If you’ve come to the pivotal point in your business where you recognize the need for help with your online marketing, you may be wondering where to start. There are several agencies specializing in specific areas like web design, social media or SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but which of these will benefit your business the most?
The first step is to meet with an online marketing consultant with whom you can discuss your business–what is the mission or passion behind your business? Who are your customers? What are you already doing online, and what does your “sales funnel” look like, whatever that may represent for your industry?
A good digital marketing specialist can help you find an efficient mix of marketing within your budget and navigate this continually evolving field to form a clear strategy for meeting your goals. Rather than seeking out independent companies for social media management, online advertising, web design, website management and SEO, you’ll want a good Internet Marketing Specialist to develop a cohesive plan. Consistent online branding, improved user behavior flow, more accurate targeting and more comprehensive analytics are all benefits of a coordinated online marketing effort.
Why should I invest in online marketing?
Online marketing is a tool that enables people to realize their dreams. For brick and mortar small businesses, this means the opportunity to reach new audiences and retain existing customers by making products or services available to them year-round. Using email campaigns and social media marketing, you can inform customers of your new offerings even if they visit your physical location infrequently. In time, online revenue could exceed physical purchases, and some small businesses even find that it suits their purpose to transition to a purely online business. For small businesses, online marketing is a way to gain an edge over local competitors.
For businesses that exist solely online, their website and combined digital marketing efforts constitute their livelihood. Ecommerce sites provide a way for entrepreneurs to launch their businesses without having to invest in a physical storefront. Other advantages of purely ecommerce businesses include the freedom of mobility, the ability to set your own hours and the flexibility to scale as needed.
Can I do small business online marketing on my own?
Many small business owners try to handle their online marketing all on their own, or in-house, struggling to put out content, taking shots in the dark, and ultimately taking time away from their core business to engage in time-consuming activities that seem to provide few results. In another common scenario, without a dedicated professional whose main focus is online promotion, digital marketing gets put on the back burner, and the activity remains largely ignored.
This being said, how could a business owner ever trust a complete stranger to post on their behalf? You want your online brand to accurately convey the heart of your mission. This is why you need an Internet marketing specialist who has a strong grasp of what you do and how you want your image projected online.
You want to find someone who is willing to spend the time getting to know you–someone who will keep in regular contact. You are in control of your brand, so it is important to discuss your ideal level of involvement in the online marketing process with your online marketing consultant. You can think of your consultant as your online marketing director.
What is a good online marketing strategy?
Online marketing is made up of several different sub-categories. Your digital marketing strategy will include some or all of the following: web design, SEO, email marketing, social media, online paid advertising, lead capturing and content marketing.
If you’re looking for a new website design in Santa Fe, NM, or elsewhere, there are several firms to choose from. The important thing is to find a web designer who will get to know you and find the most effective way to present your story. Zenbox Marketing provides web design and development services as a keystone to your online marketing strategy. If you already have a website, Zenbox will start with a website audit to evaluate your design, SEO, ease of use and performance. If you don’t have a website, then Zenbox will create a website in line with your business goals.
There are many factors involved in designing a website that you will be proud of. Consider the following aspects when making long-term plans for your website:
- Competitor Analysis – It’s important to research close competitors, not only to determine what aspects of their web design you like or dislike, but also to gauge their website’s functionality. You want your website to have a competitive advantage over other similar businesses.
- Custom Solutions – Need a custom solution for your website? Zenbox has you covered. Whether it’s a unique feature or a custom design, Zenbox will provide the programmers you need to make your dream website a reality.
- Website Maintenance – Zenbox treats your website as a living, breathing part of the Internet. The components that make up your website need to be regularly updated and maintained to protect your website against vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers. Your relationship to your web designer is important for the long-term health of your website, and Zenbox Marketing is in it for the long haul.
- Content Updates – Zenbox web design gives you access to your website to update text, photos and videos. This gives you the flexibility to make quick changes to your website. Zenbox can also make regular content updates for you if you’d prefer. From completely managing your online marketing to filling in the gaps, Zenbox will accommodate your preferred workflow.
Search Engine Optimization
Additionally, you want a website that can be found by people already searching for what you provide. SEO is a vital component of any website that will greatly increase your return on investment by enabling search engines to interact with your website while ranking and indexing. If you want new users coming to your website, then SEO should be a priority.
Are you sending regular emails to your clientele? Are the emails specifically tailored based on your relationship with them or is everyone in your database receiving the same email? Email marketing is a huge source of revenue, and customizations to increase your open rates and click through rates are well worth the effort. Zenbox will work with you to see what you’re currently doing, what’s worked so far, and how you can improve your revenue from emails.
Zenbox Marketing provides dynamic email campaigns that filter content based on the interests of the email recipient. For example, if you want to announce all your new products in an email, you could send an email to everyone on your list. Utilizing dynamic email content, each customer would only see a few products listed in their email based on their interests. This makes emails more relevant and targeted to your audience, and shows that you care enough to know what your customers want. Once your customers understand that your emails are specific to them, they are more likely to open your emails and more likely to click to visit your website.
The time that it takes to segment contacts based on interests, tailor emails specifically to your different customer segments, optimize your emails for mobile viewing, review the analytics of your email campaigns and re-categorize your customers based on their interaction with your emails are all activities that can have a huge impact on your sales. Zenbox Marketing can completely manage your email marketing campaigns.
How can social media benefit your business? Are you spending a lot of time posting to several social networks, or are you focusing on the social networks that deliver the most results? Because each brand is different, your social media strategy needs to match your goals. A well-targeted social media strategy can engage a new audience and drive website traffic or foot traffic to your business. If you feel like you’re wasting time with social media, then it’s time to re-think your social media game plan.
Online Paid Advertising
Paid advertising, or PPC (Price Per Click) advertising refers to advertising through other websites like Google or Facebook. Online advertising is more effective than print advertising because it enables you to specifically advertise to people based on their demographics and interests. In the case of Google Ads, you can even help people who are already searching for the product or service you offer to find your website. Another benefit of online advertising is that you can start with any size of budget. Since the effects of online advertising can be directly tracked and measured, you can invest more money in the ads that drive the biggest results after initial experimentation.
What percentage of people who walk through your door or visit your website come back for another visit? Retaining the attention of your first-time visitors is a key growth opportunity. The goal is to collect as many email addresses as possible from people who have any interest in your business. To encourage visitors to leave their email addresses, you could offer a coupon, free content, special website features (like saving an item to a wish list or scheduling an appointment), or simply the opportunity to keep up with new products or services.
The words, images and video that populate your website and social media profiles are key to engaging your audience and generating new leads for your business. Google’s search algorithm is continually improving its ability to lead searchers to relevant content. Content adds value to your website by educating your audience on the importance of what you offer. The more information you have, the longer people are able to stay on your website.
A great way to circulate your content is to post to a blog on your website. You can then provide teasers of your blog posts on social media and in your email newsletter, encouraging people to click to your website to read more. A steady stream of new content shows Google that your website is relevant and gives your audience a reason to visit your website regularly, keeping you fresh in their mind.
How do I integrate my online marketing efforts?
A good digital marketing strategy will integrate your website, SEO, email marketing, social media, online paid advertising, lead capturing and content marketing to guide your visitors down a path of conversion. Whether your business defines conversion as a sale, an appointment or a podcast download, the behavioral flow of your visitors can be analyzed and adjusted to meet your goals. Each of the individual marketing activities should play a role in converting your audience, so it’s important to analyze them all together to identify weak links and recognize where you’ll see the greatest return on your investment.
An example of a customer journey is as follows. A 65-year-old woman sees an ad on Facebook with an excerpt from a children’s story about gardening. The image and story entice her, so she clicks to read more of the story. The Facebook ad appeared on her home feed based on the fact that she is a grandmother, she gardens, and she has engaged in Facebook activity related to storybooks in the past. The link takes her to the full story, in blog format. To accompany the story, there are photographs of the story’s main characters, animal garden ornaments, which are the company’s main product. After reading the story, the woman orders the book so that she can read it with her granddaughter later. She is also added to the email list that may one day convince her to buy a garden ornament.
It is best to have several paths leading to your conversion point, and the effort you put into each of your online marketing activities will strengthen the entire system. Content marketing strengthens SEO and landing pages help retain visitors from paid advertising. A coordinated online marketing effort will help you understand how customers are interacting with you online and give you the insight to improve your system.
How can Zenbox help me with online marketing?
Do you want to talk about your online marketing in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or elsewhere in the world? It all starts with a face-to-face meeting or phone call. I’m currently helping clients in New Mexico and across the United States. If you need a go-to person for online marketing, then give me a call. The first consultation is free, and I will be happy to get to know you.