Choosing your online marketing strategy

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Marketing isn't a one-size-fits-all process. The method you use to market your goods and services is dependent on your audience, industry, and product. Every business requires a strategy designed around its specific business model.

Choosing that strategy is a matter of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of any approach, coordinating for the best fit. Often, a combination of strategies will make your marketing more effective. The strategies you choose depend on your business model and your overall goals.

In the article, we’ll analyze the strengths and weaknesses of three marketing strategies, then explore what business models can benefit the most from each approach. Your own marketing strategy may end up being a blend of content, social media, and search engine marketing. Knowing where to focus, however, can be informed by the following breakdown.

 

 

Content Marketing

When it comes to B2B marketing, 90% of buyers say online content has a moderate to major effect on their purchasing decisions. This customer interest makes content marketing a valuable approach in many circumstances.

Content marketing revolves around educating customers rather than directly attempting to sell a product or service. Such an approach is useful because it encourages trust and builds customer success, building a relationship with customers over time. Attempting to get in the content marketing game, businesses of all kinds are forming blogs and media departments in order to continuously get content out to an audience.

Content marketing is surging in popularity because it tends to influence buying behavior through building an ongoing trusted relationship. In B2B marketing, such an approach is especially valuable because your content gives your customers tools to help them navigate purchase decisions related to your product.

Content marketing requires you to become a publisher of useful information for your chosen niche. This strategy relies on finding and maintaining a digital audience in your niche. That, in turn, benefits from social media and search engine strategies designed to reach customers where they are.

Through content marketing, you take on an authentic and helpful role for your audience. The long-term nature of this role has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:

There are plenty of strengths inherent in a content marketing model. This approach means continued communication and outreach to your customers, in turn helping you to know their needs and better design your products and services to meet these needs.

For example, a content marketing approach can help address security concerns for your applications, collect feedback, and enhance security for revenue growth. A vibrant online content stream your customers to succeed, and then they will help you succeed.

The exact benefits of a content marketing strategy are dependent on your business model. However, the following strengths of such a strategy can potentially benefit any business:

► Enhances brand awareness
► Grows trust and credibility
► Guides buyers through the sales funnel
► Enables customer success with product or service
► Keeps customers aware, engaged, and interested

Weaknesses:

A content marketing strategy isn't without its own set of weaknesses, limitations, and difficulties, however. If your products are applicable in many areas, you may need to produce content in fields your clients are in but that you and your business might not be too familiar with. If you sell masks, for example. They can be used in medical settings, fire-fighting settings, industrial settings, and more. Your content will need to address these various uses, showing how your masks can benefit each.

Consider these weaknesses and challenges of a content marketing strategy before determining what's right for you:

► Requires a learning curve to get a content creation process flowing smoothly
► Takes time, effort, and creativity (not to mention perseverance) to publish a steady flow of content
► Costs of creating and promoting content can cut into revenue
► Content management strategies can be difficult to implement well
► Results can be difficult to gauge, making the ROI hard to quantify.

Business Models that Benefit from Content Marketing:

Different business models thrive with different marketing strategies. In B2B marketing, for example, good content can help you crack the code to commerce success.

Here a few examples of business models that can benefit from a content marketing approach:

► Subscription services
► B2B sales
► Software and tech
► Products of a complex nature that require long-term exposure to create a sale.

Content marketing isn't for every business. However, the visibility it gives your business and the success it gives the customer have the potential to enhance your marketing strategy. If your product has a long service life, if your service is one a buyer will use for a long time, or if your sales conversion process is long, content marketing might be the right focus for your marketing approach.

 

 

Social Media Marketing

An estimated 3.8 billion people around the world use social media. With such a massive consumer base ripe for marketing, more businesses than not are moving to social platforms. While advertising through these social platforms isn't the best focus for every business, it is for some.

Social media can be used to grow your audience, communicate with them, and shape your brand in a useful public platform. The major social media platforms to develop your strategy around are:

► Facebook
► Instagram
► LinkedIn
► Twitter

Platforms are constantly coming and going, but these four are long-term sure bets. An analysis of your audience will help you decide which of the four to focus on, or which up-and-coming platform should get your attention. For example, products geared towards a younger audience could be featured in advertisements on TikTok.

Social media is diverse and powerful. An effective marketing approach harnesses data and an understanding of audience behavior to maximize outreach. Perhaps more than the other approaches discussed here, social media requires data analytics for your advertising expenses to pay off.

 

While every business should utilize this approach to an extent, that extent depends on how well the strengths and weaknesses of social media marketing work for your business model.

Strengths:

Social media marketing has massive potential. With the ability to reach a huge portion of the world's population, little in marketing has the power of a good social media strategy. By using modern marketing frameworks to shape this approach, businesses can experience benefits like:

► Increased lead generation
► Reduced marketing expenses
► Improved customer engagement
► Useful analytical insights through the platform’s tools
► Broader outreach potential

Weaknesses:

Social media strategies aren?t all-encompassing, however. Challenges and weaknesses can plague even some of the most carefully thought out advertising plans. Depending on your business model, this approach may be more or less effective.

Here are some weaknesses to look out for with social media marketing:

✅ Negative feedback on the social site can damage your brand.
✅ You have to compete for ad space on the popular social sites.
✅ Lower ROIs are typical.
✅ An active, ongoing presence is necessary to keep your social audience.
✅ Focusing on your social media base can limit notice by an outside audience.

Managing these weaknesses to maximize strengths requires choosing an approach that works for your business model. Not every product or service is best suited to social media.

Business Models that Benefit from Social Media Marketing:

Because the average consumer already spends their time on social media platforms, this can be a great place to sell consumer goods and services. Additionally, accessibility means more opportunities for customer outreach.

Here are some business models that work especially well with a social media marketing approach:

• B2C outreach and sales
• Novelty item sales
• Local shops and services

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) is one approach that can help you promote thriving e-commerce for the modern world. With SEM, you can build a marketing approach that reaches anyone searching for a product or service like yours. You can build consumer data into your marketing approach, buying ad space with pay-per-click (PPC) contingencies. As you gather the analytics from your clicks, you can hone your targeting to improve your ROI..

The usefulness of such a strategy is compounded. Not only will you spend less on more effective advertising, but you also gain valuable data about the effectiveness of your ads. If no one clicks, you don't pay. But it's time to structure a new marketing strategy.

Search engine marketing is useful for virtually any business. If you want a foothold in the increasingly competitive digital space, you need to integrate some level of SEM into your marketing strategies.

The level to which you focus your search engine and PPC approach, however, will be contingent on the value this approach provides in practice. Every business model needs a carefully honed marketing approach. Analyze the pros and cons of SEM to help determine yours.

Strengths:

SEM offers benefits like few other marketing approaches. A carefully defined strategy is required to make effective use of a search engine marketing approach, but with the right help and tools, your business can experience the following positives:

• Virtually limitless reach
• There is an expansive suite of tools available
• Cost-efficiency; pay only for clicks to your content
• Adaptable to any industry
• Expense is small to start and only grows with success.

Weaknesses:

No marketing strategy is perfect. SEM, if not carefully managed, is higher in cost than other strategies, and there is a lot of competition. The negative aspects of managing an SEM campaign can reduce your focus on other strategies that might be better suited for your business.

Here's what you should consider in managing an SEM strategy:

• Higher long-term costs are typical, although long-term costs should only follow long-term success
• High competition for keywords can bid up the cost for competing and can damage ROI.
• Intrusive ads can be irritating to would-be buyers

Business Models that Benefit from SEM:

Any business operating in the digital world should include some level of SEM. Doing so allows customers to find you online. As the world’s commerce shifts to an increasingly digital space, a focus on search engine marketing is all but necessary for any business, particularly the following:

■ E-commerce sites
■ Subscription services
■ Businesses with a strong digital presence

Regardless of your business model, there is a marketing strategy that is right for you. No matter whether you focus on content, social media, or search engine marketing, these approaches both individually and in combination come with a host of benefits.

Decide on your business model. Navigate the pros and cons of each strategy. Budget for costs. With the right marketing for your business model, success in a digital marketplace is right around the corner.

 

Indiana Lee is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest with a passion for covering business best practices, social justice, environmental protection, and more. In her off time, she enjoys hiking with her two dogs. You can follow her on Twitter @indianalee3, or reach her at [email protected]



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