The best way to find out what type of online marketing works best for you is to do some testing of your current marketing efforts. The goal is to identify the methods you’re using now, rate their effectiveness, and based on what you discover, consider new combinations to increase your online sales.
Be aware that the actual marketing methods by themselves are only part of the process. As I say all the time: your “delivery method” and “target audience” are only part of the equation—you still must have a compelling message.
Now let’s separate marketing methods into two main categories:
Advertising – This is where you’re paying to get your message delivered to a specific market. Advertising costs more, but you have greater control.
Publicity/Public Relations – This is where you’re leveraging the efforts of others as a third-party endorsement. These methods have a lower cost (sometimes are even free), but you don’t have as much control. This marketing method has a high perceived value in the marketplace.
These two categories are pretty broad, but the difference between them is important to consider as you map out the combinations of marketing methods you’re using now. I like to categorize the methods even further using online (“the web“) and offline (“traditional“) methods.
Here’s a quick list of a few online marketing methods:
- websites (can be a mini-site for one product line or a full-content website).
- Pay-Per-Click advertising (such as Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing).
- e-mail marketing (including e-newsletters).
- Ads on other people’s e-zines or on other sites (using banners and button ads).
- Reciprocal linking strategies (links from other sites to yours and vice-versa).
- Traditional offline methods (flyers, postcards, etc.) to drive traffic to your site.
- Social networking sites and blogs.
- Multimedia interactivity (video, audio).
- Online publicity (getting your content/articles/releases on other websites).
Here’s a list of some tried-and-true traditional (“offline”) methods you’re probably using:
- direct mail (sales letters, postcards, unique mailing packages, coupons, etc.).
- printed promotional/marketing materials (brochures, flyers, catalogs, etc.).
- print ads in magazines and newspapers.
- TV and radio ads.
- Tele-marketing calls.
- Advertising specialty items (pens, hats, clothing).
- Trade and consumer shows.
- Signage and point-of-purchase displays.
- In-person sales calls.
- Media and news releases.
And about 10,000 others… way too many to mention here.
So what’s the best way to analyze your marketing methods? First look at the messages you’re using on particular method. Identify the main benefit and call-to-action. How are prospects supposed to respond?
Next evaluate the customer profile that you’re aiming the piece toward. Is your message aimed properly?
Calculate the conversions from impressions to actions (as in leads, requests, calls, sales, etc.). On the web this is known as “visitor value”–sales divided by the number of visitors. This tells you what each visitor is worth.
Rate your combinations on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being most profitable. Some methods are easier to rate than others, but try it.
Look for the combinations that performed the best and replicate them. The ones that don’t perform… see if you it’s your marketing message or the target market you’re aiming at or marketing method and test again. If it’s a bomb, dump it!
We’ve reviewed the steps for defining your target market and offered a few insights into your marketing methods. Most importantly, we covered how important it is for you to review the combinations of your messages, markets, and methods. So now you know what to do, make time to do it and your marketing campaigns will skyrocket!
If you’d like to learn how to write more creative and inspired marketing copy, check out Randy Gage’s 12-part study course “How to Become a Copywriting Stud!” in our online Success Store.