This can work for ANY business!

Marketing is done for one reason and one reason only: to increase revenue. Often, people try to say that it isn’t their goal. Their goal is to become more visible or get their features in front of more people. However, these are just stepping stones in order to increase revenue.

If you are like me, you have seen more than your fair share of digital marketing gurus on Facebook and entirely too many websites claiming to have the “secret formula” to making more money.

I’ll save you a lot of time and money. I’ve bought into the claims, signed up for webinars, the free trials, and everything else. The claims are ridiculous and the subscription fees are insanely high. I’ve spent a lot of money to learn this lesson but I’ve finally learned it.

In 2017, I was able to increase my agencies revenue by 15%. This is considerable, especially when double digit growth after the first 5 years in business can be very challenging. At the end of 2016, I decided I wasn’t going to waste any more money on the gurus and the secret formulas. I wanted to keep my process simple and focus on engaging with my customers.

Now, I’m going to share my exact marketing strategy, which involved using a lead generation sales funnel. It started at the beginning of 2017 and my revenue increased by 15% over 2016.

These are six components that I followed throughout the year.

1. Send Out the Right Message

Have you ever given any real consideration to the message you are sending people when they get to your website? I heard a podcast by Donald Miller on storybrand.com. It changed the way I look at messaging. Donald pointed out that many businesses make themselves out to be the hero. Essentially, this means that the website talks about all of the great things that the company can do, including their accolades, their family history, and everything else. This means that the website is talking about everything that the website visitors don’t care about.

I didn’t want to be one of these businesses. I wanted to make sure that the message on my website was that I cared about my visitors. Donald Miller talked about clarifying the message and making sure the customer is the hero of the story. There are some great videos on www.storybrand.com to show you how the hero is portrayed.

I took Donald’s advice. I changed the messaging on my site to focus more on the pain points of the average website visitor. As a result, people began to engage with my agency more. They asked more questions, called in because they “liked what we were saying” and began filling out the forms on the website with greater frequency.

2. Create a Website That Converts

Websites are only as effective as you build them to be. Too many business owners have grown complacent in their website expectations. It’s so much more than a pretty place for visitors to learn about your business.

If you spent a lot of money on your website, you need it to be more than just a pretty URL. If it’s just sitting there, looking pretty, you got ripped off! Your website should be your 24/7 salesperson. Website visitors should be encouraged to take action. Leads and calls should be coming in every day from your website.

I’m just as guilty of making the same mistake as everyone else: we don’t tell website visitors what to do. If a website visitor has no idea what to do on your website within five seconds of arriving, they won’t take any action at all. This means that you have a decision to make: what do you want them to do?

The moment that a website visitor arrives on your site, you need to make it clear as to what they should do. A call to action should be located in several places on your website. Register, sign up for a webinar, schedule an appointment, request a quote…the options are entirely yours based on what you have going on.

In 2016, I had a single button at the top of my website that said “Request Quote.” In 2017, I changed it to “Request a Proposal” and placed it in several areas around my website. Suddenly, I was receiving 3 to 5 leads per week in comparison to 1 to 2 leads per month the prior year.

 

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3. Use a Call Back Feature

Leads are often forgotten. Business owners get so busy with the day-to-day operations that they forget to follow up on the leads. In the middle of 2017, I signed up for a service known as Callpage. A “call back” widget sits as a button on my website, in fact you may see that phone button in the bottom right of your screen now. Website visitors enter their phone number and click on the button. They then receive a phone call from my company within 28 seconds.

Why use a callback feature instead of asking people to call? I don’t know why it works, but it does. I think it has a lot to do with people wanting the company to call them instead of the other way around. The monthly subscription is currently at $59 per month and for me, it is money well spent. I have found that more people will use the simple widget as opposed to picking up their phone and calling me.

4. Use Automated Emails

It’s important to communicate with your customers via email. It is what allows you to maintain constant communication with customers so that you can achieve their repeat business. If you don’t maintain contact, customers could easily stray towards the competition. Sending out email blasts is easier than ever when you create automated emails. MailChimp, for me, is great because it’s free up to 1,000 subscribers.

There are full templates to make it easy to drag and drop photos and text boxes. You can then type in a message, enter a promotion, and send it out to everyone at once. The templates also allow you to keep a consistent look from month-to-month. Perhaps the best part is that I can see how many people opened the email and clicked on the various links inside of the email for the month.

I also take advantage of the automation

The forms on my website are tied to MailChimp. If someone fills out a form, their contact information goes to my subscriber list. Depending on what they specifically sign up for, MailChimp will send them out an email thanking them and providing some additional information. This is a great opportunity for me to explain more about my agency and how we can help them grow their business. It maintains engagement, which is exactly what I need.

5. Focus on Search Engine Optimization

SEO or search engine optimization is what helps get the higher ranking in the search engine result pages. You want to be on the first page so that you will gain more traffic to your website. For my agency, we have approximately 75% of our traffic as organic. It comes directly from the search engines. We have focused on SEO over the years and it has paid off well for us.

Search engine optimization is ongoing. Competition is fierce for the top position and algorithms are always changing. This means that we need to constantly work on our keyword density, keyword research, and placing backlinks.

Our competition is constantly trying to outrank coastline marketing in the search engines, which means that we can never stop with our own search engine optimization tactics.

moz.com beginners guide

If you’re in a competitive industry, I guarantee your competition is utilizing SEO campaigns. Moz.com is a great website to check out so that you can learn about implementing your own SEO. If you don’t have 20 hours a week to commit to doing your own SEO, explore our own SEO services page to see if we can help.

6. Utilize Reputation Management

Reputation management is simple: would you choose to work with the business that has a two-star rating or a five-star rating? Those stars are a sales tactic for you. They’re extremely valuable and yet many small businesses neglect them on a regular basis.

As a business owner, I have learned that it’s imperative to take a proactive approach when it comes to getting more reviews. Especially in a B2B business, it’s hard, but not impossible. Over the years, I have probably asked 300 clients to leave a review and have just finally achieved 48 reviews online. It’s not as many as I would like, but if I never asked, I would probably have much less.

Customers have expectations. When you meet those expectations, you simply avoid getting a bad review. If you approach this a little differently, you could over-deliver on expectations. The outcome is a truly satisfied customer who would be more likely to give you a five-star rating. When you over-deliver, you also shouldn’t be shy about asking for reviews.

I take advantage of a reputation management platform, too, which allows me to monitor everything being said about my agency on the Internet. This includes social media, reviews, and articles. It makes it easier for our agency to maintain a strong, positive online reputation. The major search engines use reputation in their algorithms to determine ranking on the result pages, so it’s going to help you in other ways, too.

Summary

These six components have worked very well for me and I don’t intend on changing them up anytime soon. It is all designed to provide a more positive user experience. I want to help website visitors understand what they need to do and I want to make sure that I’m interacting with them appropriately. There are some incredible tools available that have made it easier to get the job done, too.

If you are interested in having a system put together for your business, please schedule a free consultation with me here. Our agency can tailor a system to work specifically for your industry and your business. By the end of the year, you could be experiencing two-digit growth numbers over the prior year just like I was able to achieve.

Happy Marketing!

digital-marketing-consultant-salinas-montereyPhil Fisk
CEO/Digital Marketing Consultant
phil@teamcmg.com
831-759-2273