Social media and SEO have garnered a lot of attention lately, and rightfully so—they’re both effective online marketing practices.
Let’s not forget about other online marketing practices though. No, some of these practices might not be as flashy as social media, and they might not get as much attention as SEO, but they consistently work.
Below are 7 boring marketing practices that consistently generate clicks, leads, and sales.
1) Email Marketing
Email marketing doesn’t have a ton of flash, but it is still one of the most effective online marketing channels available. Customers are familiar with it, it’s flexible, and we easily forget how powerful a simple email list can be.
95% of online customers use email, and 91% of those consumers report checking email at least once a day. Email has become a daily routine for most people, and you could argue that customers are more accessible via email than they are social media because you’re pushing messages directly to their inbox. You don’t have to bank on them stumbling upon your Twitter promotion.
One other thing to mention—for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25.
It isn’t a flashy investment; it’s a profitable one.
– Optimise your email campaigns for mobile.
– Use data to target relevant audiences with your messages. Simple demographic data like gender and location can make a big difference for your click-through rate.
– Personalise your messages whenever possible.
2) Case Studies And Testimonials
Putting together a solid case study won’t win you any advertising awards, but it will help you generate more leads. More and more people are researching products before they buy them, so it’s necessary to have this kind of information available.
Your product testimonial page is one of the most important pages on your website because it is where consumers go to see what their peers have to say about your brand. Blog posts, advertisements, and white papers that come from your marketing staff can feel self-serving. Quotes from actual customers build credibility.
This is not to say you can’t still incorporate a little flash with your testimonials by integrating social media. By using Twitter Vine and Instagram Video, companies are finding new ways to interact with customers by asking them to share their own homemade testimonials.
– Search Facebook and YouTube for customer reviews that speak highly of your brands. Then reach out to the authors to see if you can use their quotes for marketing purposes.
– Look through local search directories like Google Places, Yahoo Local, Merchant Circle, and CitySearch and you’re bound to find people taking about your company.
– Reward customers for sharing their opinions.
3) Paid Search Programs
Google Adwords first launched back in 2000, and since has become an integral part of many online campaigns—so integral that it is often taken for granted. People forget that keyword campaigns need to be maintained to continue to generate leads.
Here are a few reasons why using Adwords is effective:
– For the right price, Adwords gives you first page exposure for competitive keywords.
– Campaigns are easy to set up. A new campaign can be launched and active in as little as 60 minutes.
– Ads can be changed, edited, and optimised for peak performance.
– You can target customers based on keywords and important demographics. For example, if you have a local service, you can show ads to only local searchers.
Stop tinkering with that new Facebook graphic and log-on to Google Analytics. Paid search programs aren’t the most exciting, but they put your products in front of users and consistently return good numbers.
– Make sure to maintain a good Quality Score. Among other elements, your Score takes into account click-through rate, keyword relevance, and landing page quality.
– Monitor click through rates to discern how relevant your ads are to customers.
– Track both your conversion rate (how many users clicked your ad and performed a desired action on the landing page) and cost per conversion to analyse the cost-effectiveness of your campaigns.
4) Catchy Headings
Developing catchy headlines can be tedious and may seem insignificant, but the effort is absolutely necessary. Good headlines can make a huge difference in terms of click through rate for your links.
Headlines are the first (and sometimes only) chance you have to grab a user’s attention. Without a good headline, the time you put into creating that blog post could be completely wasted.
Besides blogging, headlines are equally as important to your paid search campaigns. It seems dumb to keep spending money on ads that don’t attract clicks.
Words are all we have to differentiate our brand online, so we better use them wisely.
– Ask yourself, “Would this title make me want to seek more information?”
– Fill headlines with numbers and strong adjectives to grab attention.
– Another strategy is to promise something extraordinary (like, “How To Increase Your Twitter Following By 200%”). You just have to be prepared to deliver!
5) Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a marketing tactic where you recruit customers to promote your products to their online audiences.
Instead of publishing an advertisement, you can have consumers tell other consumers what they think about you. This is especially effective today because everyone is so connected, and giving commission to your “spokespeople” is a small price to pay to gain valuable word-of-mouth advertising.
This low-risk, high-reward type of marketing is growing. By the end of this year, affiliate marketing spending is supposed to rise to $4 billion.
Plenty of consumers have a large online community where they hold influence. Why not take advantage of their influence and compensate them for their help?
– Reach out to influencers that are active on social media and have a strong following for their blog.
– Make sure the products are relevant to both the influencer and his or her audience.
– Learn from the best, super affiliates like Charles Ngo are shairing their experience and saving you from costly mistakes.
– Avoid treating your influencer like a stone-cold business partner. Developing a relationship with your affiliate consumers can only help your cause.
6) Webinars And Online Chats
I don’t know about you, but hearing the term “online chatroom” throws me back to the 90s when they were just gaining momentum. It’s not exactly a flashy, innovative phrase, and neither is “webinar,” but both are effective marketing practices.
Webinars and online chats are about building relationships. Users that sign up for your webinars are already somewhat invested in your company or brand and are more likely to convert than a random user. Because they’re speaking directly to you, they will also be more apt to give up personal information that you can use for other marketing initiatives.
In this instance, you can teach an old dog a new trick with webinars. Get creative. If you put in the time, people will give you their time.
Creating personal connections with webinars and online chats is so important in an age where marketing is driven by digital interaction and web analytics.
– Create training sessions and keynote presentations to provide in-depth knowledge on a topic that a simple blog post could not.
– Provide printable handouts and exercises to keep viewers interested.
– Be up front about how long the webinar will last so viewers know what to expect.
7) Customer Reviews
Good or bad, you should always take the time to respond to customer reviews.
A study by Cone Communications found that four out of five consumers have changed their minds about a recommended purchase based solely on negative information they found online.
Negative reviews can feel like a punch in a gut and our natural reaction is to get defensive. Instead, I urge you to take a deep breath and then calmly address the user’s concerns.
No one actually likes to read and respond to these types of reviews, but it has to happen, and you can’t just leave it up to the intern. When people are upset and want to vent, they want to know that people of importance are listening.
That means you.
Maintaining your online reputation is hardly glamorous, but in the long run, consumers will notice your willingness to listen and to improve your products and services.
– Search through Yelp, Google Places, and the other consumer review sites mentioned in the “Case Studies And Testimonials” section to monitor your reputation.
– Don’t ignore the bad reviews. They won’t go away.
– If you simply don’t have the time, seek reputation management services to help you manage these reviews.
The most reliable vehicles aren’t always the prettiest, but they consistently get you to where you need to go. The day that vehicle dies is the day you finally realise how dependable it really was.
Luckily, none of these 7 practices are dying any time soon, and although they’re not the prettiest or the flashiest, they will consistently deliver positive results.
Do you have any other reliable online marketing practices to add to the list?
Share them with us in the comments!