All through 2016 (and much earlier, in fact, as regular readers will know) we pushed the benefits of inbound marketing for business growth and how important a long-term strategy is.
Especially for businesses looking to move to the next level, attract more relevant customers and – crucially – keep them coming back for more.
Every year there are predictions about what you, as a business owner, should be focusing on during the coming months to grow your business. One year it was getting your site ready for mobile and another it was concentrating on social targeting.
Except, this year’s looking a lot more settled. We’re calling it; to grow your business this year, it’s going to be essential to have a broad range of inbound techniques that show how creative and clever your brand is against the competition.
With so many online marketing options out there to choose from, small businesses and SMEs have never had it so good when looking to grow.
At the same time…
The competition has never been so fierce. Shoppers have never had it so good as businesses scrabble to grab their attention across numerous platforms including social media and search engines.
It can be tiring being a shopper these days. So how do you rise above the noise and let your target audience know you exist and are better than the competition?
We feel that, this year, a long tail approach is going to be more important than ever when growing a business.
But what does that mean? When we talk about long tail in search marketing and other online formats, what we’re really talking about is targeting the niche; niche keywords and phrases that people may be searching for, people with niche interests on social media and more.
It’s not a new tactic, but more and more businesses are using it to grow. It’s become especially popular with start-ups in the tech sector looking for new markets to adopt their products. In fact, the perfect long tail strategy can help new businesses compete with large established brands.
Even Amazon likes to adopt long tail tactics to its cheaper products to try and give them a search and social boost to add to the company’s overall revenue streams.
How to corner a new market with long tail
Amazon and other companies tend to do this because focusing on long tail marketing can also be cheaper than a mainstream search and social campaign targeting larger markets.
Think of how many people search on Google every day for ‘jeans’. As an example, we’ll bet a lot fewer people search for ‘light blue jeans with a hole in the left thigh’.
Though fewer people may be searching for it, the more concentrated, specific and narrow the search makes it more likely that they’re looking to make a purchase for that specific item. Conversion rates would be extremely high!
Optimise for those niches you sell, and you’re also more likely to be the first shop they come across during their search.
Here are some tips on how to focus your efforts in a niche, long tail way:
1: Put serious thought into who you’re targeting
The open nature of the internet means that it’s easier than ever before to interact with new and existing markets and do some research on their thoughts, their likes and to gauge future trends.
This can be done in a number of ways, through social media to email marketing and more. The more data you collect from visitors, too, will allow you to reach out to them and ask them questions about their likes and dislikes.
It’s an essential first step to positioning yourself in your niche market, and encouraging others to find out more about you and what you offer. The deeper you go, the more of a connection you create, building strong profiles of your niche customers that you can attract in the future.
What lifetime value do they bring to your business, how old are they, what gender, what are they earning? Asking these questions and others as you progress will not only give you greater insight into an existing market, but help you enter new ones, too.
2: Target niche markets via search and social
The best way to get almost instant growth results when taking your online business to the next level is to put some budget into paid search techniques like PPC and social targeting, especially through Facebook.
Knowing who you’re targeting from step 1 will help keep costs low. A PPC campaign can also be targeted through specific devices, helping again to streamline our budget to target the people who really matter.
Researching long tail and more niche keywords for your PPC campaign will also keep costs low when a user clicks through to your website. Using Bing Ads instead of Google Ads may also help with tight budgets.
The amount of data available to marketers makes Facebook targeting an incredible option. Targeting users with interests related to your niche can also put the ads that matter to your business in front of the right people.
3: Be creative with your organic long tail efforts
Regular organic content shared on social media and optimised for your long tail niche keywords will help to improve your site’s web rankings and visibility when people are looking for you.
Don’t try and be robotic and just push the keywords out there. Show potential audiences that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to their interests by researching the niche and producing original content around it.
Search across social media platforms for people that fit your persona talking about your niche, and engage with them to begin conversations and attract them to your website.
For long-term success, also target those people and encourage them to leave their data such as email addresses in ethical, transparent ways to keep them updated about who you are and what you have to offer to keep them coming back for more.
If you’d like to know more about attracting new markets and growing your business with inbound marketing, speak to a Webpresence specialist now.