by Evan Weber, CEO of Experience Advertising, Inc.
1. Do Your Competitive Research/Due Diligence: it’s important to not only investigate who is big in the space, but to sign-up for their service and see how well they do what they do. You should emulate their best features and look to make them even better as it relates to your own company/website. These are some great tools to help you achieve that goal:
SimilarWeb - top websites sorted by category. This tool will give you a ton of demographic detail about most of the websites on the Internet.
SpyFu - Download Your Competitors' Most Profitable Keywords & Ads For PPC & SEO. Great tool to guide your paid search marketing strategies.
JumpShot - tells you which keyword phrases lead to conversions or sales or leads. A MUST to know what already works in SEM for your industry/niche.
WhatRunsWhere - online advertising intelligence tool. See what ads work and where your competitors advertise. Invaluable for finding working online advertising campaigns across channels.
Google Alerts - monitor specific phrases daily including: niche/industry news, publishing activity, articles, posts, and web pages about any topic.
5IQ - recruit affiliates by category, advertiser, or network. Complete game-changer for affiliate recruiting. The #1 tool for finding affiliate marketer data in any niche. (Tell them I sent you or we can run your affiliate recruiting campaign to build your targeted affiliates and referral partners).
Google Trends - monitor overall trends and what’s popular in the world of search. This can give you good ideas about what types of content to focus on producing that people are interested in so you are spending your time in content creation in the right areas.
Data.com - this is the largest corporate directory with full contact information, including most corporate titles and contacts at each company. Great for business development and partnerships. The bet tool for finding quality corporate contact information.
LinkedIn Company Pages and Groups - follow companies and what’s going on with them. I also recommend following their Facebook company pages and Twitter accounts. Once you are following bigger companies in the space, you will quick get great ideas for promotions and other things they are doing well that you can emulate and make better.
2. Design a Better Web Presence or App: Always look to take a concept and make a better version of it on the web or on mobile.
SEM Ads and Landing Pages - Look at the major players in the space and what landing pages they are advertising in paid search or other paid advertising. Often times, they have split tested landing pages, so that cuts out a lot of the work for you. See the example of what 1-800-Flowers is advertising in paid search: “Buy Flowers Online” - this is a good example of sending paid search traffic to a custom created landing page with a higher conversion rate than the homepage.
Emulate their Best Qualities - Take the best qualities and features of each competitor and make them into your own super-amazing website or app. Chances are they have them for a reason.
"More" in All Areas - Look more professional, more modern, more helpful, more knowledgeable, more trustworthy, more recommended by people on the web, more loved by customers, more reviewed...more everything than the competition.
Better User Accessibility - Be more “available” to your visitors and customers, more “human,” more ready to assist. - Use tools like: Live Chat, Vanity 800. People get a sense of whether they can get a hold of a real person and they like that, as opposed to a website without good customer support. Having the appearance of being easily accessible can boost trust and security with the online purchase.
Capture More Visitor Data - Have several ways to capture your visitors information and serve them up irresistible promotions they readily sign-up for. Multi-channel data gathering is a good idea, website tools/widgets such as: entry pop-up with a huge discount for first time customers, exit pop with offers, sweepstakes entry, and social network follow widgets. Website that have effective ways for people to opt-in to access discount collect much more data and have a higher overall conversion rate than websites that don't prioritize data collection.
Retargeting Ads - Advertise to them when they leave your website with targeted ads. This is one of the ways to boost overall conversion rate. You can retarget through Facebook, Google Adwords, and through other 3rd party services to access additional web inventory to retarget with your ads.
Add Value - Enrich their lives where they follow you on social networks. Let people see the good your company does to help the world, ex. helping charities, helpful content. Boost your posts on Facebook and Twitter to get something out of them. Use “teaser headlines” in your social media posts to entice people to see the content and share it with their friends, this can boost page likes dramatically and even drop cookies on visitors that can be advertise to later through retargeting ads
3. “Out-Convert” the Competition: Put the goal of increasing your website conversion rate at the very top of the list of “how are we improving this business?” And keep it there.
We're The Best - Come across as THE Destination for whatever it may be. Come across as big in the space and you have a lot of respected partnerships. Make your visitors think there is no need to look elsewhere.
Conversion Rate Boosters - Use the best web conversion tools available such as: 1. 5-star Customer Reviews, 2. Trust Logos/seals, 3. Vanity toll-free, 4. Live chat, 5. A/B testing, 6. Pop-ups, 7. Visitor retargeting, 8. On-site offers, 9. Abandon cart email follow-ups., 10. Knowledge base/F.A.Q.s, 11. Customer referrals, 12. Social sharing tools (Addthis/Sharethis)
Actively A/B test the site - split test all of the important parts of the pages and “check out" process. Simply a/b testing your main headline on the landing page to see which one of 5 works best can be incredibly valuable. You can split test website page elements like your logo, headline, bullet points, call-to-action buttons, main images, and other page elements to see which version and combination leads to the most sales.
Leverage Retargeting of All Types - Facebook Lookalike audiences, display targeting, searcher targeting, Facebook Custom Audiences, Twitter Custom Audiences, and Instagram retargeting...all great ways to increase traffic and sales. They need to be tested to see where you can get a return on investment like anything, but tend to have a good chance of working out well since these types of campaigns are based on the demographics of your ideal customer profile, so it has a great likelihood of working out, as opposed to targeting people that do not meet your ideal demographics.
Close the Sale on Phone - Once you do get them on the phone with an inbound call, don’t let them not buy/book. Boost ticket value with upsells. Have all rebuttals ready to go. If you are able to close greater than 25% of your inbound calls you are in a good situation.
Mobile-Optimized Everything - mobile-optimized emails, website, apps, and Chrome notifications (Facebook is doing a great job with this).
Monitor Your competition - follow all of their social networks and get all of their emails. Follow big companies to see what types of promotions they run. Set-up Google Alerts on your competitors to keep close tabs on them.
4. Win at Customer Loyalty and Retention: Increasing customer loyalty and customer retention will ensure you have a profitable and growing business model for years to come.
Excellent Customer Service - Treat your customers or members like gold, incentivize them to share/refer. (ex. FriendBuy is a great customer referral widget for your website)
High Employee Morale - Treat your staff like gold and incentivize them to be great!
Increase Average Ticket - Strategize on ways to increase revenue per customer to boost numbers through: product upsells, offers on your thank you page, offers in follow-up emails, cross-sells in your call center that can generate leads for other companies that you get paid for.
Increase LTV - Strategize on increasing customer lifetime value to boost ROI/profit.
(i.e Facebook Custom Audiences). Ask the question: "How are we going to sell to this customer again and again?" Look to implement a continuity program with monthly re-billing if possible to build up residual revenue.
Messaging Your Data - Message your databases frequently, delivering value when you do. Seek to gather mobile phone numbers to send SMS campaigns. Treat your data like gold.
Surveys - Ask for user and customer feedback, run surveys, ask their opinion on how well you are doing as a company. (See: SurveyMonkey)
5. Increase Your Reach Across the Web: the more sources of quality traffic you have coming to your website over time, the more sales you can generate through those sources, thereby ensuring you are growing your traffic and revenue annually.
Online Ad Platforms - tap into every possible online advertising platform that could possibly produce customers and run a winning campaign that grows larger over time. (i.e. Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, LinkedIn, Retargeting, Email Marketing, Youtube, Content marketing.) These are some of the proven advertising platforms, however there are others that could be tested to see how effective they are for you. Note: Using a digital marketing agency like Experience Advertising can ensure that you are effectively advertising on these platforms and realizing all of the search volume for your products or services for instance. Otherwise, you may not be able to adequately convert your search traffic which will prevent you from driving as much traffic as possible through paid search for instance.
Business Development Outreach - using tools like Data.com, LinkedIn, and B-to-B lead generation campaigns, can lead to amazing partnerships that produce revenue. Put together partnerships to drive traffic to each other on a revenue share with other companies with similar enough audiences. These campaigns are like gold and are nothing but pure upside to the bottom line.
Web Publisher Outreach - primarily blogger and "influencer" outreach to bring in new sources of relevant traffic. You can partners 3 different ways typically: paid placements/posts, affiliate-basis, or free product reviews. (See:Group High for blogger outreach campaigns) These are very effective ways of growing targeted traffic from quality websites that tend to rank well in the organic search results and typically have audiences that the content can be marketed to which increases exposure further.
Webmaster Affiliate Outreach - reaching out and pulling in revenue sharing partners for website traffic, solo email traffic, newsletter placements, social network placements, banner ads, boosted posts on Facebook, and sponsored tweets on Twitter. Utilize platforms like: CJ.com and Shareasale.com for network-based affiliate data, 5IQ for affiliate data mining and contacting). It takes a concerted effort to build your affiliate marketing channel. (my agency can conduct effective affiliate recruitment campaigns to achieve these goals).
Paid Website/Affiliate Placements - CJ.com just opened a paid placement service on their platform. You can find web placements easily that may work for your website. The Google display network is powerful for targeted display ad placements. You can also just contact websites in your niche and ask them if they might be interested in becoming your affiliate or ask what types of paid advertisements they have available on their website, so you can test it out for a month and see if there is any ROI for the campaign. If it works you keep it, if it doesn't you drop it and keep moving and finding more to try out.
Targeted Email Placements - targeted email newsletter placements with big publishers can work well with the right targeting (see: Live Intent). UseArcaMax and Life Script to do paid email marketing campaigns to general consumer email lists. There are also email-oriented affiliates that can generate customer acquisition on a cost-per-sale basis.
Recommended Articles - These are content based ad networks (see: Taboola) with “recommended article” inventory. Very powerful and can be retargeted to increase ROI. Hottest thing in digital right now.
6. Mastering the Art of Monetization:
Actively Create Referrers - Turn EVERY customer into a referrer of their friends, familym and social network contacts. Integrate your customer satisfaction philosophy with your customer referrals and rewards programs. (Note: Get Ambassador, FriendBuy are great referral platforms to power your customer referral functionality)
Customer Loyalty - Choose the right customer loyalty platform so it’s used. (See: sLoyalty). A good customer loyalty program can increase repeat purchasing and boost sales at a low cost-per-additional sale usually. You can never have enough customer loyalty going on so make it a priority.
Home-based Business - Turn your business into an income generator for your customers and website visitors. Your app should be a cash register for your users. Every touch point should be an opportunity to refer and earn through your affiliate program or your customer referral program. Give your customers the ability and the tools to earn money by promoting your company to their friends and family. It's flat-out a great way to boost traffic and sales through what is typically a largely untapped channel of new customer acquisition. Over time, it can become a great way to boost sales, but is definitely the type of strategy that needs to be emphasized and re-emphasized over time to gain profound uptake and participation.
B-to-B is the Future - develop the Business to Business side of your business. For instance, if you are a flower company with a local store, you can sell to insurance agents and mortgage brokers that need gifts to send to their new clients or business partners. Or via a company’s HR Manager. The more businesses you have as customers of your business, the more repeat customers you will have, as well as higher average sale averages through B to B channels. They are also great because they re-order at a much higher rate than the typical consumer.
Mobile Apps - mobile will continue to be the biggest grower in digital marketing. Look to utilize your audience on mobile and advertise on mobile and make it work. Make sure to have a really good mobile optimized website and possibly a mobile app that can be given out to your users. Mobile apps are great because you can use “push notifications” to increase usability and repeat users. Google Chrome now allows desktop websites to do notifications for website's traffic, which is a reaction to the mobile craze but a great idea to bring repeat traffic to websites on desktop.
Thank You Page Upsells - Monetize your "Thank you" (i.e. order confirmation) page with upsells or use it to cross-promote other companies that are doing the same for you. Can be a power traffic and sales generator. This is another channel you can never have enough of because the more companies you have with your advertisement on their thank you page, the more affiliate referral traffic and sales you will have through those types of partnerships.
These are six distinct areas that you can utilize to either break into a new industry or grow your current project to achieve industry domination. I believe in implementing comprehensive and cohesive digital marketing and social media strategies that utilize several channels in the Internet advertising space to drive as much targeted traffic as possible, convert the traffic as well as possible, and then monetize your traffic on the back-end to maximize profits. If you are able to address these core areas, you will be able to truly muscle in and dominate your chosen industry through digital marketing. Let me know what you think!
If you would like to discuss your company or what you are doing through online advertising, let me know and we can have a conversation about what my agency can do to help you achieve significant growth or break into the industry you would like to. I am well-versed in B-to-C as well as B-to-B digital advertising and social media strategies. I am also proficient in national as well as local-regional online advertising campaigns and strategies. If you want to work with one of the best digital marketers on the planet on a consulting or digital agency basis, let me know and we can have a conversation. Our rates are astonishingly reasonable and as we like to say:
You can't afford to NOT work with Experience Advertising!