We, digital marketers, set all kinds of goals every day – get more Facebook likes, increase our Instagram followers, achieve a guest post on this or that influencer’s blog.
But the big goal – the one that all those small goals are helping us work toward – is to convert more customers. In the end, that’s what we want for our brands. We want more people to purchase our product or sign up for our service.
With all those smaller tasks on our hands, it can be easy to lose sight of how each individual goal supports the bigger one. That’s not to mention how easy it can be to lose sight of what should come next.
To help you out of your digital marketing rut, here are 50 pro tips for boosting your reach and converting more customers.
1. Start a blog.
A blog is really a non-negotiable in today’s digital marketing landscape. Why? Because fresh, shareable content is what will give people a reason to come to your site. Once they’re there, hopefully, they’ll become a customer.
[bctt tweet=”Blogs are a non-negotiable these days.” username=”marketingzen”]
2. Write a whitepaper.
Whitepapers, in case you’re not familiar with them, are authoritative reports detailing important issues, policies, features of a product or service, market trends, etc. Whitepapers differ from blog posts in length – often they’re longer than a typical blog post, although they don’t have to be – and, more importantly, in depth and detail.
They’re important for marketers and brands because they make excellent downloadable content and are a strong way for brands to showcase their knowledge or thought leadership.
3. Write an e-book.
Once you’ve got the whitepaper under your belt, go to the next step and write an e-book. These, as you probably guessed, are even more in-depth and longer than white papers. E-books are a great format for really digging into a topic or method, presenting an argument, or explaining a complex concept.
4. Make use of gated content.
Gated content means content that requires your audience to do something before they access it. That could mean paying a fee, signing up for a membership, or giving you their email address, for example.
Gated content can be a solid method for increasing your qualified leads, but it has its drawbacks as well. Read “Gated Content for B2B Companies: Pros, Cons, and How to Use it Wisely” for all the details.
[bctt tweet=”Balance gated and ungated content on your site to maximize qualified leads. #contentmarketing” username=”marketingzen”]
5. Get the most mileage out of each piece of content.
Blog posts should be shared on your social platforms, but they can also be repurposed into other things. Consolidate a few into a whitepaper. Update an old one and republish on your blog. Take a webinar and write out the information it discusses into an e-book, with screenshots.
You want to get the most that you can out of every piece of content – after all, creating this stuff takes time. Make it work hard for you.
6. Vary your blog posts.
When you’re writing blog posts, make sure you’ve got a few different types of posts that appeal to your different audiences. It’s a must if you want to reach (and engage) the widest audience possible. A bonus: You won’t get bored so easily writing your posts if you have several approaches you can choose from.
7. Explore visual content.
Infographics, graphs and charts, and of course photos all make for much more interesting and engaging content. Incorporate them when possible.
8. Create a video.
Caption for video: It might even become a classic, like this Dollar Shave Club video from way back in 2012.
Video is where the internet is headed, as you can read more about in this post on video and social media marketing.
9. Reach out to influencers.
Influencer marketing is a powerful force in today’s digital landscape – especially among Millennials and Gen Zers. In fact, more than 60% of Gen Z users prefer to see “real people,” as opposed to celebrities, in advertisements.
And Millennials and Gen Zers are together in rejecting traditional advertising. In one Harris Poll, 74% of respondents from these generations said they dislike being targeted by brands in their social feeds.
10. Write guests posts on influential blogs.
Reaching out to influencers is just one side of the influencer marketing coin. The other is writing guest posts on those influencers’ blogs. This will expose both you and the influencer to entirely new audiences, setting the stage for a mutually beneficial relationship.
[bctt tweet=”#ProTip: Writing guest posts on influential blogs is a great way to reach new audiences.” username=”marketingzen”]
1. Start a newsletter.
If you don’t have an email newsletter, start one. Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach new customers and keep current ones engaged.
2. Update your newsletter.
If you already have a newsletter, but you haven’t revised it in a while, take some time to review it. Styles have changed over the years. Blurbs are shorter, there are more images, and more varied calls to action.
3. Make sure your emails are relevant to your audience.
The best way to ensure that your emails are relevant to the people getting them is to segment your audience correctly.
For example, you don’t want people who haven’t visited your site in more than a year getting bombarded with weekly sales emails. Likewise, you don’t want your more frequent visitors to get an email saying you haven’t seen them in a while.
Segmenting, and creating specific emails for multiple segmented audiences, can fix these problems.
Read more about that in “Segmenting Your Audience Online: Are You Doing it Correctly?”
4. Include images in your emails.
Images can be highly effective in your emails, depending on your audience, industry, and some other factors. Test your text-heavy option versus your image-heavy one to see which your audience seems to prefer.
5. Be brief and concise.
In the early days of email marketing, emails often consisted of long columns of text, with fewer links back to a website. That’s changed.
Your users are likely getting hundreds of emails a week, so you’ve got to get to the point quickly if you want them to spend any time with your brand’s email.
6. Make your calls to action highly specific.
“Click here” won’t get nearly the follow-through that a more specific call-to-action will. You could direct readers to your latest whitepaper, ask them to fill out a quick survey, or point them toward one of your social media profiles.
7. Make sure your emails are easy to read on desktop AND mobile devices.
Mobile usage is overtaking desktop usage, so mobile-friendly emails are no longer a luxury. They’re a necessity.
8. Set up automated campaigns.
Automated campaigns can allow you to check in with people at key points in the sales funnel. You can set up an email to go out when someone abandons a shopping cart, signs up for your newsletter but doesn’t confirm their subscription, and any number of other situations.
9. Agonize over your subject line.
Subject lines can mean the difference between your emails getting read and getting sent straight to the trash – or just languishing forever in an inbox. Get some tips in this email content blog post.
10. Make the sender or “from” a real person, not an “info@” email address.
This is something else that’s changed in recent years. People want to see a real person’s name in the “from” field of their emails, not an anonymous “info@” or “noreply@” email address. This should come as no surprise, considering that digital marketing, in general, is moving toward more and more personalization and authenticity.
1. Actively engage with your audience.
The magic of social media is that it allows regular people to directly communicate with the brands, companies, and individuals that they admire.
The key word here, of course, is communicate. Social media must be a two-way exchange, in which you respond to and engage with your followers just as they engage with your brand.
Customers today don’t want to be talked at. They want to be conversed with.
2. Identify and nurture potential brand advocates.
Just like your followers would sooner trust an influencer than a celebrity whom they know was paid to endorse your product, they’ll sooner trust one of their own – a brand advocate – than they will your brand itself.
What’s a brand advocate? Simply a regular person, one of your followers, who truly loves your brand and is extremely active and engaged on your social media platforms. If you can identify potential brand advocates and nurture a relationship with them, your social media marketing efforts will become much more effective.
3. Be selective about your platforms – do a few really well, instead of doing many poorly.
Don’t set up profiles on every social media platform just because you think you have to.
That’s the great thing about social media today: you DON’T have to have a profile on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and every other platform out there. In fact, it will likely do your brand more harm than good to have lots of half-maintained profiles than one or two that are very well-maintained.
4. Create a social calendar.
If you’re relying on yourself to remember to post on social 3 or 5 or 10 times per week, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. There will inevitably be days when you find yourself drifting to sleep and suddenly thinking “I forgot to tweet today!”
Developing a social calendar a week, or better yet, a month in advance will allow you to schedule posts as well as develop themes to your posting, should you want to. Then any posts you come up with off the cuff will simply add to your social media presence.
[bctt tweet=”Developing a social calendar a week or month in advance will allow you to schedule posts as well as develop themes.” username=”marketingzen”]
5. Develop your brand voice.
Have you consciously worked on developing your brand’s online voice? Have you mapped out your brand persona? Doing so will make your social as well as your content development much, much stronger.
6. Engage with key influencers.
Make it a point to follow and engage with key influencers on social media. Think of it as laying a foundation for any potential relationship to come.
7. Vary the type of content you post.
Just like with your blog, you want to vary your social content. Post images, quotes, content, infographics, and simple comments to keep your feed interesting and fresh.
8. Balance created content with curated content.
Curated content is just as important as created content. Read about how to balance these two in “The Ultimate Content Marketing Battle: Creation vs. Curation.”
9. Include calls to action that point to your website.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that the goal of your social media activity is to get more traffic to your website and ultimately, to convert more customers. Make sure you’re posting items that lead people back to your site, whether to read a new blog post or check out a new product.
10. Make sure your social ads are living up to their potential.
Social ads can offer a huge ROI, but only if you’re doing them correctly. Here’s how to get the most out of your social advertising.
1. Run A/B tests.
An A/B test simply means that you run two versions of one thing, see how each performs, and then choose the better one.
That could mean sending out the same email with two different subject lines to a small segment of your subscribers. It could mean creating two versions of the same ad, running each for a few days, and then running the better-performing one for two weeks.
Knowing for sure which version does better will help inform the rest of your marketing decisions.
2. Be as data-driven as possible in your marketing decisions.
We’ve got access to more data than ever – much of it for free through tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. Use it!
3. Check your number of unique visitors.
Unique visitors is a metric you should be checking regularly. It will give you an idea of how many new users are finding your website.
4. Check your number of returning visitors.
Returning visitors are just as important as new ones. You want to make sure that both new and returning users are finding what they need on your site.
5. Create multiple iterations of an ad or image post, then test your top 4, instead of your top 2.
This gem comes to us from our own Francisco, VP, Social Media and Influencer Marketing. You never know when the image that would have done the best ended up on the cutting room floor. Testing 4 instead of 2 can increase your chances of landing on that very best image.
6. Closely monitor your conversion rate.
Has your conversion rate changed recently? What else was going on when the change occurred? Keep an eye on this metric so you can decipher what affects it. It could be something as out of your control as a holiday, or as within your control as posting a new blog post.
7. Check your exit pages.
Exit pages will tell you on what page users are landing just before they leave your site. This is important because you may need to revamp that page – maybe it’s boring, or difficult to understand, or just needs to be redesigned.
8. Check your entrance pages.
Entrance pages will tell you on what page users are coming to your website. This can be helpful in letting you know what kinds of pages and what kind of content are drawing users in.
9. Don’t be afraid to try new tactics if the old ones aren’t working.
Agility is one of the great benefits of digital marketing. If something isn’t working, you can change it relatively quickly. You just have to be willing to do so. This is where having the data to back you up can be extremely helpful.
10. Include members from multiple departments in your data-mining team.
Working in silos is never a good thing, but it’s especially unhelpful when it comes to your data. If possible, you want to have various people from different departments participate in a data-mining team. Their differing perspectives will help you identify areas to examine that you might otherwise have overlooked.
Digital marketing strategy
1. Create buyer personas.
Buyer personas are profiles of potential customers that you create using details like age, gender, and demographics as well as more nuanced information like values, hobbies, likes/dislikes, etc.
They’re tools that can be extremely helpful in designing your website, marketing materials, and more to encourage conversion.
2. Use BuzzSumo to find key influencers in your industry.
BuzzSumo is an amazing tool for finding top content along specific topic areas. Type in a keyword, and you’ll see the top shared posts having to do with that keyword – as well as the blogs and sites that they appeared on. This allows you to identify important influencers for your own influencer outreach.
3. Run ads and promoted posts to niche audiences first – then release to broader ones.
Here’s another tip from Francisco, MZ’s VP of Social.
Run your ads and promoted posts to smaller, niche audiences first, so that they rack up likes, comments, and shares. Then release them to a broader audience. People subconsciously look for cues as to what they should like (or how they should behave) and a post that already has lots of engagement is likely to get more.
[bctt tweet=”Run your #socialads to smaller, niche audiences first, so that they earn likes and shares. Then release them to a broader audience.” username=”marketingzen”]
4. Review and update your SEO keywords.
When’s the last time you updated your SEO keywords? It might be time to review them to make sure you’re doing all you can to increase your organic search.
5. Increase your paid social spending.
While it’s true that users today don’t want tons of ads cluttering up their feeds, paid social – both ads and promoted posts/tweets – continues to produce a very high ROI. The key is to keep your ads from looking like ads. Get creative.
Promoted posts and tweets are also a great way to increase your reach – and they’re actually a necessity, now that hundreds of thousands of posts are going up online every second.
6. Invest in video marketing.
Live streaming and produced video are both continuing to grow in popularity, and neither shows any signs of slowing down. Invest now, so that you’re not struggling to catch up later.
7. Develop both proactive and reactive social strategies.
Briefly, proactive social means posting content. Reactive social means responding to comments and engaging with your followers. Make sure you’re doing both.
8. Make sure your site and content are optimized for mobile.
Remember how mobile usage is overtaking desktop? Having a mobile, or better yet responsive, site is no longer an option. It’s a necessity.
9. Use digital marketing hacks to save yourself time each week.
Writing blog posts, posting on social, and everything else busy digital marketers do is time-consuming. Use these hacks to help you save time on administrative tasks, so you can put that time toward brainstorming a new strategy.
Virtual and augmented reality are opening opportunities that have literally never before been seen or even imagined. VR and AR are big investments, so it’s important to examine whether these new technologies are appropriate for your brand.
If they are, however, start with a small project, and see where it takes you. Costs are only going to go down, while popularity will rise.
And there you have it! So – what are you waiting for?