Marketing tactics encyclopedia: 14 strategies for marketing online

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Contributor, Sell to Win

Advertising, blogging, and content are just the beginning of the marketing ABC’s.

There are so many more lead generation tactics that can be leveraged to ensure that your business is optimized for success. 

In this guide, we’ll cover every marketing tactic your business should be using, from general to specific, from old-school to cutting-edge. If we’ve left out any of your go-to marketing moves, shoot us a tweet @nutshell.

The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and your business should be too, by regularly implementing new marketing tactics. In this complete guide, we cover every marketing tactic your business should be using, from general to specific, from original to unheard of, so buckle in, your business is about to be upgraded. 

Skip ahead:

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important lead generation tactics you can use for your business online. By optimizing your website for specific keywords and creating content around common questions, buyers will be able to find you when they’re ready to do business.

SEO is important when you are trying to harness the 75,000 Google searches that occur every second. You can’t just half-heartedly optimize though, because according to a study by Databox 67% of all clicks go to the first five organic results. Imagine how much business you could be getting, with those 75,000 searches, and from that 67% of clicks, if you could get your business to rank in the top five search results. 

Related: What is SEO content writing?

SEO has begun to shift, favoring local results, rather than nationally ranked content. This is good for small businesses who find SEO to be intimidating because their pages have to rank against large, national corporations. You might not be able to rank nationally for “donuts” but you have a good shot at ranking locally for “donuts in Springfield, Virginia” or “donuts near me.”

Your content needs to draw attention and clicks on search engine results pages with an eye-catching title and effective metadata so that you’re able to draw attention and clicks when you show up on SERPs.

To set up your business for success, you need to optimize your title and metadata, complete keyword research, use those keywords throughout your content, and enhance your technical SEO. Technical SEO is a bit different from normal SEO, it has nothing to do with content but rather optimizes the infrastructure of your website for the web crawlers that index sites. 

Thanks to SEMrush for this infographic.

Original research studies and reports 

One effective way to attract consumer attention (not to mention inbound links) is to publish original research studies on topics that are of value to your industry.

Your original research can take many forms, including surveys, focus groups, observations, and test marketing. The idea is to consistently create authoritative content that promotes your brand as leading experts in your field.

Two ways to collect the information necessary to publish an original research study are surveys and focus groups. Let’s dig into them a little further…

Surveys 

There are several methods of conducting surveys including by mail, over email, on the phone, online, or in-person. 

Your survey must be engaging because American adults are estimated to receive billions of survey requests each year. Consider how often you are emailed about providing feedback on a product, service, business, or issue. What survey requests stand out to you and why?

Make your surveys short, include components that raise the recipient’s interest like including exciting questions or being on a topic they are interested in, and give some kind of reward to increase participation. Of course, the reward in no way should encourage people to skew their responses.

Postal surveys tend to have low participation. Telephone surveys garner slightly more replies but answers are generally less informative. Online surveys have high and quick response rates and garner the most detailed responses.

Focus groups

Focus groups require you to gather a small group of individuals together who represent a specific market. They tend to explore consumer preferences and opinions through short answer or close-ended questions, supplying qualitative data on a subject.

Through focus groups, you can gain insight into a certain demographic. However, you should take responses with a grain of salt, recognizing that it is a small group representing a larger demographic. Nevertheless, this is an excellent research study method that is frequently used in the marketing industry.

Video content

Videos are the future of marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics as the most common type of content marketing. That’s because videos get results. 87% of video marketers assert their videos have increased traffic to their website, and 80% of video marketers claim their videos have directly increased sales. 

Videos work. So, how should you create videos to represent your brand?

Optimal video lengths per platform

  • Instagram: 26-60 Seconds
  • Twitter: < 30 seconds
  • Facebook: < 2 Minutes
  • YouTube: ~ 2 Minutes

Keeping your videos at these lengths will lead to more consumers watching them all the way through. Keep in mind that you need high audience retention for your video to stay high in the rankings, attracting more consumer attention.

Optimized video content

Your focus shouldn’t just be on optimizing your video’s length, you should also work on optimizing your video’s content. The key to creating good content is including information that is valuable to consumers.

48% of consumers said they prefer company videos to include coverage of specific products and services. This coverage could be reviews, instructional videos, or in-depth informational sessions about the products and services. 95% of video marketers said that they felt like their video content increased their consumer’s understanding of their products.

43% of consumers want interactive videos. They want to be a part of the decision process in what content is being created and want to be able to access the information they want to view when they want to view it. Anticipate what questions consumers will have about your products and services and make video content that addresses those queries.

Effective blog content

Blogs are an important part of the holy trinity of content marketing, being one of the most effective ways to lead consumers to your site. They are so effective because large numbers of people read them, with 77% of internet users reading blogs on a regular basis, making it one of the most popular activities on the internet. 

Not all bogs are created equal though, there are certain things you can do to set your blog apart from the competition. 

Use listicles

Let’s face it, we don’t have the attention spans that we used to. Listicles are easy to skim, making them easy to comprehend, so they appeal to the blog-reading public. In fact, they are twice as popular as other blog forms, receiving 2x more shares than other blog posts 

Update old content

Don’t allow your content to languish on the back end of your blog. Regularly update it so you can fully utilize its marketing potential. 51% of companies say updating old content has proven to be one of their most efficient marketing tactics

Use images

Images not only make a blog more visually appealing, they effectively engage viewers and keep them reading. Blog articles with images get 94% more views than those without.  

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Social media

Social media allows you to engage with consumers on a platform they feel comfortable with, organically creating a brand presence for your business. Social media is no longer optional. If you are serious about growing your business, you need to get on it.

Facebook is an excellent choice because so many people in a wide range of demographics use it. Facebook is unique in that it’s the social media platform that reaches the most older people, with 70% of adults in the US having Facebook profiles. Not only are people using Facebook, it is also genuinely impacting them, with 43% of US adults choosing to get their news from the site

For B2B marketers, the most popular social media platform is LinkedIn with 80% of B2B social media leads coming through the site. This means that it is imperative for B2B businesses to be using LinkedIn, producing content, creating events, and making connections through it.

However, not to be overlooked, the social media platform with the highest ROI overall is Twitter, with Instagram coming in second. Twitter and Instagram are also excellent sites for business-to-customer interactions and for building your business’s brand.

Live broadcasts

Live videos are a new marketing tactic on the rise, to the point that in a recent survey they ranked as the third most-used social media marketing tactic. It’s low-cost, doesn’t require a lot of time, reaches a broad audience, and supplies an opportunity for genuine interactions between consumers and companies. 

There are so many platforms to choose from when it comes to live videos. You can either do Instagram Live, Facebook Live, LinkedIn Live, or Twitter Live. To decide which platform you want to use consider the time limit you are working with and the audience you want to reach. 

Facebook live

Facebook Live videos receive 3x the user interactions of normal Facebook videos. Your video can last for up to four hours, so it’s great for longer events, and you can see reactions and comments while you stream. After you are done recording, the full video is added to your page. 

Instagram live

Instagram Live is great if you are trying to reach a younger audience. The live session you record is accessible for 24 hours by followers appearing at the top of their news feed. You can record a video that lasts for up to one hour. 

LinkedIn live

LinkedIn Live videos receive 7x more reactions and 24x more comments than native videos by the same broadcasters. To use LinkedIn Live, you have to register with one of the third party streaming tools that they partner with. This platform is great for accessing professionals with business and career-related content. 

Twitter live

Twitter live uses Periscope to broadcast real-time events to anyone who follows your feed. Periscope is the premiere live video platform with over 110 years of live videos streamed on the site every day. The live application has been used for brand-building and news in particular. 

Source

Referral programs

An excellent way for your business to establish credibility and build brand awareness is through referral programs. The most trusted information source for consumers is recommendations from people they know. 

After all, 20-50% of purchasing decisions are impacted by word of mouth endorsements. B2B companies that have referral programs have a 70% higher conversion rate and report closing 69% faster. 

How to use referrals

Using referrals, you can leverage existing customers to gain new customers. Consider creating a referral incentive program that encourages existing customers to bring in new ones for benefits from your business.

Reshare and generally promote any content produced by consumers that advocates for your brand. This will not only advance your brand, but it will also encourage other customers to make positive content about you.

Email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tactics you can use, producing a 122% return on investment. 59% of marketers get more ROI from email marketing than any other channel. Over the past year, 80% of marketers have reported increased engagement in email marketing campaigns. 

Perhaps this is because of the increase in the number of people using email. In 2019, there were 3.9 billion people using email, and by the year 2024 it’s projected there will be 4.48 billion people using email.

Businesses can utilize email marketing through numerous strategies, including company newsletters, product announcements, and welcome email drips, to name a few. Although the formats of email marketing differ, the tactics for successful email marketing stay the same. The number one tactic for improving email marketing performance is personalization.

Nutshell makes it easy to personalize emails with personal email sequence tools. It allows you to schedule one-on-one sales drips and email sequences that specifically correlate with where leads are in the sales pipeline. 

Using integrations with Constant Contact and Mailchimp, Nutshell’s tools automatically subscribe and unsubscribe your contacts to your email lists depending on where they are in your sales process.

Email segmentation

Email segmentation helps you create effective email lists through filtering customers based on location, industry, interest, and other custom attributes.

Across the globe, campaigns that use email segmentation have a 14.31% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns. Businesses who segmented email campaigns by user interest had a 74.53% higher click rate compared to campaigns that were not segmented.

Email campaigns that were segmented had an astounding 100.95% clickthrough rate compared to non-segmented campaigns around the world. 

Source

Paid advertising

Most of the options listed thus far are free marketing tactics you can use to upgrade your business. While all of these options are excellent, you shouldn’t neglect to invest in paid advertising campaigns.

The most popular places to post paid ads are on social media networks and search engines like Google. This is not only because these websites have high volumes of consumers trafficking them, but also because they have precise targeting features for their paid advertisements that ensure they are reaching interested consumers.

Related: 8 PPC tips to improve your Google Ads performance

Yes, SEO can be an excellent way to get your brand featured on search pages, but paid advertising can be just as profitable. On average, businesses make $2 for every $1 they spend on Google ads. Paid search campaigns also tend to take less time to garner results than SEO campaigns. 

68% of marketers said that paid advertising is “very important” or “extremely important” to their marketing strategy. Do your research, evaluate your budget, and choose your platform for paid search campaigns, keeping in mind that Google is not the only search engine out there. 

Optimize for mobile

The content that you use in your marketing should be mobile friendly because on average people consume 69% of their media on smartphones and it’s estimated that in the future mobile devices will drive 80% of global internet usage. 

Websites and content are not immediately mobile-friendly just because they are on the internet. Think of how many times you have looked at a website on your phone and its formatting was completely off to the point that its copy was illegible. 

To optimize your website and content for mobile-viewing, pull it up on your phone and consider whether it’s easy to view on a mobile device, whether the links and buttons are usable, how pop-ups and cookies will function, and whether your images and text are decipherable. 

Optimizing your website will be worth it. It makes your business more accessible. 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly using the “click to call” option in search results. 

You should also optimize so you set yourself up for success competitively. 25% of companies invest in mobile optimization, viewing it as a top SEO tactic. If you aren’t in that 25% but your competitors are, you are basically giving them your potential customers. 

In addition to considering how to optimize your website for mobile searches, also think about making an app for your company. 39% of smartphone users prefer to shop and browse on a company’s mobile apps because purchasing is easier and faster. 

Source

Website chatboxes

A great way to keep customers interested in your brand is by presenting them with consistent, informed customer service. You can do that without breaking the bank by using chatboxes. 

Artificial intelligence chat boxes provide quality customer service at a low cost. Simply program them to be capable of answering the most popular questions asked on your site.  

A study done by Business Insider found that chatboxes were here to stay, with 80% of businesses already using chatboxes, or planning to use chatboxes, by the end of 2020. 

Chatbots powered by AI are predicted to handle 85% of customer service queries by the end of the year. Overall, chatboxes are met with positive reviews by businesses and consumers. 

There are numerous chatbox tools out there that you can easily and quickly implement on your website, including Instabot and MobileMonkey. To set up your chatbox, ask your team what questions they field most often from customers and create helpful answers to those questions for your chatbot. 

Related: How to use chatbots to qualify leads on your website

Testimonials and reviews

The reviews are in: testimonials and reviews really do work when it comes to convincing consumers to buy from your business. B2B buyers and normal consumers often rely on testimonials to see who they can trust. 

Statistics on the efficacy of testimonials and review

  • 92% of customers read online reviews before buying products or services. 
  • 72% of consumers said that positive reviews increase their trust in a business. 
  • Turns out, people DO trust strangers on the internet, with 70% of people saying they trust reviews and recommendations from strangers. 
  • 88% of consumers said that reviews influence their online purchasing decisions.
  • 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as recommendations from people they know. 
  • 97% of B2B customers said that testimonials and peer recommendations are the most reliable marketing content. 

How to use testimonials and reviews

Include testimonials and reviews on your website, in your social media posts, on reviewing platforms, in content that you create, and more! The more people you have viewing great reviews of your business, products, and services, the better. 

Find new ways to find new customers

These marketing tactics will boost your business, attract the attention of new customers, and convert leads into sales, but there’s always more to learn.

Technology is an ever-evolving landscape, and new ways to attract customers are constantly emerging. The most important aspect of a successful marketing strategy is that it is adaptive, and reimagined often to account for changes in the way customers buy.

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