Online marketing isn’t something new for small businesses to consider anymore. In fact, it’s quite the opposite… having been going on for years and seemingly has no end in sight. Yet, far too many small business owners neglect how important online marketing is for their business success. Among the reasons this seems to be the most common. Another money. And yet another is that they don’t care. The reality is; however, customers do care and to be relevant in today’s crowded marketplace, being online is a must
Ten years ago, it may have been a choice to jump on the online movement, but now it’s an absolute must to survive and thrive as a small business. With over 85% of searches for products and services happening online, it’s just a “duh” at this point. being online means having a responsive, search optimized website as well as an engaging and growing following on social media plus using email as part of your marketing mix
Online or Offline Marketing… Do You Have to Make a Choice?
Many businesses, particularly those that don’t sell anything online, often complain that there’s not enough time in the day to “do it all” and as a result, online marketing gets shoved to the side. Unfortunately, this isn’t how customers make decisions. The reality is consumers – likely even you – turn to the internet to discover what to do, where to go, who to buy things from and more. Keeping this in mind, shopping online isn’t the only reason people go online. Instead, being online leverages multiple avenues for small businesses to gain visibility among consumers. Leveraging your online and offline marketing together can more than double your efforts.
The single most important reason why you must be online
Consumers have too many choices these days and they must be constantly reminded that you exist. The best way to reach them is where they spend a good bit of time… which is online.
And that, friends, leads us to the single most important reason you need to be consistently and efficiently using online marketing as part of your sales strategy… customers. Customers are online, which mean you need to be, too.
Email. It’s the granddaddy of the internet; the antique of communication; a relic of a former age. It’s tried, tested and has been around for donkey’s years. But, if you’re of the opinion that anything old must be rubbish, think again.
Email marketing is one of the most powerful elements in your toolbox of marketing gizmos. Despite other marketing methods receiving more attention (and often more budget), because they’re a bit newer, shinier, sexier, or whatever, email still deserves its crown as the champion of amazing marketing results.
Think you know email marketing? Let’s discuss thee face-melting facts that might just shift your opinion…
- Only 7 per cent of companies use email as a brand building tool
Comparatively, email is mainly used as a sales channel, with 26 per cent of companies using it to sell their products and services. Conversely, only 7 per cent report using it to build brand awareness. Sounds like a missed opportunity to us.
Think about it. If you’re on the mailing list for a particular company, and every day you get an email that says ‘hey, here’s our stuff, now go buy some’, what would be the outcome of that experience? Would you
- A) Go buy some stuff immediately
- B) Buy some stuff andtell your friends about it
- C) Unsubscribe
Chances are the outcome would be C. Be honest now, you know we’re right.
Now, let’s consider another scenario. You’re on the mailing list for a particular company, and every day you get an email that says different things. Some days they send you a video, sometimes it’s a hack or tip about their product. Sometimes they just send you something amusing, occasionally they ask you to buy their stuff; not often, but occasionally. What would you do now?
Emails that vary in content and focus on adding value to the customer instead of just being an eternal pushy inbox salesman are much more likely to resonate with your audience. Instead of hovering over the spam button, recipients will start to look forward to your email, will be more likely to open it and may even tell their friends. This sort of benefit is harder to measure than direct sales but results in you building a loyal fan base of customers who will come to you when they are ready to buy.
Now that’s an opportunity worth taking.
- Not that many people use social media (when you compare it to email)
What? Are you crazy? Everyone is on Facebook!
They aren’t. Maybe everyone in your circle of trust is on Facebook, Twitter and suchlike, but that’s not everyone.
Email has around three times as many users as Facebook and Twitter combined, totaling around 3.7 billion in 2017. Email crosses boundaries that social media doesn’t, forgetting age, ethnicity, geographical location and more. Older people tend to be less active on social media, but most of them will have an email account. Teenyboppers might prefer to hang out on Snapchat or Instagram, but again, will have email.
Email is highly personal, reaching out directly to each and every customer on your database, and retains an average open rate of around 21.7 per cent. Conversely, changes to the Facebook algorithm means less than 6 per cent of your fan base will actually see your post, and if you have more than half a million likes, it goes down to just 2 per cent.
One more item to add: what happens if Facebook dies, *GASP*? What, you think it could never happen? Hands up if you remember Myspace.
Social channels come and go in popularity all the time, and even if Facebook does reign supreme today, what if there’s a sudden exodus of users to another channel a year or two down the road? Companies investing thousands in Facebook marketing are suddenly left with nobody to market to, but you’re not. You know why? Because you’ve got their email address.
- Email has the highest ROI of any marketing activity
According to figures from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), email marketing has an average return on investment of R640 for every R17 spent, making this the highest ROI marketing activity you can undertake. A fifth of the respondents to the survey even claimed figures as high as R1150 per R17, and yet, were only spending around 10 per cent of their marketing budget on this activity.
And it’s not just the straightforward high ROI that’s making email marketing a winner; a good deal of weighting must be applied to the ease of tracking and measuring this ROI, something which is not so straightforward with other channels. For example, despite more than half of SA businesses spending more on social media marketing in 2017, only 10 per cent have figured out how to measure their ROI.
When it comes to ease of measuring impact, the rankings go something like this:
- Online advertising
- Direct mail
- Mobile ads
Because email is easy to measure, it’s also easy to control. It’s simple to test whether something is working or not, and it’s easy to validate its worth to those who hold the purse strings. This makes it attractive, both from a marketer’s point of view and from a business one too.
Take control of your local SEO.
Every search is a local search. Using the Bizzexpose Knowledge Engine to manage your local listings, your locations and people will perform better in search results and your customers will find the information they need. Learn how we help local businesses improve their local SEO with us today.
Find your centre.
Save time and ensure your information is correct across channels by centralizing your data. Bizzexpose enables you to power your internal systems, website, and mobile app, along with our entire Power Listings Network, all from a single central source. Search engines will trust your site and consumers will find you more easily.
One of the keys to local SEO is making sure your data is consistent everywhere. Our custom-built local landing pages and integration-based partnerships with Google, Apple, Facebook, and over 100 other third-party apps, maps, and directories mean you can be sure your information is the same — everywhere.
Power rich experiences.
Intelligent services are answering questions about your brand every day by providing reviews, locations, people and events as structured data in search engines or as voice responses. SEO is no longer about just showing up first in a list of results, but providing the right information to consumers through rich experiences. If the data on your web pages is accurate, consistent and optimized, these intelligent services consider your website to be an authoritative source, and they will use your data to power these rich experiences.
Be clear. Be crawlable.
You need your information to be easy to read — both for customers and for intelligent systems. Yet Directories, Locators, and Local Pages are built according to industry standards and best practices. We tag every field, from categories, to hours, to events, ensuring search engines understand all your information, so it shows up in search and powers the rich experiences provided by intelligent services
Below are 11 fascinating social media statistics, which will blow the mind of all social gurus. Even if you consider yourself the “Cookie Monster” of paid advertising on social, the astounding statistics provided below do not lie regarding how businesses are flocking to promote their content on social media.
- 1 Million: The number of small or medium sized businesses advertising on Facebook
- 500,000: Total number of Facebook pages promoting posts
- 2.5 Million: Total number of Facebook promoted posts
- 59%: Percentage of Facebook’s revenue that comes from mobile
- 21.7%: Facebook’s share of worldwide mobile internet ad revenue in 2014
- 45%: Percentage of ads in the 2013 Super Bowl that included Twitter hashtags
- 81%: Percentage of Twitter’s advertising revenue that came from mobile
- $200,000: Cost of a 24-Hour Promoted Trend on Twitter
- $5.6 Billion: Gross revenue that YouTube was expected to generate in 2016
- $850 Million: Amount of revenue from video advertisements on YouTube served in the United States
- $100 Million: Estimated about that Samsung spends on Facebook advertising per year, making the creator of the Galaxy phone the largest advertiser on Facebook
Advertising on more established social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube now provide yearly data, which demonstrates the relevancy of promoting content via social media. Whether you are one of the major players like Samsung advertising heavily on Facebook or a smaller company, like an apartment community in Charlotte, the results will speak for themselves.
Why is Instagram the fastest growing social network?
Newer platforms like Instagram have allowed selective companies to start advertising on its photo sharing application. According to Tech Crunch, the reason why Instagram is so popular is because of the limited distractions on the application (hence, no advertisements).
The real question is how social marketers will react if the organic reach via social continues to decrease. Creating compelling content is time consuming and the backbone of social. As the saying goes, “With hard work comes great reward.”
If there is no reward for the organic content that is being created, some of the most powerful social networks could start to lose users. Unless marketers accept that to be seen, you must pay a pretty penny. If this is the case, the statistics referenced above will just continue to grow.
What Is PPC?
PPC or Pay-Per-Click advertising is the process by which you are able to advertise your website online, targeting consumers by demographic and driving that traffic to your site, paying only for actual advertising results – making the results statistically more cost-effective than traditional media.
Pay per click means you only pay every time somebody clicks your ad (and goes to your website). That means you only pay for results. Win!
You know them: they are the little ads on the side bar while you are on Facebook, the text on the side and top of Google trying to get you to click them instead of the results of your search, the banners around the YouTube videos you watch. Annoying sometimes (okay most of the time) – but haven’t you, at some point, clicked one? People do. And they work. And no one had to hold a sign out on the corner and freeze to death.
Okay, so you don’t do homework in exchange for fried chicken and your website probably already gets some traffic, but you are looking for more, a lot more, and more business generated from your website. Why choose PPC over any other type of internet marketing?
PPC is an excellent counterpart to every internet marketing campaign. Ultimately, SEO will get you the very best results (making you rank high enough on Google will get you traffic for those highly searched keywords, every time), and social media is an integral part of a successful web presence, but if you want immediate traffic and can’t afford to adjust your website to search engine criteria or put the time into a successful social media campaign, PPC works – immediately.
The Benefits of PPC
PPC works on a bidding system. You can competitively bid so more people see your ad and the better you are at this science, the more your ad will appear and the less you will pay every time someone clicks the ad and goes to your website. This means if you put an ad up today, you can get traffic today from that ad! No waiting! And you wanted to be top of the list? With competitive bidding, you can – immediately.
How about new product releases, the new daily deal for your shop or online store? Change any ad for any season or reason and the change is immediate (note: most ad carriers take a few minutes to a couple hours to approve ads, but it’s a quick turnaround).
Don’t you wish you could target only certain types of people from certain places with certain interests with your advertising and not have to pay for people who don’t care to see your ads? Well, with PPC you can!
Depending on the medium used to show your ads, you can target gender, language, geography, times, and so much more. Using Facebook, you can target only people who like a certain company
Here’s a quick look at what you can target (or exclude) with a few of the main PPC advertising means out there.
- Google: location, gender, age, language, keywords, websites (particular and categories), time of day, type of computer/mobile device.
- Facebook: location, gender, age, time, language, interests (this a huge one: both particular and general), type of computer/mobile device, & whether they are fans or even friends of fans!
- LinkedIn: location, company, job title (function and seniority), school, skills, group, gender, & age.
I bet your advertising mouth is watering as you begin to imagine the possibilities these targeting tools have for your business
So What Are You Waiting For?
Pay Per Click advertising is alive, well, and here to stay. Getting direct, immediate traffic to your website will never go out of style. However trying it on your own can lead to epic failure (we hear that a lot from our clients). Give us a call or shoot us an email. In fact, check out our PPC services page. We can give you a full proposal of our services – just ask – and we’ll have you on your way to generating some real traffic to your site, and more business to your business.
Awesome Things You Can Do with Google Analytics
Here are a few awesome things you can do with Google Analytics that will help you get the most out of your analytics information and use it to improve your website’s content, conversions, and user experience.
- See your most important analytics data first.
If there is one (or more) pieces of data you want to see at a glance every time you login to your analytics, be sure to set it up in the Dashboards area. You can create multiple dashboards, each of which can contain multiple widgets. To create a new dashboard, simply go under Dashboards in the menu bar of your analytics and then select New Dashboard. Then add your widgets. You can choose from widgets that show you one particular metric, a pie chart comparing metrics, a timeline of one to two metrics, or a table showing a dimension with two specific metrics. Each type of widget can also be filtered.
- Find out which online campaigns bring the most traffic and conversions.
Have you been curious which of your online marketing campaigns (anything from local search to social media marketing) are the most successful in terms of bringing traffic and conversions to your website? Then it’s time to look at your advanced segments.
To create an advanced segment, click on the Advanced Segments dropdown and then the New Custom Segment. If you wanted to track traffic from local search directories, then call your custom segment Local Search Profiles and start entering the sites you have profiles on such as maps.google.com/maps/ for Google Places and yelp.com for your Yelp listing.
Once you have entered all of the domains you want to track, you can preview the segment to ensure it is pulling the right data and then save the segment. To view it, click on the Advanced Segments, check the custom segment you want to view and click apply. Now you can see all of your traffic and goal conversion data that arrives from those sources which will give you a good idea of what is working the best for your website. With the right custom segments, you can find out the ROI of your social media campaign as well as your other online marketing strategies.
- Determine where your best visitors are located.
Have you considered using advertising via Google, Facebook, or other services? If not, it might be a daunting task to determine who you should target during your ad setups. Many of them will ask if you want to focus on a specific country or target your ad worldwide.
Thanks to Google Analytics, you don’t have fret any longer. Simply look under your Visitors menu to see the Location demographics of your visitors.
- Learn what people are searching for on your site.
Most people know how to find the keywords that bring visitors to their sites from search engines. But how would you like to go beyond that to find out what visitors are searching once they are on your site?
If your website has a search box, go ahead and perform a search to see the URL of the search results. Once you have this for your site, click on the settings wheel icon in the top right corner of your Analytics menu bar and find your Profile Settings. Under Site Search Settings, select the option to do track Site Search and enter s as the query parameter (or the one that fits your site’s URL structure).
- Visualize what people click on the most.
Curious where people are making the most clicks on your site? In-Page Analytics under the Content menu will pull up your website in the Analytics browser with information on the percentage of clicks that have happened on each internal link on your site.
You can hover over each link to see additional details and click through to more pages on your site to see more details. This can help you visually see what areas of your site are the most popular, and help you identify where people are clicking on your site. So if you have a particular link you want visitors to see, you should be sure to place it in the areas of your website that receive the most clicks.