Your website is just the beginning…
As an entrepreneur, you start out with a great idea. That’s why you decide to get into business for yourself – an idea.
So you’ve got your idea, you’ve got your business plan (even if it’s just on a napkin from that diner on the corner), maybe you’ve even got some financing in place (thanks Mom and Dad!).
You’re just missing customers.
You know who could benefit from your idea. You just aren’t sure of the best way to get them familiar with your genius product/service.
May we suggest a website?
Technology has really lowered the barriers to getting your name out in the world to sell your product/service in the local, national or even international market.
We’ve talked about all this before, of course. We believe that good web design is good for business. We believe that web design that enhances your search engine optimization which means Google is your new best advertiser, We believe all this is more valuable than printing a thousand business cards, investing thousands in billboard ads or radio ads, or making hundreds of flyers and papering the city you live in.
Of course it is. Websites are your digital calling card, sales person and megaphone all rolled into one.
Good web design. Good SEO. Good start.
Yes, a good website is not the end of your marketing endeavours. Not at all. It’s a great place to begin. It will drive customers to your product/service if there is in fact demand. It can take you from your garage to an office space. Maybe even an employee or two.
It will not get you to the success you know you deserve for your hard work.
Just like in the low tech days of advertising campaigns that included print, radio and maybe television ads, online advertising has a few effective places to start. The difference is that, once again, the cost to entry is lower than in other advertising media.
A $1,000 advertising budget can get you a lot of new clicks in Google Adwords. For another $1,000, you could get launched into YouTube. Another $1,000 on Facebook ads and you can access a steady group of regular users.
The key to making these efforts effective is to send traffic back to your website! Bring all the tools together into a tidy heap – YouTube links to your website. Facebook ads send clicks to your website. Adwords – same deal.
So what’s really different about online marketing?
There isn’t really anything fundamentally different about these techniques except for the format. You still need good copy, catchy graphics and a campaign strategy to tell a story your customers will find compelling.
Plus, if you really get into it, these advertising formats can cost you as much as any other type of advertising. It allows you to start out effectively with a smaller budget, but you can’t build a brand without investing capital, whether you go with online or traditional marketing.
What is truly different about this technique is the data.
Your website, YouTube, Google Adwords and Facebook are all rife with data collection algorithms. This means amazing things for analysis. With strategically timed ad campaigns, careful monitoring of advertising analytics and access to your own website’s analytics, you can figure out what investors call Cost of Acquisition – how many dollars it takes to acquire one customer.
Plus, with hard numbers, it’s no longer a guessing game if you’re hitting your target demographic. User data these companies collect allow you to target the community, age or interest group fairly precisely, so you can narrow in on users you can actually convert to customers.
You’ll have access to all this data to improve your strategy. How amazing is that?!?
Oh by the way, if you didn’t watch that video I posted at the beginning, watch it now! It’s the first episode of the Stealth Show and it goes over all these points and much more.
Questions about your marketing efforts? Comment away!