving around a particular subject, such as food, sports, raising children or any other topic.
Currently, there are an estimated 450 million blogs being published on the internet. Blogs are free to create on blog hosting sites such as WordPress and Blogger, most of which also provide easy-to-use free tools and pre-made “themes” to make your blog look professional.
Blogs can include photos, videos, audio recordings, slideshows and many other forms of rich text. Bloggers sometimes make their blogs more interactive and entertaining by including polls and contests, and by encouraging their readers to leave comments and interact with them online.
Free and Effective Way to Connect with Passion Markets
Creating your own blog can be an effective way to promote your webpage because it’s an easy way to attract people who already are interested in your topic niche. By providing them with valuable information and rich content in your blog, you can build a relationship with your readers, ultimately directing them back to your website.
Plus, blogging is fun and interesting and you can quickly become immersed in a community of people who are friendly and knowledgeable about your niche subject.
Growing Power of Audio
Podcasting is a form of digital media consisting of a series of audio or video files usually all devoted to a certain topic. They can be created for free using the audio and video tools that are included with most newer computers, laptops, tablets and even smartphones and can be distributed for free on iTunes, YouTube and other free distribution networks.
You can also send your podcast to a list of subscribers or post links to your podcasts on your web page or blog.
Like blogs, podcasts are an effective way to target people who share your passion for your niche subject, and can therefore be a great way to promote your website. Although some podcasts feature elaborate production — including professional-quality editing, musical scores and other production values – most are simply people talking into a microphone or video camera about a topic that interests them.
Unlike blogs, podcasts give you the opportunity to speak directly to your listeners or viewers. This can make it easier to engage them emotionally and show your personality, which can be an effective way of branding your website. Podcasts usually are played back later by users on iPods or portable viewing devices.
During the early years of the internet, audio podcasts were the podcasting method of choice, but now with the near universality of video playback capabilities, video podcasts are becoming more popular.
Join Online Communities
Join the Party
Creating a reputation for your online business is no different than building a brand for a brick and mortar business. As the business owner, you need to get out into your community and meet people. Look for organizations that are relevant to your business’ niche and become involved in their online communities.
Introduce yourself to as many people as necessary and be prepared to “sell” your website to them in a few short sentences. One of the best ways to make friends online – or in the real world, for that matter – is to offer to help the other person, instead of asking for something all the time.
If you offer to write a testimonial for their website, for example, or to provide a free sample of some of your products, they probably will be open to the idea of helping you in return.
Be Nice, Get Paid
It’s also important to always be friendly and helpful to everybody that you encounter online because you never know who is going to be a potential customer. In most cases, the only point of contact people will have with you will be your online persona, so make sure you are consistently outgoing and always offer to assist people in whatever way you can.
Once you join online communities, find out what you need to do to get into positions of leadership. Not only will this help build your reputation and add to your resume, but it will put you in a position to make policy decisions that can be beneficial to your website and business in the future.
Before you approach a blogger with an invitation to submit a guest blog, it’s important to do some research into whether or not theirs is a blog on which you want to be published. If you offer a guest blog and later find out they don’t have a big enough audience or have written offensive or problematic posts in the past, you could damage your reputation if you withdraw your invitation.
Your research doesn’t have to be comprehensive. With just a few simple steps you can usually determine if a blog is worth using to post a guest blog.
Is the Audience Highly-Targeted
When you post your guest blog, you want the host blogger’s readers to be open to your recommendations so they can follow your Call to Action (CTA), whether it is to purchase products you recommend, click through to your web page, or whatever it may be.
The readers will be more likely to do that if they are passionate about the blogger’s niche subject matter. If the blogger is regularly providing high-quality, well-researched content related to is niche, he will almost certainly attract a lot of subscribers. And if his posts are keyword optimized and use other SEO techniques, a lot of other readers devoted to his niche will find his blogs through online searches.
Do Your Due Diligence
When you are considering a blog, browse through the archived blogs. Frequently, they are categorized according to tags, or keywords that identify the topic of each individual posting. Look for blogs that are consistently on topic. Avoid those that tend to go in wild and divergent directions.
For example, if the blog is called “Gourmet Cooking” and you notice that very few of the posts have anything to do with food, it might be best to avoid that one.
But if you find a blog that has a lot of high-quality, informative content in every posting, is saturated with keywords and has a lot of subscribers and eager, enthusiastic visitors who leave a lot of comments, that might be a blogger to approach about submitting guest blog.
Measuring Blog Traffic
Finding blogs with the highest amount of traffic sometimes requires a little detective work. While some bloggers have a widget installed on their blogs that tells the reader exactly home many times that page has been viewed, most do not.
But you can measure a blog’s traffic by looking at secondary indicators, such as the number of comments that have been left by readers and how much “social approval” it has received.
On average, only a very small percentage of readers will actually take the time to leave comments on a blog that they have read. Depending on the blog, it can be anywhere for 1% to 5% at most. So if there are hundreds of comments left on a particular blog, it’s a pretty good bet that it has been read by a lot of people.
Look for Social Approval Signals
The more people who leave social approval signals – such as Facebook “Like”, +1s from Google+, and Tweets – the greater value a blog post has with search engines. So it is beneficial for bloggers to encourage readers to click on these signals.
Smart bloggers make it easy by installing widgets on their pages that readers can simply click on to give their blog a thumbs up. When you notice that a blog has a lot of these social approval signals, it’s an indicator that it has a lot of readers. Your guest blog also will have a better chance of being ranked higher on your niche’s SERP, especially if you saturate it with keywords.