Simple Marketing Strategies to Fuel Long-Term Growth for Businesses Online Paid search, email nuturing and content marketing can deliver results.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You have a product you're proud to sell and a website prepared to take orders. Now how do you arrange forhappy, paying customers?
Whether you're aiming to launch your startup on the right foot or run an established company and hope to increase traffic and revenue, strategic marketing can help you reap huge rewards. To fuel long-term growth, check out three simple ways to promote your company's brand and its offerings to an attentive and qualified audience.
Related: Is Paid Search Ineffective for Online Marketing?
1. Paid search.
Typically offered on a pay-per-click basis, paid search is often one of the first steps for marketing any business online and it might bring traffic to your website almost immediately. Most companies start by using Google AdWords or Bing Ads. Although each platform offers unique marketing advantages, both allow companies to sponsor relevant search terms and reach targeted buyers.
MarketingSherpa polled more than 4,000 marketing executives earlier this year and discovered that paid search was a critical customer-acquisition channel for firms of all sizes.
The study also found that for businesses with larger revenue, paid search drove more traffic to their site. For example, companies with annual sales below $10,000 saw less than 20 percent of their traffic result from paid search while more than half of site visitors came from Google AdWords and Bing Ads for businesses with annual sales of $1 million or more.
One of the downsides of pay-per-click marketing is that entrepreneurs pay for traffic sent to their site regardless of whether these site visitors convert into paid customers or not. According to the MarketingSherpa study, businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue convert on average 8 percent of the visitors arriving from paid search into customers.
To boost your company's conversion rate and grow the sales from paid search, identify search terms that are more likely to reel in consumers with a greater intent of purchasing.
2. Content marketing.
Customer dedication and loyalty is crucial for sustainable long-term growth. One of the easiest ways to earn shopper support and trust is through content marketing.
Advertising Age reported that 86 percent of business-to-business marketers now rely on content as a way of engaging sales prospects. While all companies seek to educate and entertain an audience, the smartest content marketers know how to convert readers into advocates, leads and customers.
Blogging and video posts are two popular content-marketing tactics that can drive revenue initially as well as continue to do so. Companies that blog improve their search engine optimization, guide hesitant shoppers through a more in-depth sales process and develop an authoritative voice within their respective industries.
Video marketing takes a certain level of commitment and skill to do right but once you break through those thresholds, you'll realize, firsthand, why more than 70 percent of business-to-business marketers that use video surveyed by Demand Metric earlier this year said it is their single most successful form of content marketing.
Furthermore, a report by Visible Measures revealed that views of branded videos were up 73 percent for the third quarter of this year -- to 2.9 billion views. Although the biggest companies receive the lion's share of that traffic, businesses of all sizes can still reach an audience of millions with just one video.
A word of caution: Successful video marketers make the viewing experience fun. Dollar Shave Club's popular hit, Our Blades Are F**king Great is a perfect example of video done right.
Related: Balancing the Art and Science of Content Marketing (Infographic)
3. Email nurturing.
Growing a company's social-media accounts and connections might have been a third recommendation here -- even just a few months ago. But since Facebook recently announced plans to further limit companies' organic audience reach, Forrester Research's Nate Elliott has advocated returning to an old classic: the email newsletter. Elliott said more than 90 percent of a company's mailing list receives its email while its Facebook posts reach a mere 2 percent of its total fan base.
To succeed with email, offer sign-up incentives and use automation. Avoid inundating an audience with irrelevant content at all costs.
These tips may seem like no-brainers or common sense, but many companies fail to use them. Fortunately, these are all strategies you can start using today to grow your company's bottom line for the long term.
Related: The Ultimate Email Marketing Strategy for a Small Business in 7 Steps