Peter Hanley looks at Internet marketing business. With over 30 years of experience and the last 15 on the Net, we bring forward some valuable pointers.
Do you need marketing for your business?
I guess it's a pretty silly question because in 99% of cases you really do.
Things have changed over the years and while some of the old ways still exist most now come from the Internet.
Your Website, your Social Media, emails, newsletters, SMS broadcast are just part of the deal.
As a business owner, either online or in fixed premises you really need to understand what it is all about and importantly what works for you. So for this exercise, I am going to call you Joe Mc Business.
Joe desires more business without a lot of effort
There are only so many hours in a day and so many things to do and that means something will not be done. Mostly you are marketing because you can wait until tomorrow or the next day or when you have time.
Then it becomes a week, a month etc.
The rule is that a quiet day is two weeks behind a day without marketing.
So Joe now looks to an easy way to do all this internet stuff without taking away from the selling duties.
How is he going to go about this and how is he going to achieve it?
The first thing Joe will do is look for opportunities
The website is all set up and working so there are just a few things to do. Do you get calls from the website or online orders?
Does it get traffic? Are you on page one for your Keywords? These are important questions so let's get some quick answers. Try Semrush to see how you are performing or a new one is with Neil Patel to look at how good the site is.
Now it is decision time. All good, then we move on. It's bad we employ someone to fix it.
Depending on your product would you pay for AdWords. This will depend on what you are selling at what price because it may cost you $500 to $1000 a month. In some cases a lot more.
A friend of mine sells Outside sheds, $5000-$10,000 a pop so one sale gets his money back in two sales and he is well in front.
AdWords get you on the top of the page and 80% of all queries will come from page one in the first 5 lines.
On page two you have about a 10% chance of being seen and it goes down from there
There is a cost to a webpage but the older of us will remember Yellow pages and the backbreaking cost of them. However, there was no choice but to use them because they were the only media
Now Joe thinks about social media
I mentioned opportunities and this is where we need a bit of brainpower.
You can look at your customers and do a small profile on them to determine a market.
Ladies dresses, expensive, trendy then we target the 18-50-year-old ladies.
Truck tyres are men 50+ large stomachs and love a beer. ( Sorry guys, just joking)
Baby clothes and equipment. Now, this is where we get different because the biggest buying percentage is Grandparents, probably ladies over 60.
One last thing for Joe to think about could be a technical bookshop. The students would be good and the engineering types. Although it would change on Fathers Day
How do we build a customer profile?
From the social media channels, we have a lot to choose from and we don't really want to do them all.
Without a doubt, the first thing to do is make sure your LinkedIn Profile is good. Great photo, nice Bio and a good story then we can forget that for now. That is unless your target is upper-level executives.
- Facebook a must-have
- LinkedIn is becoming very popular
- Twitter for powerful people
- YouTube the fastest growing media
- others if they amuse you.
Age is now more evenly spread across the choices
Facebook started as a student medium. It then expanded to Mums and Dads and now Grandees. The new exception is that the young (under 20 ) have deserted Facebook.
I believe we should all have a Facebook page and keep it current but the best use of it is now in advertising on Facebook.
The news stream idea is good for some but for others, it does not impact as well. The demographic is now older females in my view.
Saying that when we search for a business we often look at FB to see who you are and what you care about. If the site is old and not current it drives us away.
The good news is that FB has a great message scheduler that they have set up so you can post weeks and months ahead at one time.
Grab one of your staff, give them a list and get them to keep it current.
The purpose of Social Media
This is not where you sell from, (Not yet anyway but more on that later) This is to entertain and get customers to your website or directly to you.
It is a form of customer contact that includes everything else you do. If you can't do it properly then don't do it at all. Neglect on social media, as in all marketing, is worse than not having it.
Is Instagram for you?
You will find this interesting in the whole concept of Instagram.
It was bought by the Facebook group about 6 years ago as an attachment to Facebook. It appears that Instagram has attracted a lot more management attention and it has grown rapidly and in fact now sits at over 20% of the group revenue and some experts tip it to be 70% of all new revenue in the next 3 years.
This tells me it is the place to be.
Instagram is harder to manage than all the others because they want live stories. Scheduling is frowned upon and your ratings will decrease if you use one of the online tools.
At the start it was kids, then the young and Trendy, parents and now grandparents giving across the board coverage.
Many local businesses post two or three pictures a day. All simple stuff but they keep the viewers interested. A frock shop with the latest, a HairDresser with the day's best styling. a mechanic with the day's problem.
However, you need to grow a following.
Instagram is changing the world of social media. I said before that SM was not for selling things well I am wrong, or indeed will be in the future
Instagram is trialling an online sales button that goes to paid fulfilment. Post or Pic of a product with a prominent buy button. Beta testing in the USA but this will grow like topsy.
For this reason alone, I believe you need to start building your Instagram following so when the changes come in 2020 (next year if we are counting) you will be off on the front foot.
Is this getting all too much for you?
I can see Joe now shaking his head and saying I can't do all this and we are not yet even at the exciting part.
That is why your marketing budget needs to cover the things that give the most return. I would concentrate on One media and get that going correctly before moving on. Monitor the results and analyse the returns to get the best monetary return.
What is left that is exciting?
Let's talk about Youtube. Did you know that this is growing faster than any media, including Google, as a search tool?
Also that many businesses have stayed away because of the cost and bother to make a good video.
Come back to the future, any iPhone or Ipad can do a video in minutes, load it to Youtube and share the link with your customers.
- How to do things the easy way
- Direct selling
- Creative ideas
- blogging and audio
- Music, videos, comedy and Entertainment
And a few more as well
You can even do professional videos with pictures, music, scripting for just a few dollars a week. In fact, one company lets you play for 7 days and keeps everything you do. Content Samurai free trial.
This is must-do media as it races ahead of the opposition. Don't pay hefty prices, do it yourself or let someone do it for you.
Twitter is also a remarkable tool
You can follow as many people as you want or develop a following to channel the readers where you want them to be. Joe said to me that this is not his thing so we explored it more deeply.
One guy has done really well. Donald J. Trump has changed the focus in real life. He does not tweet in the top 10 or probably 100 but the press picks up on everyone and repeats it around the world. Everyone knows what Trump thinks. How absolutely powerful is that?
A well-known writer that I follow asks a question every few days, something really easy that takes you to an article that leads you to a destination.
I keep wanting to delete him but I can't. I am mesmerised by his ability.
It is not for everyone but some will get an amazing return for a few words. It could be you.
Getting to the end with Messenger
Messenger is also owned by the Facebook group so it has a good heritage.
WhatsApp has a lot of applications and also Facetime, but Messenger is leading the market with nearly 1.3 billion users.
WhatsApp is free, messages and pictures and can be done from your phone or computer.
Customer contact is moving to messenger because of its versatility and cost. This will be a service that you will use sometime soon so get with it and give it a try.
What other forms of Internet marketing are there?
Probably the most well known is email, yes, Joe you do use email every day but do you use it for Marketing.
Email marketing still works its butt off collecting customers. A single email, bulk emails, autoresponders and Newsletters are all marketing winners and growing in strength every day. Count on yours today and see how many and what you open.
I have overlooked a few other ideas but have detailed what I believe are the main ones you should consider.
LinkedIn and Facebook are necessary, easy and cheap to operate and run. Just make sure they are kept current and direct people to your operations centre so you can sell them something.
Set up an Instagram feed and develop a following because this will be your future. I said they are Beta testing direct advertising and so are YouTube and others, the world is changing so change with it.
Do a few YouTube videos and share them with your followers or direct people to them from other media. Particularly how to do things and simple training highlights, It will increase your effectiveness.
Email is a top of the listed product and needs more consideration for your future.
I will talk about the Rule of seven. people will buy from you after 7 different touches and I have given you more than that to play with.
You will be seen as an innovative type of business that people will want to deal with. A leader in your niche or area as you pop up all over the place.
Joe, there is one last rule I want you to really understand. Your business is about selling, so everything you do should lead to a point of sale. somewhere money can be transacted.
Do not send people from a web page to a social media site because they will get lost, send them from Social media directly to Joe in the shortest possible route. Then you have a chance of a sale.