Online marketing is sort of like dating…online. It’s easiest to find someone to date when you have lots of options to choose from, which means you need lots of traffic or visitors on your website. To start, you digitally network with potential prospects though search engines, advertising and sometimes social media, then ask them to coffee (a.k.a. visit your site). While drinking your latte you turn on your monster charm to woo them into a mutually beneficial relationship (like buying something from you that makes their life better). Think of the 7 key components of online marketing like your online dating tools to generate website traffic and start developing relationships with visitors:
Consider your website your online marketing home. You own this home and have complete control over your guests website visiting experience. You want readers to enjoy their visit and feel good about your business when they leave. A positive user experience adheres to the following guidelines:
Adding a blog to your website allows you to expand your sphere of influence. If your website only has 5 pages optimized for 5 key phrases you only have 5 opportunities to generate traffic (and remember traffic = relationships). If you have 100 pages optimized for 100 key phrases you have 100 opportunities to generate traffic. From a sales perspective you’re much more likely to close the deal with a list of 100 prospects than a list of 5. So blogging gives you the opportunity to gain a larger audience.
If maintaining a blog of your own seems like too much of a time commitment for you consider borrowing another blogs audience and engaging in guest blogging. Although the viewers of your posts won’t be seeing them within the controlled shell of your website they will be seeing your name and pros in an environment they already trust.
Email marketing acts like an alarm clock, reminding people to wake up and pay attention to your business. It can keep in touch with existing clients, notify recipients about sales, industry news or even just say, “Happy Holidays”. Consider promoting offerings and events via email marketing as well driving invitees to your website to sign up. The style of your emails should be consistent with your branding. You can build rapport by being consistent and timely with your delivery, to show your audience how dependable your company truly is.
Email marketing doesn’t have to be just to your list. Consider piggybacking on the list of another company or organization (WITH PERMISSION) by placing advertisements or adding value to their email newsletter through content. This can open doors by associating you with another company the audience already trusts generating an unobtrusive soft referral.
Downloading an offering often marks the beginning of a relationship with a website visitor. Offerings should be original and downloadable or generated online. A quailty offering provides answer to the questions your audience needs most. They can be in many forms but one thing they are not is a SALES BROCHURE. Leave the sales out of the body of the offering, conversing as an industry expert, at the end of the offering add a CTA to get in touch for a sales conversation if appropriate. Be sure to promote your offerings using CTA’s that direct visitors to an offering landing page. A successful landing page will include: a photo of the offering, a clear description of the offer, a lead form that allows you to track submissions and links to a thank you page, and no navigation (you want to keep visitors on the page and downloading, no distractions allowed).
According to the Pew Internet Research Network, 74% of online adults use some form of social media. Your business needs to be where your clients and prospects are engaging most. You don’t need to do them all, pick one or two social media platforms that make sense for your business and excel!
Once you have figured out which social media platforms to post to, it’s important to consistently and regularly update your platform. Create a social media calendar and/or utilize integrated software such as HubSpot or Hootsuite to manage your social media postings.
Regardless of your chosen social media platform focus on speaking to and with your audience. Respond to their questions or concerns within a timely fashion and in an appropriate manner. Share information that is important to your viewers and direct them to your website/blog when you can.
This type of service can be free or subscription based and saves your business time and money by allowing you to post to mulitple platforms at once, schedule posts, emails and more for the future so you can free up more time for day to day activities. They often include advanced tracking features as well to gauge your effectiveness and tweak for better results. For some services, all you need to get started is a valid email address to get started.
Advertising is a great component to talk to new and existing customers in their web environment of choice. Two types of advertisements commonly found on search engines are search ads and display ads. Search ads are placed next to or above relevant search engine results. Display ads are placed on the search engine’s sidebars or at the bottom of the page. This type of ad can also be seen as a pop-up or pop-under advertisement as well.
Social media advertisements are an ever growing way to connect with your audience as well. Using social media you can target your ads to display based on demographics, interests, location or an existing email list. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all offer advertising solutions and can be a great way to get your name in front of those you want to see you most.
Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.
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