Online marketing is an aggressive and ever-evolving industry but one that, as a small business owner, you can’t choose to ignore. On the plus side, by building an effective presence and getting your brand known online you stand a much higher chance of closing a deal than you might from other forms of marketing, such as cold calling or handing out pamphlets. This is because, people are already researching a product or service when they go online, so if you place yours correctly you’re almost guaranteed a sale.
However, as with any business process, an important first step is to figure out your online marketing strategy and to build a framework to help achieve those goals. You’ll need to identify who your clients are, as well as any potential clients you’d like to attract, and then develop your marketing strategy around them.
Here are a few of the online marketing tools you can use to achieve your goals:
Build an awesome website that includes landing pages
Your website is the portal to your business and very often the primary aspect of your company that a customer might engage with. You need to think about what message you want to convey and you need to deliver it succinctly.
These days people engage with content from a number of devices, so your website needs to load quickly and work across PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. You’ll also need to develop a number of landing pages.
Unlike regular web pages, a landing page is an effective online marketing tool in that it is a page that has a form, and is built solely to capture a potential client’s information. This could be to download an ebook, pdf or other content and is commonly known as a conversion event, ie. that point at which someone converts from internet surfer to potential client. Once they have filled in a form, you can get more personal by sending niche emails to appeal to specific customers.
Blogging: Quality content is the cornerstone of online marketing
Content is an effective online marketing tool to build awareness about your brand and generate a community of people who support it. An important idea to wrap your head around is that blogs are not about the hard sell. Instead they should tell stories, or offer thought leadership, that are interesting to people and will keep them coming back to the site for more. Once they are on the site regularly you can capture their information and lead them through a conversion funnel that ultimately results in sales.
Sometimes it helps to pay
Paid media is where a brand pays to leverage its presence online through display ads, paid search or sponsorship. A common, and effective, online marketing tool is Google’s AdWords. This is an advertising service whereby a company can set a predetermined budget to display ads on Google and its advertising network. The company only needs to pay if someone clicks on an ad. Pay per click (PPC) works around keywords. A company can create relevant content by finding what people are searching for and then writing content around those keywords.
Make online marketing easy with marketing automation software
All of this may sound like an awful lot of work, but with marketing automation software, such as Sage Online Tools you can create Google and mobile optimised e-commerce websites and further boost sales and web traffic by subscribing to various Ad Words based digital marketing packages. Sage Online Tools not only offers easy to customise websites, forms and landing pages with drag and drop capabilities, but can help with most of your online marketing needs. Emails can be automatically sent when a potential customer fills in an online form, for example, and tracking codes can be added for webmaster analytics.
Once emails have been sent you can monitor statistics on how many people opened the mails and any leads they generated.
For more information on how Sage Online Tools can help your business, click here.