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6 Fundamentals For Online Marketing Success

6 Fundamentals For Online Marketing Success

We have gotten incredibly used to- even addicted to, in some cases- buying stuff online. I mean, who bothers to call up fast food joints when you can simply use their website to place your order? It took some time for people to get used to this though, and there are still more than a few people who don’t feel safe paying for anything in the online environment. But as time passes, this number is going down significantly.

Hence, conditions for online sales are optimal and everyone is attempting to make a profit. What the majority of people do not realize is that eCommerce isn’t easy. Quite the contrary, the fact that the conditions for online sales are so good can make it difficult to get spotted in the crowd.

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The vast majority of websites out there are attempting to sell something to the people that land on their pages, whether directly, through an affiliate, or banners. Regardless, the prevalence of these kinds of techniques leaves customers reluctant to pay attention, making marketing an integral component of achieving eCommerce success.

1. Keep in mind that you are marketing to people

A lot of people who are new to online marketing might be confused by this first point- but it’s no joke. After a couple of years of active participation in online marketing endeavors without seeing a single face, you may start to grow detached from reality. People start perceiving their traffic as just stats that need to be improved through taking mechanical, predefined steps. This is a hole you need to get out of since no real eCommerce business success story ever came from disregarding the wishes of the audience. In an era where the strongest online empires, like Google, are doing their best to cater to the needs of users, doing the opposite makes absolutely no sense. This is especially important for eCommerce marketing since the only way you can sell anything effectively online is to truly engage your customers.

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2. Content is a necessity- regardless of what you sell

The phrase “content is king” has been dragged around the web for so long that it has started to losing its impact. This doesn’t make content’s crown shine any less, though. Its role in the online marketing environment has become crucial for businesses of all profiles and sizes. So many good things come from great content if you know how to use it. Here are some of the benefits that great content can provide:

  • SEO visibility
  • Enhanced customer engagement
  • Social media signals
  • Enhanced traffic
  • Referral links

Wondering if you have produced great content? Once you have your final version of the content in front of you, ask yourself if you would read it- or even better, put yourself in your target audiences’ shoes, and ask the same question. If the answer is no, you are still not there yet. Don’t allow yourself to start coming up with excuses for your content’s shortcomings.

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3. Social media presence needs to be more than just a bot

If you want a prime example of this go to Twitter and start adding people who are promoting a commercial interest and have somewhere between 500 and 5,000 followers. The only interaction you will manage to get from them is a bot response: an automated message with a call-to-action twist or a simple introduction message. Since everyone is using this approach the whole interaction boils down to bots communicating with each other, ultimately benefiting no one.

4. Proper targeting is essential for conversion

Regardless of what combination of online advertising approaches you decide to use, in order to be able to sell anything online you have to find the people who have the biggest chance of being interested in what you have to offer. By doing some market research you can easily optimize your marketing budget and increase your sales. It is a good idea to see what others are doing to reach their customers and optimize their targeting, in order to implement the approaches that fit your needs best. Don’t get set in your ways once you’ve done your first round of market research. Test things all the time and continue honing your scope. This is a process that includes continuous testing; it’s not just a matter of applying a mathematical formula.

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5. Pay-per-click is not enough

A lot of people start out their journey into eCommerce by hypothesizing that they can invest in a decent website and boost it through pay-per-click (PPC), in the process earning a profit. Sadly, this almost never works and they subsequently realize that they need to modify their approach or sink completely. The problem is that as an approach PPC doesn’t give you optimal conversion rates on it’s own. To succeed you need natural traffic, people that are really searching for a solution to a problem that you are able to help them address.

6. Product photos sell

Shabby, amateur product photography is OK for selling used products, clothing, and other stuff on eBay or Amazon, but if you want to foster a legit, strong eCommerce presence, you really need to use professional product photography. As a form of content, good photography has a lot of engagement potential and is in second place, right behind video content, when it comes to social media shareability. Furthermore, when deciding to buy a product online the photos mean the world to the customer. He or she don’t get to hold the product in their hands; charts, specifications, and text descriptions are great, but without photos they don’t have enough information to make a final decision. The pricier the product, the better the photos need to be.

Making yourself visible is a top priority when trying to achieve eCommerce success. But you don’t want to just be another person in the crowd. Taking a step further and actually engaging your customers, instead of hoping that they will randomly decide to click on your advertisement is the difference in attitude you need in order to achieve success.

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Ivan Dimitrijevic

Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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Last Updated on October 28, 2020

The Crucial Letter Your SMART Goal Is Missing

The Crucial Letter Your SMART Goal Is Missing

SMART goals are a simple, logical way to organize your goals as you set them throughout life. Not only does this technique help you identify reachable goals, but it helps break down goals into smaller and more manageable pieces.

However, there is one crucial element (or letter) that is missing from this acronym. This missing letter can potentially make it harder for you to reach your goal – no matter how well you have broken down your goal into different pieces and action steps. However, once you understand this missing piece, you’ll be able to use it to move forward with your goals.

What Are Smart Goals?

If you are not familiar with the SMART goal setting technique and what the acronym means, here is a brief rundown with a simple example:

  • S = Specific — Your goal has to be specific enough (“I want to lose 4 inches off my waist”).
  • M = Measurable — You can measure your waistline every week to keep track of your progress.
  • A = Achievable — Do you think that you can do this? Or are you going too far by getting rid of yet another 4 inches? Or should you expand the goal to 5 inches; is that within reach?
  • R = Realistic — Is your lifestyle stable enough that you can commit to this goal?  Are you mentally prepared to do this? Do you have the resources you need for this goal?
  • T = Time-framed — You could want to achieve this goal within a week or within six months, but it should have a specific time frame.

As you can see, when you break down your goals like this, they become much more manageable and concrete than just saying “I want to to be slimmer.”

All fine and well, except that there is a crucial letter missing in this package – another letter “A.”

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The Missing Letter

The other letter “A” stands for accountability, and this is a great way to make sure that your defined plan is actually executed and is not left just on the talking or planning level. Even if you have crafted a masterful plan by using the SMART goal technique, it becomes useless if you don’t actually execute it. To make sure you start the execution phase, you want to throw some accountability into the mix.

By having some external pressure on your back (in the form of accountability), you are more likely to take action on your goal steps than if you just keep the plan to yourself. Accountability is based on the fact that you want to stand behind your words and save face. When you announce your goal to the world, you realize that the world is now watching you, and you don’t want to let the world down.

Accountability is also about facing the expectations of others. If you announce a goal or a task in public, other people are expecting you will achieve the tasks and goals you have laid out for yourself.

Watch this video and find out how by having dependable accountability, you can reach your goal more efficiently:

Ways to Implement the Letter “A” in Your Goal

There are plenty of ways you can go about creating accountability. Choose which one will work to motivate you the most.

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1. Keep It to Yourself

I was a bit hesitant to include this, since in this scenario you are not telling others about your plans or tasks. However, for some people this might work since your conscience is your accountability partner in this situation. And you don’t want to let your conscience down.

2. Announce It to Other People

Your people could be your colleagues at work, your local golf club buddies, the subscribers and readers of your blog, or your Twitter followers. I would say that accountability is more effective when dealing with “offline people.” Being accountable face-to-face to someone is very effective.

I’m in no way underestimating the power of “online people” either. If you are trying to form solid relationships with others online, you want to keep your word – even if you don’t necessarily meet the people in the same sense as in the offline world.

3. Find an Accountability Partner

A more intimate way of being accountable is to find an accountability partner. This could be a friend or spouse, but it needs to be someone you feel comfortable reporting to. When this route is chosen, you might decide to call your partner on a frequent basis to tell them how well you are progressing on the goal.

4. Get on Stickk.com

If none of the above ways work for you, it’s time to put Stickk into play.

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Stickk.com is a website where you can announce your goal (“Commitment Contract”), and to make you even more committed to reaching that goal, there is money at stake. Money is not mandatory to get set up with Stickk, but knowing that you will lose a certain amount of money if you don’t reach your goal can give you an extra push to get stuff done.

5. Join Mastermind Groups

A mastermind group is a group of like-minded people gathering on a frequent basis (online or offline), trying to push each other closer to their goals. This type of accountability is very common in the business world. When you are in a mastermind group and you have set the objectives you want to achieve by the next meeting, you want to get stuff done and fulfill other’s expectations.

Mastermind groups are a great way to improve your productivity and reach your goals with the help of others.

6. Hire a Coach

If you really want to get personal attention for your goals, then hiring a personal coach may be the best way to stay accountable.

Not only are you accountable to your coach, but you also have to pay for his/her attention. This makes the coach option even more effective. You want to make sure you do everything you can to get the assignments done before the deadline you two have set. So, there is a money factor to keep you accountable as well. Since you want to quickly move forward, this option is a very effective for staying accountable with your SMART goals.

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The Bottom Line

Next time, set your goal using “SMARTA,” instead. Add that letter “A” to the SMART goal setting technique:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-framed, Accountable.

The accountability factor of reaching your goals may be just the thing you need to make them a reality.

More Tips on SMART Goals

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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