If you’ve ever tried your hand at in-house marketing before, then you’ll know it’s far from easy. However, it’s pretty common for modern business owners and in-house marketers to make things harder for themselves.
In this digital world of ours, it’s easy for us to get addicted to information, and think that one little trade secret can be all it takes to blow your competition out of the water and expand your market share dramatically.
In reality, you probably know all you need to know to be great at marketing, and the answers are right under your nose. Here are some of the easiest changes you can make to see better marketing results.
1. Ask for Email Subscribers Directly
If you’ve been staying up to date on marketing conventions, you’ll know that common efforts through popular social media channels often doesn’t reach that many subscribers. The average click-through rate for Twitter and Facebook posts is extremely low, and has been falling steadily since the advent of social media marketing. On the other hand, click-through rates for email have remained pretty steady for decades.
If you’ve tucked your email signup form away somewhere on your site, trying to avoid coming off as too spammy, then you need to move it somewhere where people are more likely to see it. I understand not wanting to sound like a shifty used car salesman, but if you’re not being direct enough with your email marketing campaigns, then you’re more or less letting your customers slip through your fingers.
2. “Steal” Great Headlines
A lot of modern marketers will tell you that making your headlines interesting is much more important than ensuring they have a keyword in them. This is a trend that’s becoming more and more prevalent in services such as the HOTH SEO reseller platform.
However, it’s rare that these bloggers dish out good advice on how to come up with such headlines. This is where one of the oldest copywriting techniques comes into play. It’s called “stealing”. Before you hit that back button, I’m not suggesting that you use exact copies of headlines you’ve seen for your own content.
However, if you start paying closer attention to the way that good headlines are worded, a range of go-to templates start to become apparent. Is This the Best (Noun) Ever? Is always a good one. Numerical titles such as 6 (Whatevers) You Can’t Do Without are also very successful.
The trick is making them easy to read, and giving away just enough information to nudge the reader onto the next line. The next time you’re composing content, take some time to look at successful blogs in a similar niche, and try to learn something from the headlines that really jump out at you.
3. Post More Visual Content on Social Media
While there are still many long, in-depth guides out there which reel in countless links and subscribers, this kind of content isn’t the most effective thing you can post on social media. With a lot of modern social networks, few users even see what you’re posting unless it’s in some kind of visual format.
After so much exposure to the different visual mediums making up the bulk of online media, this is just the way people in 2017 are wired. Yes, things have changed since article links on Facebook started to include an image preview of the article, which now take up just as much online real estate as image posts.
However, image posts still have more potential for penetration over time, and a much higher engagement rate compared to other, more traditional forms of content. More and more people are using their social networks for exclusively bite-sized content; something they can soak in quickly while they’re walking from the office to a coffee shop and back. This means that an increasing proportion of your target market, whoever that is, is filtering out non-visual content. Be sure to keep this shift in mind for any future social media initiatives.
4. Make Your Font Bigger
I know, this one probably sounds way too simple to have a real impact. However, increasing your font size can have a noticeable positive impact on your overall conversion rates, and is one of the easiest changes you can make to your company website.
There are two main things that any successful website needs to do: be memorable by standing out from other, competing websites, and be thoroughly optimised for its primary function, thereby maximising ease of use. By increasing your font size, you’ll make your site a touch better at doing both of these things. Look at any popular site which is heavily based on content, and you’ll see that they keep their font size large and clear. After all, one of their primary functions is to be read! A larger font size will not only be immediately more attractive at first glance, but can also help to make your site more mobile-friendly.
If you haven’t invested in responsive design (which you should definitely do!) then bumping your font size up to 16 will guarantee that it’s easily readable on any device.
5. Perfect Your Most Popular Pages
Odds are, the landing page on your website isn’t the most popular. In all likelihood, it’s going to be some kind of useful resource which you’ve offered up, or perhaps even a random piece of content that you never thought would make much of a splash.
Now, even though this page or tool may be much more popular than the other pages on your site, it doesn’t mean that you’re really milking it for all it has. True, you may have designed it to attract as many views as possible, but you may have made one of the most common marketing blunders there is: failing to optimise that content for maximum business value. Furthermore, it may not be up to date, or be attracting the wrong kind of customer.
If any of these scenarios sound likely, it’s time to open up Google analytics and take a look at the user behavior flow. How many of your visitors are simply bouncing off the page, never seeing anything else on your website, or never signing up to emails?
If you see some worrying figures, it’s time to iron out the kinks and make sure your pages are fully optimised. If there’s any out-of-date information, update it and execute any other changes that will ensure the resource stays fresh and valuable to your target market. Try to think of every page as a potential landing page, and give links to other areas if anything’s going to be unclear to a totally new user.
A list of additional resources and information at the bottom of the page can also be a great addition. No matter how popular a certain part of your website is, it’s almost guaranteed that you could be getting more out of it!
6. Purge the Clutter
Like countless others, your business website may have been a victim to what developers call “feature creep”. You start off with a simple but effective site structure, then over time you hear about new features from various sources and impulsively decide to add them to your site. Pretty soon, what was an attractive and functional website becomes crowded with all kinds of navigation buttons, social media widgets, and calls to action. If you’ve let your site become cluttered like this, then turning it around is one of the best ways for you to improve the state of your online marketing.
Good web design is all about balance. Yes, it’s important to make sure your calls to action are visible. However, the more you cram into a single page, the more invisible they’ll ultimately be to any visitor. After purging the unnecessary clutter, make sure you’re prioritising the features that are really going to matter. These are your product or service itself, your search bar and your email signup form. Make everything else visible, but not verbose. Your widgets and online tools should be easy to find, but it shouldn’t feel like they’re competing with the more essential things.
Different websites require different approaches, but the one thing you should never do is use a sidebar that’s packed with different features. Remove all but a few of the most important ones.
7. Break the Mould
You’ve probably heard a lot of articles on inbound marketing urging you to “become an authority” in your industry. This is good advice, but it can be very easy for bloggers and marketers to take it the wrong way entirely. A lot of content marketers slip into the bad habit of writing and publishing content that’s more suited to other professionals in their industry, rather than their customers. In many cases, all this can end up doing is giving tips to your competitors!
Keep your content valuable, but try to break the industry mould. You should show your readers that you know what you’re talking about, but don’t become so absorbed in your niche that you wind up alienating your whole customer base!