Long-term marketing, a 360 degrees strategy

In my previous post, I wrote about the main milestones in the history of ociohogar.com. I explained that the investment in paid advertising was key in the beginning to obtain short-term results in terms of sales when we started the website from scratch.

However, I am sure that you are thinking about what are the steps you must follow to increment the organic traffic of your website so that in the long term you can get a good amount of organic traffic, and not keep paying for every single visit you get.

Global marketing strategy
In this post, I write about a global marketing strategy that you can start in your own website and that in ociohogar.com allowed us to get up to 1.550 daily visits in 15 months, most visits coming from organic search.

As you will see, there is not a “single trick” that we applied. The strategy is based on a set of combined strategies that have as end objective to promote a natural impact, and increase the number of mentions and links towards your website.

I will start by describing the header infographic of this post, which represents graphically and globally the marketing plan.

In this diagram the “clouds” represent activities that must be done periodically or continuously and that I will explain following.

The purple boxes represent different third party websites or Social Media profiles and the boxes in red present your own website and Social Media profiles.

This marketing plan is mainly targeted to online shops; however, a large part of it is probably applicable to many other online businesses with some fine-tuning.

Traffic growth on a website starting from scratch

Keep reading for a more detailed explanation of the diagram:

Backlinks Analysis

As one of the main first steps of a marketing strategy for a new web site, one of the first steps is to analyze the competition that you have for your target keywords. By competition, I do not mean only the competitors in your business; I mean any other websites that are currently ranking well in google for those same target keywords.

The information that you need to look for is find out all the third party websites that are currently linking to those websites that are currently well positioned for your target keywords.

This information is very useful to create a plan to try getting mentions and links to your own website from those same third party websites. You should focus specially on high Domain Authority websites. To perform this backlinks analysis there are several tools. I have worked specifically with Ahrefs and Majestic, any of them is good for this purpose but I prefer Ahrefs.

Analysis of target Outbound links

This activity is focused on preparing a plan of outbound links that you should set from your own website. As part of any SEO strategy, it is very important to link out and do it well.

By linking out well, I mean the outbound links must be towards high authority domains and with contents related with your contents on your website.

An opportunity to generate this kind of outbound links is to do it in the posts you write with information about your suppliers and brands (keep reading to understand this part as this is further explained in this post).

Finding your affiliates

Affiliation marketing is a great tool that allow growing the sales in your website and improve the traffic without having a fixed cost on advertising.

There are several options to start an affiliation campaign. My recommendation is that to start a long-term affiliation strategy, you deploy your own technical platform to manage the affiliation program yourself and dedicate time to create your own affiliation network. This will allow you to select the specific websites you want to have as affiliates and refuse affiliation proposals from low-quality websites or websites that are not relevant for your products.

Affiliation marketing as results based strategy based on a percentage commission paid to affiliates that bring sales to your websites, is a win-win relationship between you and your affiliates. Those affiliates that bring relevant traffic to your website and that dedicate enough time and space in their websites to promote your products, writing regularly about them, will for sure end-up bring some customers and sales to your website. You will have sales and the affiliates will receive their commission.

Affiliation marketing allows at the same time to get mentions and links from third party websites and mentions in social media so that it is a good contribution to the overall strategy of organic traffic growth.

Fuzzy marketing

Fuzzy marketing is about a set of activities that can be included within the overall marketing strategy, but that at the same time are not following the traditional marketing channels based on advertising or contents generation in your own website.

Fuzzy marketing is about using additional channels available to you to promote your business and your products. It is a bit difficult to define what “fuzzy marketing” is, but following I give you couple of examples of things you can do:

  • Participation in internet forums: There are surely multiple forum websites that are relevant to the contents or the products in your website. In the case of ociohogar.com for instance, in our fuzzy marketing strategy we have covered forums related with decoration and home furniture. My recommendation is to create a true business account in the forum where all users are clear on who is behind the account, and only post useful contents and helpful replies to the questions in the forum. Which means not spamming with lots of links to your website. By doing this way, even if you never or almost never link or mention your website directly, you are building your brand awareness to the users of that forum.
  • Participation in blogs through post comments: Again, the objective is not to do spam by adding links to your websites, but reply with a corporate account only when you think you can provide additional or interesting information on top of the contents of the posts published in the blog.

Organize a raffle

An interesting way to increase the mentions to your website between new users is to draw a product of your shop. You ask as requirements for instance to subscribe to your newsletter and have them becoming fans of your Facebook page.

However, how can you organize a successful raffle having many users participating if your users’ database and your traffic is still low? There are quite a few people with Social Media profiles that their main purpose is to organize this kind of raffles and have a large database of users that are interested in participating in the raffles. However most of the people that will participate if you go that path will be “professionals on raffle participation”, many people that just participate in all kind of raffles because they want to get a free gift but are very unlikely to become customers for your website in the medium term.

My recommendation is that you organize the raffles through your affiliates, once you have a few affiliates, you can organize it with some of them that have a larger database of “readers” of their websites or they could also use their profiles in Social Media to do it.

This way you will have people participating that are more likely to be interested for your products and become customers in the medium term.

At the same time, organizing a raffle with your affiliates is a win-win deal with them because you get to be known to their readers and they are offering a gift to their readers.
Interviews as a way to generate good quality and contents easily
As you probably know, creating authentic content that has not been published previously in other websites can help significantly to grow the Authority and organic traffic on your website.

However, creating authentic content periodically is a difficult and time-consuming task. One simple strategy that you can follow to get new authentic content periodically for your website is to rely on your suppliers or manufacturers as a source of relevant and fresh contents. In the case of ociohogar.com, we have for instance performed interviews to the manufacturers and to the designers of the products we sell.

Why does this technique work? It works because again it is a win-win for you website but also for your suppliers. For them it is a way to be promoted in your website, and for you it is interesting to get creative and original content for your blog. Normally, if you do a good work preparing and communicating the proposal all or most of your suppliers will be willing to contribute with these contents to your blog.

As part of the preparation, you should work out a template of interview with a set of fixed questions you ask all your suppliers. In addition, you should spend some time investigating about your supplier and figuring out whether there is anything special to mention about it: for instance, an award they have won in the past or a relevant product from them that was especially successful. This way you can build a personalized interview that will work better with your supplier and with your readers.

Once the interview has been replied, you should publish it in your Blog and mention it in your Social Media profiles, and at the same time mentioning your supplier. It is very likely suppliers will re-tweet your mention to their own followers. In addition, you could kindly ask your supplier to link to the interview from their website.

It is very important that the answers provided to the interview questions are detailed, and that the supplier also provides authentic video or photographs about the products, manufacturing process, etc. and that texts are descriptive and extent (ideally the interview should be at least 2.00 words long).

Of course, it is very important that the information has not been published previously in any other website, as in that case publishing it in your website would be considered as duplicate content.

Press Releases

There are quite a few tools on the web to send press releases to different online media. Most of the tools that provide a quality service are paid ones.

The objective on this area is to generate relevant news about your business, news about entrepreneurship or any compelling news about your business that sound interesting to some of these media to publish them.

Social Media management

This is a minimum set of activities that I recommend to do with Social Media:

  • Publish any new contents in your website or your blog in all your Social Media profiles.
  • Publish any fresh information about discounts and promotions you are offering.
  • Mention, at least once per week, one the posts published by your affiliates in their respective websites. This is a way to keep the relationship with your affiliates alive and make them keep promoting your products in their websites. At the same time, it is very likely that your affiliates will re tweet those mentions to their own followers and you can get additional traffic from the retweets.
  • Mention your brands and suppliers. They will most probably re tweet also your mentions to their followers, which is a way to increase the traffic to your website.

Following, couple of tools that can be useful to automate the management of Social Media:

  • Hootsuite: It is not the only tool available. However, it is the one that we are using in ociohogar.com since long ago and we are happy with it. This way, the person in charge of Social Media can perform this task dedicating a few hours per week. Hootsuite is in charge of publishing the posts at every Social media at the scheduled times.
  • Feedly: This is a RSS aggregator or reader. It is a useful tool to keep track of the database of affiliates you are working with, and figure out quickly what are the new posts they have published in their websites every week. With Feedly you can quickly preview the posts to check whether they are interesting for you to mention in your Social Media. Feedly works as a web application, and they also provide a tablet and mobile native application.

In this post I have presented a global marketing strategy that with a defined set of periodic and continous marketing activities, allowed us to grow the traffic of a new website that had started from scratch.

What do you think? Is there anything that you would like to add on top of this? Feel free to leave your comments below.


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