For many years now, the Internet has been a well-established marketing medium. Actually, it offers more marketing opportunities than any other platform out there. It is more versatile and agile than other marketing mediums and it offers you the opportunity to follow the results of your marketing progress in real time as well as customize your marketing outreach to individual consumers.
That doesn’t necessarily mean internet marketing is easy. There are many very different ways to get your message out there: newsletters, social media outreach, advertisements, blogging, content marketing, just to name a few. Every single one of them is time-consuming and requires a specific knowledge and set of skills in order to generate the results you desire.
This post tackles down some issues that bother plenty of businesses trying to navigate a successful outreach campaign. You will learn how to recognize you’re not getting the best results possible and what are the simple steps to fixing it.
SIGNS YOU’RE DOING SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR OUTREACH CAMPAIGNS
In this day and age, everyone has tried out some sort of internet marketing outreach. At the very least, your business has a website.
However, many people aren’t satisfied with the results of their internet marketing campaigns.
If you feel like you’re trying very hard, but you don’t generate a satisfactory traffic that can be converted into new clients and closed sales deals, perhaps you’re doing something wrong.
As with any problem, the first step to a solution is assessing the situation. Even if your global internet marketing outreach is satisfactory, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any space for improvement in some specific areas.
Here’s a simple basic assessment checklist that will give you a quick outlook on things you need to work on:
- Your social media posts don’t generate enough likes or shares
- E-mail newsletters bounce back or aren’t read
- The traffic to your website doesn’t increase after you post on social media
- You’re spending money on advertisements without any results
- You’re not showing up at the top of Google searches related to your business
- Content that you’re publishing isn’t being read
This checklist is rather basic but effective. Even if you’re satisfied with your on-line marketing results, it will show you if there are some areas you could improve upon.
Once you’ve detected your weak spots, the actual work starts. Spending a little bit of time fixing what was wrong with your outreach may at this point seem like a drag, especially if the results of your current campaign aren’t all that bad.
But investing a little time and effort go a long way and looking at ways you can improve your on-line marketing strategies will generate more leads. And the great thing about internet outreach is that the results are almost immediate – you will be able to see your progress in a matter of weeks.
Here are a few things you can work on to advance your outreach results.
FIND THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
Out of billions of internet users, a rather small group are actually interested in the product or service you’re selling. Spending a lot of time trying to reach as many people as possible, without paying attention to whether they are or aren’t potential leads is counterproductive.
Stop thinking about the internet as a convenient medium for posting a few advertisements, and start seeing it as a networking tool!
Do a little bit of brainstorming and try to figure out who your target audience actually is. Are they a private person or a company? What is their interest in the product you’re offering?
Also, try to figure out in which corner of the internet you’ll be able to find them. Don’t be scared to check out what your competition is doing. Join on-line discussions in your area of business and social media groups.
Don’t be too eager. If you join in on discussions and immediately start advertising what you offer, you’ll just be spamming people and there is a good chance you’ll be banned by the group administrator.
The key is to offer value. Rely on your expertise when communicating. Rather than trying too eagerly to sell things, share information and advice. If you’re coming off as someone who knows what they are talking about, you’re more likely to engage people than if they feel like you have come to push an agenda.
Even if you’re working on your own, it’s sometimes difficult to keep track of what has been done, what is on hold and what is next in line. And things get exponentially more complicated when there are several people involved.
A strong communication within the team is crucial for following your on-line marketing strategy. Utilizing a project management tool will make your life much easier.
You will be sure that at any given time you know what the other members of your team have been doing, how the work is going and what progress has been made. Also, you will be able to spot mistakes and react quicker to negative trends.
GET TO THE POINT
When writing content, whether it’s a simple social media post, a full on e-mail newsletter or a blog, be straight forward! The internet is full of content and if you don’t engage your audience immediately, they will just skip what you have to say and find another source of information.
Keep things light but informative. Rely on your knowledge and make sure you are giving people valuable information and not just filling the page with words.
Finding the right balance in your tone is the key: you have to keep things light and your tone should be conversational, while still managing to get your message out there.
Basic rules apply. An informative intro should be at the beginning of every text you write. You have to give the reader a reason why they would want to spend their time reading what you write. The body of the text, especially if it’s a long post, should be broken into sections with subheadings. Keep paragraphs only a few sentences long to avoid those ugly walls of text. Don’t be afraid to use bullet points when listing things.
End your writing with a short conclusion. Use it to stress the main points of the text and to remind the reader what his plan of action should be.
The idea is to make reading your posts easier. Don’t dumb down the content, but try not to wear out the reader.
NEWSLETTER TIPS AND TRICKS
When talking about newsletters, there are a few things to consider.
First, you have to get the people to actually open your e-mail. Over time we’ve all learned to recognize spam e-mails and we try to avoid them as much as possible. So avoid bluntly baiting people to open your e-mail with buzzwords like “free” or “sale” in your subject line.
Instead, keep your subject line short but informative. If you’re writing solid content in the newsletter, that provides valuable information to the reader, extracting the point in the subject line should be easy. If not, consider sending out fewer newsletters so you can have enough time to gather newsworthy information.
When deciding on the design, choose a simple one. Try not to use anything too flashy because it will distract your readers. The background should be neutral, making it easier to read the text. Use images freely: there is a reason why people say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Check out what your newsletter looks like in different internet browsers.
It goes without saying that the most important information should go at the top, after a short intro.
The best approach to newsletters is to put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Think about what kind of e-mails you regularly get. Which ones do you open and read, and which ones you don’t bother with?
Your efforts can only take you so far without reaching out for help. Sometimes is more effective to reach out to influencers in your field of business, than to spend countless hours trying to build a bigger audience by yourself.
Also, if you have a lot of competition, and everyone is doing more or less the same thing, it’s difficult to stand out.
Influencer outreach is the most cost-effective on-line marketing channel. For each $1 spent on influencer outreach, businesses are making $6.50 on average. Actually, 70% of all business double their influencer outreach investment.
And since 59% of businesses are planning to increase their influencer outreach budget over the next 12 months, influencers actually get to pick their clients. So in order to land a great influencer to share your story with the world, you’ll have to develop a contacting strategy.
Firstly, find out which influencers are the best fit for your business. Use digital tools like Buzzsumo to gather information. Rather than contacting them immediately, follow their work and let them notice you.
When you actually reach out to them, avoid generic, copy-paste messages that you send out to everyone. Personalize your message: let them know you admire their work and write about why you think you would be a great fit for them.
Be honest when discussing your goals and make sure you provide the content that will interest them.
Unfortunately, it does take a lot of work to have a successful outreach campaign. Finding the right audience, catering to their needs, predicting what might interest them and finally producing content that is both engaging and useful takes time and work. And can be a pain to manage efficiently.
Also, it should be pointed out that knowing what to do and being able to actually do it are two different things. Even if you know in theory what our outreach campaign should look like, there is a chance that you might not be able to do it by yourself and that you will have to seek professional help.
But the good news is that when done right, outreach campaigns do work! Successfully implemented outreach campaigns generate new traffic to your website and social media and convert that traffic to new leads, new deals, and more revenue.
Rest assured that an investment in your on-line marketing, whether it’s time, effort, money or all three, does pay off.