The digital society is a busy one. Virtually every person and every company has a message to get across. And, not coincidentally, consumers have become increasingly smarter and more familiar with current technology. The result? More selectivity when it comes to acknowledging, accepting, and believing the messages being delivered to them. Online browsers don't want to be interrupted anymore. If your online marketing strategy relies solely on traditional forms of marketing like pop-up ads, your messages will likely be lost on the customers you’re trying to capture.
Standing out today is hard. There are hundreds of competitors across the nation offering the same type of service you are – how will they know yours is the business they need for the job they want? While it's not vital to abandon outward marketing, it's well beyond time to stop relying on it. This is the age of the consumer, the age of AdBlock. Customers decide where they'll visit online and Google caters to them. You can't tell Google you belong on page one of search results. Google algorithms determine this for you based on metrics that include where most other browsers go when they conduct the same search.
Online Marketing Tips that Could Save Your Business
Now, more than ever, you need a website that can help you stand out in a crowded space. Traffic is imperative. The internet is your ecosystem, and if you follow these tips, you'll thrive in it. The following is a short list of the right and wrong ways to market your franchise online:
RIGHT: Start with a Customer-friendly Website
If your website is bad, your leads and sales will be bad. Your website is the digital face of your company, and it needs to be customer-friendly. This doesn't mean bells and whistles. It's great that you're willing to spend top-dollar for your site, but you'll want to allocate these dollars a bit smarter than gimmicks. There's a practical reason for this. The bulk of internet users today are on mobile. Too much flash animation and other software could make your website load slowly, especially on mobile.
Make sure it's easy to use. Any potential customer who lands on your site should be able to request service or speak to a representative of your business. And, ideally, they should be able to do these things on the first page of your site they land on. But don't bog the front page down with too many links and information; keep it short, keep it clean, keep it easy to use.
WRONG: Selling on Social Media
On your website, sell away. It's where potential buyers go to become actual customers. But on social media (which needs to be an integral piece of your marketing campaign), you'll need to bring more to the table. Don't interrupt people on Twitter or Facebook with service or product pitches. Instead, offer insights about the problems your customer base faces. Become a thought-leader in your industry. This will earn your business trust as people reader your content and determine it to be honest and useful. Once they trust your content and messaging, they’ll be much more likely to trust your business and the service you offer.
RIGHT: Optimize for Mobile
Give yourself a chance! If your website isn't mobile-friendly you're missing out on the largest demographic of internet users. According to a Smart Insights study, mobile digital media time in the US is now at 51% compared to desktop (42%).
WRONG: Settling for a Cheap Website
You wouldn't hand a potential customer a business card made out of printer paper. A poor website has the same effect. If it looks cheap, people may think the same of your service. Remember, it needs to be customer-friendly – not necessarily fancy, but it should demand rock-solid coding. Quality coding ensures a seamless user experience free of download wait times, bugs, and other glitches. If people can't find information easily, or can't submit things without errors, they're going to leave and may not return, especially if your competition's website is free of errors.
RIGHT: Optimize for Search Engines
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Your home page has to rank high on Google or it likely won't be found. SEO is a necessary investment in the arena of online marketing. But while necessary, it's not easy. Google is constantly updating its algorithm to stay in front of SEO manipulators. Use good content and trusted SEO experts to ensure you're driving traffic to your site. Because the leads and clients you want start with the traffic that comes to your website.
WRONG: Foregoing a PPC Campaign
Along with SEO, PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns are another vital strategy when marketing your franchise online. You're not the only one relying on those exact keywords. Investing in PPC ensures that anyone searching for your keywords will see your homepage in the results. If you want instant page-one status on Google and other search engines, PPC is a quick way to get it.
Ready to Get Started?
Ultimately, an effective internet marketing campaign is about providing an exceptional online experience. Think of what your customers need at their disposal when they get to your site. When you provide these things, you’ll be rewarded with increased traffic, quality leads, and more sales.