To ensure your clients’ success, you have to use a number of different marketing methods to reach your targets.
Just like an Olympic athlete supplements their physical training with exercises outside their sport (mental conditioning, for example) to become the best in their field, to provide your clients the best service possible, you can’t just rely on one single marketing channel.
But with so many ways to reach your clients’ customers online, which channels should you focus on?
Diversify Your Marketing
Many people think diversifying their marketing strategy means using similar tactics on multiple platforms. But many platforms are similar and offer little more than the next channel. For example, all social media platforms require you to build a following and push out content to users.
Recent algorithm changes on Facebook and Twitter have reduced reach (see here and here) so very little diversity exists in each platform. Not to mention that you’ll often have an overlap of audiences on all social media platforms as well.
Push and Pull Marketing
There are two ways to market to customers online: push marketing and pull marketing.
Push marketing is the process of pushing advertisements and marketing materials to users. For example, if you visit a website that uses the Google Display Network to monetize traffic and you see an advert, you are experiencing push marketing.
Above is a real-life example I recently experienced. In the image above, I am reading a news article and on the right-hand side of the page I am being served an advertisement about PayPal. But my attention is on the article, not on setting up a PayPal account.
Here’s another example of telecommunications provider EE serving me an advertisement on Facebook about the iPhone.
I visit Facebook to catch up with friends and family, not to shop. Again, this is another example of adverts being pushed on me at a time I am not interested.
Pull marketing is the process of placing your clients’ businesses in front of the customer in their time of need. Instead of serving thousands of ad impressions per day, pull marketing consists of using a number of methods (usually SEO and PPC) to display the business ad during the search phase.
For example, if I type the phrase “Gyms near me” on Google, I see the following results:
Google reveals a map of gyms near my search location. If I scroll down further, I am shown Yelp reviews and various gym websites that I can check out.
This example is pull marketing. It is accomplished using best SEO practices and is free.
You can also use PPC to implement a pull marketing strategy. PPC is a bid-pay marketing tactic that lists your clients’ businesses when people search for certain phrases.
Below you can see I have searched for “email automation software.” The top four listings are PPC ads.
Pull marketing is effective since the searcher is already looking for a solution to their problem and is much more likely to take action than if they are being served an ad push-marketing style.
Pull Marketing: SEO & PPC part 1
Every business needs to focus on pull marketing and one effective pull marketing strategy is SEO. A study by Econsultancy found that marketers believe SEO offers the best return on investment out of all marketing channels.
SEO offers the purest form of online marketing in which the customer is looking for your business. No other online marketing channel allows businesses to more effectively (and inexpensively) reach their clients in their time of need.
HubSpot found that leads generated from SEO had a better close rate than any other channel.
This should hardly come as a surprise, as 89% of consumers research online before making a purchase decision. Having your clients’ businesses listed for key search phrases will increase their customer acquisition.
However, depending on the maturity of your website and marketing campaign, SEO might not be the best pull marketing technique. In some cases, a solid PPC campaign will work quicker and more effectively while your SEO strategy is gaining traction.
For example, if your client has a new website with little content and few backlinks, they may wait months before they start seeing a healthy flow of organic traffic. During this period, a PPC pull marketing campaign can be used to drive targeted traffic through the use of AdWords.
Push Marketing: PPC part 2
No doubt SEO offers businesses the chance of acquiring new customers and, combined with a PPC strategy as outlined above, it offers a killer pull marketing combination. But, as with any marketing strategy, placing all your eggs in one basket is never a smart idea.
Let’s talk about a PPC push marketing technique that piggy-backs off the PPC strategy we discussed earlier: retargeting. Retargeting is the method of showing an advertisement to a user who has previously interacted with your website. For example, earlier today I visited the Google website to do some research for this article, and now when I visit a website using the Google Display Network, here’s what I see:
An advertisement from Google telling me to get started with AdWords. PPC remarketing ads fatigue at a much slower rate compared to generic ads served to a cold audience.
PPC is useful in converting customers who were too busy to take action during their first visit to your clients’ websites. They may have been on their mobile device browsing the store and received a phone call and forgot to go back. They may have been at work and their credit card was at home or life otherwise got in the way. Whatever the reason, utilizing PPC retargeting is a great way to bring customers back to their website and encourage them to finish their action.
SEO and PPC both offer unique advantages. When combined, they provide your clients with the ultimate acquisition strategy. SEO is a long-term plan to continually bring your clients more traffic, leads, and sales as their visibility increases.
A single article published today can drive leads for years. On the other side of the coin, if your client is running a time-based sale or requires leads right away, then a strong PPC campaign can rank your clients at the top on Google’s ad spots instantly.
PPC also acts as a safety net for all the users gained through SEO who didn’t make the intended action first time around. By serving them retargeting ads on the Google Display Network, you bring back a portion of SEO traffic, increasing the ROI for both PPC and SEO.
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