The primary goal of online marketing is to get enquiries that will be converted into new business.
These enquiries are called inbound leads and they occur when someone you have most likely never met or heard of contacts you. The first contact can be by email, a post on your website, response to a newsletter, comment or post on one of your social media pages or a result of a paid for campaign. All of which you are tracking and monitoring so no inbound lead slips through the net.
Although this type of marketing is seen as less aggressive than face to face or telephonic canvassing it is by no means passive. One of the main differences is that it is slower to show results but to make it work your efforts need to be consistent month after month after month….
So if our Goal is to be more profitable and generate more clients how do we fit this to our online marketing campaign?
Your website is the face of your business
Think of your website as your online base of operations where all your online efforts are dedicated to driving traffic to your website.
A company is judged by the content and look of their website. If a website is old and behind the times and not responsive (adapts to various screen sizes and handheld devices), your business will be assumed to be the same.
A website needs to draw people in, have the right information and that information needs to be current. The first page has to sell your value to a visitor as this may be the only page they see. Think of the home page of the website as a shop window where the best and most enticing things about the shop are placed in plain view. Once inside the shop you can wax on about what a great company you have, your business ethics, how it all began, who is in your team… but only if the customer is interested.
Decisions are made quickly by the visitor so present the information in easy to scan bite sized chunks. Use graphics to highlight the important parts of your message to aid interest and understanding of your offer. Graphics are a great way to convert a lengthy text explanation into an image that can be understood in a matter of seconds.
Do not leave the visitor to figure out the next step, put a call to action in plain sight to guide your visitor to the next step. A call to action can be a button to contact you, to add a product to their basket, to sign up to your newsletter, to request a quote…something to make sure you get their details and can complete the sales process.
If you don’t have a website that is designed to funnel visitors to make contact you need to make this your first online marketing goal.
Your blog is the primary way to create content on your website. Over time the blog will ensure that your website is keyword and content rich, which in turn will increase your rankings with search engines like Google. Along with keywords and many other website indexing factors, Google likes websites that are frequently updated with fresh content and that have return visitors.
Having a blog on your website is a great way to create a voice for your company, add new content, keep visitors up to date of interesting happening in your business, generate a following and build trust.
Write for your audience, give value and use the right keywords. The article title is the most important in capturing your audience’s attention as well as placing you well for Google searches. Second most important is the first paragraph – this is generally what Google will show in the preview text.
Break the article up, make use of headings and link some of your keywords to important parts of your website and finish with the next step – a call to action.
Post content to Social media
Don’t wait for Google to find you – once you have written your blog and updated your website pages you need to get the message out there.
Start with a content calendar and work out in advance what you can post. Some businesses will have obvious dates or periods to schedule posts (like specials for Valentine’s Day). Decide how often you want to post per day, per week and per month and stick to it.
The blog will fit into the calendar as a post. If there are important dates of note coming up write a blog about it and post it in advance to generate hype and interest. Remember the social part of social media so keep the hard sales to a minimum.
Build up a newsletter following
Despite the volume of spam coming to our inboxes a newsletter campaign still brings in business. If you are going to add a newsletter to the online marketing mix make sure it is sent out consistently, that the recipients have willingly subscribed and that it is responsive or mobile friendly. If there is a gap of many months before the next newsletter is sent out, people may forget that they subscribed and send your newsletter to the spam box. Link the newsletter content back to your website so that they have to come to read more. This creates more repeat visitors and the call to action will guide the visitor down the sales funnel.
Adwords, Facebook and Paid for Promotions
The steps above are organic search engine optimisation and will take time to bring in the business. A Pay per click campaign will increase your website traffic and put your company in front of your target audience immediately.
Tracking your results
Use Google Analytics to measure your goals. The data is extensive and can be used to track the visitors to your website to see what is popular and what is not. Adjust your strategy accordingly to get the most from your online marketing campaign.
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