Everything is built, but the Telephones will not Ring?

Phone Won'g Ring

You created the offer. You built the site. You bought the ads. There’s just one problem: The phone’s not ringing.

All those efforts are wasted. All that creativity, time and expense. In return, you’ve got nothing to show for it. The marketing campaign is a failure. So frustrating.

However, let me suggest an alternative reality with the same circumstances:

You create the offer, build the site, buy the ads and the phone doesn’t ring. But…you check your Google Analytics. You learn a few things. Pageviews are up 40 percent. The ads are driving the traffic to site. Also, a lot of people are getting to the offer page.

Question: Is the marketing campaign a failure? Let me ruin this with the correct answer: no.

I know what it’s like to be in a company that can’t afford to make many errors with a marketing budget, and I understand the need to make sales happen. Marketing efforts should lead to sales. But not making an instant one is not a marketing failure.

If you owned a car dealership, ran ads and tons of people showed up on your lot, I doubt you would view that as a marketing failure. Or if you invited people to an event to demo a new product and hundreds of people tried it out, you would not walk away bemoaning the inefficiencies of marketing.

Pageviews are sales leads. There is a human on the other side of that click, and your ability to engage that person in a meaningful way is the full measure the success of your marketing efforts. They may not pick up the phone and call, but they did not wonder onto your site without some degree of interest (even if that initial interest is boredom).

Here are four ways to make the most of page-views (or any sales leads for that matter):

  1. Have meaningful content. Novel, I know. Have something worth reading or learning that has value in and of itself. If you need ideas on what that content should be listen to the customers as they call in. What are their questions? What is it you wish they understood? Write about it. Make videos about it. Create and share.
  2. Stop asking for marriage. Maybe there is a woman out there to whom a proposal was made on the first date and she accepted. Maybe. More likely there are drinks, dinners and picnics before marriage, though. So stop proposing to your prospect when they just landed on a page. It’s annoying and desperate and all-around no good. Love at first sight? Sure. But love at first site visit? Not so much. Love them first and they will love you back.
  3. Create something of value for your visitors. An email newsletter is a nice start. But I’m certain there is a white paper or manifesto or something of value that you can offer in return for their information.
  4. Get to know more about the people interested in you. Why do they like what you say? What do they like? What do they want to see more on the site or from you? Offer a nonthreatening way to learn more about your following. Ask them questions in blogs, email, social media, etc. Most are not used to someone listening to them, so it starts with genuinely giving a damn and then asking.

8 Web Advertising Tips for Your Small Business

Web Advertising is one area where small businesses can compete against much larger companies within the same field. While the size of a marketing budget does influence the amount of money that can be directed towards marketing costs, on the Internet, every company performs on the same playing field. With these marketing tips below, you can help your small business grow, thrive and be successful.

1. Going wide with your brand

Establishing a well-known brand image is crucial to the growth of your company. Part of building a brand is associating the name and image of your company with quality in the minds of your prospects and current customers. When people see a brand image they know, they are reminded of the reasons they trust the company, and they may feel compelled to choose your products or services over those of your competitors. To begin building your brand, place your logo on company social networking pages and use the image in all of your marketing materials online.

2. Maximize your marketing budget

To compete against larger companies who may have a marketing budget that is exponentially larger than your own, choose your marketing avenues wisely. For example, paid search campaigns are one area that can be easily won by throwing large amounts of cash at keywords. Instead, your money may be better spent on other strategies that stretch the value of your marketing dollars, such as content marketing or natural search engine optimization improvements. You can also use social networking sites directly to speak to customers instead of paying to advertise on them.

3. Search engine updates must be kept up with

When a search engine updates the way it returns search results for keywords, businesses everywhere can experience large losses or very impressive gains in rankings. For buying-orientated keywords in popular niches, this can change the amount of traffic directed to a website from search results. To avoid being on the losing end when Google releases an update, keep the content on your site fresh and interesting. Update your pages, posts and blog(s) frequently, and optimize each page according to best practice standards. High quality content never goes out of style, and the search engines will in some cases reward your hard work and unique content.

4. Interact with your clients

Social networking sites offer your business the opportunity to interact/engage with your customers in ways that were not possible a decade ago. Customers with problems can contact you directly on Twitter, giving you the chance to positively resolve their issue in a very public way. You can use Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to interact with your customers to find out what they want from your company and get feedback on the services you offer. When your company releases new products or has news to share, you can post the updates on social networking sites. I do this quite often with Prime Media Corp and Go Apps Now and it spreads viral by infection.

5. Connect marketing strategies

To succeed with online marketing, you need to use more than one strategy or game plan. A well put together landing page or website is great to inform customers about the services you offer, but without marketing they will never find your material or content. You need to combine social, search and content strategies to reach your prospective clients in every way possible. Additionally, within every area of marketing there are several approaches to take action on.

6. Old content must be updated

Visitors to your site will show-up expecting to learn something from you in addition to finding out more about reaching out to your company or the services you have to offer. You can give them a reason to work with you by updating your existing content within your site. You can create a set of videos to feature on your site, and you can integrate content that is likely to be shared on social networking sites. Adding useful content helps build your brand image as well. When you provide potential customers with tips or tricks that are highly relevant to what they knew he or she needed when they searched for your site, you begin building a strong trusting relationship with individuals that may ultimately convince them to give you a call to find out more about what you or your business are offering.

7. Testing new features with your website or blog

The updated changes you make to your website by incorporating fresh marketing strategies should be tested for assurance that they are user friendly. Customers become all to familiar to the way a site operates, and changes can often cause a temporary dip in sales as people learn to interact with your site in a new way. To reduce the impact of changes, test each feature as you roll it out. User interface changes can lead customers towards particular areas of your website or blog you want them to see, and you can try out the strategic placing on your call to action within your content pages to find any changes that will need to be updated.

8. Keep trying different angles

As the online marketing world continues to grow, new, improved and innovative ways to market are being developed to help you expand your business. Even if the already tested methods are working well for your business at the moment, you can stay one step ahead with a willingness to try out new ideas and take different angles and or approaches to the same problems. If you are unsure of your next move with your online marketing strategy, consult an online marketing consultant or company and get references. The industry is old enough at this point that a significant amount of companies are highly specialized in a specific area, so you can benefit by finding out the different angles taken. In summary these 8 helpful techniques for online marketing are great, but action will need to be taken.

Need additional help with marketing on the web? Connect with me on LinkedIn (John Colon Jr).