So, you have a beautifully designed website offering high-quality and low-cost services. And everything seems to be in order, but the number of visitors per day invariably tends to zero. This picture is quite ordinary for our online space. What to do in this case? How to attract targeted traffic? What marketing strategy to choose? Thousands of questions arise from marketing experts who are not yet experienced in this field at the very initial stage. And that's fine. The main thing is that you already chose the right direction, made the first and most important step. Most likely, even in this first step (site creation) you made a bunch of mistakes, but that's okay. Everybody goes through it. It now remains only to delve into the details and decide on the choice of the right (or rather, suitable for youa) marketing strategy.
We are deeply convinced that in the modern conditions of advancement on the Internet, everything boils down to content marketing.
- Types of Internet channels to attract traffic
- SEO optimization
- contextual advertising
- Banner advertising
- Email marketing
- Advertising on blogs
- Promotion in social networks (SMM)
- Affiliate programs / lead generation
- How not to make the wrong choice of traffic channels?
- How to determine the effectiveness of the channels?
- Timely adjustments
- Let's sum up
What is content marketing?
There are many definitions of this concept proposed by different people with different experience in this field, but they all boil down to something like the following:Content marketing is a complex of works on creation and distribution of expert content that helps a user to make a decision on the purchase of certain goods or services offered by your company. At the same time, the content should have independent value for the audience. The implementation of content marketing strategy is not limited to performing two or three incoherent actions (it is not enough to start generating content in large numbers and create accounts in social networks). It is necessary to immerse yourself in the subject, become an expert in it, since your content will be in demand by the audience only if it is really useful to her.
It is necessary to develop a long-term plan for the creation and distribution of content, allocate the necessary budget. But most importantly: constantly monitor, analyze and, if necessary, adjust the actions performed. Only in this case, the use of content marketing will be justified. It is under these conditions that content marketing is becoming a powerful weapon for the company, the atomic bomb - this is what leads to the content marketing explosion, which we wrote about earlier.
Why is Seth Godin, author of world business bestsellers Yama and Violet Cow, in his latest articles and interviews that “the only marketing left for marketers is content marketing”? Why is content marketing the future of the commercial Internet? There are several reasons for this:
- content marketing is predicted by results;
- content marketing activities are capitalized (you pay for other advertising channels on a regular basis);
- content marketing not only works with existing demand, but also creates it;
- content marketing works for your reputation as an expert in the market.
Content marketing, as we have already written repeatedly, is based on two pillars — on the content itself and its distribution channels. Here we will talk about the channels in this article.
Types of Internet channels to attract traffic
Today, there are the following channels for attracting traffic and distributing your content:
We, in general, have long been the dissidents in the issue of SEO. But not in the question of evaluating this channel, but in questions of methodology. The relevance of SEO as a channel to attract targeted traffic is still not exhausted. We are convinced that this is the highest quality channel for commercial sites in terms of the price of a attracted user / level of potential involvement. But “classic SEO” in the form to which the market is “used” is no longer possible. We are referring to SEO based on reference pressure. Our position - SEO, based on reference pressure, has become obsolete as a method. But this does not mean that we say that getting search traffic is impossible or not necessary.
At the same time, in various Internet forums and offline conferences, as a counter-argument, we are given examples of sites that do not implement any content marketing activity, but are in the top search engines for RF queries.
In fact, this argument is not "against", but "for." And that's why.
Now, neither Yandex employees, nor Google employees will give you an answer as to why a site is higher or lower on a particular request with a visible coincidence of site characteristics. Is the site without expert, targeted and high-quality content in the top? Try to repeat this technique with another site. Sound timeline and budget, please. Provide financial guarantees. But no - seo-agencies will be adamant. Budget - please, but no deadlines, no guarantees. Because being in the top is the result of too many ranking factors + machine learning + collegial assessment assessments.
This is explained very simply: in the realities of the current time, SEO optimization is effective only if it is used in conjunction with other methods of promotion and is based on content that is in demand by the audience.
Contextual advertising on the eyes continues to go up. In many ways, this is due to the fact that SEO as an industry has, in general, ended. Customers are less willing to pay for "being in the top," for their money, they want to get a measurable result, rather than mythical positions. At the same time, contextual advertising has a couple of very weighty arguments against SEO - speed of action and guaranteed results. But the advantages of contextual advertising, in principle, coincide with the advantages of SEO as a channel, but at the same time other channels of advertising on the Internet are very far from these advantages. This is, of course, about the unobtrusiveness and the closest possible correspondence to the user's search queries and preferences. Not surprisingly, contextual advertising is much more effective than all other paid types of advertising on the Internet, and is an important element of integrated Internet marketing. If you decide to use this channel, you need to decide on the choice of contextual advertising system. Will it be Yandex.Direct, Google AdWords, Runner or MediaTarget, you decide.
Well, and most important about the context. Confronting context and SEO does not exist. Read the article on the link, we hope it will be useful.
Banner advertising, some marketers have already managed to bury. But do not rush to do it. We are sure that banner advertising has a future, and it is not as vague as it may seem. Now banner advertising will begin to be reborn - and the reason for this is Real Time Bidding and the tools of remarketing / retargeting based on it.
A properly designed banner (and even more importantly: a properly targeted one) can lead to a huge number of users on the site. The main plus of the banner (compared to text advertising) is the ability to combine text and a visual image. We will not write platitudes that the visual image resonates with the audience 80 thousand times faster than the text. The numbers, in fact, are not so important - 8 thousand, 80 thousand or 800 thousand - what difference does it make to us? The visual image of the advertising message is, indeed, a very important component.
The banner can be animated, and the animation can last from a few seconds to a minute (more, in our opinion, does not make sense). The cost of placing banner advertising depends on three factors: the size, the placement on the page and the attendance of the advertising platform (or the bid price, if it is a banner network). When creating a banner on its price will affect: the technology used, creativity, the cost of the designer.
Quite a lot of material has been written about this channel for attracting traffic. We also dedicated one of our articles to him (we also recommend that you read this study, in which we participated). And all this is no accident. Many people deny the effectiveness of marketing through e-mail, and this is their big mistake, because e-mail is still one of the most popular ways to exchange business messages. Do not miss the opportunity! Spin your brand and services through e-mail, and you will see that this channel to attract traffic really works. This is a good, usable channel - but in the right hands.
Advertising on blogs
It's no secret that blog visitors believe everything that the author publishes, especially if this person has already reached a certain popularity. That is why the product advertised by him causes some special interest. In this case, you must adhere to one important rule: Advertising should not be too obvious, otherwise it will simply annoy. An illustrative example of intrusive advertising can serve as an advertising energy drink Monster in the last episodes of the popular video blog +100500.
At the same time, a lot of products were advertised on the same video blog and more accurately. Sure, the effectiveness of advertising on blogs directly depends on the quality of the feed. But keep in mind that advertising on blogs is justified only if your audience coincides with the blog audience. Aim more precisely to be as effective as possible.
Promotion in social networks (SMM)
Promotion in social networks (the most popular in Russia - facebook and vkontakte) is carried out in several ways: promotion of an account / public / group by natural methods and targeted contextual advertising. Both methods are very effective and can greatly improve your content marketing strategy. Of course, their implementation requires considerable effort and cost, but the result can exceed all expectations. There are often cases where targeted traffic from social networks significantly exceeds search engine traffic. We know such cases. But in fairness it must be said that while on the market the approach to SMM is very primitive in essence. But the time of bots coming to an end.
Affiliate programs / lead generation
The meaning of the affiliate program is as follows: you enter into a contract with a partner that attracts visitors, subscribers or buyers to your site and receives a corresponding reward for it. The simplest example of such partners are car dealers and travel agencies. The amount of payment for their services is always different and, as a rule, depends on the experience and effectiveness of work in this area. For successful lead generation, you can work with thematic platforms where your audience is present. If you are engaged in consulting in B2B, look for large platforms where senior managers and business owners communicate. If you sell car DVRs, you should "partner" with the auto forums and car portals. But keep in mind: the price per lead is usually much higher than it might seem at first glance. And this is quite justified, because here a part of the risks is borne by the site, and the risk usually has to be paid at inflated rates.
How not to make the wrong choice of traffic channels?
After studying all the main channels to attract targeted traffic, the question arises involuntarily: and how among such a multitude to choose those that will be successful?
If you allow the budget, you do not need to choose anything - the more channels involved, the better. The sooner you promote your brand and increase the number of sales. But at the same time, one should be aware that working with each channel has many nuances. The effectiveness of a channel will largely depend on how you work with it. We recommend that a business steering wheel should be left for the business in its own marketing / advertising department, but the implementation should be outsourced to market professionals.
But if your budget is limited, you need to act as carefully as possible and use only those channels that are more likely to lead you to success (for more details, read our article "Promoting a website with a limited budget").
Imagine yourself a great strategist and firmly go to your goal. But be consistent and good-natured. Be prepared for the fact that your chosen direction may be incorrect or not effective enough. Do not despair. Every business requires its own approach. Over time, you will certainly find the very key strategy that will bear fruit in the form of increased sales. In the meantime, remember one thing: any marketing strategy follows the scheme below, which once again confirms that this is a long cyclical process that requires constant analysis and adjustment.
How to determine the effectiveness of the channels?
Constant analysis and selection of channels is an integral part of any content marketing strategy. It is this method (trial and error method) that will eventually lead you to real sales. You may ask: why it is impossible to immediately use the most effective channels? To which we will answer: which of the channels are the most effective? In our opinion, there is no such separation. When used properly, they can all lead to very good results. This is the meaning of content marketing: to find channels that will be effective for each specific case.
To measure the effectiveness of channels, there are many systems of analytics and statistics, but we recommend using Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrica. Both systems are free and essentially identical in many ways. With them you can get the following information:
- data about visitors (from which country, which browser is used, etc.);
- the amount of traffic and channels that visitors came from;
- how effective this or that channel;
- what advertising channels led to sales, average time to purchase, etc.
- visitor loyalty;
- most popular pages, etc.
In addition to this, Yandex.Metrica is also able to determine:
- Zones on the page of your site that visitors paid the most attention to;
- which places on the page are most often clicked;
- how deeply the users are viewing the page;
Such extensive information gives the whole field for activity: for change of the chosen strategy and a choice of other, more effective channels. Remember only two words "analysis" and "adjustments" - and begin to act. This magic formula will lead you to success. By the way, we have already written about the importance of analytics when implementing your content marketing strategy here and here. Look, you will not regret.
After analyzing all indicators of systems analytics and statistics, it is important to timely make the appropriate adjustments. Suppose you spent most of your budget on promoting your site on social networks, but this channel did not lead to an increase in sales. There is only one conclusion: you need to change the chosen strategy and spend your budget for something else next month. For example, contextual advertising. Thus, you will understand which channels lead to sales, and which - not, from which you need to give up, and on what to spend even more money.
Let's sum up
Implementing content marketing strategy is a serious matter. It requires special attention, considerable effort and cost. Simply deciding to take this step is not enough. It is important to fully surrender to this process (or to give it into the hands of experienced people). Only in this case, it will lead to the desired results. Going through the cycle of “Goals -> channels -> testing -> analysis -> adjustments”, any more or less experienced marketer will be able to find his key strategy, which will result in numerous sales and success of the business as a whole. We wish you good luck in your bold endeavors!
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