A large part of marketing these days involves developing some type of online marketing strategy. Online marketing can mean something as simple as using Google AdWords, or placing an ad on LinkedIn or Facebook, to generating an ad to be placed on a trade publication website.
The goal of online marketing is no different than that of any other advertisement: to increase brand awareness and find potential customers, in order to increase revenue and growth.
The huge advantage of online campaigns is that they are digital, and you can improve and adjust them throughout a campaign to help you achieve your objectives. The other advantage of online marketing is that you have the ability to easily track and measure your campaigns by the day, hour, or even minute (if you really wanted to).
Generating leads and customers not increasing site traffic are indications of success and by tracking and measuring the success of your campaign, you can determine if your objectives are being met, and if not, you can adjust your campaign to meet them.
One example of how quickly you can react to an online campaign is to run an advertisement on a trade publication’s site, make note of the click through rate, use Google Analytics to track the traffic to your site and referral sources, and finally, to look at the conversion rate of traffic to leads. If you see that there is a low click through rate, you might need to rethink your ad. But if you find you have a high click through rate, and high traffic, but see no leads being generated, then something is happening on your site that stopped a potential customer from becoming a lead. This might mean you need to make a change not to the advertisement, but to the mechanism that was designed to convert the traffic into leads.
Before you start planning your next online campaign, determine if you have the time and resources to properly monitor its development and success. You might want to consult with a marketing agency, which can provide you with the insights and expertise necessary to make your campaign a success.
Over the past 20 years of marketing for small and mid-sized businesses, I’ve developed a number of questions that you should take under consideration before launching any online campaign:
- Clearly outline the goals and objectives of your campaign (e.g. increase leads by 5%, 10%).
- Identify which publication the ad should appear in (target the campaign to the audience).
- Clearly outline the time your campaign will run (1 day only, 1 week, etc.).
- Create an incentive offer, whether that is free product or service; leads increase depending on incentives.
- Put a tracking mechanism in place. That way, you can measure the results and make improvements to your marketing strategy as you go.
- An ideal tracking mechanism is Google Analytics. It is free to use, and is one of the most powerful online analytics tools available today. (It tracks much more than website traffic, as displayed in my example).
- Before the campaign launches, offer your campaign offer to existing clients.
- Post in your social networks the day you launch the campaign.
- Track your campaign by the hour, day, minute, etc.
- If you are not seeing the results you want, look at the flow of the campaign. Are there any ‘sticky’ places? See if you can make any adjustments to get your campaign ‘unstuck’.
Online marketing can generate the leads you are looking for, but you need to consider not just the message you’re sending, but also how you have planned to convert the message into a lead gen tool.
Do you have any questions on Internet marketing? What has been your most successful online marketing campaign? Or have you had any negative experiences with online marketing that have helped you to re-strategize your methods for future online campaigns? Feel free to share your questions and stories in the comments below.