Guest post by Toby Jenkins
A quick story
“Here’s the situation. We’re spending thousands each month on advertising. And every month we get a report to show us how many leads we’ve generated. We spend half an hour at least with each enquiry, sometimes an hour. 90% of them are not a good fit for us. But if we stop advertising, the lead tap is switched off. We can’t function without it. And here’s the thing that really hurts, the kick in the teeth… each month we’re digging deeper and deeper into our pockets to get the same results.”
“It’s like an addiction. Our question is: can you help us kick the habit?”
Web marketing can help you break your advertising addiction.
Advertising depreciates fast
The difference is that advertising depreciates fast. The day after your newspaper ad runs, it is fish and chip wrapper. In stark contrast, content stays online forever and actually appreciates in value as it is shared and linked over time. Your web marketing can become an asset that will pay dividends in leads over and over again.
A Commbank study in April 2013 found that 79 per cent of SMEs believe digital technology is important to the future of their business and 75 per cent said the way they use digital technologies will be the key between success and failure over the next five years.
Yet the results of Google’s research show only 16 per cent of businesses are highly engaged with the internet. This means there is a huge gap between “knowing that the web is important” and actually “taking action”.
How do you bridge the gap and kick your habit?
This is the exact problem that Web Marketing That Works, a new book I co-authored with Adam Franklin, has set out to solve. This is also the topic that Adam will be delivering in his upcoming presentations and workshops for AIM in Sydney, Canberra, the Gold Coast and Brisbane in June.
But in the meantime, here are five key web marketing tips for managers:
1. Build your web strategy
Download the free Web Strategy Planning Template so you can see how the elements of your web universe – your website, Google ranking, backlinks and social media – all fit together to drive your business outcomes.
2. Know your customer
By being clear on who your buyer persona (or target audience) is, you’ll know:
- What problem can you solve for them?
- What action you want them to take?
- Why you are different and the proof you have?
- Who they trust?
- Where they are?
- What content you’ll need to publish to help them?
- How you’re going to reach them?
3. Track your metrics
By tracking your social media community, website visitors, your email database, your leads and your sales conversions you’ll be able to close the loop between the marketing you are doing online and the results you are achieving. There are a ton of vanity stats you can track, the key is to close the loop so you know that the extra Facebook fan is actually helping you accomplish your goals.
4. Create useful, interesting, relevant, timely, high-quality content
Content is what drives the web. It is what the search engines will use to rank your website. It is what people will link to if they love an article or blog post or photo. It is what people will share on social media with their friends and colleagues.
5. Share it
A great website with great content on its own is like a billboard in the desert. You need to attract people to it and that requires sharing. Sharing in a way that adds value to your or someone else’s audience. All the tech in the world hasn’t changed the fact that it’s a human sitting at the computer or holding a smartphone, and the old adage of ‘What’s In It For Me’ hasn’t changed at all.
A happy ending
8 months later the same business was telling a different story of how prospects were quoting their blog posts and email newsletters back to them when they enquired. They knew exactly what they needed help with and were prepared to pay top dollar for it. They trusted them and wanted help now.
Toby Jenkins is the author of Web Marketing That Works. The book is officially out in bookstores and you can download the bonus 33 free templates. He is also the CEO of web marketing firm Bluewire Media and an Olympic Water Polo player. He can be found on Google+ and Twitter.
The co-author of Web Marketing That Works, Adam Franklin, will be presenting at AIM venues in: