Understand Prospect Touch Points
A lot of businesses who are trying to use the internet to grow their revenue seem to have trouble developing an understanding of how prospective clients and customers actually find them, which tends to lead to problems with properly leveraging the potential of online marketing to develop an expanded customer base and growth in the bottom line.
Long past are the old days when just pointing people directly to your website domain on a business card was enough – a vast number of potential clients, especially in the B2B marketplace, will never in fact reach your website when they are searching for services and products on the web. The rise of multi-channel marketing means that prospects can now find your business via anything from a a blog post to a video to an online review or even a single post on a social media account, so your online marketing strategy needs to make sure it takes every possible “touch point” into consideration – everything from message and content to the look and feel representing your brand.
Natural Search Engine Results
This is still by far the most typical first point of contact for most users. As well as trying to optimise where you appear in search results (but bear personalised search in mind when looking at SEO services – rankings aren’t an absolute measure any more so don't assume because you see your website at the top that everyone else will) you should also do everything you can to make sure that your results look good so that browsers want to click on them.
This boils down to optimising your meta data for clickthrough rate. Think of your meta titles and descriptions like your shop window – if they don’t look good nobody will come inside to look at your website. This means lavishing attention on the content here and making sure it is solid sales copy; more like writing an advertisement than an ordinary page.
A good online marketing agency can provide advice and even copywriting services to help you get this right, but even if you do it all in house make sure it is placed at an appropriately high priority in terms of resource allocation - this is definitely not something to be casually popped in afterwards!
Geographically based searches will often throw up everything from Yelp listings to Google Maps results and much else besides, so make sure you have sensible placements on the most popular platforms. Tie your business into Google Maps using a verified Google Plus profile, and ensure you have a good basic presence on most popular local directories (the “yellow pages” style websites, for those who recall such things, are often free for a simple placement). If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide on where to get placements for localised search results for your business, again a good online marketing agency should be able to assist you.
Results from Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many other platforms are showing up a lot more as first touch points for prospects, especially as people are beginning to search for products and services within these websites themselves rather than automatically hopping across to search engines for their searches.
These new hubs of social searchers are a potentially very valuable resource, especially considering the rise of mobile applications which mean a lot of smartphone users now effectively “live inside” their favourite social platforms when it comes to internet use, especially on mobile phones and tablets. Make the most of it by getting assistance from a specialist social media online marketing agency to help you set up an optimised and branded presence for yourself on these platforms.
Videos and Images
Video and image searches are a delicate balance of engaging content versus self-promotion – swamp your content with sales messages and you’ll turn off your user base, but give away too many trade secrets and you’ll haemorrhage prospects.
With more and more people starting to focus on image search – especially for consumer products – and video searches, which are popular for consultative services as a taster of the supplier’s expertise, multimedia content marketing has left its niche behind to go mainstream. More social platforms are arising focused on multimedia as well - take a look at things like Pinterest, Vimeo and Flickr to name but three. Talk to your online marketing agency about making the most of your rich content to drive extra traffic and new business, and you’ll find that a picture – or a video – really can paint a thousand words.
If you’re baffled by blogs and lost in links, pick up the phone and call +44 (0) 1227 68 68 98 today to find out how ExtraDigital can help you build a sensible and sustainable set of online marketing strategies to include SEO, PPC, social media and much more to ensure you're covering all the potential touch points for your prospective customers.