What’s the best digital marketing tactic for driving new prospects to your website?
I’ll give you a hint – No matter which tactic you’re thinking of right now, you’re wrong…
One Tactic Alone Can Never Be the Best
Sure, one tactic will likely be better than others for your business, but that doesn’t mean you should rely solely on that tactic.
If you’re relying on SEO or advertising or social media marketing or any other tactic to drive leads and sales for your business, then you’re extremely vulnerable.
What happens if Google makes a change to their algorithm and your website is suddenly on page 10 of the search results instead of page 1? Or what if new advertisers enter your market and drive up the costs so that it’s no longer profitable? Or what if Facebook suddenly prevents your messages from reaching all of your prospects and customers (oops, this already happened!)?
Well, if you’re relying on that one tactic, then your business is clearly in trouble.
The answer to this potentially devastating problem should be fairly obvious…
You Must Diversify Your Marketing!
In investing, everyone knows the importance of diversifying your portfolio. You never want all your money invested in a single stock or bond. It’s just too risky. Sure, you could hit it big, but it’s like winning the lottery; the odds are against you.
The safer strategy is to diversify across different types of investments. That way if one tanks, all your money is not lost.
This same approach should be used in your marketing. Diversify your marketing efforts across many different types of tactics so your business is not on life support if one tactic takes a nosedive.
With this in mind, the remainder of this article will be focused on the top 7 tactics to drive traffic to your website. Review this list like a checklist. If you’re using one of the tactics already, then cross it off the list. For all the others, create a plan to add the tactic in the coming months.
1. Search Engine Optimization
The first tactic is SEO, or search engine optimization. The beauty of SEO is the fact that you can get your business in front of prospects that are literally searching for your product or service.
Think of SEO like the old Yellowpages. The only reason anyone picked up and flipped through a Yellowpages book was that they were in need of a product or service and wanted to find a business to help. The same thing happens every day on Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
With a solid SEO strategy, you’ll be able to get your business to show up on the first page of Google at the precise moment when your prospects need your product or service.
2. Digital Advertising
Next, let’s talk about digital advertising. Forget all of your preconceptions about advertising for a minute and consider a few facts:
- With ad networks like Google Ads and Facebook Ads, there is no minimum investment to get started. You can get started with as little as a few dollars per day.
- You can pay per-click, which means you’re only going to pay when a prospect takes action on your ad (i.e. shows interest).
- With YouTube video advertising, any business can now get a 30+ second commercial in front of their target audience for pennies per view (again, no minimum investment required).
- When you set up proper tracking, then you can see your return on investment and determine where to allocate your marketing dollars to maximize your profits.
- Ad networks can now automatically find and target audiences online that have similar demographics and online user behavior as your customers. You may want to read that sentence again so it sinks in. :)
As you can imagine, I’m a huge fan of digital advertising and all the options that are now available. Like SEO, you can advertise when your prospects are literally searching for your product or service. Plus, you can advertise when your prospects are surfing around on other websites, on social media, and even when they are reading emails related to your products or services.
3. Referral Marketing
I’m not going to spend too much time on this section because everyone is familiar with referrals. There’s no shortcut with referral marketing online just like there’s no shortcut off of the internet.
To create a strong referral network requires real effort to build relationships with other businesses that serve your target market.
To get started, brainstorm the other types of businesses that provide products and services to your customers. Then reach out to see if they are open to a referral partnership. Some will flat out ignore you. Some will say no. But if you’re persistent then you’ll eventually build up a nice stream of traffic to your website from referral sources.
4. Social Media Marketing
This list would not be complete if I didn’t mention social media marketing. However, I do need to start off with a warning that too many businesses are wasting a lot of their time and money on this tactic.
Digital marketing success is not measured by your total number of Facebook Likes or Twitter Followers; it’s measured by leads and sales.
With that said, social media marketing can be an effective tactic to reach your target audience and drive them to your website to make a purchase. You just need to keep your eye on the prize and don’t get sidetracked on a mission to increase vanity numbers like Likes and Followers.
5. Online Publicity
Like referrals, every business wants publicity. If your business can get featured in the news then you’ll instantly be top of mind and the authority in your industry.
But also like referrals, there is no shortcut. As comedian Kevin Hart chants before taking the stage, “Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to put the work in!” :)
To get publicity you’ll need to create (or do) something worthy of press. If you haven’t already, then get started blogging on your website. This will get you into the rhythm of creating press-worthy content that you can then leverage to secure a column in an industry news site or online magazine.
To see this in action, go take a look at my column on Adweek. That is the result of good ol’ fashion hard work.
6. Email Marketing
Email marketing can be a very effective way to drive high-quality traffic to your website.
The challenge for many business is that, in order to generate significant traffic from email marketing, you must first build up an opt-in email newsletter. And to build up an opt-in email list, you first need to generate traffic from other sources (such as SEO, or referral traffic such as guest blog posts, or from advertising). Then, you need to offer something valuable in exchange for your website visitors’ contact information. For example, on our website, we offer different types of lead magnets, including free checklists and guides.
Don’t have an email list built up yet? There is another option to generate traffic from email newsletters. You can partner with other businesses to send your message out to their opt-in email newsletters or you can advertise in other email newsletters.
7. Offline-to-Online Integration
The final tactic I’ll mention here is to use offline-to-online integration. If you’re already using direct mail, print ads, radio, TV, and/or telemarketing, or getting offline publicity, then find ways to integrate those offline campaigns with your digital marketing.
For example, add a call-to-action in your direct mail letter to learn more by visiting a page on your website. Or, in your TV and radio ads instruct your prospects to go to your website to claim your special offer.
Studies show that more and more people are visiting business websites to learn more before taking action. That’s why it’s so important to have a congruent message in all of your marketing, both on- and off-line.
Here’s What To Do Now
Now that you have the top 7 tactics, it’s time to take action. Make a note about which tactics are missing in your digital marketing and create a plan to add them in the coming months.
Of course, there’s a lot more to digital marketing than driving traffic to your website. You must also convert that traffic into leads and sales and have the proper tracking in place to measure your results.
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