3 KEY ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE STRATEGY

As a business owner, your goal is to market your business in the most efficient manner possible. If you’re not part of the digital marketing world, you’re missing the mark. A staggering 97% of your potential customers use online searches to research products or services.

You may think this doesn’t affect you because you run a local business, but seventy-three percent of those searches are for local products and services. Of those, 82% result in an in-store visit, phone call or purchase. That’s a huge market you’re missing out on if you don’t have an online presence.

Most of your potential customers access the exorbitant pool of online knowledge the internet offers. It allows them to compare products, read reports, and educate themselves before they even step in the door of your business. Consumers embrace the digital world and if you choose to ignore this trend, you’ll end up fishing in a dry pond.

Unfortunately, only 44% of small businesses in Australia have a functional website. If they have a website they may not update them or optimise them from mobile and social media.

Fifty percent of small business owners invest 95% of their marketing budget in conventional marketing. They don’t realise how many potential customers they lose when they ignore their online presence. It’s an invisible business killer that affects you every day, and most small business owners don’t realize the negative impact. Think about this – if most of your audience searches online, but they can’t find your business; they’ll buy from your competitors no matter the day or time.

ONLY 44% OF SMALL BUSINESSES IN AUSTRALIA HAVE A WEBSITE Click to Tweet

Let’s face it, for small business owners and entrepreneurs who did not grow up as ‘digital natives’, the online world is often technical and overwhelming. If you’re not tech savvy, you should not build up your web presence without help. It takes too much time to learn and implement, but more importantly it distracts you from your core task of business development.

A smarter strategy is to work with a coach who can help you develop a smart online marketing strategy. Then you can outsource all the tactical online development tasks to an experienced team member or freelancer. Using a coach ensures you follow a plan. You certainly don’t let a web designer or programmer with no or little marketing experience to lead your marketing efforts.

Let’s look at 3 key elements of a successful online strategy:

KEY #1 make your website STAND OUT

Most small business owners struggle with their website. It needs to look professional and clean and function well. Even if they accomplish this and it is up and running, they often ignore it once it’s live. What they don’t realise is the work begins after you complete your website.

Many business owners and entrepreneurs also mistakenly invest a small fortune in a fantastic looking website, but the graphic designer did the work, not a marketing expert. These sites end up in the Internet Ocean, where they are left to drift unnoticed by customers. What a waste!

The first step is to clarify why you need a website. Your potential clients, business partners, and perhaps investors check out your business, products, and services on your website. It is the digital representation of your business and your brand.

For these reasons, your website must look professional and be easy to navigate. If you have an amateur or outdated website it says a lot about your brand. If visitors cannot navigate your website easily they’ll leave and look for someone else. If any of this resonates with you, you need to do something about it. Now, let’s discuss what your website is not.

Your website is NOT your primary lead generation machine. Of course, local businesses need to optimise their website for local searches. You want a domain name that reflects your brand and location. However, leads generally come from other sources such as your marketing efforts and referrals. Your website makes you visible online and helps you build trust and credibility.

KEY #2 LIST BUILDING FOR SUCCESS

After you have your website up to work, you need to build your client list. When you build a list, you capture the first name and email address of interested parties so you can communicate with them later. I mentioned a website’s primary function is to present your business and to build credibility and trust.

In general, a website is not very good at capturing names or for making sales on its own. Many more effective ways exist, but some people may offer their personal information if you ask for it and some people will buy without knowing your brand well. You want to collect their data so you can communicate with these people since they’re already interested.

KEY #3 AUTOMATE YOUR MARKETING

Imagine you talk to your neighbours every couple of months. Do you think you have a strong relationship? Do you think they would lend you their car if you asked them? I don’t think so. Remember, every customer who first buys from you does so for two reasons:

FIRSTLY, THEY NEEDED YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.
SECONDLY, THEY TRUSTED YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE WILL DELIVER THE PROMISED RESULTS

If your offerings are great and provide amazing value, do you think it will be easy to make another sale to an existing customer? Yes, but only if you build and maintain your relationship with them. If you do this regularly and provide great value, it is very likely they’ll buy from you repeatedly. Eventually, they could become long-term clients. Continuously building and nurturing clients creates prosperity.

The most efficient and cost-effective way to contact your database is still through email. Email marketing still provides the best opportunity to communicate directly with your audience, despite the growth of social media and instant messaging services. Email marketing works like magic when you use “education-based marketing”. Your emails centre on the client and they’re personalized and relevant. Unfortunately, many business owners fail to do this, even though the concept’s relatively simple.

Most people use the three biggest email providers: Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. These free systems are great for personal use, but not for business. They are not meant for hundreds or thousands of simultaneous emails, sequential email campaigns, or automated follow-ups.

You need an automated system for tangible results and pre-built templates such as opt-in pages. Here’s an example of how this can work. When a person signs up they immediately receive a thank you email with a download link for your gift, no matter the time or day. Another example is an automatic confirmation when the person books an appointment or buys a product.

Probably the most important reason for using a professional email auto-responder is communication. You’ll need to for consistent communications that show you can solve their problems.

Your Turn

 I can’t stress enough the importance of getting your business online.

These 3 key elements can transform your business, so they’re worthwhile investigating. When you nurture potential customers they become long-term clients, and your business succeeds.

Free Training Resources

Download my free report “New Rules of Client Attraction” and get access to my advanced Free Video Training as well. Access the Report and Video Training HERE.

Bojan Zimmermann

About Bojan Zimmermann

Bojan Zimmermann is a business strategist and marketing mentor. He helps heart-centred, purpose-driven entrepreneurs and business owners to attract more ideal clients, build a leveraged business model to make a bigger difference in the lives of others, and grow to 6-figures and beyond.

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