Attract, Convert, Automate
By Scott Brazdo
As a business owner, just the thought of digital marketing can overwhelm your mind. Website design, blogging, social media, pay-per-click advertising, video production, graphic design, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are all tools you need to successfully market your business online, but what’s the best strategy for your business?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to acknowledge that your website is now the hub of all of your marketing efforts. Does it attract, convert, and automate your marketing process easily and consistently to every user, every time? In order to stay ahead of your competition, you have to be on the front-wave of technology.
In the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing, paid search prices are skyrocketing, and Google seems to change their algorithms almost every day. Now more than ever, your online strategy has to stand out and be better than the rest.
Anything can help attract a visitor to your website, including traditional media (e.g., print, TV, radio, billboard), blogging, social media, Google AdWords, referrals/word of mouth, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
A few miracles need to happen in order to obtain new customers. Miracle number one is that someone needs to see a stimulus, (e.g., print, TV, radio, social media, search engines, etc.); miracle number two is they have to visit your website; and miracle number three is they pick up a phone and call you or buy from your business. Sounds easy, right? Not so much.
Being a digital marketer, people often ask me if 100 percent of my advertising budget is spent online. The simple answer is no. A blended strategy of traditional mediums blended with online mediums is a winning strategy that has worked time after time, and even in my own business.
Attracting customers in the digital space is very different, however, than using traditional marketing mediums. There is a list of things you need to be doing in order to check all of the digital boxes and grow your online presence. Probably the most important of these is Search Engine Optimization, which when done correctly, will launch you to the top of search results without costing you a dime of your marketing budget. While organic Search Engine Optimization is a fantastic long-term solution, it takes a minimum of 18 to 24 months to start seeing results.
A great way to get traffic to your businesses’ website today is through Google AdWords, or pay-per-click advertising. Paid search gives you the unlimited ability to choose keywords, geographic location, demographics, and even the type of device your potential customers are searching on. Paid search should never be handled yourself, unless of course you have a few thousand dollars burning a hole in your pocket. The best approach is to find a Google Partner in your area that will help you navigate through the countless possibilities that exist within a paid search environment, and then you just need to focus on answering the phone when it starts to ring off the hook.
The previous two forms of online marketing are perfect for the push aspect of marketing, allowing you the ability to push potential clients to your website. The other side of that coin is the pull of marketing. Blogging and social media are two of the best examples of pulling people into your website through fresh and relevant content and social interactions.
The reasons why blogging is essential to the success of your website are simple. First, every time you create a new blog on your website, an entirely new page is created. The more pages your website has, the more credible it is viewed by the search engines. Second, you are telling the search engines weekly that you have fresh and new content on your website, enticing their bots to crawl the website weekly and index all the new data. Lastly, blogging allows you the opportunity to optimize your website for multiple key terms for which you otherwise would not be found. The average homepage on a website can only be optimized for three key terms, and any more than that needs to be attacked by an ambitious blogging regimen of a few times per week.
Social media is not just for catching up with high school friends anymore, although, they too can become your customers. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide small businesses with the best opportunity to directly connect with their customers. One of social media’s greatest powers is the ability to humanize your brand, a quality that business owners often struggle to express. While posting the details of your latest sale can certainly be informative, generic advertisements can sound robotic and don’t generally grow your social media presence or increase brand awareness. Most social media users respond positively to genuine interactions such as behind the scenes insight and light-hearted moments. Pursuing a consistent and authentic social media presence will not only increase your page likes, but will also facilitate website traffic, sales, and business relationships for years to come.
Anything that helps to convert a site visitor into a lead or sale includes website design and layout, graphics, video production, video animation, call-to-actions (contact forms/phone calls) and remarketing.
With that, you have a visitor to your website. So what’s next? Now is the time to convert them from just a measly visitor into a lead or a sale. This is where the rubber hits the road with your digital marketing strategy. The first thing the visitor will see is the overall design and layout of your website. Is it easy to navigate, does it look up-to-date, does it give the user exactly what they are looking for, and does it make them want to take action?
More than half of all website traffic this year will be facilitated by mobile devices. That means your website better look incredible, be mobile-friendly, and every single function must work flawlessly on both desktops and mobile devices. If your website doesn’t deliver a great experience for your mobile visitors, you can kiss more than half of your potential customers goodbye, so make sure this is a top priority as you build your new website.
One of my pet peeves when visiting a website is when there is an endless string of text taking up the entire page. No one wants to read that. While content is important for Search Engine Optimization, having too much of it is a quick way to lose potential customers on your website. A great way to break up the monotony of text is through graphics and high-quality videos. The Internet has caused a massive surge of over-information, and people no longer trust everything they read. However, if they have the opportunity to watch a video of you talking about your business, it gives you the chance to show your expertise in your field, and engages the user. Websites that use video convert two to three times better than websites that do not.
Anything that allows you to nurture a lead without lifting a finger includes marketing automation tools and e-mail drip campaigns.
Even if you are the best salesperson in the world, marketing automation will outsell you every single day of the week. Let’s say someone visits your website looking for Widget X, however they don’t buy, but they do fill out a form on your website. You can enter them into your marketing automation tool, and slow-drip campaigns to them throughout time until they are ready to buy. This allows you and your business to stay top of mind with the consumer, even when they aren’t ready to purchase.
Marketing automation also lets you “set it and forget it” with potential leads in your business. You may have forgotten to call those hundreds of leads, but your marketing automation tool didn’t. You’ve been able to send that potential customer e-mail after e-mail only about the product or service that they are interested in from you.
You’ve spent thousands of marketing and advertising dollars each month in order to get people to your website, so don’t let any customer slip through the cracks. Marketing automation will help you to maximize every hard-earned dollar you invest in your advertising budget by saving time and increasing conversions.
In today’s marketing world, your website is the hub of all of your marketing efforts. Make sure that you are putting your best foot forward, and leading with your strongest hand. A killer digital marketing system that attracts, converts, and automates will serve your customers better, and grow your business while doing it.