Now a days, marketing can be boiled down into two categories: Outbound Marketing and Inbound Marketing. Outbound Marketing is the aggravating, expensive, and ineffective stuff that we all despise.
Commercials, postcard campaigns, cold calls; all of the marketing techniques that interrupt and force themselves in front of us and especially others.
Five to ten years ago, that was almost the only way to get your name out there. The only method available to business owners and corporations to garner any recognition at all.
The World Has Changed, Don’t make your fingers do the walking.
Today is different. Do not call lists, DVRs, the internet. How people consume and deal with media and advertisements has evolved. There are countless methods developed or used for the sole purpose of avoiding invasive advertisements. Throw away that phone book.
Alright then, how do you get access to your market without annoying them to death? The answer is Inbound Marketing.
Inbound marketing is utilizing a variety of medias to provide value to potential customers who are already looking for your product or service without forcing yourself infront of them. Through this value, you develop a loyal audience that will both become clients as well as help spread the word about your company.
Out of Date Should be Out of Mind
In the old days, the closest thing that you could get to Inbound marketing, without breaking the bank, was called the Yellow Pages. As a result, businesses ended up tailoring their entire business for better results.
Back then, if your business was selling widgets, you may have named it AA widgets. Then someone would come along to one up you and name their business AAA widgets. Simply attempting to get ahead of you.
The other recourse for consumers was dialing 411. At the time, you could consider it the first search engine.
Operators would recommend businesses according to how they were listed in alphabetical order. It also depended a lot on the kind of mood the operators were in and probably a slew of other factors. I’ve even heard scandal fraught stories of bribes and the like.
In the beginning 411 was a free service. Today a 411 call costs $1.79 plus air time. It was another scenario where Businesses were named so they would get listed high in according to alphabetical order and show up first in their category.
The Wild, Wild, West World Of The Internet
Now, your alphabetical rank means nothing. Today, whether your business finds success or not depends on the wild, wild, west world of the internet. Through a balanced diet of SEO (search engine optimization), Social Media, and a variety of other internet marketing methods.
One prime method is cultivating the certain principles that Internet search engines look for to rank your website. They judge businesses using a variety of algorithms, highly based on content and traffic.
An Algorithm is a prioritized list of factors that determines the relevance of your business website compared to other websites in the same field.
The more you tailor your website to fit these algorithms, higher the possibility that your business will rank on the page for that key word. This is what we call organic ranking.
If you can make your site rank high organically you can save a lot of money and avoid costly ventures like pay per click ads.
The King of Website Traffic
The king of getting organic website traffic is content. But not just any content, content that provides value.
The last couple of years, countless websites have taken the importance of content in the exact opposite direction. Stuffing their websites full of junk. Attempting to take over their market with quantity over quality.
The goal of your internet marketing endeavors should be focused on generating and developing a committed audience that are not only already sold on you and your product or service, but have no problem with spreading your marketing message through word of mouth.
So…Where Do I Start?
You’re thinking ‘easier said than done’, right? Your right. It’s not easy. If it were easy, we’d all be over night successes. (I can imagine sailing my very own million dollar Yacht to some beautiful island in the Caribbean right now…) But don’t fear, there are some simple steps that you can take to start going in the right direction.
1. Your Website
Step one, of course, is a website itself. Developing a home base online for your business. A place that people can go to to learn all that they need to know about you, your business, and what makes you stand out as the right choice for their business.
The site should be well programmed and beautifully designed to convey your companies personality and the message that you want to convey to all of your potential clients. Many times, it’ll be the first thing a potential lead will judge you on.
2. Create a Blog
A Blog is essentially a page on your website in which you post news, case studies, and valuable information to potential leads about your business, product, service, or industry. The key is to develop quality content on a consistent basis to garner a loyal audience.
It’s a truly remarkable and helpful tool in your business. It forces you, as a business owner, to further expand your knowledge and help cement ideas in your mind about your industry. It also allows you to define yourself as THE expert in your field. Providing you with a long list of marketing benefits.
3. Utilize the Large Amount of Free Marketing Tools Available To You
This includes items like Social media and Analytic Software. When you begin writing your quality content, spread the word with your various social media accounts like Facebook, Linked-in, and Twitter and track the result with analytic services like Google Analytics.
These free services are irreplaceable tools in your tool belt that you can use to figure out the best way to develop a good internet presence for your business.
4. Get Ahold of Quality Website Addresses
Though the name of your business may not have the pull it did back in the days of the yellow pages and 411, the name you choose for your website does.
When coming up with a URL (Uniform Resource Locator – or more commonly known as your website address), it’s important to start with some basic strategies. It’s best to try for a .com for a couple of reasons. Most important being that people are so conditioned to the .com that they will instinctively just put it in even if you may have a .net and you’ll miss the lead completely. It’s a problem good to avoid.
Next, think like a search engine. If you sell widgets, widgets.com would be a great URL. The bad news is that it will be probably be taken. So what now?
Think about what people will search for. What will people put in to the search engine if they are looking for widgets? Normally people search for the product or service that they are looking for and the area that they’re located. If they live in Fort Lauderdale, widgetsfortlauderdale.com would be a great idea.
Remember, people will be searching for widgets so put that word first. So, someone would search for “widgets Ft.Lauderdale”. Think like a search engine.
Don’t stop at one URL. The investment in several URLs will more then pay pay for themselves. You can easily point multiple url’s at the same website or set up satellite sites with different url’s all pointing to your main site. Pinpointing your different target markets with each different URL.
A website today is an irreplaceable tool when used properly to bring you business. Unfortunately, web designers will charge you create one, but don’t teach you how to use it. It’s like buying an air plane and not being trained to use it. Likely you’ll crash and burn.
If you’ve ever thought about doing or re-doing your website or maybe have a product idea that you’d like to sell online, give us a call. We can sit down over a cup of coffee and discuss you, your business, and your product or service.
Call Ken Cimetta 954-680-4584. Check out our website to see some of our designs, http://www.cimettadesign.com
Do you need a website, Logo, or marketing piece designed? Come on by for a cup of coffee and lets discuss you, your organization, and your product or service.