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Nine Lessons from Internet Marketing V.I.Ps

Recently, European marketers gathered online to participate in Europe’s leading internet and digital marketing conference, iLive 2013. Having been there and done that, we are here to bring you nine ideas shared by Very Important People a.k.a gurus in Internet marketing, on how to improve your online marketing!

#1 Test => Analyze = Optimize

’’Test, test, and test again,” were words every single world-known expert mentioned during their presentations – Dave Chaffey from SmartInsights, Karl Blanks from Conversion Rate Experts, the most demanded AdWords expert Perry Marshall and all the others.

The most common mistake is to start with experimental web pages. It’s better to do small costless tests like changing the text or color for a call to action button within the existing page, then to continue with landing pages and web design.

There are no magic answers that ‘’poof’’ make your site better or say that a video works better than text; everything depends on your specificity. So never stop testing and analyzing results after each split test to choose the best solution. Make it your homework to prepare one simple test each week!

#2 Go local with a personal approach

One issue you can surely test is your local marketing. Don’t waste your time trying to conquer the global market as many marketers do. Instead, choose some countries or regions and focus on them because each culture and language have their own individual features. If working with SEO or PPC campaigns, never translate keywords, but search for terms in local languages.

Andy Atkins-Krueger from WebCertain recommends using local domains and welcoming each customer with a local element to your website. For example, the name or flag of his country to build trust in your brand.

Support your local efforts with a personal approach and double your chances of getting a customer. Profit from segmentation, merge tags, or simply change the viewpoint in texts, for example, instead of ’’get YOUR offer” write ’’get MY offer” so that the person can identify himself with the offer.

#3 Prioritize conversion strategy

Is the reason for all those tests and local and personal approaches to get more… visits/traffic? Well, yes, but the final goal is conversion; and this is what you should focus on. As Luke Brynley-Jones from Our Social Times said, ‘’The number of Facebook friends or Page likes or Tweets you reach is useless. Shares and retweets are a little bit better, but only real engagement matters!’’ If more traffic does not convert into more sales, then you should rethink your strategy.

Dave Chaffey talked about three groups: the minority that has developed Internet marketing strategy, those that have included Internet marketing elements into their whole marketing strategy, and the majority that perform Internet marketing without any strategy. Social media strategy and traffic strategy – there are a lot of them; Karl Blanks especially recommends developing conversion strategy.

#4 Make friends with Google Analytics

To analyze conversions, you must be familiar with Google Analytics. And this is not just about traffic or sources. Today Google Analytics offers numerous new features of in-depth analysis, for example, page value if testing several entry pages or revenue per visit.

Previously, you were able to analyze data only of your online sources. Now you can also upload s your offline data in Google Analytics, like data from offline sales or call centers, and then analyze everything together to get the full picture of your marketing performance!

Moreover, if previously visitors from mobile devices were perceived as ’’other” visitors, than those coming from computers, now you can track the full trip of each visitor. Today this is particularly important as people can search for something on a mobile phone, then look at it in more detail on a tablet and finally buy it on a computer.

#5 Care for connectivity

According to the observations of Dave Chaffey, ‘’smartphones are usually used in the mornings while getting to work, computers – during the business hours, and tablets – in the evenings before going to bed.’’ By taking this into account, you can plan complex yet effective online marketing campaigns.

No matter for how long and how often we talk about mobile trends, the peak has not yet been reached. And if you haven’t already started, you still have time to develop your mobile strategy. This is not just about creation of a mobile web page or a mobile friendly email, this is about continuous connectivity so that your brand is always close to your customers, no matter what they are browsing and when.

#6 Carefully monitor your social media

Mobile trends go hand in hand with social media. B2B brands, Luke Brynley-Jones especially highlighted Google+ and LinkedIn networks, which are developing rapidly and getting more important for common marketing strategies.

But again, there is no sense in blindly following trends if they don’t work for you. Maybe one network brings you a lot of clicks, but never sales; and another with only some followers brings real engagement. The expert recommends regularly monitoring social media and selecting some of the most successful networks to focus on.

#7 Make them talk about you

At the iLive 2013 conference, Dietmar Dahmen explained how consumers have become prosumers. Earlier these were brands that talked while customers listened. Now customers talk and express their opinions more than the brand themselves. Previously brands knew and customers learned, now customers know even more; they know how to search for info and get the best deal. Some time ago brands sold, now customers sell even more, for example, there may be more traffic to a YouTube video on how a customer is using a product than to the official promo video for that product.

People believe their friends and amateurs more than salespeople. Therefore, it’s important to motivate your audience to spread the word about you brand. Focus more on shares, comments, answers, feedback and opinions and not so much on likes and followers.

#8 Create qualitative linkable and shareable content

To have active social networking and audience engagement, first, you have to create a qualitative content base. Unique and useful content is worthwhile to building a brand. Of course, simple content will not give you that much, it must be linkable and sharable.

There are several ways on how you can outreach your content. First, you can spread it in your own sources. Second, you may seed it in other sources by transmitting it to journalists and bloggers that will publish it. Finally, you can promote it via paid channels like AdWords or Facebook ads.

But content is not just text, as Sepita Ansari from Catbird Seat admitted. It can also be video, info-graphic or other. Here you must explore your audience to know what works the best for them.

#9 Grow natural links

The time when you could work on mass link building has passed. Google has changed and become smarter, fighting against unnatural links and other Internet garbage and preferring qualitative content

Link building is still working, but you have to be very careful and create natural links. Google says YES to unique content with links to your products, meaningful interaction with bloggers, media, social followers and others; and says NO to spam links, link exchange, link buyers, hidden links, link velocity and other forms of former link building.

Marketers, I hope you can squeeze out some useful ideas from the Internet marketing V.I.Ps for your further online marketing. We at Mailigen have surely taken into account the best seen and heard information at Europe’s leading Internet marketing conference to help you improve your businesses! See you at the next iLive Internet and digital marketing conference!

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