If you’re new to marketing your business online, you probably feel overwhelmed by the number of options available and overburdened by the amount of work required. A successful advertising campaign takes more funds and a larger labor force than many people realize. However, there are tools and techniques that help you save time and make the most of limited resources.
Here are five ways to streamline your online marketing process for higher returns.
1. Shorten your URLs.
A mile-long URL with a mix of numbers and letters is an eyesore your customers won’t want to click. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to make your links more visually appealing. URL shorteners create more concise links that are easier to share via social media, microblogs, or mobile messaging apps.
Rather than generating random links, you can create customizable brand URLs that are easy to read, type, and remember. Branded short links receiver nearly 40 percent more clicks than generic short links. Increase your brand recognition further by including brand URLs on your business cards, flyers, and other forms of print advertising.
URL shorteners also track how many users are clicking on your links and where they are accessing them. The best URL shortener is Bitly, which tracks numerous metrics, including total bitlinks created, total clicks per unique visitor, and top locations and referrals.
2. Choose your platforms carefully.
Every social media platform requires different strategies and poses unique challenges, so it’s important to focus on the ones that are the best fit for your business and offer the best return on your investment. First, consider the purpose of the platform. If you want to interact with your local community, Facebook is your friend. If the majority of your marketing materials are visual, however, Instagram is a better choice.
Next, identify where your target audience spends the most time. If you’re promoting a women’s clothing brand, for example, build a following on Pinterest; 81 percent of pinners are female, and 93 percent of all Pinterest users plan their purchases based on the content they pin.
Finally, pinpoint the type of media your customers consume. If your customers are DIY enthusiasts looking for step-by-step tutorials, a YouTube channel is essential.
3. Automate your email marketing.
Sending out emails and newsletters manually is a significant drain on your time. Platforms like MailChimp, Aweber, and GetResponse enable you to schedule emails ahead of time and create automatic responses and follow-ups when customers make purchases or abandon their online shopping carts.
Automation also allows for deeper personalization. Emails that address the customer by name have higher open and click-through rates and produce transaction rates six times higher than generic emails. 75 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a business that knows their names and makes product recommendations based on their purchase history.
4. Recycle your content.
Generating a consistent stream of fresh, high-quality content is vital for your business’s success, but that doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel every time. Recycling content effectively requires more than copying and pasting the same document to multiple locations. You need to adjust the title, length, and style to suit the needs of different platforms. You also need to translate your content into different media formats to reach different demographics.
If you’ve put time and effort into writing a blog post, consider repurposing it as a podcast or video. If you’ve collected statistics for an article, create an infographic to make the information more accessible. If you’ve written a lengthy piece, turn it into a series of shorter blog posts, so readers will access your website multiple times and look for the latest updates. Create a round-up of previous blog posts that focus on a particular or theme and include links to older content in each new blog post to boost traffic to multiple pages.
5. Don’t be afraid to outsource.
Digital marketing requires specialized skills you might not have. Even if you are a decent blogger or social media manager, you have countless other demands on your time. If your office manager is also in charge of social media, some activities will fall by the wayside during busy times.
Outsourcing your marketing to a specialist or bringing in a temporary consultant is often the best way to ensure your social media accounts, and your followers, receive the necessary attention. A professional will achieve better results in less time than your overworked staff, which will free up personnel to handle other duties.
If you can’t afford to hire a marketing specialist, a part-time virtual marketing assistant can take many routine tasks off your plate. The key to working with remote employees is establishing consistent lines of communication and setting clear deadlines. Delegating some of your responsibilities will also force you to document procedures and workflow more thoroughly so your business partners and employees will know what to do if you are sick or out of town.
How do you streamline your online marketing? Share your tips in the comments.