10 online marketing strategies to make you a unicorn [infographic]

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, here on the WordStream 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’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with different online marketing strategies this year. 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.

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V2_wordstream - BEST Online Marketing Strategies

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! If you want to compete in the new SEO reality, you’ve got to raise your click-through rates and other engagement factors. Here’s our process:

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!

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#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 brilliant 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

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#8. Use social ads to make an impression on influencers

Not a big name yet? No problem!

Here are some crazy awesome 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
Become 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 pageviews will skyrocket
Follow people who engage with your content to build your audience

That’s it – my absolute favorite online marketing strategies right now. Now go and find your own unicorns!

This article was originally published on Larry’s Wordstream blog. It is reprinted with permission.

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