Best Practices for Online Marketing

Best Practices for Online Marketing - header image

The best way for you to exercise your marketing muscles is to jump in and immediately get yourself going with your planning and strategies.  Best marketing practices should start with first setting proper expectations while concentrating on the competition, consistency, and conversion of your efforts. 

You should also make use of the tools around you including the examples set by the successful companies that are your competitors or peers.  We will focus on 7 lessons that you can learn from simply observing how Apple delivers its marketing materials to the public.

With these values, you will be able to apply these best practices to your marketing efforts and bring success to your ventures.

Setting Expectations for Your Online Marketing Campaign

Digital Marketing illustration

After launching changes to your website or setting up an online advertising campaign, most expect to see instant results and floods of leads. Some leads can come immediately, but usually, the real results can come up to a year out. 

According to Fractl Marketing, “it takes at least 6 months to see results from on-site content marketing”. This would include blog posts, new case studies, and additional website content. For content off of your website, Fractl claims it can take up to “6–12 months to see results”. This would include content such as Facebook, paid advertising, and content on other websites.

Set proper expectations to your online marketing campaign by focusing on the competition, remaining consistent with your efforts, and closely monitoring your successful conversions.

Competition

Realistic expectations are important when you start your marketing campaign. It will save you a lot of frustration and help you nurture your business. You should know your market and understand if you face stiff competition for your product or service.  If you do have a lot of competition, then you can expect it to take longer to see results from your marketing campaign.  

Temper your expectations while you aim high. Use tools like Google Analytics or SEMRush to track your website traffic and advertising.  You should also keep a close eye on your competitors to see if your marketing campaign is making any headway. 

Consistency

Your online marketing campaign should be well-planned and have a clear message that’s easy to understand.  Keep your message consistent both in content and in timeliness.  A lack of consistency will mean that you’re not always delivering a clear and constant message.  This can result in the possible loss of interest in your business.  In turn, it can lead to poorer results in search engines and a decline in your business revenue.

Be vigilant in monitoring your campaign performance.  You may not see instant results, but as they say, “slow and steady wins the race.” Don’t give up if you don’t immediately see any results.  Focus on the keywords that will attract the attention of your specific audience.

Conversion

Sometimes online marketing campaigns can be very successful at getting leads to your website, but the leads aren’t converting. Why is this? Some common reasons can be due to high pricing and the difficulty of using your website. 

Another aspect of leads not converting could be due to not receiving a follow-up email or call soon enough. Sometimes a lot of leads can be people who are shopping and looking for a better deal. In this case, researching your competition and making sure you are competitive with your product or service pricing is a key factor. 

Visitors that are shopping and not purchasing instantly aren’t considered a bad thing. It may be that they return later to complete the purchase.

It’s common to think that once you publish new material it will instantly bring in new leads and sales. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. Some websites which have focused on their competition along with consistency and conversion have incredible authority online, allowing a single blog post to drive converting leads to their store.

Even though you may not see instant results, stay focused on your competition, consistency, conversion, and over time you will see powerful results. 

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7 Great Lessons from a Marketing Champion

Online Marketing - lessons from a marketing champion

It’s not always necessary to re-create the wheel when you’re creating an online marketing campaign.  Make sure to look at your competition or even other businesses who have success and see how they are doing it.  You shouldn’t be copying them completely, but you can easily see the methods that they use and learn from how they deliver their message.  

This guide will look at the success of Apple’s marketing.  You can learn 7 key lessons by looking at how the tech giant markets its products:

Keep the Message Simple

Apple has understood this for a long time. Their ads typically avoid product feature lists, special effects, interactive design, and even price. There isn’t even any information on where or how to purchase their products (but, honestly, everyone already knows that anyway).

One of the clearest advantages of a simple message is that it is easily understood. There is no confusion.  Complicated ads may impress a small percentage of viewers, but a clearly defined and simple message is immediately understood without wasting time and by a much larger audience.

Focus on Value

Part of why Apple doesn’t mention pricing in their ads? They want the customer to focus on value rather than cost. The lesson to be learned: don’t get stuck trying to out-price competitors. Your prices should reflect your product’s value because customers are willing to pay for quality.

Keep the Audience Engaged

Apple products are almost always released with a lot of ceremony and fairly consistently.  They announce their events and often tease their customers with their upcoming releases. They understand that mystery goes a long way towards creating buzz – people wait with bated breath to find out what features the next iPhone is going to have and what it’s going to look like. In fact, they get so pumped up that they’d probably buy the latest incarnation sight-unseen without even thinking about it.

If you can capture the attention of your audience, you’ll find success in converting people to your product or service.

Consistent Values

Value is often a buzzword used in politics to sway people in one direction or another.  However, it’s much more than that.  Values are often at the core of how people make decisions or live their life.  So, when they see consistent values from a company, it can affect their decision on how they trust that entity or its products.

Several years ago, Apple stated: “We simplify, we perfect, we start over until everything we touch enhances each life it touches.” They stand for innovation and progress, and that mission is clear in everything from their packaging to their marketing collateral.

Like them, you need to repeat your values through everything your brand touches.

Create an Experience

Quite often, a company produces a product, but it is just an inanimate thing. There may be great design or functionality that the product can provide, but usually, people only learn about it through an experience or from being told.

Creating an experience for the customer through a story, video, presentation, or customer testimonials gives your product credibility and adds to its value.  People treasure good experiences.  

Combine a good experience along with a good product or service and you have a win-win with your customers.  They not only become potential repeat customers – they’ll gladly sell the product for you through word of mouth.

Unique Visuals

The most iconic thing about Apple’s advertising is the visuals and designs that they present on screens and even with their packaging. Their designs reflect their values and are almost as much art as they are marketing material.

Apple ads are known for their gorgeous photography – and your brand should be, too. Today’s world is image-driven. People would much rather look at a photo or an infographic than read pages, so your visuals need to look professional and be stunning.

And with the vast array of free quality stock photos out there, it shouldn’t be too difficult. Check out sites like www.pexels.com for inspiration.

Leverage Social Proof

Leveraging your customers through social media is a must for great search engine results. One of the most powerful tools that you can use for marketing are the success stories from your customers.

Customer testimonials may often go further than your own messages in convincing a person to convert to your brand. It also shows that you are communicating and engaging with your customers.

Apple is all about customer reviews, a ton of their ads feature actual customer photos or videos shot on iPhones. When it comes to social proof, you really can’t get any better than that.


Understanding your marketing efforts and setting proper expectations helps to set realistic goals for your growing business.  You can also learn from marketing champions and practice their values in delivering your own marketing message.  Applying these best practices will help you create a robust online marketing campaign that will bring success to your business or cause.

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