“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10 years.”
Entrepreneurs might politely disagree with the aforementioned quote from Bill Gates. There is a heck of a lot that you can accomplish in just 365 days, especially when you are sacrificing your weekend mornings or late evenings at the coffee shop pouring your heart and soul into your business.
What if I told you that you could make the year 2016 wildly successful for your business? I’m talking Taylor Swift successful – according to MSN, she raked in R10 million every day in 2015.
Just as a great novel needs a readership in order to be successful, your business needs a stellar marketing plan.
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By implementing the 16-step digital marketing blueprint, your business can flourish this upcoming year.
1. Google AdWords
Have you started to bid on keywords related to the product you are selling or the service you are offering? Google now processes more than 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to more than 3.5 billion searches per day.
People are clearly looking up information on the search engine behemoth before making a purchasing decision. Bidding on the proper keywords targeted towards your demographic and region can drive instant new business, if executed properly.
2. Landing-Page Design
According to Search Engine Land, only 25 percent of advertising accounts average above a 5 percent conversion rate. How do you break through the 10 percent barrier? The answer is custom landing pages.
Using a service like Unbounce, you can build, publish and launch A/B test landing pages without special I.T.
Search Engine Land states that to break into the top 10 percent of landing-page performance, you need to test 10 different landing pages to find one that really sticks. What are you waiting for?
Are you curious why your competitor outranks you on Google and they are sitting on top of the first page while you are buried on page three?
Moz allows you to compare competitive metrics, such as domain authority. Domain Authority is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines.
Once you start to learn the reasons why your competition performs well on the major search engines, you can formulate a strategy for your business.
4. Help a Reporter Out
If you are looking for amazing and free publicity for your company, you need to sign up for HARO.
You will receive daily queries from reporters all over the country that are looking for quotes from business owners and entrepreneurs.
In order to be successful with HARO, you need to dedicate at least 20 minutes per day to respond to the queries and offer expertise within your field. If you think you can handle this, get ready for some awesome publicity, which will also be beneficial for your SEO.
Become an expert within your industry by contributing content on well-known websites. This is a great way to drive referral traffic back to your site from readers, who are interested to learn about your insight.
Create a “dream list” of 10 websites you want to write content for. Make sure to send each of these 10 publications a compelling pitch that conveys what you will bring to the table by sharing your insight on their site.
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Let’s say you reach out to a prospect through email and a couple of phone calls, but nobody gets back to you. Is it time to throw in the towel? Not so fast.
Sidekick, which is powered by HubSpot, tracks whether or not a recipient opens up your emails and clicks on any links inside.
Is this somewhat stalker-ish? Sure. But the bottom line is if you see a prospect open your proposal 10 times, you know they are interested! Sidekick can be a game changer for your business strategy, and they have a free package.
Another great way to close the door on prospects is to utilise Postable, which offers really nice cards mailed for you all over the Internet.
They have a wide assortment of thank you cards that you can customise to reflect your brand image. The best part is each postcard typically costs less than R36 to ship and be delivered into your hot prospect’s actual mailbox.
8. Display Re-marketing
Have you ever wondered how the jeans you looked at on Zando’s website magically appeared on your Facebook newsfeed 10 minutes later? This is called display re-marketing, and it is a great way for you to follow up with website visitors who do not make a desired action on your website.
Display re-marketing builds brand awareness and is a cheap way to get customers to come back to your website to convert.
People will think you’re spending a lot of money on your advertising when your advertisement appears on CNN.com, but little do they know that you’re only paying around R3 per click because of an awesome re-marketing campaign!
9. Video Content
Online video advertising is on the verge of explosion. It seems that right now, only larger businesses with a substantial advertising budget are investing in video advertising, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
Facebook revealed that the number of videos posted to the platform per person in the U.S. has increased by 94 percent over the last year.
Homepage videos are shown to increase conversion rates by 20 percent or more, according to Adelie Studios.
You can implement video re-marketing ads to tell your brand’s story for you when visitors drop off your site.
All you need to do is schedule a three- to four-hour shoot and strategically script out the video content you are looking for. You can obtain amazing video content that can play a crucial part in your marketing strategy in 2016.
10. R50 Boosted Facebook Post
You can write the greatest novel in the world, but if nobody ends up reading your book, what purpose does it serve?
Rebecca Coleman, a social-marketing guru, conducted a case study on the R50 boosted Facebook post. The results? “Awesome,” Coleman said.
“My post reach soared and I got a ton more comments, as well as a few shares. My advice: Every once in a while, it can be completely worth it to give Facebook R50.”
If you want to be seen in 2016 on Facebook, you will need to invest money into promoting your content. Otherwise, you’ll go unnoticed.
11. Instagram Advertising
Schedule a two-hour photo shoot for your business and show off your awesome pictures on Instagram for your target demographic to see.
Facebook (which owns Instagram) now offers advertising to businesses of all sizes, everywhere!
Follow these eight simple steps to set-up a killer Instagram ad in under 10 minutes.
If you don’t want to spend money on advertising on Instagram and want to grow your following organically, make sure to ask local businesses to follow you and return the favour. You can create a network of local businesses and influencers elevating one another.
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12. Email Marketing
Are you sending out at least two emails per month for your business for marketing purposes?
According to Marketing Sherpa, 60 percent of marketers believe email marketing produces positive ROI.
Make an effort to collect more email addresses in 2016. From obtaining the email addresses from customers on your website to grabbing business cards at trade shows, the larger your email list and the more effort you make in sending out memorable messages, the more business you’ll get for very little cost.
13. Mobile Friendliness
It’s official: Google says more searches now take place on mobile versus desktop.
Is your website mobile friendly? Do you have an easy way for site visitors to get in contact with your business when they visit your site on mobile? For instance, including your phone number at the very top of your mobile site is crucial for B2B businesses to increase their conversion count.
Are you tracking conversions that take place on mobile versus desktop? Make sure mobile becomes a focal point for your business in 2016.
14. Google Analytics
In 20 steps, you can master Google Analytics to understand the visitors coming to your website and make implementations to your online marketing strategy to convert those visitors better.
Dedicate at least 10 minutes per day to dig into GA to become an expert on the traffic coming to your site.
15. Online Reviews
Create an email template for your business to send out personalised messages to satisfied clients or customers.
Marketing Land says that 90 percent of customers’ buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.
Ensuring that that your Google+ and Yelp pages portray your company in a positive light will help generate more business for your company.
16. A vs. B Testing
You and your coworker could have different ideas on what piece of creative will perform the best for an advertisement that you’ll be running for the holiday season.
Rather than getting into an argument, why not run an A vs. B test to determine the winner?
Approximately 61 percent of companies carry out fewer than five A vs. B tests every month.
Make sure your business is on the forefront of the online frontier by running tests to generate more conversions and lower your cost per acquisition.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.