Online marketing is more competitive year after year. The top strategies for business growth a few years ago aren’t as relevant today. Some are even obsolete.
If you want to stay competitive in 2019, you need to set new marketing goals relevant to today’s digital landscape.
Here are 10 strategies you can use to grow your online business this year:
1. Set up marketing attribution
A new year has begun, so you get to start fresh with your marketing strategy. You’ll probably make some big changes to your current marketing initiatives as well as add on new strategies. Before you implement and launch any of these changes, you should develop a way to track and track their performance.
If you want to understand which of your initiatives are the most and least effective at achieving your business goals, then attribution modeling is a must. This isn’t something you can set up down the road. Start tracking from the beginning, then you can measure performance and calculate ROI quarterly and annually.
Down the road, you’ll want to measure how well your marketing initiatives work towards specific business goals. In the meantime, plan on tracking all relevant data that you can. Use Google Analytics, your marketing automation software, trackable links, and/or tracking pixels. Then you can capture a complete picture of audience behavior and how they interact with your content.
2. Evaluate and improve website user experience
Optimizing website user experience has long been an important marketing goal for online business growth. Why focus on it again in 2019?
Because it’s a responsibility that never ends. You’re regularly making changes to your website that can impact navigation, site speed, and other important user experience factors. At the same time there are always new ways to improve your on-site experience. There are a variety of free and paid tools you can use to assess site user experience. Google’s Page Speed Insights can get you started. Enter your website URL and click “Analyze.” Then the tool will rate your site speed performance and provide suggestions on how to improve it:
Hotjar is another free/paid tool that helps you understand what your site users want and care about. It creates a visual representation of their site behavior, including clicks, taps, and scrolling:
Hotjar and other tools like it can help you understand what parts of your site are most important to visitors and where they might get confused or lost.
Your audience is constantly providing new behavioral data you can use to understand their needs and improve site user experience. So make it a goal in 2019 to systematically track and optimize site UX to improve engagement, generate leads, drive sales, and more.
3. Attract more quality traffic
Growing your website traffic is an ongoing goal that all online business marketers strive for. But not all traffic is created equal. You try to target the most relevant audience with your content marketing efforts. But inadvertently you attract some irrelevant site traffic that isn’t likely to convert.
In 2019, make it a goal to attract more quality traffic to your website. In order to do this, you must first evaluate the makeup of your current site visitors. Use the “Audiences” section of Google Analytics to get an idea. Here you can see the age and gender breakdown of your site visitors, as well as their interest categories:
You might discover you’re attracting some site visitors that likely aren’t interested in your products or services. Next, look at your traffic sources to try and pinpoint which of your content/marketing strategies are responsible. Use these insights to make changes to future marketing strategies in 2019.
4. Use marketing automation to its full potential
Marketing automation adoption has grown significantly in recent years. A lot of marketers use some kind of marketing automation software today. But very few use these technologies to their full potential.
You can use your marketing automation software to:
- Automate tedious tasks to save time
- Set up triggers to personalize your marketing message
- Track and score leads
- Assign leads to sales reps
- Test your marketing collateral
- Create custom offers
- Manage your social profiles
- track performance through analytics
- And more
If you’re already paying for marketing automation, make it a goal in 2019 to maximize your ROI by utilizing all relevant features.
5. Better segment your email lists
Every email marketer knows that segmentation and personalization are key strategies for success. But very few bother to venture beyond the most basic segmentation strategies to optimize their message.
Advanced segmentation can help you increase clicks and conversions from email in 2019. Collect granular information about your audience so you can market to them with the most relevant email message.
Here are some strategies to help you better segment your email lists:
- Test your lead forms
Your lead forms can provide you with the most valuable information about your audience for segmentation. But include too many fields on your forms and it will hurt your conversion rate. The solution is to create different kinds of lead forms and test them against each other. How many fields can you include before it starts affecting signup rates? What about creating single-page vs multi-page forms? Etc.
- Offer email preferences
Let your current subscribers tell you exactly what kind of content they’re interested in receiving by creating an email preference center. This allows them to select from a variety of topics and helps you learn more about their interests and needs as a subscriber.
Here’s a good example of an email preference center from Wistia:
Having an email preference center can also reduce your unsubscribe rate, since people can customize how frequently and what kind of content they receive from your business.
- Segment by behavior
How your audience interacts with your business can tell a lot about their interests. You can use this behavioral information to deliver personalized email messages relevant to individual subscribers. Segment based on email engagement (which emails they read, links they clicked, etc.), website engagement (content consumed, lead magnets downloaded, sales pages visited, etc.), past products purchased, and more.
6. Create new kinds of content
Most people think content marketing is all about blogging. It’s true that blogging is a great way to attract new site traffic, grow your email list, nurture leads, and more. But you can invest infinitely in your blog and only see incremental business growth as a result. At some point, you need to start exploring new content types to jumpstart business growth.
Make it a goal in 2019 to join a new marketing channel so you can reach a subset of your audience that likes to consume different kinds of content. Consider:
- Video marketing
- And more
Podcasting is a great way to reach potential customers who like to listen instead of reading content. Visuals like videos and infographics can help you increase engagement on social channels like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.
Many marketers just stick with blogging because they don’t have the time or resources to invest in many different content strategies at once. But if you add even one alternative content type to your arsenal in 2019, you can reach a wider audience, capture their attention, increase engagement, and more.
7. Start working with influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing channels for businesses to drive their marketing goals. That’s because it’s worth the investment: influencer marketing campaigns earn an average of $6.50 for every dollar spent.
If you haven’t worked with influencers already, 2019 is the time to start. Influencer marketing offers many ways to attract fresh traffic back to your website while promoting your content and products. For example:
- Ask social media influencers to share your blog post, webinar, video content, etc.
- Ask niche bloggers to review your product
- Guest post on popular blogs in your industry
- Collaborate with someone in your industry on content (e.g. a blog post or research report)
- Hire a YouTube influencer to create a branded video and share it with their audience
You can find influencers to work with using two main strategies: (1) Networking, or (2) Hiring. Networking involves discovering popular personalities in your industry and building a relationship with them. Then you can collaborate on marketing initiatives that are mutually beneficial. Alternatively, you can easily hire bloggers and social media personalities to promote your business.
There are plenty of influencer marketing platforms out there designed to help you discover and hire niche influencers to work with. One example is Klear, influencer marketing software that lets you browse influencers by platform, skills, audience demographics and more:
8. Try a new advertising strategy
In 2019, there are more options than ever to reach your audience through advertising. Consider PPC, display ads, native advertising, social media ads, boosted social content. If you haven’t already incorporated paid advertising into your marketing arsenal, now’s the time to start.
If you’re already into advertising, then try expanding your strategy. Many new ad types were launched in 2018, such as:
- Google expanded text ads
- Google local services ads
- Facebook Stories ads
- Shopping in Instagram stories
- Augmented reality ads
- And more
Try adding a new channel or ad type to your marketing arsenal to get the most out of new advertising options in 2019.
9. Use interactive content
One of the best ways to engage audiences is through interactive content. Yet most marketers today still don’t bother to use this content type. Interactive content can be:
- Tests or assessments
- Opinion polls
- Interactive webinars
- Interactive ebooks, whitepapers, or infographics
- And more
Contrary to popular belief, creating interactive content is relatively easy and inexpensive. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you do it, such as Apester. It helps you create interactive stories, polls, videos, personality tests or quizzes. Here’s an example of an interactive quiz created by Apester:
10. Think beyond basic SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a standard marketing strategy. But many businesses focus only on inserting keywords and optimizing their text content for search engines. Competitive SEO in 2019 is much more complex than that.
For example, Google already prioritizes displaying YouTube videos in search results when queries are relevant. It can take years of work to get a blog post to rank well in search engines. Creating a relevant video is an easy way to shoot to the top of results.
Google is also developing new ways to prioritize images as search results. They’ve already announced Google Lens, a tool that allows people to search for images using other images. Google’s Director of Engineering said herself in late 2018 that they’re working on making visual content more useful in search.
Smart marketers can take advantage of this new trend by prioritizing visuals in the content they create. Make sure every blog post and page on your site comes with relevant associated images to give you more opportunities to rank in search.
Successful online marketing is systematic. Very rarely will a new marketing strategy skyrocket your site traffic and drive business growth overnight. Still, you want to avoid toiling away at the same old initiatives that only bring you slight gains.
So revamp your marketing goals in 2019. Take advantage of even a few of these growth opportunities and you can see the impact yourself. Just remember to track performance and make ongoing adjustments.This ensures you use the right strategies to target your unique audience and drive marketing goals.