Your marketing goals are to engage with your current customers and increase your client base thus you must create and publish relevant content. Next, you must use the correct distribution channels to connect and engage with your current and prospective clients. Distribution channels should include:
- Blogs: free to post on your website
- Social Media: free, or relatively low-cost to post
- Video: free, using your mobile device and free editing software
- Email: free, or only pennies to send
- Press Releases: free, or relatively low-cost to post
As you can see most of these distribution channels require little or no cost. Does that mean that Online Marketing is truly free? Let’s examine how to effectively use these distribution channels to understand the true cost of Online Marketing.
An effective blog requires an individual to research, analyze, and interpret information in order to write a coherent and original blog post. Your blogs should be based on the activities of your company, the products and services your company offers and new technology and research in your industry. These blogs should be posted on your company website and used in your social media activities.
Social media is an integral part of a company’s online marketing efforts. These channels help build and reinforce a company’s brand and image. Posting on these channels requires more than just finding an interesting article and posting a link on a social media site. You must appeal to the needs and interests of the your company’s ideal client. A quality post requires researching, analyzing, interpreting and reporting on information that will help to improve your follower’s bottom line. You must help them with their pain points. Providing this type of information is what moves your company into the position of a thought leader.
While social media helps to build your company’s brand it must also generate leads. It must move prospective customers into and through your company’s sales funnel. This can be accomplished by linking social media posts to a blog, video or specific landing page on your website. This page must contain a Call-to-Action that will help the prospective customer connect with you and your company.
When it comes to the types of content considered most important in marketing, current research shows that video is top on the list. The average amount of time people spent consuming online video each day increased by 23.3% in 2015 and is expected to grow another 19.8% in 2016. And, video consumption is not just for consumers. Video is becoming a critical information source for senior executives. According to Forbes, more than 80% of the executives surveyed said they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago. And, more than half watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly. The ROI of video is impressive with 65% of executives visiting a vendor’s website after watching a video.
Bringing visitors to your website once is not enough. You need to keep them coming back. A great way to do this is with the effective use of email. When a new blog is posted or a new video has been added to your website you should send an email to your current customers. The email should include an interesting, clickable image. And, research has shown, your email should be a short, attention-grabbing, and compelling personal note.
Your goal is to grow beyond your current reach and attract new audiences that will convert into customers. An effective way to spread your message is with a well-written Press Release. These help with search engine rankings as well as help current and prospective customers learn about a new or existing product or service you offer.
Free Online Marketing
In order for Online Marketing to be effective there must be someone to research, analyze, and interpret information. That individual must be able to write coherent and original posts. These posts must be engaging and relevant to your social media followers. It also requires time, energy, talent and technical skills to create interesting images and engaging video. In additional to all this, the individual requires a technical understanding of the nuances of the various social media programs. They must be able to create effective ads with images and videos. And, they must track actions to the appropriate website in order to see if the Online Marketing efforts are effective.
As we have seen, the distribution channels used in Online Marketing require little or no cost. At the same time, it should be obvious that the skills, time and energy needed to produce quality content to disseminate through those channels will require a financial investment. Whether you create your content in-house or you outsource your content creation, keep in mind; there is no free lunch.
If you are thinking of outsourcing your Online Marketing look for a company that will:
- Meet with you to develop an understanding of your business perspective
- Oversee the editorial direction of your online marketing efforts
- Build a syndication relationship
- Develop content
- Build out a social media strategy for your company
- Maintain social media operations
- Provide reports with details about the activity and engagement on your company’s website and social media sites
The Content Strategists at JLH Group will help you reach your marketing goals. We will create and publish relevant content to help you connect and engage with your current and prospective clients.