Online Marketing Strategies That Work in 2014

Online marketing is a weird mix of things. Some strategies have worked since the internet first started, others have been passing fads and others appear to be here to stay, added to your arsenal of strategies. Here are some online marketing strategies that should work well in 2014 and beyond.

1. Treat website visitors nicely

If you’ve ever been to a website where you can either watch a terminally long video or press the back button (in which case a “Please don’t leave message” appears) you’ll know the feeling.

After all, there are only so many hours in the day and watching blind sales copy isn’t necessarily the best way to do this unless your website visitors are already bored with watching cats make fools of themselves on YouTube.

Unless your website is only promoting one item, get to the point fast and allow visitors to explore elsewhere if they want to. And, actually, that probably applies even if your website is only promoting one item. Not everyone will be the instant they arrive at your website, so only offering that option – with real or false scarcity – will leave money on the table.

2. Realise that you’re not operating in a vacuum

Comparison sites abound for almost every market. Where they don’t exist, comparison and recommendation questions show up in forums instead. Where they do exist, forums will still get the same kind of questions.

This opens up several avenues.

Firstly you should be engaging with potential customers, whether or not they are talking about you to your face (on your website) or behind your back (anywhere else on the web).

Online reputations are fragile at the best of times but you can help tip the balance towards you by engaging with potential customers wherever they want to hold that conversation. Because, if you don’t, your competition will.

3. Don’t be a pushy salesman

Customers are more and more wary of pushy salesmen.

Sure, they’ll buy from them occasionally but their defences are up as soon as that salesman shows up.

Instead, be the closest you can be to being a trusted friend and advisor.

Apart from sleeping better at night you’ll find that people start to recommend you and word of mouth starts to take over your marketing.

Check out a book called Youtility if you want to delve into this in more detail. The author turned his stalled pool installation company completely round – it got hit at the start of the recession but by being ultra helpful whenever and wherever he could be, he turned that to his advantage.

I’ve met other people who’ve done the same thing in a variety of other businesses, so it’s not a one-off event.

It’s just how modern day marketing is moving.

We’re the closest I’ve ever experienced to something that economics calls “perfect information” where people know – or at least have access to – all the information they need to know and can make an informed decision about whatever it is they buy.

If you check out some of the reviews on sites like Amazon for even the most mundane products you’ll begin to get an idea of how this has spread and its implications for your online business.