If you're struggling to decide on a course of action for your online marketing campaign, I understand the frustration.
Navigating the digital world can be an immense challenge, especially because of the rate at which everything changes. There are times when you probably think to yourself, "Forget it. I'm just going to sit by my phone and wait for customers to call." Unfortunately, the days of building up your base exclusively with offline methods are over.
Eighty-five percent of incoming phone leads are due to an online presence.
The beauty of online marketing is that if other companies have tried a technique, there are ways to measure precisely how effective it's been. You don't have to think of a completely innovative strategy on your own - just go with the ones that have proven to be successful.
Here are five you should consider trying:
No. 1: Email advertising
If you're skeptical of some of the newer methods, try one of the newer-old marketing techniques.
Confused yet? I don't blame you. Let's try that again.
A recent study found that two-thirds of marketers have achieved a good or great return on investment with their email ads, ranking it the second most likely strategy to deliver an ROI. Considering email marketing is now elderly in terms of digital advertising techniques, it's safe to say this isn't a statistical anomaly.
There are no signs that email use is going away anytime soon. Don't ignore the benefits of advertising on this platform simply because it's no longer the new kid on the block.
No 2: Social media marketing
If email marketing is the wise, mature adult with a touch of gray, social media is the 2-year-old toddler that's just learning how to speak.
Despite being so new, 40 percent of small and medium-sized businesses have already seen a return on investment for their social media strategies. Thirty percent reported that return to be more than $2,000, a nice piece of chump change if you ask me.
As your customers increasingly flock to these websites, you need to as well.
Nos. 3 and 4: Search and display advertising
I'm grouping these two together because they appear to be growing in popularity at relatively similar rates.
With search advertising (also known as pay per click) your ads show up when consumers type in specific search terms. You are only charged for times when your ads are clicked, allowing you to allocate the preferred amount of your budget to this method. That right there is likely the reason nearly 90 percent of survey respondents reported average to excellent ROIs with their PPC strategies.
Display advertising is extremely visual and involves your content showing up on the web pages of your choice. These types of ads experienced a 12 percent year-over-year increase in 2012, tied with search ads for the third highest growth rate. That's because companies are increasingly finding success with them.
No. 5: Video ads
I've referred to video marketing as somewhat of a hidden gem, mostly because you might be surprised to find out how accepting consumers are of these ads. In fact, a study found that 67 percent of customers engage with them regularly, a rapid 17 percent increase from just a year ago.
This strategy might require a little more time, but once it's completed, it's a relatively sure thing that consumers will notice your ad.
Remember: Taking the leap into the realm of digital marketing might feel like looking out of a plane before skydiving, but you need to make the jump. Therefore, go with the strategies that are already known to report an ROI.