If you haven’t already noticed, the marketing game has changed dramatically over the last few years. What used to be print ads and commercials on the radio/ television, has now shifted to developing a strong online presence for your business. However, online marketing is not “one size fits all”. There are many different strategies to consider when marketing your business online and the right strategy can depend on which industry you are in. Here are three of the most popular/ effective types of online marketing and how different industries are successfully implementing them.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As digital marketers, we would like to think that just about everyone has heard of SEO. However, this unfortunately is not the case. Informed business owners often know it is important and many times pay marketers to help them with it, but not all of them know what it means. SEO involves using different tactics (link building, content optimization, ect.) to increase the chance of your site being found when a user using search engines like Google or Bing.
The vast majority of consumers are searching for products, services, and companies online long before doing business with them. If your website doesn’t show on the first page of the search engine results, there is a good chance that no one is going to find you. Most people will search a different phrase to find what they are looking for before they will look on page 2. Why is that? Historically, Google has done a great job of providing their user with the desired information on the first page. Therefore, formulating the belief amongst users that if they don’t find what they are looking for on the first page, they may be searching for the wrong thing. Just think about the process you go through when searching online. Do you scan through multiple pages?
For industries such as banking and money lending, SEO is generally the go to tactic given there isn’t much emotional appeal. Companies like Source Capital work hard to target the specific keywords they want to rank for and be found for. In the example below you can see how Source Capital is optimizing their homepage for “California hard money loans”. They have used their keyword phrase in the heading, as well as using the phrase repeatedly throughout the page. They used the phrase “hard money loan” 20 times on the first page and also made great usage of semantic keywords, which are keywords that hold similar meaning to the phrase you are targeting.
Paid Search (PPC)
Another popular and effective form of marketing is paid search, also called pay-per-click, or PPC. This is a form of advertising where you bid for your ad to be placed on search engines results page, then you pay every time it is clicked on. Your ad listing is displayed on Google’s first page above the organic search results, allowing you to be found almost instantly.
Have you ever visited a website and then later noticed that the company keeps showing up in ads on other sites that you visit? That is a result of paid search marketing. This form of marketing allows you to target specific areas, term, and user habits. All this data is also trackable, allowing you to know what is working and what is not so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
For example, the company Smart Move has a very specific target audience – smaller landlords in need of a tenant screening system. They use AdWords to target the exact keywords that they want their ad to populate for. In the example below, Smart Move is targeting the phrase “tenant credit report”. When this phrase is search in the search engines their ad is populated as seen in the image.
Social Media (SMM)
Over the last decade social media has become incredibly popular, which makes it a great platform for marketing. You are able to reach countless people and audience targeting capabilities on platforms like Facebook allow you to display your ad for people that are directly interested in what you are selling. Social media is an affordable way to market. It also allows you to interact with your target market, which most other forms of marketing do not provide an opportunity for. You can actually see the exact people that are interacting with your company’s ad.
Given that Facebook allows you to target people by interest, in the example below, Kinobody is using a sponsored Facebook video to tap into the personal feeds of users that have previously claimed to be interested in fitness and/or personal training. You can actually see that their ad was shared over 600 times, which helps expand the amount of people that they have been able to reach. As seen below, with 1.2 million views, Kinobody seems to be fairly successful with their campaign.
While each form of marketing is valuable, knowing your industry will help you determine which strategy is best for your company. If you can develop an ad that plays to a consumer’s emotions you can find great success on social media. Create a strong ad that your audience can connect with. If your business lacks an emotional appeal turn your focus toward something like SEO. Conversely, if you want an instant results, turn your marketing efforts to paid search. With trial and error you can find the perfect combination of marketing strategies to reach your target audience, improve your conversion rate, and increase overall visibility and revenue.