5 Advanced Marketing Strategies to Elevate Your Business

When marketing your business online, you have to stay ahead of the curve. Rather than simply creating a social media account, you need to make sure that you can engage your audience in ways that your competition is not taking advantage of.

For that reason, marketers and business owners constantly inquire about the newest and most effective marketing opportunities available online. If you have a similar question, here are 5 advanced marketing strategies your business can take advantage of.

1) Add Value to Your Product or Service

Value adds are a perfect way to both increase awareness of and loyalty towards your brand. If you can give away more than the actual value of your product or service, the persuasive power of your marketing efforts will increase immensely.

Value additions can come in a variety of forms. For example, you can give loyalty discounts to repeat customers, or add a free promotional gift for new customers. Increasingly, companies focusing on digital lead generation are adding value through high-quality gated content, such as whitepapers, webinars, and free trials.

The goal of this marketing strategy is simple. If a member of your target audience has to choose between you and your closest competition, what will make them more likely to choose your product or service? The answer to that question translates into your specific value ad.

2) Take Advantage of Enhanced Personalization

At this point, it’s no longer news to say that your digital marketing efforts should be personalized. In fact, the clear majority of your audience expects exactly that. In turn, distinguishing yourself from your competition has to include an effort to go the next step.

In your digital marketing, that next step could consist of smart content. True website personalization goes beyond simply including a recipient’s first name in an email, instead adjusting website content dynamically based on previous information gathered about a visitor.

An existing lead, for example, can now see an entirely different homepage than a visitor that has never before made it to your website. As a result, you can deliver more personalized content, which in turn helps to increase the relevance of your messaging for your audience.

The same personalization is also possible through other marketing channels. Emails, for example, can be customized entirely using advanced audience segmentation and custom content blocks. The goal, as in the above, is to create a more relevant marketing experience for potential customers.

3) Build an Influencer Network

Many experts in digital marketing believe that leveraging influencers is the next big thing. Audiences across demographics are growing increasingly weary of traditional advertisements. Ad blockers are causing billions of revenue losses. The solution: work with key members of your audience to make sure the message comes from them, not you.

Building an influencer network takes significant time and effort. It includes not just finding powerful online users who your audience trusts, but also developing a relationship with them. Only finding the right users, and successfully encouraging them to share the right content, can help you succeed.

But if you get there, the positive effects are powerful. In fact, one case study found that influencer marketing delivers an 11 times higher ROI than other digital marketing methods.

4) Utilize the Power of Local SEO

In the last few years, search engine optimization has evolved to far more than a universal ranking on search results. For example, Google now takes into the account the location of searchers, allowing local brands to stand out even against national competitors.

As a result, Google is now encouraging businesses of all sizes to focus on local SEO. The keys to success can vary. But a successful strategy can ensure that your key demographics will find you when looking for a brand like you.

Especially mobile audiences can make a big impact on your SEO efforts. In fact, 50% of users who conducted a local search on their smartphone visit a store they found in that search the same day. Meanwhile, 89% of participants in a recent survey said they search for local businesses at least once per week.

5) Create Enriched Visual Content

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of visual content. Unless you are new to digital marketing, you probably already know the impact that videos and images can have on your visits, engagements, and conversions. But the possibilities don’t end there.

360 degree video, for example, is becoming increasingly popular. It allows you to showcase your brand and its product in more creative ways. Google and Facebook both support this virtual reality opportunity, while the cost of 360 cameras has dropped to prices affordable even for small businesses.

The key is no longer to use visuals, but to use visuals that are different from your competition. Enriched content, such as 360 degree video and even infographics, can help you get there.

Building a Digital Strategy for 2017 and Beyond

These strategies are not always simple. It’s easier to simply send out an email blast or post on social media than it is to create a 360 degree video or rank #1 in local searches. But executed correctly, they can become the cornerstone of a successful digital marketing strategy that puts your brand ahead of your competition.

Of course, you need a sound backend for any of these strategies to work. Increasingly, websites are becoming the foundation of successful digital marketing, offering the conversion opportunities as well as in-depth content your audience looks for after first being exposed to your marketing messages.

For help in creating a website that can support advanced marketing strategies like the above, contact us. We’d love to work with you in making sure that your marketing efforts stand out, both in 2017 and in years to come.

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8 Digital Marketing Tools You Should Master in 2017

Just like auto mechanics need one of those big roll around tool chests full of all kinds of tools in order to tackle any problem that may need fixing on a car or truck, digital marketers need a well-stocked toolbox to be effective at what they do. Here are 8 digital marketing tools that every digital marketer should have in their virtual toolbox:

 

1. Researching Trends

Google Trends is a free search tool that enables you to see how often specific keywords, phrases, and subjects have been queried over a specific period of time. You can query up to five keywords, phrases, or topics simultaneously and see the results displayed in graph called the “Search Volume Index”. You can even export the data to a .csv file for later use.

You can filter Google Trends data in two ways: real-time and non-real time. Real-time randomly samples searches from the last seven days. Non-real-time randomly samples searches that can range anywhere from 2004 to 36 hours ago.

Whether you’re just starting a business, researching competitors, creating a new campaign, or looking for good keywords or phrases for your next blog post, Google Trends can help.

 

2. Keyword Research Tools

There are actually two keyword research tool that work well together: Google’s Keyword Planner and Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer.

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that’s part of their AdWords product – AdWords only costs money if you actually place ads. You can research all you want for free. Keyword Planner allows you to research keywords by country and language, then shows you approximately how many times the term was searched. It also gives you a general idea of the competition for a particular keyword. Keyword Planner is a good tool for weeding out keywords so you can further research the more promising ones using Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer.

Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer is one of several tools offered by Ahrefs, and is more useful than Google’s Keyword Planner. Keyword Explorer provides relevant keyword suggestions from a huge (3 billion+) keyword database that’s updated every month. Keyword Explorer also provides advanced metrics like the “Clicks” metric – just because a keyword has a high search volume (as shown by Keyword Planner) doesn’t mean people are actually clicking on the keyword search results. Keyword Explorer is the only tool that shows the actual click data for your keywords.

 

3. Keep Tabs on the Competition

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could keep track of your competitors online, and even see a side-by-side comparison of, say, your top five competitors? SimilarWeb Pro is a great way to do it. You can even include your own website and get an eye-opening picture of how you stack up against the competition. SimilarWeb gives you an estimate of a website’s traffic, the sources of that traffic, the countries its traffic comes from, keywords the site ranks well for, and lots of other useful information. They also have a free version of the tool.

 

4. Finding Content Ideas

Have you ever had problems coming up with productive content ideas for your website or blog? Of course you have – we all have. It’s one thing to come up with content that just takes up space on your blog. It’s quite another to come up with content that engages your audience and gets shared.

Buzzsumo is a tool that helps you find out what content is popular by topic or by website. You can’t create engaging, shareable content unless you know what’s popular; but scanning social sites to learn what people are talking about and sharing is an impossible task. With Buzzsumo, you can enter your search criteria and let it discover what content is working in your area.

 

5. Facebook Advertising

No discussion about digital marketing tools is complete without social media in general, and Facebook in particular. Everyone knows that Facebook is the largest social media network in the world. They boast over 1.86 billion monthly active users as of February 1st, according to Facebook itself; and 76 percent of people use their Facebook feed to find interesting content, according to HubSpot. Add Facebook’s ability to collect a lot of user data, and you get an advertising platform that is second to none, at least in the social media world.

 

6. Planning Facebook Ads

Speaking of Facebook’s ability to collect copious user data, that data feeds into one of the most effective ad targeting systems out there. The Facebook Audience Insights tool provides a great deal of useful data for marketers, including aggregate information about geography, demographics, buying habits, the device they’re using, and even life events. The good news is, it’s easy to use, so you won’t spend a lot of time on the learning curve.

 

7. Using Smart Hashtags

Another important element of social media marketing is hashtag marketing. Hashtags are everywhere these days – Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. As a digital marketer, you can’t just ignore them. Hashtags can help expand your content reach, amplify your brand, target your market, improve your SEO, and more. But you need to be able to track your hashtag results, and that’s where Talkwalker comes into play. Tirewalker is a social media analytics platform that enables you to track hashtags and analyze which channels are making the most impact, identify messaging strategies that resonate with your audience, and create more relevant content using the hashtag cloud.

 

8. Search Engine Advertising

If you asked 1,000 internet marketers the first thing they think of when they hear the words “search engine advertising”, 999 of them will say Google AdWords, and the other one is probably asleep. That’s because it’s one of the most popular online ad platforms in the world. If you’re a serious digital marketer, using AdWords is a must, and for good reason. As of February 1st, Google is still the number one search engine with 1.6 billion unique monthly users – 4 times that of their closest competitor. With all those unique monthly visitors, you have a virtually limitless pool of prospects.

 

In Conclusion:

No marketer, regardless of how talented or experienced, can be effective if they don’t use the right tools; and digital marketing tools are always evolving. So it’s essential that you stay abreast of the best and newest tools available. Certainly, the 8 we’ve outlined here barely scratch the surface of what’s out there – some new, some tried and true. We invite you to check out MarkGrowth.com’s 53 Digital Marketing Tools You Should Master in 2017 and Spinweb’s Favorite Digital Marketing Tools for 2017 for more ideas.

You can also contact us to learn more about digital marketing tools in 2017, and continue following our blog for more great content.

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