Brands are under constant pressure to entice consumers to visit their websites, buy their products, or download their apps. As a result, they need to significantly level up their marketing efforts each and every year in order to stay competitive. Staying hip to the latest trends, using the right platforms, and ensuring you see real ROI from your brand's marketing efforts takes hard work.
So, how can you lessen the load and outsmart the competition?
For starters, you’ve got to have a remarkable product. Your messaging should be consistent. Your brand’s reputation should be first-rate. And you’ve got to develop an ironclad marketing plan to corner your market.
Maybe you’re a well-established business wanting to gain an inside edge on the competition. Or maybe this is your first year and you're on fire to create the best marketing strategy your industry has ever seen. No matter your situation, you don’t have to start from scratch. Gaining the exposure you want doesn’t have to come from endless research, fancy marketing degrees, or an expensive consulting firm. Instead, learn from the best in the industry and emulate their success.
I recently asked 11 industry experts to share their most effective marketing tips for 2019. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Choose your focus and stick with it
When it comes to content you immediately think of blog posts. But you don’t have to. Content is everything you produce & content in your team, company and industry. Newsletters, tweets, outreach, cold emails everything is content and you have to constantly produce it. If I would start again I would do this - map all of my content keywords to rank high for my target customers, then produce the content, transform it into video to upload it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram etc & on Anchor to create a podcast that would upload itself everywhere. Then, segmentate all of this content in mini-pieces to continuously promote one piece. Focus on constantly reaching out to professionals in the space to link back to your piece. Build connections with writers in the industry so that you can exchange links all the time.
Vlad Calus, Co-Founder at Planable
2. Use SMS to boost response to your email campaigns
Email lies at the heart of almost all company communication strategies. But response rates are notoriously tough to improve. As the volume of email increases, it gets more and more challenging to grab the attention of our customers and prospects.
One tactic that few companies have exploited is to combine email with SMS. By following up an email campaign with an SMS, to let users know that there’s an exciting email waiting for them, you can dramatically uplift the response rate to the email campaign. The SMS acts as a flag waving tactic to highlight your email so that it doesn’t end up being ignored.
Henry Cazalet - Director at The SMS Works
3. Develop your brand’s online reputation
Consumers are rapidly losing trust in advertising and placing their faith in online reviews, recommendations, and comparison articles. That means they’ll be turning to Google when researching products and companies more than ever. The problem? If you’ve been neglecting your brand’s online reputation, there could be some unflattering content that drives away potential customers.
But an imperfect reputation affects far more than sales. Companies with a bad reputation pay more to hire and retain top talent. In fact, we’ve had numerous clients that said they flat-out couldn’t get people in the door due to negative press.
The final reason to build up your brand’s reputation in 2019 comes directly from Google. The search giant now evaluates far more than a website’s trustworthiness. It also looks at the expertise and reputation of content authors and website contributors.
Jonas Sickler - Marketing Director at ReputationManagement.com
4. Add CTAs to your top performing blog posts
Traffic to the blog can be valuable if you have the right CTA’s in place to engage with the visitors effectively. In 2019 you should start converting this traffic into paying customers. Add two CTA’s to your top performing blog posts, one at the top and one at the bottom. Sumo is a great easy to use tool for this. You can design slick CTA’s in a matter of minutes.
A/B testing different CTA’s allows you to figure out which CTA’s work best and which need to be altered. This is a low hanging fruit that all companies should be taking advantage of this year.
David Campbell, Marketing Strategist at Right Inbox
5. Use content to build relationships
When you create content, you should always be looking to double dip. Whether that’s repurposing an article to be a content upgrade, or recording a video based on an article, content is just too valuable to only be used once.
The best use that I’ve found for content is to use it to build relationships with other content creators in your space. I think that’s the future (and the present, for that matter) of content marketing, and content is such a natural way to start conversations with the people you’ll want to lean on to build links and promote content.
The most effective way I’ve found to do this is to write a roundup piece on a the top blogs or tools in a certain space, and reach out to content people at these companies to get a short description of the tool/blog. This gets them involved in the article before it’s published, and gives you a chance to show that you can deliver a quality piece of content and communicate effectively. Once the article is published, you can parlay those conversations into other co-promotion activities, whether it’s a webinar, guest post swap, or something even bigger. I’ve executed this strategy multiple times and have built a ton of long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
Mark Lindquist, Marketing strategist at Mailshake
6. Make sure your brand has a story, and tell it
To become your brand advocates and buy from you, consumers need to know what makes you different from dozens of twin-businesses. Brand storytelling is the #1 technique that helps here.
Focus on marketing and communication methods that would distinguish you from competitors: show (use logo, colors, your website design, videos), tell (consider your tone of voice, global mission, big ideas, and values), and make them feel (trigger positive emotions with your content, help the audience resonate with your brand).
Let them know there's something in your business, beyond marketing. Long-term relationships with customers are what you need for marketing success in 2019.
Lesley Vos, Content Writer at Bid4Papers Blog
7. Pay for it
Paid Search. If you are trying to grow your organic traffic to your website, Try Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. The benefits to using this strategy is that you will be able to get an idea of the traction from the time of investment to ROI, another plus to this strategy is that you can use Google’s own keyword planner tool to get lots of ideas and data including useful information like an estimated cost per click on your chosen keywords or even new keyword ideas for your campaigns, chances are if the keyword has a high bid amount it's probably valuable because it’s a good convertor.
Armed with this data you can implement this into your organic traffic campaigns with the advantage of being ahead of your competition from the get go.
Paul Granger, Internet Marketing Specialist at Website Promoter
8. Business development is the secret sauce for agencies and SaaS
As a digital productized service or saas company, you are probably focused on SEO, PPC and email. But if you look at the companies killing it, especially in the world of ecommerce, many of their leads and sales are referrals from business partnerships. For example, the #1 paid Shopify app Recart integrates with Wheelio and upsells the app within its interface, Wheelio now boasts nearly 500 reviews on the Shopify app store! Agencies can also create similar relationships, KlientBoost creates webinars with SaaS businesses to swap and leverage their existing audiences as leads.
Giles Thomas, Shopify expert at AcquireConvert
9. Help potential leads feel heard through a personalized experience / Offer a true one-to-one marketing experience
Today there are tons of tools and resources that allow you to create one-to-one marketing experiences, even on a tight budget. Interactive pieces of content such as quizzes, assessments and calculators that can be embedded on your website or be used via social channels are great.
They manage to:
- Reach multiple regions of the reader’s brain
- Increase the rate at which your audience learns and retains
- Help potential leads feel heard through personalized information
Especially the latter is interesting for marketing. By letting potential leads answer a “smart” assessment (which asks follow-up questions based on previously given answers), it calculates what segment the respondent belongs to. There’s a different outcome or result for each specific segment, increasing the personalized experience.
This is your window to direct your respondent towards more specific content, send them an auto-generated PDF report with detailed insights, guide them towards tailor-made courses or offer the opportunity to schedule a meeting with the most relevant person within your company.
Stefan Debois, CEO & founder Survey Anyplace
10. Optimize your onpage with data
My strength is Link Building and that is what my clients usually hire me for. But I gotta be honest, a strong Onpage SEO can bring down your links requirement significantly.
I have seen it on my own site and my clients’ sites!
But Optimizing Onpage is not as simple as “mention main keyword once in the opening para, once in the title…..” the advice given by big SEO bloggers.
Your page needs to optimized with Data. And how do you do that?
A new tool on the market called Pageoptimizer.pro goes through the top ranking pages for a keyword and figures out an average of various Onpage SEO elements like H1, H2 tags, Bold and underlined text, length of the text and much more.
Optimizing your content with the recommendations can help you jump 10 -25 positions within just a week with no new links.
Shaurya Jain, Organic SEO consultant at Attention Always Marketing
11. Be a guest / Be our guest
Put your thinking to the test; offer to give away your best ideas, content pieces or research findings to other people’s audiences and customers and subscribers.
Why have marketing sages Tim Soulo of ahrefs and Eli Schwartz of SurveyMonkey been appearing on so many interviews and podcasts in the last year? Their time and attention is precious, and their time and insights is not something money can buy.
But to invert the thinking, the attention and time of an engaged audience is also precious and not easily bought. As a guest, you’re given a platform to share your thoughts, but it is also a tacit endorsement, as if the editors/hosts are saying: here, these people are worth listening to, they have something of value to share.
Being a guest and hosting guests on your blog helps spread your brand and start relationships with people who will have the same goals.
Darren Foong, Growth Editor at ReferralCandy.com and Candybar.co
Jimmy Rodriguez | COO at 3dcart
Use Education as a Marketing Tool
One of the most underrated marketing tools is an educational platform. Whether it your blog, video content, or emails, education is a powerful tool that can create a strong marketing presence.
When you teach your potential customers, you begin to occupy real estate in their mind. Everyone remembers where they learned something and becoming a source of information on a particular subject, can help you earn tremendous trust with your audience. This trust can help you build a loyal following of customers that not only use your products, but tell others about them.
Show transparency by revealing things your industry that your competitors won’t and you will be rewarded with new business.
After reading through these expert marketing tips, you probably noticed a common theme: the importance of relationship-building. That's crucial. There's no skipping the line if you want to build influence in your space. The sure-fire path to marketing success stems from relentlessly improving your craft and consistently reaching out to trusted thought leaders in the industry for quotes, collaboration, advice, and friendship.
Relationship-building is essential for long-term growth. So keep focusing on building those mutually beneficial long-term relationships, and you’ll find your marketing mix will be red-hot. Not only that, but you’ll also have a world-class network of trusted advisors and friends you can call on for a link, practical advice, cross-collaboration, or a drink after a hard day. Truly a win-win for everyone.