Sometimes in business you need to look back…
… to see the future but what does this have to do with your small business online marketing? Well, funny you should ask… Recently on Small Biz Matters we’ve interviewed Andy Farrell; online digital guru and local business owner of Eventsity.com about to integrate the digital space into your business DNA. And the best way to develop this skill is by looking at the way your clients in the past and in the future have and will engage with you online. Let me explain (or rather convert Andy’s wealth of knowledge into a five useful strategies).
Firstly this article presumes you have a solid, well developed website which is the cornerstone to your online presence. Without this there is nowhere to direct your clients, activate their interest and convert this into revenue.
Rule #1: You need to commit to embrace digital and build an understanding of the way it works. Now that’s a big ask for us small business owners who wear many hats. We all know that committing to online advertising is a must (i.e. get an excellent website that blows your competition out of the water) but a real understanding means HOW a marketing campaign is working to direct clients to you. If you’re going to splurge on online advertising make sure you get real data from it. How many people have visited your website? Within your site where did they navigate next? Have they visited you in other online spaces? Was it an offer, if so what proportion engaged with it? Did those new clients turn in to returning, referring clients?
Rule #2: Understand that it's no longer about selling, it's about helping
Shouty ads didn’t work in the 80’s so why would straight advertising about how fabulous you are work now? You need to position as the expert by providing your audience with “helpful advertising” becoming the expert in your field. Developing this rapport enables clients to feel comfortable with you and better still, refer you to others. Blogs are a great example but supplying useful info from other experts displays how you are in touch with what clients are looking for.
Rule #3: which is Build a predictable customer funnel
Your funnel ideally should have five stages: Acquisition, Activation/Engagement, Retention, Referral and Revenue. Using this model discover how and learn from your clients when they navigate to you online. How do they search for you? In which social media are they present? What’s their path to your website?
Rule #4: Find your remarkable story
Be the one who stands out in the crowd. Niching isn’t just about being different from your direct competition in business but also being unique, memorable and remarkable in your online presence. “Viral” and “high hit rate” doesn’t just happen to big companies with massive marketing budgets. In fact, often its small businesses just like us.
Rule #5: Design for mobile first
Responsive is a MUST when it comes to developing your online presence – and not just for your website but remember your remarkable posts, your blogs and newsletters will (hopefully) be shared across many devices – so make sure potential contacts can read them!
So much knowledge to share in this column so if you’re hungry for more make sure you check out the podcasts with Andy and myself via the Small Biz Matters Podcasts page. Now THAT’S an example of predictably funneling you to my helpful, non-shouty, uniquely remarkable story as a radio presenter which will of course work on your mobile…