7 Steps to Online Marketing Success

Online marketing can be a challenge to many businesses. Get it right and you can strike gold, get it wrong and you’re left behind in the dirt.

Most small businesses have a website and branded social sites. But that’s just not enough any more.

As a business owner, the trend is, well, to get back to the basics. You need to generate email leads, nurture them and convert.

Here’s a 7 step formula for online marketing success.

1. Build a Lead Generating Landing Page

A landing page is a unique page on your website specifically developed for a single campaign. Landing pages can be used for email lead gen, sales or even relationship building.

An email-gated lead generating offer could be:

  • A coupon for your product
  • A contest to win a brand related prize
  • A free ebook or other business related content
  • How-to guides

You can use your Facebook page or Twitter handle too, but with Facebook’s lower organic reach, small businesses are finding more success directly on their own site.

2. Promote Your Offer through Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing essentially means marketing through content. When you post links to your business website from social platforms, for example, this is inbound marketing.

On Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram, drive traffic to your site with updates that:
Are visually appealing
Ask a question
Show the benefits of your promotion

On LinkedIn share an update with your connections, or post a promotion in an active group.

Send out an email to your segmented database too, to drive more traffic to your promotion, and to continue to engage with your customer connections.

3. Use Online Advertising to Drive Participants
Online advertising is hands down the most targeted and cost effective method of paying to reach your niche.

With Facebook ads you can target your message to reach your exact demographic beyond just age and location. You can target your niche through listed interests, Pages liked, relationship status and even political leanings.

Google ads enable you to target through both Search and its Network Display. Paying-per-click on effective search ads can improve your click through rates and conversions while keeping your ad budget low.

If you haven’t used online ads yet, learn the basics and give it a go.

4. Use Ad Retargeting to Bring Back Lost Leads

If you’re new to online advertising, you may not even know what retargeting is. But, you’ve seen them.

Ad retargeting are those ads that follow you around the internet. You (or your customer) visits a website. Then the branded ad keeps showing up, enticing you back while you visit different sites online.


Visual image of how retargeting works (image from AdRoll):

Setting up your own ad retargeting is actually less technical than it sounds. Generally, all you need to do is copy and paste a code to your landing page. The hard part is also the fun part of  determining your marketing strategy to follow those lost leads and stay top of mind to increase brand awareness and conversions.

5. Nurture Leads with Email Automation

Once you start getting new leads through your landing page campaigns, nurture them.

Set up an email automation campaign to send a series of timed emails to your offer participants.

For example, write 5 to 6 timed, personalized segmented emails to your participants. After your initial ‘thank you’ message, send progressively deeper asks as your Call-to-Actions to create a stronger bond between you and your prospect.

Ultimately, use your automated emails to drive people back to your product page, as we’ll see next.

6. Ladder your Leads with Additional Landing Page Offers

Create a second (or third or fourth) promotional landing page on your site. Direct traffic to it through your newly developed email and your ad retargeting.

For example:

  • Host another coupon offer, photo contest or sweepstakes
  • Gather consumer intelligence with a vote contest
  • Give away content with perceived value to your consumer

Many small businesses can attain a large loyal consumer base (and returning customers) by running weekly sweepstakes on their website, for example.

7. Measure Your Results, Learn and Repeat

A major benefit of online marketing is the metrics and data you can track and compile. By using a landing page builder, you can get real-time results for your campaigns, and through online, you get a wealth of information about the people viewing and clicking through your ads.

All these measurements enable you to A/B test and tweak your campaigns to increase conversion rates. By learning exactly what elements have gained you the results you need, you can continually improve your marketing.

Better online marketing equals more business – and profits – for your small business.

Why not try out this 7 step strategy? Let me know how you do!