Why Do I Need To Invest in digital?
It is a well-known fact that Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing is the most powerful lead generation form of marketing. Why? Because people value their relationships and appreciate feeling connected with those they work with.
However, the most difficult part of increasing your WOM lead generation efforts is also the most obvious: scalability. Vetting, training, and building a powerful outbound salesforce in your company takes large amounts of both time and money.
So, when it comes to increasing lead generation in 2019, what is a small business supposed to do?
Build The Foundation of Your Online Presence.
Establishing a dominant online presence is the most scalable form of outbound lead generation there is. And the good news? A lot of foundational stages can be completed with little to no technical skills. So how does a small business go zero-to-one and create this foundational digital strategy that can become increasingly more powerful as resources grow? This 6-step guide will show you.
1: Centralization of Your Digital Assets Is Key.
Have a website? CRM? Social Media Accounts? Hosting? Analytics? They ALL need to be organized and readily accessible.
This one is a bit obvious but vital nonetheless. Centralizing your account information and knowing exactly what you have is the first step to a successful online presence. We all have been there, and we all know it sucks to track down this information, but it is a necessary evil.
Just like your teachers told you in grade school — organization is foundational in success.
2: Having a Functional Website With Synonymous Branding.
Your website needs to work as the user predicts and be reflective of your brand. A company’s website is their 24/7 digital salesman, and should be their best one at that. It is always running (or at least should be), always selling your services or products, and should always reflect your brand perfectly. Having a website that is not only visually appealing, but that is mobile responsive and indexing with search engines is foundational in your success online.
Our marketers typically refer to websites as your “traffic hub”, as the majority of your internet traffic should be sent here. Your company’s website needs to represent your brand so well that you would proudly encourage even your biggest potential customer to go through every pixel of the website.
There are a lot of directions we can take this conversation when it comes to correctly optimizing a website, such as speed optimization, search engine optimization, or even the basics such as purchasing a domain. Unfortunately, we can’t cover all of these today, but the key takeaways should be the following:
a. Functionality over Design
b. Populating in Search Engine results so you can reach new customers organically
c. Branding should be synonymous with other marketing efforts
If you are totally lost on where to get started, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. At the very least, we can point you in the right direction by clicking HERE.
3. social Media. Social Media. & More Social Media.
Social. Media. These two words have been injected into our daily conversation since the early 2000’s and have now come back dressed up in a suit to try and make your company money. Utilizing Social Media for your business and online presence is an extremely powerful way to spread your marketing reach across the entirety of the internet, connecting with potential customers and users like never before.
From a developer’s perspective I personally see this subject in a way that relates more to your search results… Having a social media presence established and connected to your website is extremely important and should be your first step. Why? Because it acts as additional relevant search queries when people type in your company’s name into a search engine. So instead of just seeing your firm’s website as the top result, the user will also see the social media pages as additional results as shown below:
This is a fantastic way to ensure when the user is searching for your brand, they find multiple mediums to connect with you. So what about maintenance? We strongly encourage every company starting out to produce their social media internally, as it always seems much more organic and it is purely a time investment. It only requires a few posts a month to stay active on most platforms but the potential ROI of even just one large customer considering your service is well worth the few hours of work a month.
4. Outbound Pay-Per-Click Marketing Is KING.
Marketers will argue with each other over if organic or paid strategy is more powerful. The truth is you need a mix of both from the very start but, according to Facebook, paid strategy is becoming increasingly more powerful. *Gasp* Does this mean you need a digital agency that you pay thousands of dollars to just to get going? Heck no! With dedicating small ad budgets to BOOST your newly created social media content, you will be favored with better results. Why? Because Facebook and Instagram make their money off of advertising. If you want to make these platforms work for you, you need to work for them as an advertiser. Creating a mutually beneficial relationship with these social media giants will certainly reward you with increased viewership of your posts, and the beautiful thing about boosting your posts are the targeting parameters behind doing so. Follow THIS guide for great results.
Now, this does not need to be an extremely complex process for getting off the ground. Note I put that in italics because at a certain point, it certainly should be a highly-complex digital strategy and funnel in order to earn the biggest ROI. But, for getting started, all you really need to be doing is the following:
a. Dedicating a small monthly budget to boosting your Facebook/Instagram posts to your selected target demographic (we recommend $5-10/post getting started).
b. Dive lightly into Google Ads and learn how to make a Google Search Campaign. All you have to do is set a small daily budget on the keywords that you placed emphasis on with your website’s SEO. Mirroring the important keywords on your website with a Google Search Campaign will tell Google you are dedicating to ranking for those keywords both organically and paid and in turn they reward you with significantly better results than just doing one or the other. Simple, fast, and highly rewarding.
5. Getting Organized With Your CRM.
What is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and why do I need one for my small business? Going back to the good ol’ “organization is foundational in success” rule, this applies directly for having a CRM.
Your website should connect to your CRM by pushing form fill data to it. You should treat this as the new age rolodex, putting any business card or leads you receive as a Contact in your CRM. Building your CRM is an incredible way to not only collect invaluable consumer data, but it also allows you to centralize your email/phone number lists in one location.
When you begin to move into more advanced digital marketing efforts, you and your future digital agency will thank you profusely for having your customer email/phone list built out. Why? Because it will allow you to create custom “lookalike” audiences on platforms such as Facebook. This means that the AI running the Facebook Ads targeting will scour through the uploaded email/phone list and target similar users to those that appear on your list. Why is this powerful? Because your ads will now be even more targeted to potential customers who act, talk, and practically walk just like your current/past clientele.
6. Data Is Your Compass. Don't Get Lost Without It.
Doing any form of digital marketing, social media, or website development without data analytics is a lot like trying to drive your car from your house to work while wearing a blindfold. Sounds scary, right? Well for conversation’s sake, let’s assume you made it to work somehow. You got extremely lucky to end up at the end goal, but since you have no idea how you survived, what angles you turned at, or how fast you were even going, you now have a process that is nearly impossible to repeat. The same goes for marketers who are shooting out ad campaigns without actually tracking everything they are doing.
Data Analytics is the key to understanding every piece of your online presence’s performance and, as your traffic hub (website) is receiving users, don’t you want to know how many stayed or from what medium they came from? Whether that’s Google, Facebook, or a Direct Search? How about how many called your company and converted as actual customers? All of these insights and more are entirely possible to glean from data analytics. And it is not even hard, or expensive, to set up the basics.
Using Google Analytics (GA) is the best place to start. Whether you developed your website on WordPress, Wix, Magento, or nearly any other Content Management System (CMS), chances are it easily connects to GA. The beautiful thing is that not only is it easy to set up, it also is open source, which is nerd talk for free. There are thousands of open source guides available on the internet that are fighting to get you to read how to install GA. Find the guide that is tailored to your CMS and follow it! Otherwise you will be kicking yourself for doing all of this work and not tracking it.
Tackling these six steps is not an easy feat, but, neither is starting a business. After all, nearly everything listed in this article is a time investment, not a capital investment. So, spend your time wisely and follow these steps!
Or, if you really don’t want to, you also found the right place! Nativz is your “Army of Nerds,” based right here in Dallas, Texas. Our team is here ready to build you an amazing online presence when you are.
Thank you for reading and have a great day — your nerds at Nativz love you.