Written By The Art of Business Content Team
We are taking marketing back to the basics giving you pointers on where to start and how to successfully build your online presence!
Why is it important to have an online marketing strategy? New Research Reveals More Consumers Are Shopping Online for Everyday Items
Recent surveys show that more and more people are turning to the internet to shop, look up information, store hours, products, and literally anything else you can think of. So you see how important it is to have a solid online presence. You want people to be able to find you, know you, like you, and trust you. If you accomplish the know, like, trust factor – you will be seeing those conversions.
You may be thinking it’s okay, I have a website…
Great start – way to go! Simply having a website these days is not enough. There are multiple elements to your online presence – a website, social media, email marketing, lead generation…
When you have all of your marketing actions working cohesively together you will see results – significant results.
It may SEEM overwhelming at first, it is a lot of work, but starting small is ok! It is better to be on the road to a great online presence than not on the road at all.
Despite what that “one person” said that “one time”… You DO need a website. For a million and a half reasons. Depending on the business you are in, the type of website you need can differ, but these main website pages will ALWAYS be relevant, no matter what, so here is a good place for you start:
This is your business’ “foyer”, it must be impactful and eye-catching and show what your business is all about in 7 seconds or less. A decent home page will have eye catching graphics (If you don’t have any eye catching graphics, check out our blog on how to create some here) and an impact statement letting the visitor know that they have landed in the right place as well as as many call to actions as you can manage (Join the newsletter, visit our facebook, request a quote, contact us, etc.)
Take a look at one great looking Home page example here.
Everyone wants the details on your business, how did you start, when did you start? Why should I trust you with my business and not someone else? Testimonials and reviews, all the good information that people might like to have to spend their money with you. Like most web pages, ensure that you have calls to action clearly placed (request a quote, contact us, etc)
Here’s a wonderful example, if we do say so ourselves, of an awesome About us page right here.
There should be a phone number, a mailing address, a business email address (Don’t have one? Start one!) and the location of the store. Knowing you can be reached is a form of peace of mind for people, you aren’t some pop-up shop swindler and they can reach you if they have an issue.
Here is a simple and effective Contact page you can check out for inspiration.
Not everyone can sell online (but if you can, this opens a HUGE market), however, you can easily display photos of your work or products for people to see. Always place your feature products and sales at the top of the page as well as your most popular items. Again ensuring to have proper call to actions placed throughout.
Have a look at a great example of a strong Products Page, and while your there – you may want to try some of these out – all we can say is YUM!
Of course, there are other pages like listing frequently asked questions or a blog, but if you want to start off strong you will want to place most of your initial efforts into your home page, about page, contact page and product/services page. Work on nailing these with impactful copy and eye-catching imagery before branching out to other pages.
Remember to keep it simple, and on-brand, keep the navigation of the page easy to use, test the user experience with other people before you start marketing your new website. You do NOT want an overly-complicated website – you want people to be able to find what they want to find without frustration or you will lose them.
Once you have your website gorgeous and ready to go, you are going to want to build a database of potential and current clients. There are a few ways to do this, one is creating an opt-in for a newsletter on your website. Newsletters are ideal for keeping your customers updated on what is happening with products, the store (online or brick and mortar), sales, events and the great advice that only you can provide! So start collecting emails and get to it! Mailchimp is free for under 2,000 email addresses (crazy right!) and it’s simple to use, if you are wanting something with beautiful templates – check out FloDesk, and if you are looking for a platform built for growth – Drip is your best bet.
Get yourself a nice looking template, spend a few minutes adding the current month’s details in, schedule it and voila! You are reaching people left and right! Plus, it comes with analytics to show you what content is working and what is not! Easy and productive! Email marketing is a huge opportunity as research shows that at least 36 percent of people who have purchased from you once will buy from you again if you follow up with them. That is where email comes in handy.
Ensure that your email subject line is something they will REALLY want to open.
Talk about the problem your product solves, or how it makes life better in general.
Establish yourself as someone who sells quality.
Add testimonials from your happy customers.
Make an offer or sales pitch.
Create a sense of urgency (coupons expire, only so many left, etc.)
Tell them how their patronage impacts your business and how appreciated they are.
Have fun with it! No one likes a boring read, actually – they won’t even give it the time of day and will most likely unsubscribe – noooooo!
It may not seem like it to some, but Social Media plays a HUGE impact on purchasing. People look you up on Facebook to see your reviews or location, some look you up on Instagram to see what your work, store or products look like. Some people follow you on Twitter to make sure they don’t miss a sale. There is no end to the reach you can have by utilizing all the social media platforms. Although advertising on social media platforms can be hugely effective if done properly, we’re just here to get your online presence started and in order to do that, you need to create business pages over as many platforms as possible to reach as many people as possible. You can post photos, host giveaways, do video tutorials, ask your customers a question on your product and what they would like to see happen in your store/business front.
Here are some to look into:
Now, you may not need to be on all platforms, and if you know where your target demographic hangs out (Tip: All platforms do not have the same people/demographics) you can start there. It certainly does not hurt to cover all your bases AND using a program like Later or Sprout to manage all these posts from one convenient website. It really is insanely easy, there’s no reason NOT to be doing it!
Online marketing can feel like a lot of work, and can also feel as though you are not getting anywhere. Results take time, it is a process, and it WILL pay off.
Expect to see results at the 6-month mark, or even the one year mark – we set realistic expectations with our clients all of the time and stress that the results will NOT happen overnight. The process takes time and is a combination of trying things out and listening to what your people want to see and also analyzing the data.
You need to be looking at your data – data doesn’t lie – and there is gold in those numbers that you have to search through to find.
Don’t quit, keep plugging away, have a plan and the results will come. The longer you hang in there, the more you will learn and the easier it will be!
Once you have all your platforms set up, the goal is to create eye-catching content to draw people in. Like stunning images, interesting blog posts, video content, interactive content like quizzes and calculators, infographics and make sure to ask a lot of questions! Consistency and quality are key.
One of the best things about marketing online, versus a magazine, newspaper, radio ad, is that you can SEE the analytics for yourself and see what is working and what is not. You can tell where you should put your money. There is no guessing here.
We wish you all the best in your new adventure and remember, if you do find that it is just too much for you to add to your already busy schedule, please reach out to a marketing agency (oh hi there! ) We would love to do the heavy lifting for you!