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The amount spent advertising online has finally exceeded that amount spent on TV promotions. So, if you're planning to dedicate more marketing money to the web platform, where should you spend that cash?
People are spending more online, both shoppers and advertisers. That means your customers are on the web but it also means your competitors have upped their game.
So you probably plan to increase the amount you spend, but where should you spend that cash? Should you boost your email marketing or ramp up your paid ads?
Clearly, you need to spend money on what's working best for you. Before experimenting with unknown tactics, I recommend you target the platform that is already generating the most returns and see if an increased budget translates into even more sales. However, perhaps your online marketing has been a little limited to date? Maybe you want to take advantage of the online pound but don't know where to best invest?
Well, then this post is for you. Here are the most popular and effective few ways to earn new business for your organisation. I suggest you try a few tactics out on a small scale at first and seeing how effective they can be for you.
Before you spend a load of cash on any tactic designed to drive purchase-ready consumers to your website, make sure your pages are ready to actually sell to those visitors.
If your pages are clunky, awkward, ugly and badly written, then you're wasting much of the cash you spend marketing online.
So if you want to make your marketing budget work harder, make sure your website is a help and not a handicap.
Search engine optimisation
As little as two years ago, I would encounter people who didn't make use of SEO because they didn't think it was an effective way of marketing. Now those same people believe they have missed the boat. They think organic optimisation has become too competitive.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Thanks to tactics such as localised search and carefully targeting keywords and phrases that are really specific to your organisation, optimisation can be effective for any company.
This can be really hard for companies do well, especially smaller firms. The amount of time it takes to make social media work puts many people off, even though the cost is minimal.
It's understandable. If you want to run a successful blog, for example, it takes time and dedication.
However, the returns can be satisfying and rewarding, because they aren't just monetary. Popular bloggers can become opinion formers, industry authorities, the spokespeople the press approach when they need someone from the sector… It can really enrich your career.
Of course, if you know you do not have sufficient time to populate a regular blog then look at easier options. Approach existing blogs and ask if you can write the odd guest post, submit articles and letters to your industry's specialist press.
Most companies engaging in some form of online marketing will be making use of paid search – the advertising at the top and sides of the search results.
However, I do encounter people who think they can't afford it. They think the search results they would want to advertise next to will have inflated prices and will simply cost too much.
This comes down to a lack of understanding of search advertising. The same tactics you've used to organically optimise your website come into force – choose really specialised keywords and phrases.
If you don't bring in a specialist, you should make use of the search engine's tools that show you what phrases are searched for and how competitive they are. There's a tonne of information and guidance available, on this blog, the SEOptimise blog and all over the web.
Paid advertising is effective and it isn’t prohibitively costly.