Web Profits BlogDigital MarketingHow the online marketing landscape will change in 2016 and beyond

How the online marketing landscape will change in 2016 and beyond

Digital Marketing -


multichannel

Back in 2001 when I first started marketing online you could put all your eggs in the Adwords basket and grow a business really fast, at a reasonably low cost.

In 2007 it was all about SEO – rank at the top of Google, build a high-converting website, and watch the dollars roll in.

Jump forward to 2012 and it was all about Facebook – you could build fans and drive traffic faster and cheaper than any other platform.

2016 is going to be different… very different.

Online marketing is getting a lot more competitive, and a lot more expensive…

The days of a single-channel online marketing approach are nearly gone.

The Web is becoming an increasingly crowded marketplace where businesses are fighting tooth and nail to capture the attention of their audience. That fierce competition is continually pushing up advertising costs and it will soon be at the point that it will be very difficult to acquire a customer at break-even (let alone making a profit), which means the companies that are the best at maximising the lifetime value of a customer will win…

Just think how hard it will be to compete against companies who are happy to lose money to gain a customer because they know they’ll make a profit from them over the next 12-24 months.

Combine that with the consolidation of traffic to two major players (Facebook and Google) and the options available to businesses to leverage the Web for profit are growing smaller every day.

So what’s a business to do in 2016 and beyond?

You need to take your online marketing strategy to the next level.

So rather than investing in just one channel online, you need to launch a strategy that leverages all channels to build an online sales, branding and traffic machine.

It means thinking about both the short and long-term goals of the campaign simultaneously and implementing a strategy that aligns with both.

And then re-defining what you measure as success online…

How to measure success in 2016 and beyond

The #1 metric from your online marketing is the return on your advertising spend (ie how much profit you make from every dollar you spend online).

But when you take a longer-term view of your online marketing, you need to start looking at Leading Indicators to measure short-term campaign performance.

So what should you measure?

Metrics that move you closer to your goal and reflect the growth of your business.

Here are some Leading Indicators you should be measuring on a monthly basis (at the very least):

  • Email metrics
    • Size of email list – how many people are subscribed to receive your emails
    • Cost per email subscriber – how much you pay for a new email subscriber
    • Email open rates – the quality and responsiveness of your email list
    • Email click-through-rates – how good your email copywriting / design is
  • SEO metrics
    • SEO rankings – where your website is ranking for high-traffic keywords
    • Organic traffic – how much traffic you’re receiving from SEO
    • Incoming links – how many quality websites are linking to you
  • Advertising metrics (per channel)
    • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) – how much you pay for a lead / sale / email subscriber
    • Volume of conversions – how many conversions you receive each day / week / month
  • Website metrics
    • Conversion rate – how good your website is at converting people who land there
    • Bounce rate – how well your marketing is aligned with your landing pages
    • Time on site – how long (on average) people spend on your site
    • Pages per visit – how many pages (on average) people visit
  • Social media metrics (per platform)
    • Number of followers – how many people are following you on each of the social media channels
    • Cost-per-follower – how much it costs to acquire a new social media follower
    • Cost-per-engagement – how much it costs to engage with your followers

There are a lot more metrics you can measure but this is a great place to start (and there’s definitely something to be said about keeping it simple).

Start with these metrics and then add to them based on information you need to make decisions about:

  • Where to invest your budget
  • Which areas of your online marketing strategy you need to improve
  • What insights you can garner to adjust your longer-term strategy for maximum results

So that’s what you need to measure… now here’s what you need to do.

Key components of an effective online marketing strategy in 2016 and beyond

The future of online marketing is a multi-channel one.

Your customer is a moving target…

They’re on Facebook and Instagram throughout the day. They use Google to find information they’re looking for. They check their emails from their phone… and then their computer. They’re chatting on Whatsapp. They’re logged in to a number of different apps – everything from news and magazines, to games, shopping and everything else. You name it…

To be truly effective with your online marketing and to get the best return on your marketing dollar you need a strategy that ensures your business is in front of your customer no matter where they are online.

Social media. Search. Mobile. Desktop. Email. Apps. Everywhere.

And you need to have an overriding campaign strategy that connects them all.

Here’s an example of a strategy rollout we would run for a client at Web Profits…

Multi-channel online marketing strategy for a lead-generation website

  1. Launch Paid Search campaigns targeting people searching for the brand
  2. Design a landing page for each service
  3. Launch Paid Search campaigns for each service, sending them to the custom landing pages
  4. Launch a Facebook Ads campaign targeting Custom Audiences and Remarketing Audiences
  5. Launch Display campaigns on Google Display Network targeting prospects and Remarketing audiences
  6. Develop a social media strategy across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Pinterest (whatever platforms are relevant)
  7. Launch social media campaign and leverage paid advertising platforms (Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, Pinterest Ads) to build and engage with the community
  8. Develop a content strategy that can be leveraged for Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing
  9. Develop an email marketing strategy that builds a relationship with your database over time, and converts them into a paying customer
  10. Setup a blog and start publishing content to that blog – share content across social media and via email marketing
  11. Complete technical optimisation of the website to maximise SEO rankings
  12. Start outreaching to industry websites to build links back to the site (to help improve SEO rankings)
  13. Develop offers and create landing pages around those offers – drive traffic to those offers via Facebook Ads and Email Marketing
  14. Launch conversion rate optimisation campaign to improve overall performance of the website, landing pages and marketing
  15. Develop sales / conversion funnels that convert prospects into customers via automated sequences

The steps outlined above are what are required to get the campaign off the ground. From there, the following tactics are used on an ongoing basis to grow the business:

  • Paid Search
    • Google Adwords
    • Bing Ads
  • Display / Remarketing Ads
    • Facebook Ads
    • Google Display Network
    • In-App Ads
  • Social Media
    • Facebook Creative + Ads
    • Instagram Creative + Ads
    • YouTube Creative + Ads
    • Twitter Creative + Ads
    • Pinterest Creative + Ads
    • LinkedIn Creative + Ads
  • Email Marketing
    • Newsletters
    • Autoresponder campaigns
    • Viral competitions
  • Content Marketing
    • Articles
    • Videos
    • Infographics
    • Podcasts
    • Special reports / whitepapers
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation
    • Quantitative analysis (analytics, heatmaps etc)
    • Qualitative analysis (surveys, live chat analysis etc)
    • AB / sequential testing
  • Design
    • Website design
    • Landing page design

There are a lot of tactics to look at when launching a multi-channel online marketing campaign but it’s not as complicated as it looks.

At the centre of the strategy is Content and Email Marketing. Everything else supports that.

Focus on generating the highest-value content you can, leverage that content across social media and via email marketing, and then convert prospects to customers with email marketing and remarketing campaigns. Focus part of your ad budget on growing your email database as fast as possible. And focus part of your ad budget on converting people searching (on Google / Bing) for what you sell.

As you can see, this campaign takes online marketing to the next level by connecting all of the channels together in a multi-channel approach that delivers a consistent message to your customers regardless of where they are online.

That’s how we would run a lead-generation campaign (obviously we would customise it to our client’s business).

Now let’s take a look at a strategy rollout for an ecommerce business…

Multi-channel online marketing strategy for an ecommerce business

  1. Launch Paid Search campaigns targeting people searching for the brand
  2. Launch Product Listing Ads on Google Adwords
  3. Launch ads across the top Comparison Shopping Engines
  4. Launch Dynamic Remarketing on Google Display Network and Facebook Ads
  5. Launch Paid Search campaigns for each product
  6. Develop SEO strategy designed to maximise organic traffic to category and product pages
  7. Complete technical optimisation of website to maximise SEO rankings
  8. Ensure that all category pages have unique content
  9. Start outreaching to industry websites to build links back to the site (to help improve SEO rankings)
  10. Develop a social media strategy across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and/or Pinterest (whatever platforms are relevant)
  11. Launch social media campaign and leverage paid advertising platforms (Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Twitter Ads, Pinterest Ads) to build and engage with the community
  12. Develop an email marketing strategy that builds a relationship with your database over time, and converts them into a paying customer
  13. Launch conversion rate optimisation campaign to improve overall performance of website and marketing
  14. Develop a content strategy that can be leveraged for Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing
  15. Setup a blog and start publishing content to that blog – share content across social media and via email marketing

The steps outlined above are what are required to get the campaign off the ground. From there, the following tactics are used on an ongoing basis to grow the business:

  • Paid Search
    • Google Adwords
    • Google Product Listing Ads
    • Bing Ads
  • Comparison Shopping Engines
    • Get Price
    • Shopping.com
    • MyShopping
    • Shopbot
  • Display / Remarketing Ads
    • Facebook Ads
    • Google Display Network
    • Pinterest Ads
  • Social Media
    • Facebook Creative + Ads
    • Instagram Creative + Ads
    • YouTube Creative + Ads
    • Pinterest Creative + Ads
  • Email Marketing
    • Newsletters
    • Autoresponder campaigns
    • Flash sales / specials
    • Viral competitions
  • Content Marketing
    • Articles
    • Videos
    • Infographics
    • Podcasts
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation
    • Quantitative analysis (analytics, heatmaps etc)
    • Qualitative analysis (surveys, live chat analysis etc)
    • AB / sequential testing
    • Abandoned cart recovery
  • Design
    • Website design

The strategy for an ecommerce business is different to that of a lead-generation business because the entire sales process is online.

The core components are the same – Ads. Social. Email. Search. Mobile. Design. – but the tactics are a little different.

Again, the key here is being wherever your customers are online so that when they’re ready to buy, they buy from you.

“Wow… that seems complicated! Where do I start?”

At Web Profits we would try to get everything in that list completed within in the first 3 months of a campaign, with results-based campaigns (ie campaigns that generate you leads or sales) launching every month.

You can rollout the strategy, one tactic at a time, in the order I’ve listed above… but the real power will only be felt when you do everything outlined in the strategies above.

Why?

Because everything is interconnected…

You drive traffic to your website to try to make a sale or generate a lead. Anyone who doesn’t convert gets added to your remarketing audience and then gets ads across Facebook and Google. You convert people who don’t become a sale or lead into an email subscriber. You’re constantly staying front of mind with your audience through awesome content, and they’re seeing it when they login to their favourite social media platforms or check their emails. They really start to love your brand because of how much value you add to their lives so when you start promoting offers to get them to convert to a customer, they respond.

It’s a cycle. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

And underlying everything is consistency.

You need to be consistent with the FREQUENCY and QUALITY of information you share with your audience so they learn to trust you, and then buy from you.

It’s time to change your mindset

The online marketing game is becoming a lot harder… but it’s not too hard if you have the right mindset and take the right approach to scaling your strategy.

And the best part is that not too many companies are looking at this yet, so if you get in now you’ll establish your foothold in your industry before it gets prohibitively expensive (like every other advertising medium before it).

Need help with your online marketing?

We do this stuff every day and we’ve launched a new approach to online marketing where we handle all of this for you so you don’t have to. We call it Fluid Online Marketing because we adjust your budget in real-time to where you’re getting the best results (after setting up everything that we’ve outlined above).

We love this stuff… which means we’re constantly testing new channels and tactics, looking for the latest innovation that can give our clients (and ourselves) an unfair advantage, which often times requires a Fluid Online Marketing approach to make it profitable.

If you’re up for a chat, click here to get in touch.

Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Chief Innovation Officer at Web Profits

Alex Cleanthous is Chief Innovation Officer at Web Profits. With more than 10 years experience in digital marketing, Alex is always on the lookout for smarter, faster and more scalable ways to achieve maximum growth with minimum spend.

Tell us how we can help

If you're interested in driving revenue online, growing market share, and staying ahead of your competition, then get in touch.
Read previous post:
Check out these 10 landing pages (desktop + mobile + wireframe)

Landing...

Read More
Close