1) Create or Invest in a Modern Well Designed Website that has conversion pages and easily updated information, as well as an email opt in for updates regarding your products or services. Your website can not be an ugly brochure online any longer, it is turning away business. If you do not have a form for customers to request more info, a way to make a reservation, an email subscription box, and multiple up to date answers to the questions everyone asks about your business you are missing out on sales.
2) A Blog with consistently created content about your business that is written in a way that will result in search engines finding you and ranking you highly. Your blog is your chance to talk to your potential and current customers in your voice, to do the sales pitch of your dreams, to explain a new offering, and so much more. You should be using it to define your company’s personality, and to create identification between your customers and you. It is a tool that requires time, consistency, creativity, and a willingness to share. It should be written both for the current sale and as a permanent part of your online presence which will continue to show up in search results as long as you host it on your site.
3) You should employ a professionally scheduled system of sharing the two types of content listed above so as to maximize traffic to your website from social media outlets. This includes facebook and twitter and google plus, as well as the creation of Flickr and YouTube accounts to ‘Curate’ your photo and video content for the long haul. Search is only one way you will be found, if you develop a strong social presence you will be able to share the above two content sources with your social network and get them off your profile and onto your website, thus into your ‘selling zone’. You should have a well thought out schedule for sharing your content and it should be followed. This is not the time for randomly thinking about it and posting a bunch then forgetting about it for another week.
4) An informative email newsletter which is sent to a segmented list according to recorded click through data from your own campaigns. Your email newsletter should not be a series of buy this links, it should be a chance to share information your customer would be interested in. Monitoring who clicks on what in your emails will allow you to create segmented sub-lists that indicate peoples interests. From there you can send more specific topic emails to people who are interested in those topics. This segmentation will increase open rates and responses.
5) A willingness to be responsive to requests received from your website, social media accounts, and email newsletters. If you do all the above and your customer responds, you better be ready to be responsive yourself. Why waste all the effort and then leave a customer hanging. It sounds crazy but I see this a lot so I added it to what I first thought was going to be a four step list.
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Where to start?
I do all these things for my clients everyday (and a lot more), some of you have the time and computer skills to do this alone and I hope this gives you the framework to find more success marketing online. For those of you who need help, and want to hear what I would do for your particular case, contact me HERE.