Tactics and strategy are often confused. Marketing tactics are the tools used by marketers to achieve their specific goals. In other words, a tactic is an action taken to execute your strategy.

But with new trends coming to the fore at every turn, which tactics and marketing efforts are proving most valuable? Here, we look at five popular online marketing tactics withstanding the test of time, and how to use them to reach your potential customers and drive Return on Investment (ROI).

1. Social Media Engagement: Post frequently and consistently.

There are numerous tactical strands involved in social media engagement. One golden rule is to post frequently and consistently on the social networks with high quality content that your audience values.

The more people can rely on your posts for regular inspiration, entertainment or education, the more they will seek out your content, knowing it’s fresh, consistent and relevant.

But marketers are busy people and finding the time to keep generating interesting and topical content is a familiar struggle. Automated social media tools can help you scale and maintain consistency across this marketing channel, while serving up more varied content including videos, quotes and polls will keep engagement levels up. You should ensure that this form of marketing automation plays a part in your overall marketing plan. This can also be effective for both big and small business alike.

Whether your objectives are to improve reach, engage new leads or build brand awareness, having the right metrics in place to track your progress is essential to find what works.

Tip: Using the latest social media insights to guide your strategy in the right direction will help you get there faster.

2. Blogging: Keep it relevant and fresh.

Content marketing aims to educate, inform or entertain customers and prospects. Blogging is just one aspect of the content marketing spectrum, but it’s one that shouldn’t be overlooked – especially in the B2B space.

According to HubSpot, B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that don’t.

Not only this, 80% of business decision-makers reportedly prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement, making this a key consideration for marketers across sectors to drive leads that count.

Much like social media, frequent and consistent blogging of new content can prove highly effective at attracting prospects thanks to high search engine rankings on a wide variety of keywords.

When it comes to measuring digital marketing success, it’s important to know the content metrics that matter. Focus on increased traffic to your web pages, generating good quality leads and driving SEO visibility and rankings. Consistently monitoring this progress will tell you what works and what doesn’t, while consistently  monitoring the latest consumer trends will give you insight into the topics to focus on.

Tip: Keep analyzing your target audience’s attitudes and lifestyles with audience profiling to know what areas to focus on.

3. Live Streaming: Make it authentic and informal.

Live video streaming has a number of benefits – from getting real-time audience feedback and interaction to engaging viewers both in the moment and after the event, thanks to video archiving. It allows brands to create and share compelling content that feels authentic and immediate to their online communities.

Live video streaming has grown considerably in popularity over the past 18 months. Facebook Live launched in late 2015, and it was soon 1 in 5 Facebookers who were engaging with the new format. Twitter now allows users to host live streams directly from the app, while Instagram Stories and Snapchat Live have since materialized.

The live video streaming market is estimated to grow from $30.29 billion in 2016 to more than $70 billion by 2021.

To ensure you’re getting the most from your live streaming, identify which content is most relevant and impactful to your audience, and create it in a way that feels genuine and capitalizes on the immediacy of the medium. This might include a series of ‘behind the scenes’ videos showing your latest products going into production, for example, or it could be ‘backstage’ content live from the filming of your latest TV ad or online video, giving loyal customers a sneak preview.

For most, live streaming is used as a way of driving engagement, so measuring its success means monitoring the metrics that reflect that.

Tip: Know which devices are most important to your audience before getting started so you know how to optimize your videos.

4. Personalized Email Marketing: Make it persona-driven.

Done well, personalization increases engagement and loyalty by delivering highly relevant messages that anticipate what customers want and need.

This was traditionally achieved by basing offers, messages and content on an individual’s online behaviors, as well as their stage of the purchase funnel. But the introduction of more in-depth consumer insight into lifestyles, attitudes and perceptions has made this approach far more powerful.

With granular details into a lot more than your target consumers’ online behaviors – from what motivates them in their daily lives to what really drives them to make a purchase – brands are taking the personalized approach to new heights.

According to Marketingprofs, businesses that personalize web experiences see an average 19% increase in sales.

Amazon is one brand leading the way in the personalized space. All of its emails are personally addressed to the recipient and include recommendations based on their previous actions and search history. It’s a method that has clear benefits, with 35% of Amazon’s product sales coming from its recommendation engine and personally tailored email campaigns.

By using the data you have at your fingertips to tailor your messages, formats and channels to the individuals you’re speaking to, you can ensure it has the impact you’re seeking.

Tip: Don’t just rely on web analytics to tailor your approach. Take a more comprehensive look at panel data that translates the ‘why’ behind consumer behaviors.

5. Content Syndication: Make it targeted.

Content syndication is all about pushing your online content out to third-parties who republish it on their sites. It not only enables brands to reach a wider audience but can radically boost SEO ranking and visibility.

Start by establishing the key objectives that align with your business goals. Do you want to increase website traffic to your landing pages? Improve conversion rates to generate leads? Build brand awareness? By establishing very clear objectives, you can identify the best way of syndicating your content.

Business owners should also consider who you want to reach and which partner sites have access to these audiences. BuzzFeed, for example, is well established as a key source of entertainment for millennials, making this a key publisher to target that audience.

You can pay for syndication from networks that allows brands to buy targeted ad space on large networks, or you can forge partnerships that are mutually beneficial and therefore free. This way, your partner publisher gets more quality content for their readers, while you create valuable backlinks to your site.

Tip: Do thorough research into your target audience and their media consumption habits before you decide on which approach to take.

Ensure your tactics support your overall goals.

There are an ever-increasing number of marketing tactics available to marketers, and what works for one brand may not work for another. As always, be clear about your objectives and craft your marketing strategy to support around these. Only then can you decide on right tactics to deliver that strategy.

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