Businesses old and new can benefit from online marketing. Internet Live Stats shows there are over 4 billion searches made on Google each day. 90% of overall desktop web searches are made on Google! Lack of an online presence leads to missed opportunities. This is where the 4 Pillars of Online Presence come into play.
As marketers, we believe online presence begins with:
- Business Listings
- Digital Advertising
It is easier than ever to build a website. Platforms like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace were made for ease of use. While the process is easier than before, creating a practical design and user experience (UX) is not. UX can mean the difference between a potential client or a lost opportunity. Your site’s UX can be based on functionality, size of fonts, colors used, the arrangement, and how responsive it is. Fonts can be too small to read, or awkwardly placed. Colors can clash. Responsive design ensures the information is received the different screen sizes.
A website for your business can share your story. Why did you start this company? What are your values? What kind of products or services do you provide? Sharing this information can move users to call you, email, or purchase a product or service. These actions tie back with UX as we try to drive users to them.
On the technical side, grabbing info from web visitors is vital to online marketing. Popular tools would include Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. Track where users visit your site from, and what actions they make when they’re on your site. You can even integrate your website with databases and CRMs that your business use!
Online marketing includes business listings. For a local business, it is critical to verify listings. We suggest companies start on Google My Business, Yelp, Bing, and YP. Name, address, and phone (NAP) consistency helps search engine ranking. Your business should show the same NAP on all platforms. NAP also helps out your current and future customers with finding the correct info.
Listings allow you to show more than just NAP info. Categories, hours, website links, and even photos! Think of a listing as a business card, just online.
Outside of the primary listings, there are hundreds of sites online that you can list your business through. Also, we now have the availability of voice searches! Platforms like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Bixby, and Google Assistant work with voice search. Business listings are critical to having online visibility. Listing management services make it easier to handle all of these sites in one place. Listing management allows you to control more than 60 listings in one place and update them with one click.
Reviews can make or break a business. Why does this impact marketing? 97% of online users look for reviews before visiting a local shop. What does this mean? People want to know what others think of you! It’s really as simple as better reviews = more customers. Whether you are B2B or B2C, reviews help us make decisions.
Negative reviews make an impact, as well. 1 negative review can lose you up to 22% of your customers. The percentages more than double with 3 negative reviews. We recommend that all reviews are responded to in a timely and respectful manner. Responses show that you care about what people have to say. Whether its an angry customer who was clearly wronged or a person with unreasonable expectations, responses help bring in previous and new customers.
Consumr Buzz has a platform for review management. You can text or email your clients to get feedback within our web app! Poor feedback is stored and can only be viewed by the business. Positive reviews lead users to leave that feedback on sites you choose like Google, Facebook, or Bing. We believe companies should have an opportunity to rectify a situation before it becomes public.
Marketing is an investment. All businesses should set marketing budgets. While SEO is a practice that should always be implemented, it cannot be rushed. Digital Advertising allows you to display in front of target audiences immediately. Platforms like Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads enable us to do that.
“But how much does it cost?” That is really up to you! Ad campaigns allow you to set budgets. Ads can be set to either daily or lifetime budgets. Depending on how your set up the ad, clicks, impressions, or conversion are what you get charged for. Adwords allows us to create ads that either display on search or display networks. Facebook can connect with Instagram to display amazing content-driven ads. Regardless of your industry type, digital advertising is a powerful tool to use.
With target audiences, you can get very specific. Interests, behaviors, gender, income, and location can all be used. If your a local business, you wouldn’t want to target other states, which is why we use targeting. This helps optimize your budget. The content of the ad must also be relevant to that audience. Using Action words, captivating photos, and landing pages help users click on your ad.
Putting it all together
We’ve briefly learned the why and how for online presence. Online marketing consists of a spectrum of avenues that businesses to run through. We believe starting out, a company should have a website, business listings, reviews, and then move into digital advertising. This plan can help you see the real power of online marketing.