By Robert Brandl, Founder, Tooltester
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open. And one of the reasons for this is not having a solid marketing plan.
Marketing is essential for any business. Without a marketing plan, you won’t be able to reach out to your target audience or grow your business because it won’t be seen. Think of your marketing method as a roadmap that helps you market your business with a clear plan.
So, to ensure that your business is successful, we highlighted 3 long-term marketing methods you should invest in.
1. Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of optimizing your website and its pages to rank higher in search engine results. Investing in SEO is an effective long-term strategy to help you drive organic traffic to your website and boost conversions. Here is some data to show why you should optimize for search engines:
- 3% of all website traffic comes from organic search
- SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media
- 60% of marketers say that inbound marketing strategies like SEO are their highest quality source of leads.
Also, compared to strategies like PPC advertising, SEO is more cost-effective — especially for businesses with smaller budgets in a competitive market.
How to do SEO
One of the most important parts of SEO, is to optimize your website for a better user experience. This will encourage more visitors to spend time on your website. And the algorithms that search engines like Google use, will reward a high dwell time by increasing your website ranking in search results.
Before you get started with SEO, here are some key aspects you should know:
- Keyword research: This is the process of discovering and analyzing the queries that your target audience searches for in search engines like Google. Keyword research will help you uncover how popular these queries are, how hard it will be to rank for them, and more.
- Link building: This is the process of acquiring backlinks from other websites leading to your website. Backlinks are important because they are one of the primary ways search engine algorithms determine how high they will rank a page in SERP. Having a good number of quality links will increase the relevance and SERP ranking of your website.
- Improving page speed: One of Google’s ranking factors is page load speed.
The faster your website loads, the better the user experience — and the chances of better ranking increase accordingly. In fact, 53% of visitors will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. And high bounce rates can reduce your search rankings.
By optimizing for search engines, your website will rank higher. And with a higher rank comes more visibility, traffic, and increased conversions. There are several rank tracking tools you can use in monitoring your SERP rank. These tools will also guide you in the areas you need to improve.
2. Content marketing
Content marketing is a long-term strategy focused on consistently creating and distributing valuable and relevant content to attract and retain a defined target audience.
The main goal of content marketing is to drive customers and prospects to take actions that are profitable to your business. You do this by providing useful content that educates them, while demonstrating how useful your product or service is in helping them solve their pain points.
You can create and publish content via channels such as websites, blogs, social media, press releases, apps, print publications, etc. Your main aim is to focus on the channels where your target audience is most active. So if your audience is most active on Instagram, then you should have a solid Instagram content marketing strategy.
Investing in content marketing can improve brand awareness, increase conversions, boost revenue, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
3. Public relations
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines PR as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relations between organizations and their publics”. Public relations (PR) can help you positively build your brand’s image over the long term. And the more information about your company on relevant media outlets, the more awareness your brand gets.
To run a well-executed PR strategy, you need to take your time and not rush the process. Many companies quit too soon. Note that results won’t happen overnight, but here are some tips to help you get started.
- Set smart goals: Your goals will serve as a roadmap to help you measure success. Some examples of PR goals you can set include reaching new audiences, improving your relationship with the public, promoting a new product or service, etc.
- Know your audience: Before sharing PR messages, determine who will see them. For example, if you are targeting a younger audience, you should adjust your tone of voice and keep up with the trends.
- Choose the right platform: You can share your message to press release submission websites or reputable websites in your industry. You could also upload it directly on your website, or share it with your audience via email and social media. The main thing is to identify the platform where your audience will most likely get and engage with the message.
- Write captivating press releases: Your press releases should have a story and a strong news angle. Instead of saying “Our Ride-Sharing App is Now Available”, go for “New Startup Hopes to Compete With Uber as the Best Option For New Yorkers”. The second option tells a story and will grab more attention.
If done right, PR can boost your business relationship with the public for many years to come.
Long-term marketing methods are time consuming. But when done right, they are very effective in driving growth to a business. The methods mentioned above will work regardless of whether you are an SMB or an enterprise. Just note that some marketing methods will be more effective than others for your business. So test each one till you find the one that gives you the best results.
About the Author
Robert’s passion has always been web tools that make your life easier. That’s why he founded Tooltester, where you can find reviews and tutorials for the world’s best website builders, e-commerce platforms, and web hosting services.