Website … SEO … email marketing … videos … blogs … social media … how do you decide what internet marketing tactics to employ? In our SkillBites Show this month, we asked this question of internet marketing guru Rick Simmons. Rick shared some key trends and strategies for helping a business owner determine what internet marketing methods to think about implementing in 2016.
Today, Rick explained, the buyer is in charge. Before buyers make a purchase, they typically do research on the different options and pricing, and read reviews. For sellers, that means:
- It is more important than ever to have good reviews that are easy for people to find;
- Your website needs to be set up so that it is easy for people to find the information they need about your service or product;
- You need to make it easy for your customers to give you reviews and to talk about the services or products they purchased from you. You should follow up with every customer to get a review, possibly giving them an incentive such as a discount off of future services if they post feedback;
- You need to identify where your prospects are going when they are doing their research. If they are looking on Facebook or Twitter, for example, then that’s where you need to be. If they aren’t on Instagram or SnapChat, then don’t waste your time there; and
- You need to set up mechanisms that enable you to listen to what is being said, such as Google Alerts, or Hoot suite, so you can engage in the conversation, providing value so that people remember you when they are ready to buy.
Another hot trend in internet marketing is the growth of mobile. People are doing more searches from their cell phones than on laptops, and are reading their emails on their phones. This means it is critical that your website and your emails be mobile friendly. Speaking of websites, your website is still the foundation; it’s where people go to learn about you and determine if they want to buy from you. If your website is outdated, you will lose prospects. Make sure you include a review section and case studies that demonstrate the successes others have experienced from using your service or product, and make it easy for people to find your contact information if they have a question.
Also, figure out what key words people are using to search for information on your service or product, and use these terms on your website (as well as in social media, your blog, etc.). You can use tools such as Google Adwords and Semrush to identify what terms are being used in searches and what key words your competitors are using. You can also use a tool called WooRank to analyze your website and learn what you could do to improve your website’s performance, and a tool called Klout to learn how much people are talking about you.
Regarding email, this is still an effective means of communicating, as people continue to open email. So keep building your email list, and use powerful subject lines to get people to open your emails. People really like videos, so putting more videos with good content on your website and in your blog will increase the likelihood that your message will be heard.
There’s not enough time to do everything. In figuring out what to do, consider first what you like to do (you’re more likely to do it consistently if you enjoy doing it), and second the preferences of your prospects. Try a strategy for a few months. If you aren’t seeing more engagement or more sales, then try something different. If you choose to hire an internet marketing specialist to help you, find out who they have worked for, get some references, and learn about their methodology to determine if there is a good fit before you hire them.
Rick offered a free website design prep sheet for anyone either creating a new website or revamping their website, which will prepare you for a discussion with a web designer. To obtain this prep sheet, contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.