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Building Your Business with a Smart Online Marketing Strategy

September 5, 2013

A smart online marketing strategy can have a tremendous impact on your business. How large? According to InsideView, IBM saw a 400-percent increase in its first-quarter sales based on a pilot program of social media selling. As social media and online content play larger roles in e-commerce, it is important to develop effective marketing strategies that take advantage of both current and emerging online tools.

The four-step model of crafting effective marketing copy developed by St. Elmo Lewis includes “Attention,” “Interest,” “Desire” and “Action”, according to Boundless.com. It remains an extremely important facet of any marketing endeavor, especially one that involves reaching out to potential online customers. Today, this model is often divided into “high funnel” inbound marketing and “low funnel” outbound marketing strategies, both designed to capture customers throughout the conversion process.

When developing an online marketing strategy, patience is a virtue. In fact, taking things one step at a time is one of the 16 rules for survival that successful GoDaddy founder and CEO Bob Parsons abides by on a daily basis, as mentioned in a recent Lifehack article.

Inbound Marketing Strategies

Inbound marketing strategies focus on the Attention and Interest side while the customer is still near the top of the conversion funnel. It’s likely that your customers will want to do their homework before making any sort of purchase. Even if they’re not likely to act on your products and services right away, it’s important to capture their attention and interest from the start.

Effective content marketing is the key to grabbing customers’ attention and interest. Contributing to online conversations with engaging facts and information is just one way of fulfilling the “A” and “I” side of “AIDA.” Writing engaging, fact-filled articles for popular online publications is another way of gaining interest and attention from potential customers. Social media outlets like Twitter and LinkedIn also present an opportunity for brand advocates to share your message.

Ad retargeting is another effective strategy that keeps potential customers engaged and receptive. These ads track a visitor’s online movements, keeping your ad in the forefront even after they’re finished interacting with your online content.

Outbound Marketing Strategies

Outbound marketing is where the latter half of the “AIDA” formula – “Desire” and “Action” – comes into play. Since your brand and its reputation are already established, you now want to build up desire in your customers to commit to action before leaving your website.

Customers in search of specific products will benefit most from paid search advertising. Paid search ads offer an incremental lift in website visitors – up to 89 percent, according to statistics from Search Engine Land. You can also take advantage of affiliate marketing programs and product feeds to push your content into popular product comparison spaces.

Email marketing can be crucial for following up with existing customers at the bottom of the funnel. However, only 27 percent of marketers took advantage of email lists and a surprising nine percent found them effective, according to Hubspot.

Leslie Hooper
Leslie is a social media expert for a large marketing company. She loves to write and read in her spare time.

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