Congratulations on your start-up. If you are searching to understand more about internet marketing and trying to assess how it can help your business expand online presence or increase clicks or conversions, you have landed on the right page.
In this post, I’m going to take you through the 12 most popular internet marketing strategies used in India. I’m also give you the results you should expect from a particular strategy and in the end, I will show you a comparison of the pros and cons of each marketing strategy.
Read through the whole article and you will be able to make wiser marketing decisions for your company.
1. Search Engine Optimization:
In Short: Increases visibility on Google
Helps websites gain authority on search engines (such as Google etc.) and website is frequently shown for industry relevant searches.
SEO is a process through which an expert identifies key areas that need to be improved upon on in a website in order to gain authority with the search engines.
If you are a start-up and your major competitors garner great business from search engines, you should consider investing time or money in building this for your site.
Ex. Results for T-Shirts Online (Ignoring the ads marked as Sponsored, Myntra is #1)
My recommendation is to seek professional help for SEO for your website as the results have a strong positive impact on conversion rates as well as long term growth prospects.
The Return On Investment (ROI) in the long run is fantastic and the results can be maintained by regularly updating the website.
If you would like to get an in-depth understanding of how SEO works, click here
2. Google AdWords:
In Short: Gets new customers
Acquire new customers by running ads for relevant searches. With the help of an expert, you can create multiple targeted campaigns and follow your website visitors with display ads to increase chances of conversion. Google Search, Display and Video ads are popular options.
The major advantage with Google AdWords is that you pay only when someone clicks on your ad (Pay Per Click advertising).
This is a great result based marketing option and your marketing can get started even with humble budgets (Ex: 500 Rs. a day).
The ads are more useful as they are shown to users who are interested and is actively looking for a product or service in your industry. However, after logging into the Google’s AdWords tool, (screenshot below) the options may seem daunting and can often be confusing if you are a new user.
There are certified individuals (Google AdWords certified) that can handle this type of work and it is always advisable that you count on professionals in the initial stages of your start-up. You can build your own team as your start-up sees scale.
The professionals can help you set up a tracking mechanism where you can clearly visualize how much was spent and how much revenue was generated due to ad spend and set up remarketing where you can follow customers with your image ads (Remember the product that you left added in the cart on that amazing shopping website and an ad kept following you asking you to checkout and buy it?)
Ex. Ad Results for Flights to Goa
3. Social Media Marketing:
In Short: More recognition for your brand
Improve reach to wider audience. Serves as branding, customer service and one on one communication channel. As the audience is passive, advertiser or social media page shall have to induce users with an urge to buy a product or service. This requires innovative thinking, basic design capabilities and amazing execution or timing.
Goes without saying that a quarter of all the time spent on the internet is on social media websites and in an Indian context, Facebook works better than most networks (with the exception of job searches – LinkedIn) in terms of reach and boosting website visitors. Social Media activity improves social currency which is the vital oil that runs the referral engine today.
In the marketing part on social media, newbies can run most campaigns as the options look fairly straight forward. The estimated results are also shown giving a fair and predictable results. There are multiple options provided on the advertising panel which serve various marketing purposes of your brand.
However, if you are looking for advanced targeting and optimization, a strong background knowledge of social media tools and options is necessary.
4. E-mail Marketing:
In Short: Under-rated but provides results
Sure, we all get a ton of email and most of it ends up in promotions or junk and we would never bother to open such an email Ever. But recent studies show that most users still check their email on a regular basis (2-3 times a day) and this window can be exploited if the email campaign has innovative design and interesting content.
Some of the most successful email marketing campaigns are to provide a coupon to a recently registered user to induce a purchase. I have given a great sample email here that has effective language and great timing
At an advanced level, email marketing can be automated (send an email today, send 20% coupon on day 3, send 40% coupon on day 5, end when user purchases) by using advanced implementation and requires expertise.
A sample chart that can be defined by adopters of marketing automation is given this graph
5. Content Marketing:
In Short: Reach Niche audience – Long term
Writing highly authoritative content or blogs is a time-tested and proven technique to improve website branding and visitors.
How to write great content and which content to write?
A sample Google search reveals the trends in your industry. Use your research and writing skills to improve over the available content. Remember that if you have to rank better than most players, you have to beat them at UI/UX, website speed, content quality, length and reach. Unless all the factors are in place, the content will not be ranked highly or shared widely.
To ensure wider reach, a whole bunch of marketing techniques have to be used.
6. Local SEO:
In Short: Get customers around your location
Search for a product and some places around you that offer those services pop up. You can get directions, see their reviews and operating timings etc. These results are shown because Google thinks those results are authoritative.
Basic implementation of Local SEO is fairly simple and can be done using this tool Google My Business.
This is a must for every Local Business. To rank better, remember to upload great pictures of your store (if you are one) and get reviews from known customers. Always make sure that the reviews are genuine and are not generated by you as Google’s algorithm detects misuse and may penalize your result.
7. Affiliate Marketing:
In Short: Extended sales team at a cost
If you are an online store struggling to find foot in the crowded space, this is the solution for you. Affiliate Marketing websites publish content (mostly coupons) on behalf of your brand and generate more customers for your store. Almost all the major internet companies use this model and it converts their marketing into a result oriented one.
As the affiliate has a strong user base, content distribution becomes easy. For your brand, it is also advantageous as the payment you make will be result based (per purchase, click etc.)
However, if your margins are thin and you cannot afford to split revenue with a third party, this may not be the ideal solution for you.
8. Influencer Marketing:
In Short: Branding & Trust building
Internet has created many a stars and their endorsement for a brand is valuable social legitimacy. This is a fairly new strategy where influencers in your domain (ex: popular food blogger) write positive things about your brand with a picture or a video and share it on their social channels where they have thousands to millions of followers.
This is celebrity advertising albeit at an internet level. Social legitimacy is created as the influencer has a loyal following and the word reaches quickly and to the exact target audience. The costs involved may resemble that of offline branding and marketing.
9. Video Marketing:
In Short: Higher brand recognition & retention
You have created great content but it needs to take off. YouTube is the preferred method of advertising as on today and by the time you read this article, it may have changed.
The idea is to keep your video short, to the point and entertaining. Use great content writing skills in describing the video and use an attractive thumbnail.
Ex. YouTube Ads
10. App Installs:
In Short: Long term customer creation
Get more App installs for Android and iOS Apps. This is getting harder and harder by the day as the real estate on phones gets costlier and costlier. Barring a few regularly used apps, most apps find themselves at the end of their half life on user’s phones.
The goal is to have a great problem solving app that won’t have a high uninstall rate. A certain percentage of uninstalls is common and you should not fret over it. Ensure that you have a back up mobile responsive site ready if your business can.
11. Growth Hacking:
In Short: High Branding, Retention & Long term visibility
The most popular strategies with high yield rate. For example, if you acquire 20,000 customers at 50 Rs. per customer, Growth Hacking is all about finding ways to reduce the cost per acquisition of a customer, increasing reach and creating a domino effect for the cycle to repeat itself all over again without a great deal of human involvement.
Some of the most popular growth hacks include offering free rides and referral model by Uber.
12. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO):
In Short: More bang for the buck.
CRO is getting to convert more of your website’s visitors to customers.
One of the key aspects of CRO is experimentation with different variants of the same content called A/B testing, also known as split testing.
A/B testing is the method of comparing two versions of the same webpage to see which produces better results. During A/B testing, the two different versions of a page are shown to two similar set of visitors. The version that produces higher output of conversions is regarded as a better version. By experimenting, assesing and analyzing user behavior on webpage, CRO can be implemented
Based on the results needed, a mix of strategies need to be picked and experimented with. If you are unsure on how to execute these strategies, kindly consult with us.
What strategy did your start-up use? How were you able to leverage some of the internet marketing methods?
We would love to know your thoughts. Please share them in comments section below.