As Thanksgiving approaches, let us reflect on what a blessing marketers have been given with the invention of the Internet. A mixed blessing. On the one hand, in an instant, we can know things that used to require reading a book and maybe even (horrors!) going to the library. Now we can locate people in our neighborhood to install a fence or clean the gutters and read real reviews before spending a dime. As a small business operator, we can list our shop hours, show pictures of our merchandise and even have a one-touch call button.
On the other hand, we get pinged in the middle of the night by people wanting to buy that bicycle we’re selling on Facebook Marketplace or we compulsively refresh our Twitter feed every five seconds like some crazed Vegas slots player.
Online marketing is a must, but it can be a risky business to go it alone. Entrepreneurs and mid-size managers don’t have the time or skills to do everything involved. And no one can afford to make mistakes that could wipe out an annual budget overnight. One of the smartest, most strategic moves a company can make is to partner with an affordable digital marketing agency–people who’ve gone before, charted the mysterious waters and explored this nebulous New World.
So let’s show some gratitude for the fruits of their labor, the many good things online marketing pioneers have discovered and deployed.
WEBSITE DESIGN: Reap What You Sow
Graphics, colors, logos, typography, music, sound effects…these are the tools a good web designer uses to interpret your image. Even the smallest enterprise can benefit immediately by having an online e-commerce presence. A well-organized, fully optimized site can not only serve a customer’s need to know but also their need to go. The customer experience is key. Quick response renders favorable reviews. On the technical side, the insertion of long tail keywords improves ranking in search results. Backlinks are another strategy that can move one site ahead of the competition. And don’t forget to optimize for voice. This is where a team of professional content writers can bridge creative and coding to supplement your efforts, generate leads and convert customers.
SEO: Greetings Pilgrims, Your Search Has Ended
Search Engine Optimization is the engineered precision by which your target audience is delivered to your website at the exact point when they are looking for what you sell. Optimizing your website for better search results can increase traffic exponentially, converting seekers to satisfied customers. Google, Yahoo, Bing and others recognize your pages when they have been deliberately optimized. Local searchers find relevant businesses based on GPS. Accessed from laptop, desktop or mobile device, your site can be designed to look friendly, professional and credible across the board.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Share in the Bounty
Relationship marketing ascended when the Internet came on the scene. What better way to build a relevant interchange than by instant feedback between customer and company. Automation may seem clinical in keeping up the conversation, but the effect is actually the opposite. People don’t feel bothered by emails and posts when they contain a constant feed of new and useful information. It’s one of the best loyalty builders out there. The key is scheduling consistency. No long absences. Modern-day mobile usage is around three hours a day for the average person, so Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube tweets and shares are the best exposure for your buck.
CONTENT CREATION: Basting The Bird
Where’s the beef? The meat (or turkey) is the content. That which separates fluff from HuffPost. Podcasts, blogs, contests, videos, giveaways, conferences, memes, surveys, ebooks, catalogs…stuff that people want to read, listen to, comment on, sign up for, share and otherwise act upon. But never forget, what you put out there stays out there on the Internet, sometimes forever. Social media offers a more relaxed medium for creating informative yet original content writing to engage and bond with target clients. You can also collaborate with influencers on social media to give your message greater outreach. Just be sure what you say is always professional and above board, or you’ll soon find your ship marooned off the coast of public opinion.
ANALYTICS: Harvest Time
All that activity and interaction on your website, emails, social media platforms and anywhere else belongs to you. You own it. It’s imperative that someone in your company can cultivate this data. It’s pure marketing gold. The data doesn’t lie. Google Analytics is the air traffic controller that monitors who comes in, where they go, what they do, why they leave and how much they spend. Unfortunately, all that number crunching doesn’t quite translate into plain English. Thankfully there are those right brains among us who understand what these statistics mean. Find them and nurture them. It is the tracking of these numbers that will determine the course of your entire strategy going forward.
Navigating the online marketing world can be like setting sail for a new land. There’s something better on the horizon but the voyage can be turbulent and you may be tempted to turn back.
There’s such a simple correlation between giving thanks and appreciating the world we live in now, experienced via the computer and mobile device. If your brick and mortar world has morphed in that direction, you may just want to partner with some people who were early settlers. Pass the cornbread dressing and give us a call.
And have yourself a Happy Thanksgiving!