It's no secret that online marketing is powerful. But why does it work for some and not for others? Perhaps the better question is: why isn't it working for me?
The answer is simple:
Successful online marketers follow systematized processes that continually produce the same great results.
Marketing systems might seem intimidating at first, but they're no different from the habitual 'life systems' we already have in place.
Your online marketing efforts can be systematized in the same way by filtering through the noise, applying finite adjustments and practice, practice, practice.
Let's take a look at the 4 online marketing strategies and see what our experts had to say about their processes.
1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): User First, Google Second
A few weeks ago, the "Mammoth SEO Checklist" flooded my social channels. I reached out to Sam Oh, founder of Money Journal and SEO expert on his multi-step process to "mammoth search rankings".
SEO isn't just about creating 'great content' or targeting keywords based on search volumes. It's about targeting audience intent, fulfilling it and giving them more than they bargained for.
But this is only half the battle.
Old link building tactics like social bookmarking, mass directory submissions and Ezines are dead. Building quality links is about amplification, outreach and relationships. It all comes down to taking things step-by-step rather than trying one technique then flipping to the next.
Despite countless headlines from nearly all publications stating, "SEO is dead", it isn't. This popular headline was nothing more than a fad for a clickbait headline. Google trends confirms this and forecasts steady growth for up and coming DIY SEOs.
2. Email Marketing: Focus on the Bread-and-Butter (Growth)
Email marketing has been around for decades and is still one of the most profitable tools in the digital hemisphere.
Let's get one thing straight:
A subscriber can be just as valuable as a customer. Some visitors just need a little more nurturing before opening up their wallets.
Growing a 'list' is one of the most challenging feats for online businesses. How can you 'convince' cold traffic to give you access to one of the most accessible channels in their lives?
Kevan Lee, email marketing expert from Buffer Social says to focus on your main strategy then experiment as your list grows.
"There are so many fascinating strategies out there; I can totally relate to the urge to try them all. I end up adding any experiments to an ongoing wish list, which allows me to focus on the bread-and-butter strategy first, then experiment as time allows. It's the main strategy - the system - that is key to sustained growth. Grow a list, deliver valuable content often, be open to engaging. A good system is worth the initial setup time because of the time it will save you later."
Rather than trying to keep up with the Joneses, focus on your main strategy and experiment with other strategies that compliment it. This is a testament to how Buffer doubled their email signups in 30 days.
3. Social Media Marketing: a Time Waster Without a Process
Posting to your 15 social networks isn't a strategy. And guess what?
This will not produce results.
Ian Cleary, social media expert from Razor Social built his business around optimizing a strategy. Here's what he had to say:
"To be successful on social media you have to be organized, build your process, use the right tools and implement automation where relevant. Social media can be a real time waster and without a good process in place you'll struggle to get results."
Ian not only talks the talk, but he walks the walk by generating thousands of visitors through social networks.
Having a multitude of networks doesn't mean greater traffic.
"Start with a great strategy, build an effective process and then measure and optimize results. There is so much value to be obtained from social media with the right approach."
The bottom line is to focus on the social networks that work for your business and continually optimize your process with a data-driven approach.
4. Paid Advertising: Double Down on Your 'Unicorns'
Pay per click (PPC) advertising can be a touchy topic. Those of us who have self-managed our own campaigns have experienced frustration, confusion and wasted dollars.
Despite popular belief, paid advertising isn't just for fat wallets. Although a budget helps, successful PPC campaigns are grounded on measuring and optimizing ROI.
Larry Kim, founder and CTO of Wordstream shares the magic behind his process to help thousands of small businesses get results in paid advertising. It comes down to one word: optimization.
"The cool thing about Adwords in comparison to most other forms of advertising (like print ads, etc.) is that it gives you feedback on how you're doing in real-time. If you adopt a weekly or monthly optimization routine spending a few minutes doubling down on what works and eliminating what doesn't, you can dramatically improve the performance of your ad campaigns over time."
Within the millions of keyword targets, there are 'unicorns' that yield enormous dividends.
Be a Creature of Habit
Without a process, there's no way to identify weak spots and optimize for greater results.
No strategy is perfect. It takes commitment, adjustment and practice to master the right techniques that will work for your business.
Just like your morning alarm rings at 7:00AM, you grab your coffee at 7:47AM and you get home between 5:38PM - 5:42PM (depending on traffic), you already have your system in place for a predictable day.
When you create and refine marketing processes to be integral in your business, results become effective, foreseeable and repeatable.
Have you been able to hack your growth? What one tweak can you make to create a better process in your online marketing efforts? I'd love to hear about it. Comment below!