Online marketing has taken off in the last five years, mainly due to the exponential growth of social media sites. What this has meant to the digital arena is that more people are online more often – and they devour content anywhere, anytime, from the computer, mobile phone or tablet.
This is fantastic news for businesses that are actively on the net, have a website and embrace social media. But what about those businesses who have chosen to stay offline and out of the social media spotlight?
The reality is that you are going to get left behind. In today’s world, if Google can’t find you, the hard reality is that you don’t exist in the eye of the consumer. So how do you get started online and what strategies should you look at?
1. Invest in a Website
The most obvious is that you need to get a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy with all the bells and whistles, but it does need to be:
- easy to navigate
- look appealing
- have great content for SEO
- responsive design
I would highly recommend that you invest in a designer and copywriter to do this for you, as in the long run, it will pay off tenfold.
2. Write a Blog
The web is all about content and Google LOVES new content. The best way to get your expertise across is to share your knowledge in the form of blog posts. If you don’t have your own blog, then find industry-related websites that are happy to share articles from people within their community. This positions you as a leader in your industry as you are the one imparting knowledge.
3. Get Social
Social media is a great way to engage with your potential client base. Note that I said ‘engage’ not sell to! The idea about social media is that it is just that – social. Know who your followers are and appeal to them. For example, the people that you engage with on LinkedIn may be vastly different to those on Facebook. You don’t have to be on every social media channel (Google can’t read their content anyway), but it is a really good touch point and one that can be done in a non-confrontational way.
4. EDM Your Clients
Electronic Driven Marketing (EDM) is a very powerful way of getting your message to your customer, quickly and cost-effectively. You do however need a database to do this. The downside is that they can simply hit delete when it lands in their inbox, but the upsides far outweigh this. Most EDM programs such as MailChimp or Constant Contact have incredible tracking stats that will show you who has opened your newsletter and what they have found interesting and clicked on. This kind of data can really drive sales and direct the reader to where you would like to take them.
5. Lights, Camera, Action
Humans are such visual creatures. We love movement, sound, colour – anything to stimulate our senses. A video that can make you laugh or bring you to tears is far more likely to go viral than a page with a story on it. Humans are also lazy, so if you can give them a video that they can watch which gets your message across, that is far more effective than making them read it all. Added to this is the bonus that Google owns YouTube, so any video content and tagging that goes up will add to your SEO.
There are heaps of free directories online. Pick the best ones and get yourself listed on them. Keep a list of the directories that you are on so that if any of your details ever change, it is quick and easy for you to update them. The last thing you want is for the incorrect contact details being listed all over the net.
There are many more strategies that you can look at when deciding on your online marketing approach. The key is to know who your audience is, where to find them and what you want to say.
If you require assistance with a marketing plan, developing a website or getting a social media strategy in place, give our team at WRD a call on 02 4732 4766 or email.