As we all know goals are important. At the start of the year, they seem to be front and center. Digital Marketing for your business is no different. There is no time like the present to get started with it.
Two Sides of the Content Coin
Content discussions have been going on since the start of SEO and internet marketing. Despite the topic sounding the same the reality is that the end user has become more demanding in what they want. In the past we have said we need to put-up high-quality content, but we never really say why or what the benefits are from doing so other than maybe getting a higher Google ranking. Despite that being true, there are really two sides to this and as we walk into the new year that need become more defined.
So for many years we have talked about adding content in the form of evergreen pages and blog pages to help feed Google. We are very deliberate in word count and in technical structure, but do we stop to consider the user. In years page, no they were just a piece of bait out on the internet waiting for a client to come a long, click through and realize how great we are. Those days are gone.
Now we may put out a page of content, and we need to put the end user first. Google of course is still in the equation and structurally we do want to include certain items. However, the page now must be written from a more informational or educational standpoint. We need to demonstrate we are experts, a core theme we stress here at Vertical Web.
So my challenge and goals for website owners and marketers are to write solid content for their users. Make sure its engaging and creates interest in what you do, but do not be pushing the ‘sale.’ There are ways to do that gracefully and usually if you can master that you have a far higher success rate in our present climate.
Once you write out that content or those evergreen parts of your website then go back and fix it for Google, but in reality if you do that correctly, you are also fixing it for your end user
Avoid Missing the Mark
I often see website designers that miss the mark in being clear for their end users. It is always a good idea to create a clean website with a lot of white space and keeping is simple. But there is a thing as being too simple. Often to be creative with language, it often does not send a clear message back to others about what a website is about. If the website is unclear so will the ROI. End users are looking for information. They are picky in how they interact with the content. Adding confusion to the top of this will only diminish the value of what you do.
In the same vein it is equally as important to make sure you are also using the right images to convey your messaging. Its again a common mistake we see, but images need to be aligned with the subject matter.
Case in point, I am in the process of building our new verticalweb.com website and in that process I had gotten some outside brand opinion on positioning. And their comments were that we are a different type of company and then proceeded to suggest using abstract images for the home page. The problem is that the public has a certain expectation so putting a picture of paper ships in a bathtub does not convey we stand out in the crowd. There are so many jokes there. But the point of the matter is standing out in a crowd sometimes means you have to understand your audience and use images that work for them.
Understanding and Educate Potential Clients
Educating potential clients is always a solid way to earn trust and create leads. However, its one of those things small business owners often miss the mark on. Very often they want to tell people what they have to offer rather than listening to them and seeing what they need or how you can make their solution fit. Listening is one of the best ways to understand our clients. And best of all they often give you the content to your website on a silver platter.
Most business are barraged daily with questions. I think those questions are some of our greatest generators of content. If one person is calling to ask that question, there is probably 20-30 more behind it. Understanding that is a way to help create content that is meaningful. By providing good solid answers to questions and appearing in Google search with them, you create an atmosphere of being an expert and that will go a long way to gaining new business, without having to beat someone over the heard or use guerilla marketing tactics. There is so much noise out there and users are becoming immune to it all.
More Content for B2B Clients
This is an important goal for business. Learn to address your potential clients in the way that appeals to them. And promote that content in the right places. What that means is for the most part, picking the right social media platform is extremely important. As small business owners we need to work smarter not harder. You must think about who your audiences are. Depending on what my services are, dictate what social media platform to dump time into. For my company, LinkedIn is where I primarily focus. Our hosting clients do at times use Facebook to reach out to us, but for the most part they enjoy our staff photos and reminders for class, but my primary lead source is LinkedIn.
What that means is the content you create should be geared more for you the people you want to do business with. Most of my posts and classes are for small business owners or mid-size business that does not have an inhouse department but rather a marketing director that needs to outsource their digital components. That is really a whole blog topic on its own, but we know our clients. Therefore, the content we come up with the subject matter we teach in our clinics are all geared towards those folks. So, putting that information on LinkedIn becomes important. So gearing content towards the potential client in a hope to educate them is a solid strategy for lead generation. And this should be done via blog and picking the right social media channels for your business.
Decide on Your Brand
May small business owners miss this mark on building a brand and this should be a focus for this year. With all the clutter, there is a natural pull to move towards brands people trust. If you are the business owner, you also are included in this. Your business reflects who you are.
How does a small business do this? Well, community involvement goes a long way. It does not require a lot of money. But being involved in your community, the chamber of commerce, outreach, and charity groups. Frankly anything you do is a networking opportunity. But support your brand in both your community and on social media.
People knowing you and seeing you will help them make buying decisions that involve your company rather than picking the big box names that may or may not provide the service you truly need.
Consider Running Webinars and other Online Events
Online events have gained in popularity since COVID. In general, all age groups have become familiar with the concepts, simply because they were thrust into it with no warning. But the outflow is that webinars and online seminars are well accepted and received. Putting this to work for your business is not hard. Add in the on-demand aspect, this allows for better interaction with prospective clients that can now see you as the rock star you are.
This is not hard. In fact, Zoom makes it easy. Just remember to record your session and you then have a ready to use video or audio file for you on demand class or webinar.
Start an Email List
So everyone complains about spam. But admit it you look for your daily notices for specials, maybe your stock tips or maybe what’s new on NetFlix. If you build a good relationship with your clients and prospects they will feel the same way you do about the emails you look for daily. No don’t spam anyone but a well-developed and well used Email marketing list is a must for any business.
And for the Crystal Ball Prediction: Voice Search
On Demand Replay of The Internet Marketing Clinic Ep. 202