Everyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with unicorns - not just the magical beasts you'll often find hanging out near rainbows but marketing unicorns.
What's a marketing unicorn, you ask? It's one of those magical campaigns that's so effective it performs in the top 1-3% of all marketing campaigns.
Marketing unicorns are so special that, even though they're rare, they end up delivering almost half of the value of your overall marketing efforts.
For example, on our company's blog, our top 50 articles drive as much traffic as thousands of others (the marketing donkeys) combined.
I call it the Unicorn Marketing Power Law.
This is why it's so key, as a marketer or business owner, to find your own unicorns and make the most of them.
There are unicorns in every corner of the online marketing world - unicorn ads, unicorn blog posts, unicorn webinars, unicorn emails. These are the campaigns with exceptional click-through rates, conversion rates, open rates, and engagement rates.
So if you find a unicorn, clone it.
An idea or piece of creative that does well in one online marketing channel is bound to do well in your other marketing channels as well. As I'm always fond of saying, you have to go all in on your unicorns.
I spent a lot of time experimenting with different online marketing strategies in 2016. Below you'll find the best of the best - my top 10 favorite online marketing strategies that create and exploit unicorns to give you the best possible bang for your buck.
Check it out and share - I'll provide a little more detail into each of the 10 strategies, which include strategies for SEO, PPC, content marketing, social media marketing, remarketing, and more, below.
My 10 Most Unicorn-Worthy Online Marketing Strategies
1. Aim for super-high organic click-through rates
Does organic CTR matter? Yes - now more than ever.
- Find content with average or below-expected CTR for its rank
- Ditch boring titles and test emotional, relatable headlines that promise value
- Improve intent match to reduce bounce rate and pogo-sticking
- Bonus: Data indicates raising CTR can move up your rank
2. Aim for super-high ad click-through rates
CTR isn't just important for SEO (duh). It's also incredibly important for paid ads, because ads with high engagement rates get better placements at a lower cost per click on Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads and pretty much every platform. Here's what you need to know about raising your ad CTR:
- Tactics like Dynamic Keyword Insertion are boring and don't create unicorn ads
- Ads with the highest CTR focus on four key emotions: anger, disgust, affirmation, and fear
- Bonus: High CTR ads usually have high conversion rates too
3. Forget everything you know about conversion rate optimization
Sorry to burst your CRO bubble, but the classic A/B test is a fairy tale - too often, we get super excited about early leads, but they tend to disappear over time. Either the test hadn't reached statistical significance, or people were responding to novelty, but the effect didn't last.
Here are a few more CRO truth bombs for you:
- Aggressive CRO often increases lead quantity but reduces lead quality
- To really move the needle, change your offer to something truly irresistible
- Brand familiarity has a massive effect on conversions - so try remarketing!
4. Remarketing is great ... but try Super Remarketing
Maybe you've noticed (ha) that in the current online marketing landscape, it's harder and harder to get your content noticed. The competition is insanely fierce! That means everyone's attention is spread thin.
But all hope is not lost, aspiring unicorns.
- With a smart social ad strategy you can promote your content to the perfect audience for pennies
- Use social media remarketing to increase engagement by 2X to 3X
- Then step it up with Super Remarketing: the awesome combination of remarketing, demographics, behaviors, and high-engagement content
5. Hack RLSA for a Unicorn Surge of Leads
Regular old, plain-flavor RLSA is kind of a shell game: You're basically cherry-picking your cheapest leads from a larger pool. Yes, you save money, but your lead volume is greatly reduced! Most people don't want that, right? We want more leads AND lower costs.
Here's how to use RLSA to get both, AKA Operation Unicorn Surge:
- To reduce cost per lead AND increase volume in competitive markets, try Super RLSA!
- Bias people toward your brand by using social ads to dramatically increase the size of your cookie pool
6. Get your Facebook organic reach back
Newsflash, Facebook organic reach sucks. In fact, we recently discovered it's even worse than we thought.
The good news is, you can recover your reach. Here's how:
- Use preferred audience targeting to target organic posts like ads
- Use Larry's Unicorn Detector Pyramid Scheme
- Invite people who like your content to follow your page
- Post video content for way higher engagement rates - the key to organic reach
7. Outsmart your competition
Try these competitive advertising strategies:
- Target users whose interests include your competitors
- Disrupt your competitors' videos with YouTube ads
- Use your competitors' brand names to keyword target your Gmail Ads
- Download and target your competitors' Twitter followers
8. Use social ads to make an impression on influencers
Not a big name yet? No problem.
Here are some great ways to use social ads to fool people into thinking you're a big deal:
- Build awareness of your personal brand by targeting ads at specific employees and specific companies
- Write an awesome guest post for an influencer, then promote and amplify so it makes a splash
- Tag your fave influencer and do an engagement campaign
- Write a trending story on LinkedIn Pulse
9. Learn how to REALLY run a Twitter lead generation campaign
Forget Twitter's advice for running lead gen campaigns - it's totally wrong! Do this instead:
- Twitter Lead Generation Cards look too much like ads and charge you for useless engagements
- Never use automatic bidding - it's a trap
- Instead, use funny images, emoji, advanced targeting options and don't forget conversion tracking!
10. Master the art of Medium publishing
There are insanely good reasons to republish your content on Medium - like reaching a much bigger audience with minimal effort.
Here's how to make the most of the Medium platform:
- Don't just republish your post - make it go hot! Include a powerful image immediately after the headline
- Promote your post - if you get 200 hearts in a day, your article will trend and page views will skyrocket
- Follow people who engage with your content to build your audience
That's it - my absolute favorite online marketing strategies of the year, all of which I'm going to keep using next year too.
Now go and find your own unicorns.