Do You Really Need An Online Marketing Strategy

Do You Really Need An Online Marketing Strategy Laurel Anne Stark5 signs you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

An online marketing strategy can be described a detailed written plan that explains exactly how you’ll market yourself and your business on the internet.

The development of an online marketing strategy can call for a significant investment of both time and money.

Before you spend your time and money, you may want to consider the following points to find out if you really need an online marketing strategy.

What is online marketing?

Online marketing is an umbrella term used to describe online tools that can be used for the purposes of marketing a person or business. Facebook ads, email broadcasts, getting on google and your website are all online marketing tools.

These are by no means an exhaustive list of online marketing tools, though.

In fact, the world of online marketing changes almost daily. New tools are constantly emerging, old tools dissolving and familiar behemoths changing their functionality or design almost entirely overnight.

Why do businesses market themselves online?

Consumers are savvy creatures. You know, you’re one of them!

In response to being inundated with advertising, we’ve adapted. We have spam filters, Netflix subscriptions and caller ID’s to help us avoid being sold to.

In the same breath though, we’re spending literally hours a day online. (Over 24 hours a week online in 2016 according to the Globe & Mail.)

Being in business, it pays to have a presence where your future customers are, so it makes sense to invest in a presence on Facebook, Google, YouTube and on other online marketing tools like your website.

When is developing an online marketing strategy a waste of time?

There are several scenarios when developing an online marketing strategy isn’t a good idea.

#1 – The first sign you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

The first is if you or the majority stakeholders in your business are of the opinion the internet isn’t a huge opportunity for businesses and business people alike.

Don’t laugh.

This is a reality for some people. Most commonly those who are just about to retire, those who don’t have cell phones and those who are generally resistant to change.

#2 – The second sign you don’t need an online marketing strategy

Another sign you shouldn’t invest in an online marketing strategy is when what you’re already doing is working well really well for your business, and for you personally.

Some businesses reliably experience an influx of new customers and sales from the internet. These leads and sales are willing to pay for what’s being sold and turn a tidy profit.

Sometimes this result can happen fairly easily and naturally, especially if the business owner is really in touch with their customers, where their customers hang out online and when they have an interest in learning online marketing.

#3 – The third sign you don’t need an online marketing strategy.

You’re confident.

You’re measuring your results, you know what works, what doesn’t and what tactics have the best return on investment.

Generating results and feeling confident in your abilities add up to an ideal situation, one where you likely don’t need any further support.

If you don’t find yourself in any of these three situations, it may be worth additional exploration to find out for certain whether or not an online marketing strategy will deliver value for your organization.

Other scenarios when an online marketing strategy doesn’t make sense are:

You may find you need an online marketing strategy, but you’re not able to allocate the resources.
You don’t want, or can’t handle any more business
When is developing an online marketing strategy a good idea?

The following symptoms usually indicate when it may be a good idea to invest in an online marketing strategy.

#1 You’re feeling less than confident:

You’ve been successful with your online marketing efforts to date.

Your business is making money, but you’re not feeling very confident you’re going about your online marketing the right, best or most effective way.

You may be wondering if you’re missing something. You may be worrying about whether you should have a presence on the latest social media site, or if it’s a waste of time. Any leads or sales that you’re getting from the internet may be fairly sporadic, so it’s not a very reliable source of leads.
#2 You’re not generating results:

You could have a very successful offline business, have an online marketing budget and believe online marketing can generate opportunities for you. But everything you’ve tried is a colossal waste of time and money.

#3 Your competitors are kicking your butt:

You may be noticing that your competitors appear to be doing a little bit better than you are. Whether it’s they are ranking better than you are on Google or their social media is getting more engagement or whether you’ve just heard through the grapevine that they’re doing better than you are financially.

#4 You can’t delegate:

You may want to delegate some of your online marketing responsibilities but you’re having difficulties doing so, because you don’t really know what to say to the person you’re delegating to.

#5 Your market is changing:

If you’re looking to expand or pivot into a different market, and you want to use the internet to drive leads, it makes sense to look at developing an online marketing strategy.

What kind of results can I expect from a strategy?

According to the Business Development Bank of Canada small business that have an online marketing strategy and are actually executing it can see revenues up to 22% higher than their competitors.

Obviously 22% more revenue is a significant increase in funds. That may be just the right incentive to invest in a strategy.

Why is a strategy that much more effective?

Without an online marketing strategy, typically anything that gets done in the area of online marketing is sporadic or reactive. It’s what we in the business call “spray and pray”. What this means is that you’re out there testing everything out publicly.

Remember the internet never forgets, so being reactive and inconsistent can compromise your brand and erode the trust you’re trying to build with your audience.
Instead of building on the solid blocks of a foundation, each tactic or effort is acting individually instead of in concert where you can expect a compound effect.

Obviously I am biased, but truly and in the long term an online marketing strategy is much more effective for resource allocation if you’re at all invested in marketing your business online.

An online marketing strategy can save you time, save you money and most importantly it can going to keep those sales coming in and keep those profit margins high.

Give me 2 minutes and you’ll be a master at measuring your web marketing – Part 2 of 3

Analytics pt1

Build it and they will come….Said no-one ever about your website.


The more you know about your website visitors, the better you can serve them, and keep them coming back.

The most underutilized tool to help you improve your website’s performance is Google Analytics.

It’s a free tool that you can embed in your website to get a gold mine of information you can use to make better business decisions.

And in today’s video, we are going to focus on the audience section of Google Analytics and some of the reports available there and what they can do and what kind of intelligence they can provide you with.

This post will show you what metrics to look for to increase engagement and conversions from casual website browsers to actual sales.

I’ll also cover where to find important demographic and user details that might surprise you (I have website visitors from Kazakhstan? Cool! )

How is my website doing? A Snapshot of Your Audience Behavior.

The very first thing that they can provide you with is a snapshot of how your website’s doing.

So, click on Audience Overview and here it will tell you what your bounce rate is, your pages per session, and your time per session.

These are some metrics to focus on improving:

Bounce Rate.

Ideally, you want your bounce rate to be as low as possible.

Typically, it will hover up at least around 30% depending on your industry If it gets any higher than, let’s say 70, then you’re doing something that you want to change, because people are coming to your site and then they are leaving right away.

Pages Per Visit.

Pages per visit ideally should be at least 4.

So, again, you want people to come to your website and be engaged and find what they’re looking for and look at multiple pages.

Time on Site.

The same rule of thumb applies for Time on Site. More is better.

You want your website visitors to spend a lot of time on your website.

I always compare last month’s results to this month’s, so I can see if the results are turning upwards or downwards.

Who are my website visitors? Your Audience Demographics:

And then there’s a whole bunch of other information that’s just fantastic under the Audience section.

One is demographic information.smartphone marketing

This section is where you can see what is the approximate age and gender of the majority of people that visited your site.

You can also find out geographic information – what countries are people coming from and how engaged are they per country.

You can also find out what website browsers they’re using as well as mobile devices <—This is a great way to test your website and make sure that it’s used and performs properly in the browsers and on the devices that your customers or future customers are using.

Demographics

 

Just because you use Internet Explorer, for example, doesn’t mean that your website  visitors do. Make sure your website performs well on the browsers and devices your audience uses.  

Are my website visitors engaged? New versus Returning.

Under the Audience section again, you want to take a look at Behavior.

Under behaviour you will see the percentage of new visitors vs returning visitors.  You’ll also see how often people return to your site, and how long new vs returning visitors are spending on your site.

Hint- You want to have a healthy percentage of returning visitors to your website.

How could this information help you make better website marketing decisions?

Tell me in the comments below!

This post is the second in a series of 3 posts on how to master Google Analytics – complete with handy videos :)

Give me 2 minutes and you’ll be a master at measuring your web marketing (Part 1 of 3)

If you’re wondering how to measure the effectiveness of your web marketing efforts, then look no further than Google Analytics!

Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to measure your website’s traffic & web marketing efforts.

If you have Google Analytics set up on your website , but aren’t using it, keep reading;  as a wise man once said:

“you can’t improve what you don’t measure”

In today’s Marketing Minute we’re going to cover how to use the reports found under the Acquisition section of Google Analytics. This is the first in a series of three articles on how to use the reports found in Google Analytics.

Are my web marketing results improving over time?

You’re likely spending a great deal of resources marketing your business online – when you add up the cost of your website and time spent on social media and email newsletters, it’s mind boggling to think that the vast majority of business owners do not measure their efforts for effectiveness.

Once you’re logged in, set the date range up on the top right hand side to compare your results to last month. This way you can get a good idea if your results are improving over time.

Date-Range-Analytics

Where is my website traffic coming from?

Once you’re signed in, on the left hand side click on Acquisition and then, Overview.

From there you’ll see a pie graph, which will show you the different sources of your website’s traffic:
website-traffic-top-channelsIdeally, this is going to be diversified, showing traffic from:

  1. ‘search’, which is search engines like Google,
  2. ‘direct’ – people typing in your website name directly,
  3. ‘referral’ – websites that are sending traffic to you,
  4. ‘social’ – your social media sites, and
  5. ‘e-mail’ – from your e-mail newsletter.

What websites are sending traffic to my website?

From Overview, then click on Referrals.

This is particularly useful if you have a domain name set-up for a particular campaign that is forwarded to your website or if you’re paying for any directory sites like bigyellowbookcompany.ca.

Here’s where you can see if you’re getting enough traffic to justify paying for any additional marketing efforts. You can see by how much traffic you’re getting as well as how engaged those people are that are coming from those particular websites.

How engaged are my website visitors?

Engagement can be measured by

  1. Session Duration shows the time that people are spending on your website when they come from that particular site
  2. Pages/Session shows the number pages that they’re looking at.
  3. Bounce Rate is also something to keep an eye on as well. That’s the amount of people that come to your website and leave right away. Ideally, this will be as low as possible.

traffic-sources

How effective is my social media at sending traffic to my website?

Once you’ve taken a look at that report, the next thing I want you to do is go to Social and then Landing pages. This is fantastic.

This report will show you what pages and how they’re performing as it relates to traffic from social media websites.

So if you’re writing a blog post a week, (like I recommend that you do), you can see what blog posts are performing well and which ones aren’t.

Again, you can look at

  1. how much time people are spending on your website on each of these specific pages
  2. and how many pages are they looking at after they land on that particular page.

how-much-timeAgain, if you’re promoting a particular page, say, using Google Adwords, or promoting a specific page by posting your blog posts to social networks, you can see what pages are working and which ones aren’t.

Don’t be afraid to change & tweak your website pages & their headlines to increase your engagement and your performance of your website.

If you found this valuable, please share and/or comment. Thank you so much for watching!

7 Easy Ways to Promote Your New Website

Now that you have your new website up and running, you may be wondering how to get more people visiting your site.

There are a number of easy ways you can promote your website, without going broke or spending tons of time.

Here are 7 pro strategies to promote your website.

1. Update your existing contact information.

The easiest and most overlooked method of promoting your new website- update your contact information!

Add your website address, along with a benefit statement to all your off and online points of contact and profiles.

  • Your Email Signature

  • All social media accounts: Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, etc.

  • Your voicemail message

An example of how to add to your website link and benefit statement email signature is: “Click here to learn How to Promote Your Website, the Affordable Way”

2. Make an announcement:

The launch of a new website, especially accompanied by the launch of a local business is newsworthy!

  • Emailing your personal contacts with the announcement that your website is live- don’t forget to include the link!

  • Send out a similar launch announcement message to your career contacts-clients, contractors, vendors, co workers and peers.

  • Draft a press release and send it out to any media contacts you may have

  • Ask influential people in your network to broadcast the message for you

  • Post an enthusiastic message on all your social networks announcing the launch

3. Maximize Local Listings.

Every city has multiple free listing/review websites. Take full advantage of these and add your business details to the following web properties:

  • Better Business Bureau

  • Found Locally

  • Yelp

If you’re feeling ambitious you could also add your business to free classified sites such as:

  • Craigslist

  • Facebook Marketplace

  • Kijiji

4. Coordinate & Optimize all your promotional activities:

Be sure to add a QR code, or your website address to all printed materials such as posters, brochures, signage or any other advertising you may do.

This applies to radio ads, in person networking and anything else you’re doing that is of a promotional nature.

5. Search Marketing:

If you haven’t already, consider search engine marketing. There are thousands of people searching on Google each minute of the day, and a portion of them are looking for what you’re selling.

You can get on google through Pay Per Click Ads, adding yourself and your business to Google Plus and by regularly posting new updates to your website.

Blogging is a common method of updating your website. It’s a great way to satisfy the search engines need for fresh content, and it helps educate your customers as well!

6. Social Media Marketing:

Work the network! Stay top of mind and create a community of prospective customers by being present where your target market hangs out online.

Start using social media networks like LinkedIn, LinkedIn Groups, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages to promote your website.

Connect with your existing contacts, and their contacts as well as influential people using these networking sites.

7. Paid Ads:

You can pay for premium space in all of the sites listed above. Bonus- you can zero in on your target market by selecting very specific demographics to display your ad to.

Consider your budget and audience, and do a trial run to see what kind of results you get.

photoSummary:

With these 7 tips you should create some serious buzz around, and traffic to your new website.

TIP*** Be sure to instal and use Google Analytics to measure the results of your efforts.

7 ways to use digital & mobile marketing to get better results from your radio, print and in-store marketing:

Bottom line, you need your marketing expenditures to translate into sales.

mobile marketing guyOne of the hardest types of marketing to measure for effectiveness is the offline type- radio, print and in store advertising.

Not anymore!

Maximize the return on your marketing dollars by asking your offline audience to engage with you online.

This way you can capture their data and continue to market to them in free or low cost ways to convert them into paying customers.

It sounds more complicated than it is. Really, just a few simple tweaks to your advertising campaign will net you way bigger results.

7 Actionable Marketing Strategies you can use in your business today:

 

1. Have a QR Code on all print advertising:

Your vehicle decals, in store posters, print flyers, business cards and more.

Have this QR code point to your website, sign up form or Facebook page- depending on the market and your goals. This way you can capture prospect info via their smartphones & continue to market to them in the future.

2. Run a contest:

On radio, phone or word of mouth, ask people to sign up for your newsletter or like your page on Facebook to win.

The giveaway item doesn’t have to be expensive to work as an incentive for consumers to connect with you online. Bonus, you’re then tapped into social media, where the customer already spends their time.

3. Leverage your website design: 

Create promotion specific pages.

Use specific website URLS, like, www.yourcompanyname.com/bestcontest. Then, through Google Analytics, you can track the traffic from each promotion

4. Be smartphone smart:

Get a shortcut to your mailing list and keep it on your smartphone.

Ask people you meet in person if you can add them to your mailing list.

5. Offer a discount:

On the bottom of your receipts, invoices or quotes offer discounted services for those who are a member of the mailing list, Facebook page etc.

This gives people incentive to connect with you online.

6. Use coupon codes:

Offer a small discount in exchange for the presentation of a coupon code.

This way you can both encourage consumers to act, and track your return on investment.

7. Boost the power of social:

In store, post QR codes a way to like you or check in on Facebook.

Facebook Check-Ins act as an endorsement that shows up on the news feed of that consumer’s friends.

What are some ways that you get the most effectiveness out of your Offline marketing campaigns?

Tell us your secrets to getting more sales in the comments below: