3 Hot Online Marketing Strategies For 2014

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By Michael Sterling

Preparation is key to any business. The most successful CEO will tell you it’s crucial to know what lies ahead in your industry. The last few years have brought a significant change in digital media, so much so, that online sales in the United States have become one of the highest in the world. According to prediction, the numbers are sure to increase in the coming months.

New strategies are hitting the market at a rapid rate. In fact, they’re arriving faster than most business owners can reach, which is why it’s important to get your head out of the rear view mirror.

E-commerce is constantly reinventing itself, and as the next year gets closer and closer, we need to take this time to prepare ourselves. When the new year comes, not only will you be ready for it, but you will be much further ahead than your competitors.

#1) Individual Sellers

One of the most unique things to have blossomed in 2013 is the individual seller. And I’m not talking about the ones you find on Amazon or Ebay who sell used electronics, I’m talking about the ones who sell and promote their art, services, and events. The success of sites like Etsy.com is making CEOs change their stance on individual sellers.

Since Etsy.com focuses primarily on providing the public with ways to buy/sell handmade items, no one thought they’d have immediate success. But numbers have proved their predictions wrong. In 2012, they passed the $700 million mark in sales and reported to have over 20 million members.

A big part of Etsy’s success isn’t just the allure of having an original piece, but their direct checkout system has made it easy for buyers to process, deposit, and ship.

However, another proven tactic that’s shown to be beneficial for individual sellers is aligning yourself with a successful retailer. This way, they’re not just online, but in stores as well. Lifeproof, a company which sells iPhone cases, affiliated themselves with Best Buy and was able to break through the mainstream audience without going through what some call online “auction houses.”

*Tip: If you invite individuals to sell on your website, not only will you reap a nice percentage if they bring solid returns, but you also open up opportunities to bring in their direct consumers, which will bring more traffic and sells through your system. Keep an open mind to this sort of thing. No matter what, your site is going to rank in the dough. It’s a win, win. 

#2) Refocusing On Small To Medium-Sized Companies

Since it’s so easy to reach the world nowadays, most companies are trying to expand than every before. But what many people fail to see is that there is a great deal of money to be made with smaller, more personalized, businesses.

By connecting and partnering up with smaller companies, you expand your network. Personalized businesses have more loyal customers, not to mention a “mom and pop” philosophy behind their strategy which is always going to be appealing to the public. After all, Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Coffee Bean have made their fortune by creating this kind of image.

Dell, inc. has been one of the greatest leaders in this regard. Last year they announced they would be providing entrepreneurs with up to $100 million in resources. Not to mention other initiatives which aim to give advice and information to start up companies. Perhaps their greatest achievement is Shared Value, the idea that these partnerships depend on each other for their own success.

It’s true not many of us can fork up $100 million, but try thinking outside the box when it comes to sharing the value of one’s company. Things like renting out space, promoting them on your website (and vice versa), helping to expand their technological structuring, or giving them proper resources will create a shared value relationship.

*Tip: Most small companies need a platform and will do nearly anything to get their brand out there. By catering to these types of companies, not only will it add another business to your portfolio, but your customers may multiply in number.

#3) Remarketing Strategy

If you’ve been online and noticed multiple pop up ads which are reflective of your particular interests, you have been a victim of remarketing. Companies nowadays can “follow” you when you leave their website without making a purchase. This gives them the ability to remarket their products on other pages a potential consumer is viewing.

Even though this sounds like a great strategy, there is a downfall. Many customers might get slightly annoyed by recurring pop up ads, however, if they were considering a purchase, you have the chance at changing their mind and making a sell.

Strategies like this need to be used cautiously. You don’t want to appear too desperate. Though remarketing can be greatly beneficial, take a look at your Analytics history before you invest in this kind of strategy. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, that’s the motto.

However it’s a good idea to pay attention. Remarketing strategies are going to be highly revolutionary these next few months as they re-tweak some of its malfunctions. Keep an eye out for the latest innovations, you might just be at the right place at the right time. 

*Tip: Google Adwords is a great platform to run Remarketing campaigns. By adding a piece of code to the pages on your website, when readers visit, they’ll be added to your remarketing lists and can be reached later when they do Google searches or browse other websites. 

Not only does Adword put your business directly in front of customers based on their searches, but it’s faster than SEO, highly flexible for targeting your niche audience, and is scalable so it doesn’t require more effort for more leads.