Investing in online marketing is one of the most important things you can do for your business’s site. With online retail growing so fast, you will want to start being more strategic with your marketing in order to compete with other businesses or to keep your business afloat long term.
Traditional in-person marketing techniques are not effective for eCommerce or digital service sales, so it’s important that you begin understanding the different short term and long-term digital marketing strategies that can help your business succeed.
In many cases this means deciding between disruptive marketing and organic marketing. If you’re trying to decide how to help your business in the short-term, and how to prepare for the long game then there are definitely a few key areas to start with.
Let’s take a look at search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising (PPC), and content marketing.
Short Term Marketing Strategies
Your short-term marketing strategies should include different types of paid advertisements.
These methods are designed to give you quick results, such as a boost in conversions. This means that paid marketing is ideal for the short game and is ideal for marketers who are looking of immediate results or want to boost sales within a short window.
Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns have the advantage of offering some of the best returns for online businesses. The median ROI for PPC can be as much as 23%, and its popularity means it’s now responsible for as much as 1/3 of total online sales. This strategy offers your brand prominent visibility, and with a click-through-rate of nearly 8%, it means that marketers can take advantage of this short-term approach to get more traffic from approximately 4.3 billion daily web searches.
Short term marketing strategies such as search-engine PPC, paid display ads and social media ads are among the quickest ways to generate traffic to your site. These methods make your website brand visible in search engines immediately as long as you are willing to pay for the ads themselves.
Your short-term marketing goals can be accomplished in a day or in a month, but they typically help build toward your long term strategies overall.
PPC lets you place ads on a platform and pay that platform a small fee every time your ad is clicked. The primary goal, of course, is conversions on your website. PPC can apply to ads on search engines, or on different social media websites meaning that this strategy is applicable across a wide range of channels.
Determining when and where you would like your ad to appear is important for reaching your target audience, but in most cases you can also target customers based on device, location, date, time and demographics. You then choose keywords relevant to your products (just like organic optimization) except in this instance you bid on those keywords.
If you pay for a product to appear in a search engine you can choose text ads or product listing ads (PLAs) which usually refer to Google Shopping. Text ads usually appear at the top or bottom of the SERP. They look similar to organic listings except they have an “ad” symbol at the beginning of the URL.
PLAs appear in the Google Shopping carousel at the top of the SERP, with the term “sponsored.” These Shopping ads are a type of PPC ad, that appear when search queries involve specific products. These advertisements can be uploaded through Google’s Merchant Center.
Plus, Google has recently expanded the opportunity for eCommerce marketing on Google Shopping to include unpaid listings. In the past Google Shopping was limited to only ads (and the carousel in the SERP will continue to only include paid ads) however, Google Shopping listings have now opened to include organic results as well.
The same type of PPC ads are available on Microsoft’s Bing, which means that you can extend this strategy to the competitive search engine’s 12 billion monthly searches. Marketers that go this route have the potential for their ads to appear across Bing’s Microsoft Advertising ad network – including Yahoo search, and AOL search partner sites.
Next there’s social media PPC.
Social ads work similarly to search ads, but with a slightly different bidding strategy. These ads typically utilize CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per impressions) strategies. Social media ads appear on a user’s feed or timeline and can be targeted toward demographic, interest and data gathered from the social media platform you’re using.
With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram there are plenty of advertising opportunities based on your market. Placing ads on social accounts can also help you build your social following and brand awareness which should be a huge part of your long-term marketing strategies.
- Facebook’s advertising platform now claims close to 40% of all annual digital display ad revenue, and they can offer marketers the best return-on-ad-spend (ROAS).
- Plus marketers who are placing their ads on the Facebook ad network also have the option of extending their ads across Instagram. Because these two platforms share their ad platform marketers are able to target short-term business goals with options for photo ads, display ads, user feed carousel ads, and Instagram story ads.
- LinkedIn offers an undeniable opportunity for B2b paid advertising and can be an important way for commercial businesses to meet their goals fast.
Because PPC gives brands a way to increase their visibility fast, it’s an ideal way to meet short term goals quickly, but it can also tie-in with other marketing strategies for long-term success.
Long Term Marketing Strategies
As much as we would like to grow our eCommerce businesses overnight, it’s important to take the time to focus on long term strategies as well.
Although short-term methods are important, they might offer only a temporary boost of revenue that comes at the cost of paying for ad presence. Long term marketing strategies like SEO, social media, and content creation are what will help your business maintain its positive results. These strategies can take anywhere from sixth months to a year and can be accomplished through consistent efforts – and better yet they’re often much more affordable.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is among the most important long-term digital marketing strategies you can invest your time into. Although the results are not immediate, and you must keep building on this strategy, it is the best way to organically increase traffic to your website.
The best part about SEO is that you don’t need to spend any extra money on it. With SEO, you target your audience with specific keywords that help identify the product or pages you are optimizing. This involves individually optimizing these pages to gain more natural search engine traffic to your site. Although you can just pay to have an ad at the top of the SERP, it is possible to work your way onto page 1 over time and stay there.
There’s a reason that most marketers agree that SEO is the type of online marketing with the best ROI. Because of its relative low-cost, and its ability to provide passive traffic, SEO is still one of the most important long-term marketing strategies available.
Social Media is important for helping build your brand following outside of the SERP. There is also opportunity for both short term and long term digital marketing strategies on social media. For a long-term business plan, you should focus your efforts on posting regular content and building your following.
Building a social media following doesn’t happen overnight, but it will pay in the long run when you eventually have a huge following that steadily increases your sales. Social media accounts are free, so they are a great way to get exposure outside the SERP while also helping to improve SEO by encouraging link growth to your domain. With a large network of followers, you also reach friends who might not already follow your page.
Content creation works with SEO and social media to craft the sort of content that your target audience is looking for or interested in. For SEO, creating content based on keywords that relate to your business is a great way to reach your target audience and generate leads.
Websites that create new, original content regularly are far more successful than websites that don’t, so taking the time to consistently post will help your site stand out. It’s also important that your content stands out amongst the other content posted by similar sites. Among all the other short form content available, writing long form compelling content will help your site stand out. The more information you can give the consumer about your products or your expertise the better.
You gain rankings in the search results, and your audience gets the information or products they need.
When creating content for social media you want to create relevant and compelling posts, but the biggest issue is that some social media platforms limit length. Social media algorithms no longer sort by publish time. Instead, they sort by relevancy based on the user’s behavior.
Although these algorithms are great for getting the right content to users, a lot of businesses struggle with reach. With so many social accounts creating similar content, algorithms were designed to sort through the content that is low quality or irrelevant to the consumer. Social media offers several options to create content depending on the platform, but text, photo and video are a few of the different ways you can present content. Because content quality is important in these social algorithms, you’ll want to make sure all the content you post has a clear concise message that represents your brand.
Building your brand
Common marketing approaches like SEO, social media, and content are best for building your brand’s presence and visibility online.
Building your brand is another long-term marketing strategy that can be done while you implement the previous strategies. Building your brand in SEO can include putting your brand name at the end of title tags, so that every time someone sees a product from your website, they also see your brand name. If your products appear multiple times in the SERP, customers will be more likely to purchase from your site, so including branding for recognition will help
Building your brand on social sites is a simple as posting regularly, linking to your website, and maintaining a clear and consistent message on all social media platforms.
Incorporating both short term and long-term digital marketing strategies is extremely useful for businesses. For quick wins and conversions, you should be using your short-term strategies, but the end goal is to use them in a way that builds toward your long-term strategies as well. Combining your paid ads with your organic methods can help build awareness about your brand and products and eventually get you to the top of the SERP.
Although some of these methods take time, in the long run they are vital for becoming a successful online business.
Learn more about short-term and long-term marketing strategies by contacting us. Our expert team can help you reach online business goals with options for strategic SEO, paid social media marketing, and PPC management.