lead magnet for landscapers

Lead Magnet Ideas for Landscapers

What is a Lead Magnet?

Do you remember when you signed up to download that one free report in exchange for your email address that one time a year ago and you're still receiving emails from that company you downloaded that report from?

Yep, that report was a "lead magnet". You likely see these companies continuously sending you emails trying to get you to come back to sign up for a service, right? While you might consider this annoying at times, especially if their emails have nothing to do with what you downloaded in the first place, the art of staying in touch with email can play a tremendous role in growing your business.

Now before you think this type of marketing is not for you, let me explain how simple it is and just how it can help you grow your landscaping business.

Lead Magnets Done Right

The problem with a majority of these companies that put me on their mailing list is, they send me information that just isn't relevant to me and doesn't provide me any real value. In other words, it's basically spam.

But lead magnets done right, combined with a proper email campaign, could turn your prospects into raving fans of your business.

In the digital world, it's widely known that the company who provides an abundance of valuable information to their audience is the company that will win the contracts, every time.

How To Use Lead Magnets to Grow Your Landscaping Business

As I just mentioned, the company that provides an abundance of free information to their audience is the company that will win the contracts. Many business owners feel that the services they provide are proprietary secrets that they don't want their competition to know about. Or, as in the landscaping industry, we don't want to show our audience how to do it themselves because this means they won't hire us to do the job.

Let's be clear about one thing - There are at least 1,000 videos on the internet for every single question someone might have about landscaping. By providing how-to information, rather in video or a lead magnet format, you are proving yourself or your business as the local expert.

Sure, many homeowners will try to do it on their own, but many might give up halfway through the project and reach out to the company that was willing to provide them the free how-to guide in the first place.

My Own Little Secret

Here's the secret to providing free information - give them just a little too much information.

Here's my little secret, I've been a digital marketer since 2007. In that time I have written over 1,000 articles and done numerous local workshops and a few webinars. The content that I put out has two objectives, to drive awareness for my business and to provide just enough information to my audience so that they're slightly overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to do (when it comes to marketing their business), that they just throw their hands up and say, "can I just hire you?".

Yep, that's the idea behind creating lead magnets - Drive awareness, prove your value, make it look simple and eventually they may just end up calling you to complete or fix the job. Now, you have a client for life.

Lead Magnet Ideas for Landscapers

As you determine which lead magnet to create for your business, think about some of the questions you hear the most from your clients. Or, what do you always see clients trying to do that they eventually give up on and call you? These could be great topics for your "how-to" lead magnet.

Here are a few titles we've either used for our own clients in the past or that we've seen used effectively by other landscaping businesses;

  1. Informational - 5 Questions To Ask A Landscaper Before Hiring Them
  2. Informational - Why You Should Consider a Drought Tolerant Landscape for Your Home
  3. Informational - What to Consider When Landscaping Your Home Within (city name) City Limits
  4. Informational - The 5 Biggest Mistakes in Landscape Design
  5. Informational - The 3 Requirements to Qualify for a Landscape Rebate Program
  6. How To - How to add $50,000 to the Value of Your Home with Landscaping
  7. How To - How to Choose the Right Material For Your New Home Deck
  8. How To - How to Select Concrete Pavers for Your Driveway
  9. Special Offer - Coupon - Save 50% on Your First Months Lawn Care Maintenance, Sign Up To Download
  10. Special Offer - Coupon - Free Yard Clean Up with 6 Month Agreement, Sign Up To Download

Be Creative with Your Lead Magnet

These are just a few ideas. You likely know what it is your audience struggles with the most. Don't just write about something because you're the expert at it, write it to truly benefit your audience. When you provide real value for your audience, you will likely have a fan for life.

So, You Have Their Email Address, Now What?

Once someone has downloaded your lead magnet, they are now considered to be at the top of your sales funnel. It's not often that someone downloads a lead magnet then calls you a few days later to hire you for a project. It's not impossible, but it's very rare.

Your job now is to help guide them down your sales funnel. Try to get them to take another step towards doing business with you. Don't ask for a sale right away, see if they will engage with you some other way.

So how do you do this?

This is NOT the right way - Sit down once a week and write a personal email to every single person that downloaded your lead magnet and ask them to take advantage of your newest special offer.

Don't worry, this is not how I suggest handling your new leads.

This IS the right way - If your lead generating campaign is successful, and you have several people downloading your lead magnet, I strongly suggest implementing a marketing automation campaign. Marketing automation will send emails to your new leads at intervals you specify, often called a drip campaign. You can set your marketing automation campaign to send out 2 emails or 20 emails over a period of time.

As I mentioned before, you want to make sure that your emails are providing true value. Don't just continuously send your prospects emails to get them to sign up for a service. Instead, send them tips and ideas for improving their own landscape. Or maybe allow them to download another lead magnet directly from the email.

Most of all, provide valuable information to your prospects. When they see what you are willing to provide for free, they will be excited to see what you provide when you're their own landscaper.

Need Help?

I'm happy to announce that Coastline Marketing Group, Inc., has recently launched Leadscape.net. Leadscape provides lead generation and marketing automation services to landscaping professionals. Check it out - Leadscape.net

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO, Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.

 


when to outsource your digital marketing

How And When To Outsource Your Digital Marketing

when to outsource your digital marketing

Digital marketing is one of those things that have to be done. If you’re relying solely on direct mail marketing, flyers, and banners, it’s likely not getting you to where you want to be. Times are changing and, if you want to survive, you have to learn to evolve.

You have probably already figured out that marketing can be exhausting. And, if you don’t know all of the latest tools, you may be spending a lot of money without seeing the results.

This is when you have to be realistic about outsourcing your digital marketing. How and when should you do it? It might already be past the point of needing professional help, especially when it comes to your outdated marketing strategies. If you’re not there yet, you might be closing in on the time when you need to raise your hand and get the help once and for all.

Why Digital Marketing is Important

Digital marketing covers a broad range of marketing strategies, from email marketing to social media optimization to social media. It can be overwhelming to do everything on your own, especially because there is so much that you should be doing in order to keep up with the competition. Additionally, trends are constantly changing. What worked last year or the year before may no longer be capable of giving you the same return.

Growth is what allows you to be successful. You need to make sure that you’re always marketing so that new people know who you are. There will always be customers who leave. If you’re not actively marketing, you’re going to slowly die. This means that growth is the only acceptable option.

Every customer is different. You can’t possibly expect to connect with everyone the same way. Some people want to learn about you with social media while others want to read an email in their inbox. Additionally, others will conduct a search in Google and wait to see the results. You need to be everywhere.

Competition is fierce, too. If you’re not careful, the competition can creep up on you and become a formidable opponent. Don’t assume it can’t happen. Blockbuster once thought that they’d be around forever, and look what has happened to them.

The newest business on the block is the one that you have to be the most concerned about. They don’t have the perk of referrals or word-of-mouth marketing. Instead, they have to focus all of their time and energy on digital marketing. They may also decide to hire a marketing company who will do it for them, allowing them to focus on the customer experience. This is where you have to be wary. You cannot allow the newbie to overtake you as the go-to business within your industry.

Digital marketing is important because it’s how the majority of people will find out who you are, what you do, and why they should choose you over the competition.

Digital Marketing Allows You to Be Everywhere

Digital marketing spans every digital component that there is. There’s an old school marketing rule of seven that says that people have to see things at least seven times in order to remember it and engage with a brand. However, in today’s day and age where people are bombarded by so much, it might even be higher than seven.

How can you possibly expose your brand to people seven times without turning them away?

Well, there are all sorts of ways to make sure that you repeat your message.

  • Social media ads
  • Social media posts
  • Website landing page
  • PPC ads
  • Emails

The list goes on, too. However, you can be creative with the way that people interact with your brand. Plus, you can use things like online contests and shopping cart abandonment strategies to help you with visibility and conversion.

If any of this is overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. The difference is that those that are overwhelmed and successful are the ones that have learned to use a marketing agency to do these tasks for them.

Be Honest About What You’re Doing (and How Long It’s Taking)

At some point, you have to be honest about what you’re doing in terms of digital marketing and how long it’s taking you to get it done. If you’re not a marketing guru by nature, even the simplest tasks may be taking longer than necessary. Additionally, you may be missing out on some important tasks that can get you in front of your target audience more effectively.

  • How much time are you spending on marketing strategies?
  • Are you up on the latest trends?
  • Who do you bounce ideas off of?
  • How is your reputation management going?
  • What kind of return on investment are you getting?

If you don’t like the answers to these questions or you don’t know what the answer is, it might be time to outsource. What got you here isn’t going to get you there. Essentially, you may be ready for the next step and your current marketing strategies aren’t going to help you achieve your loftier goals.

You can put in all of the time in the world, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s not going to help. You can’t be an expert in everything. If marketing isn’t your forte, it might be time to admit it and outsource.

How a Digital Marketing Agency Can Help

A digital marketing agency can help you by providing you with an entire team who will work behind the scenes. What you would pay to have a single employee (don’t forget training them), you would be able to hire an entire agency.

Remember, too, that an agency has people who specialize in various areas. Hiring a marketing person may only allow you to tap into a few areas of expertise.

Establish Your Target Audience

Do you know who your ideal customer is? This includes knowing their gender, age, annual income, hobbies, and more. Many businesses are successful to a point. However, when it comes to paying for ads and interacting on social media, they reach a stopping point because they don’t know who their target audience is.

A marketing agency will do the research for you. They’ll establish customer profiles so you know who it is that you need to connect with. It can make it easier to get a better return on investment when you get into Facebook ads, pay-per-click ads, and more.

Build Your Brand

Your brand doesn’t simply become a household name. It’s something that you have to work at growing. This depends on social media profiles, the use of a strong logo, photos and videos that allow you to show that you have real people behind the company name, and so much more.

Branding takes a lot of work, especially when you have competition in your local area. Rather than working tirelessly behind the scenes, you can tap into the expertise of branding professionals.

Enhance Your Marketing Strategies

Your marketing strategies may be good. However, you want to make sure that they’re the best. This comes back to bouncing ideas off of someone. If you don’t have anyone to talk to about your marketing strategies, you may be spending money that doesn’t get you the desired ROI. What you think looks good may be falling flat in front of your audience.

Every marketing strategy should be carefully branded and created so that it identifies with your target audience.

A marketing agency will work as a group to come up with strategies for you. They’ll create the copy, the graphics, and more to ensure that the marketing concepts are launched properly.

Stay Up on Trends

Marketing is constantly changing in terms of what works and what doesn’t work. One of the main responsibilities of a marketing agency is to stay up on the trends. By working with them, you can ensure that you benefit from their expertise.

They’ll be able to tell you which platforms you should be on, what kind of content you should produce, how to search engine optimize your website, and what colors should be used in ads.

By staying up on the trends, you can be sure that you don’t appear outdated. One of the top reasons why you may stop growing is that consumers don’t see you as current any longer. If you’re not making adjustments to your marketing on a regular basis, you can be quickly replaced by your competition (who is up on the trends).

Monitor What’s Going On

There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes, and you can’t keep up on it all. Trying to will drive you mad. It’s a full-time job. It’s why so many companies are turning to an agency. You can have an entire team work on everything so that you have the time to do other things. We’ll talk about that more in a minute.

You need to know what kind of reputation you have, such as how many negative reviews were left on Yelp for you in the past week. You also need to know what kind of return on investment you’re getting on the Facebook ads that you created.

A marketing agency can track all of this for you. They have the automation tools as well as the team that can work in the background. They can make changes to marketing strategies based on what’s going on. It ensures that marketing efforts are successful.

Then, reports will be compiled to keep you in the loop.

Learn About Boosting Your Productivity

Think about how much time you realistically spend on marketing every week. It may be 30 minutes in the morning on Facebook, an hour around lunchtime creating ads, and another hour in the evening creating a blog or two for your website. When you add that all up, it could be 10 hours or more a week. And, you haven’t even hit all of the areas that you need in order to grow effectively.

If you’re not even putting in that number of hours, then, your marketing is really suffering.

It’s all the more reason to outsource your digital marketing. You can sit down with a marketing consultant to discuss what goals you have for your business. From there, they can create a marketing plan for you.

They’ll be the ones sending emails, posting on Facebook, and writing blogs. They’ll work on your backlinks and identify when you get new reviews. It will free up the time in your schedule to focus on other things, like your operations.

Think about what it can mean for your business if you’re able to focus on what you do best while a marketing agency focuses on what they do best. You can become more customer-centric and build your business because the marketing efforts are bringing in more customers.

Take Your Marketing Efforts to the Next Level

Marketing is one of the single most important aspects of your business. If you’re reading this you already know that you’re not dedicating the time and energy into marketing that you should be. Hiring a marketing team can be the best way to get ahead of the competition.

You need to choose a digital marketing agency that has a strong team. You want to know that there are individuals who specialize in social media, search engine optimization, email marketing, and other aspects. It ensures that your business’ marketing needs are in good hands. Further, you want to make sure that the agency has a strong reputation with positive reviews.

As soon as you hire an agency, you may finally let out a sigh of relief knowing that you have professional help to grow your business and reach your sales goals.

Coastline Marketing Group has a proven track record with companies of all sizes. Let’s talk about the benefits of a marketing agency and how it can benefit you. Contact us today to schedule a time where we can sit down and talk. We’ll show you why it’s time to outsource your digital marketing and how it can be a worthy financial investment.

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO, Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


paid-advertising-monterey-salinas-1024x683

How Facebook Advertising Can Generate More Leads Than You Ever Thought Possible!

Why on earth should you focus all of your marketing dollars on Facebook Advertising? Well, you want to generate more leads than ever, and this is really what you need in order to accomplish your goals for a better bottom line and sustainable growth well into the future. You’ve just had a direct response experience when you chose to download this report. So that means that direct response advertising works – and now I’m going to show you more.

Branding vs Direct Response Advertising

Branding is one of the hardest things to do and that’s because of the money it takes to do it properly. You have to be where your people are – and you have to give your brand the exposure it needs for your ENTIRE audience to see it over and over again. You don’t think Kleenex got to be a household name because they spent $100 in one geographic region one time, do you? Of course not. Large brands spend millions of dollars to get their brand in front of you.

You don’t have millions of dollars. If you do, then you really don’t need to be reading this. Since you don’t have that kind of marketing budget, you need to focus on direct response advertising instead. Your brand will grow organically as a result of getting your brand in front of the right people and getting them to take action.

Here’s the really great part about direct response advertising:

  • It’s affordable
  • It’s highly targeted
  • It’s 100% measurable

Let’s talk about that last point for a moment. It’s 100% measurable. That’s a really big deal because you can learn about your ROI. You can use coupons and other incentives to learn how many people are converting, too. This means that you can see how much your investment is paying off. You can’t say the same thing about branding. 

If you’re spending a lot of money on branding, you don’t know what is and isn’t working. That’s because you’re using things like billboards and radio ads to promote your brand. How do you know how many people drove by your billboard or visited your website because of hearing your website mentioned on the radio? You don’t. It’s impossible to know how well it really did, which means you could have dropped thousands of dollars for nothing. 

Making the Most of Your Marketing Budget

In order to make the most of your marketing budget, you have to go with direct response advertising. Facebook Ads is a great way to reach a large number of people. You set the budget and therefore it will reach as many people as possible with the money you have available.

You also get to determine your audience you play to. Have different audiences? Great, you can have a different ad copy and set a different audience for each ad that you run.

The “direct” in direct response advertising is what you need to focus on. You want to advertise DIRECTLY to your target audience in order to get an immediate response (which is your call-to-action – click here, buy this, download this).

Who is your audience? Well, that depends. Once you figure it out, Facebook allows you to home in on it with the audience selection tools to include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Regional area
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Life Events

This is a powerful tool. You can’t market directly with billboards or radio. While you can choose where you put the billboard or what radio station you choose, you don’t get to truly focus in on the audience with laser accuracy.

But Why Facebook?

Facebook is by far the largest social media platform. There are certainly others that are popular, but they don’t have the same draw as Facebook. Plus, Facebook makes it SO easy to really home in on your target audience. This makes it easier for your message to be seen by the right people.

When you show someone an ad that really connects with them, they comment, like, and share. Sharing is exactly what you need because it stretches your marketing even further.

By now, you have probably heard about the unicorn Frappuccino that Starbucks launched. It was available for a limited time. People took pictures of it, created hashtags about it, and it went viral. Here’s the crazy thing about this: Starbucks didn’t do anything. They let their product stand for itself. They earned over $1 million in extra revenue in a single day because everyone wanted a unicorn Frappuccino. Because it was cute (even though filled with tons of sugar), people talked about it.

This is what you want to accomplish with your Facebook ads. You get the concept (or product or service) in front of the right people. Then they do a lot of your marketing for you.

When you give up all of your other marketing (such as radio, SEO, and more), you also have more money to play with. This means that you can use the money to give something to those who take advantage of the offer. It’s a better use of your money because it results in guaranteed conversions. Maybe it’s a really amazing coupon or a free product when they purchase a certain amount from you. Whatever it is, it’s the carrot that you dangle in order for them to convert and buy from you.

Client or customer engagement is critical and that’s what will help you with your word of mouth, SEO, and more. Get your audience hooked and let them do a lot of the marketing for you.

If you need help in getting started with Facebook Advertising, call us direct at 831-789-9320.

BONUS ARTICLE

6 Successful Facebook Advertising Hacks

Facebook is a great tool when you’re a small business. However, posting on your business page is not always enough. You might not be getting the reach you really need, which is why Facebook Ads is an important component to explore.

Various hacks have been used at Coastline Marketing Group and we have found them successful with some of our own clients.

Regardless of whether you’re paying to reach 1,000 people or 10,000 people, there are some ad tips you need to incorporate so you get people clicking the ads and taking action on the link that they arrive at.

Ad Hack #1: Create Buyer Personas

A buyer persona allows you to create your ideal customer. The reality is that you might have several personas based upon the product or service you have to offer.

With each potential customer, think about their age, their gender, what they do for a living, and the kind of problem they have that would be solved with what you have to offer. Have fun with this and maybe even create a graphic to go along with your customer. It’s something that will assist you in future marketing campaigns as well.

When you have a buyer persona in hand, it will make it easier to design a Facebook Ad. This includes being able to identify the best target audience. You will be asked to enter keywords and locations to home in on who your target really is. As you enter more information, Facebook knows more about who they need to show the ad to – and this ensures you’re not wasting your money.

The more you know about your buyers, the easier it will be to get a ROI from your ads.

Ad Hack #2: Speak To Their Emotional Side

You have a limited number of words to use when creating a Facebook Ad. You have a headline and a description – and neither of them give you a lot to work with. Additionally, you are limited by the amount of text you can include within your graphics.

That being said, you have to speak to the audience’s emotional side within your post. Through your image (or video) and your words, you have to make a connection. People shop with their emotions, whether they realize it or not. It’s more important to focus on the benefits of a product or service as opposed to the features. This means that you have to figure out why a certain feature is so beneficial – and focus on that.

There are options available when you want to include several benefits and therefore play on a few different emotions. When you create the Facebook Ad, create a carousel of images. This will allow you to have different “cards.” Each card features a different photo as well as a different headline and description. It gives you more to work with so you make the connection with your audience. You can also choose to have the most popular cards featured first, which means if it has already worked for others, it will show that one before going to the other cards.

There are two different types of buyers: emotional and rational. Within your description, focus on a little bit of both. List a benefit to be emotional, followed by a great feature. Use emotional, powerful words that people will identify with, such as “money saver,” “time saver,” “free time,” and so on.

Ad Hack #3: Use Call-To-Action

There’s a call-to-action built into Facebook Ads. This is an optional pulldown so the button says “Learn More,” “Book Now,” “Shop Now,” and the list goes on and on. This is absolutely a feature to use because people will get an idea as to what they will be prompted to do upon clicking on the link you have connected with the ad.

However, when it comes to creating a call-to-action, you don’t want to depend solely on the button itself. You need to use your words to convey a strong CTA so you grab people’s attention and pull them over to your link. 

A call-to-action probably isn’t going to increase the click-through rate. It will reduce friction once a user lands on your landing page. They will know what to do, so they will get right to performing the desired action. 

The CTA can be anything from “click for your free trial” to “download this amazing offer.” Get creative with the CTA and make sure you deliver once people get to the landing page. If your Facebook Ad promises a coupon and there’s no coupon on your landing page, you won’t get the conversions and you could end up with a lot of negative comments on the ad itself. 

Ad Hack #4: Limit Stock Photography

A lot of websites offer stock photography. Some might be free while others are going to charge you for use of the images. The problem with stock photography is that it’s impersonal. Don’t underestimate your audience – they will be able to tell stock photography from internal photographs. Plus, if they just saw another ad that uses the same stock image, people will keep scrolling right past your ad.

Forget about professional photos. Instead, use the photos that you capture of your employees working, your products, and real customers enjoying your real services. It will be more emotional and more REAL, which is the whole idea.

Remember, you’re not just limited to photography on Facebook Ads, either. You can choose to use a video. This could be something you record from your smartphone. It could be a time lapse of something being built, a video of your assembly line, a head decorator frosting a cupcake, or something else that is personalized to your business.

It’s also a good idea to use photography that’s geo-targeted. For example, if you’re targeting NYC for one ad and Chicago for another, you need to use different images. This could include the use of the city name in the ad in order to get someone’s attention.

The more you get target specific in your ads, the more your photos (or videos) should reflect it. This could be as simple as going into Photoshop to add a few words across the photo. Get creative and see how it can pay off with a higher click-through rate.

If you’re really stuck on the photo to use, consider how much people like to see faces. A study from Caltech in 2005 shows that there are specific brain cells that only fire when a face is seen. The faces don’t have to be human, either. Look at all the cartoon mascots on cereals and even for a bag of Cheetos. We see the face, we identify with it, and it’s humanized. Next thing we know, we’re hooked on that product. That’s what you want when you share photos inside of a Facebook Ad.

Ad Hack #5: Use Attractive Landing Pages

Within your Facebook Ad, you determine the link where people land. This means you have the opportunity to create custom landing pages within your website for people to arrive at when they click from the ad. When they get there, you want it to be attractive and feature rich.

What are people going to see when they get to your page? Will they see a lot of clear information about your product or service? Will they see the same kind of design as what was in your ad? You need to focus on branding so people don’t question whether they landed on the correct website.

The reality is that getting people to click on the link from Facebook is only half the battle. Once they have clicked on that call-to-action button, you have less than 10 seconds to convince them to stay on your site and read more about what you have to offer.

Your landing page has to be interesting and deliver the same message. If you promised a free download, then people need to see where that is. If you promised a discount, be sure the discount code or link is easily identifiable.

Some things to consider include:

  • Bold graphics
  • Minimal images
  • White space within blocks of text
  • A clear offer
  • An enticing call-to-action

Your landing page should take at least as long as it takes for you to create your Facebook page. Before you go live with either one, be sure that they are branded in a similar way. They have to appeal to the buyer persona you are targeting, which means the images and the way in which you pitch have to be considered.

Ad Hack #6: Use Promos and Giveaways

Promos and giveaways are a great thing to use on your Facebook Ad because people love being able to get something for free, or at least for a discount. Approximately 34 percent of users have identified that they will “like” a Facebook page in order to get a discount or be eligible for a promotion.

This means it’s in your best interest to provide a contest or conduct a promotion on Facebook. 

A sweepstakes contest, for example, lets people know what you’re giving away. The landing page shows off what you’re giving away and you have them do a few steps to win, such as liking the Facebook page and signing up with their email address. You might even ask them to share the contest with their friends, giving you even more exposure. The added benefit is that you have now collected their email address to target them through a newsletter at a later point in time.

Refer Your Friend giveaways are also great tools because it helps you to gather more likes to your Facebook page. When people get their friends to enter, they earn more entries into the contest. With the trust factor involved, a promo has the chance to go viral.

Other types of contests include essays, vote for a specific item/design, or a photo contest. It gives you future marketing fodder for down the road, and ensures people engage with your brand.

There’s also the Facebook coupon, which is something you can add to your Facebook page and have a landing page to match. The Facebook like button will coincide with getting the coupon. Ask people to enter their email address and next thing you know, they have their coupon and you have a new subscriber to your newsletter.

The tools are out there for you to run sweepstakes and contests, so get creative and make sure that it ties back to your brand. With the right graphics and a prize worth winning, people will give you the likes and shares needed to give your brand considerably more exposure than what it’s getting now.

Final Thoughts

Facebook Ads are simple to create. Plus, the social media platform walks you through all of the different steps. It’s all well and great to launch just any ad. However, if you want a good return on your investment, you want a high click-through rate as well as a high conversion rate once people get onto your landing page.

Branding matters and this has to be taken into consideration with all that you do. A buyer persona will allow you to learn more about your target demographic. From there, you can choose the right images, the right wording, as well as the best overall promotion. What goes in the Facebook ad should also match what goes on the landing page as this is what will make it easier to convert someone into a customer.

You don’t have to spend a lot on Facebook advertising. You simply have to be smart about your approach and what you want people to do. It might be in your best interest to create a campaign where you ask people to refer a friend in order to win something. Once you have more likes on your page and traffic to your website, you then run another Facebook Ad and target the same people. This time around, you drive them to a product or service on a landing page and with exposing them to the brand in two different ways, you have developed a higher level of trust.

With these advertising hacks, you might be surprised by how much easier it is to improve ROI and overall conversion rates each time you run an ad.

If you need help in getting started with Facebook Advertising, call us direct at 831-789-9320.


why hire a website design agency when i can do it myself

Why Would I Pay a Website Design Agency to Build My Website When I Could Do it Myself?

why hire a website design agency when i can do it myself

There’s something to be said about putting your best foot forward. When you go for a job interview, you take the time to focus on what you wear so that you make the best possible first impression. Your website can be considered a job interview. It’s what people are going to use when they want to learn more about you. If they like what they see, they’ll continue to interact with the site, sliding further down the sales funnel that you create.

Online marketing begins and ends with a good website.

Acknowledge Your Strengths and Weaknesses

You may be great at what you do. Whether that is being the best dentist in town or the best architect, the reality is that you have your strengths. You don’t have to be the best in everything. As soon as you know what your weaknesses are, you can start to do what’s right for your business.

I learned this the hard way a few years ago. The 2016 El Nino storm resulted in my backyard fence being blown down. I figured, “I got this.” I watched a few YouTube videos and rebuilt my fence. It looked fine. About three years later, another big storm came through. This time, I lost almost my entire fence. I admitted defeat and called a pro.

My point to this story is that there’s no shame in admitting your weaknesses. While you can build your website doesn’t mean that you should. It might look okay at the surface, but your competition may be blowing past you because of insufficient online marketing tactics.

Save Money But Don’t Be Cheap

There’s nothing wrong with saving money. The savviest business owners do it all the time. However, you don’t want to be cheap, either. Many businesses should take a DIY approach for their website when they’re starting out, especially when a budget is tight. After all, there are some great platforms that allow you to take a DIY approach and still have a professional website.

However, it’s important that you have a website planning session to ensure that you’re building your website to meet your needs. Once you reach a point where you know you need more, you need to make sure that you’re doing what’s right for your business. Your website is not the area where you want to be cheap. As you grow your business, it’s important to start delegating key tasks, including website development and online marketing.

Focus on More than a Web Presence

It’s important to know what your website is and what it isn’t. It’s so much more than a website.
Your website is:

  • a lead generator,
  • an educational tool,
  • a sales funnel, and
  • an online marketing strategy.

If you don’t treat it as all of these things, you’re missing out on the whole point to a website. For example, how are people going to find you on the search engines if you haven’t thought about search engine optimization? How are people going to connect with you if you don’t have a lead form on your site? How are people going to be converted from site visitors to customers if you don’t have the right marketing tactics in place?

If you don’t know how to accomplish all of these things, don’t panic. It’s all about asking for help when you’re in over your head. What got you here will not get you there. You need a website that will help to automate lead generation and serve as a vital marketing tool for your business.

Market Smarter Not Harder

Your website is a great way to focus on online marketing. You need an SEO strategy in place to ensure that you’re visible. From there, you need to have videos and testimonials attached to your website. You need to explain to people what your unique value proposition is and why they need to do business with you.

A basic website from a DIY platform is only going to cut it for so long. At some point, you have to consider how a professional website design company can help you to start marketing smarter. The right agency will look at your business model and processes, establish your target audience, incorporate your branding, and ensure that you have the necessary calls-to-action.

A user-friendly website with various marketing tactics in place can make it easier for you to market. Once a professional website has been built, you can get more leads and see your revenue grow exponentially. Let us help. Our web design services have helped a number of businesses throughout Monterey Bay and beyond.

You need more than just a pretty website. You need a website that makes you money. We understand that your website is an investment in your business. Let us show you how to get there by contacting us today. A quick conversation can help you to see the importance of a professionally built website.

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


video marketing for local business

How Integrating Video Into Your Marketing Mix Will Crush The Competition

Marketing tactics change regularly. When you want to crush the competition and get consumers dialed into your offerings, it’s important to use video marketing. Using videos within your marketing mix is nothing new. However, there are a number of reasons why it should be prioritized.

Ensure Consumers Understand

You have a unique value proposition, which is great for your brand. However, what if consumers don’t understand what that is and why they should care? The attention span has dropped considerably, so you have to think outside the box when it comes to making sure consumers see what you have on your website.

By using explainer videos, you have a greater chance of having people understand what you’re all about. Rather than filling your website with blocks and blocks of text, you can have a video that tells them everything they need to know. You let the video entertain and educate them for a minute, ensuring that they “get” it.

Before consumers hit the buy button, they hit the play button. This allows you to use a video as one of the greatest conversion tools. Remember, for many, seeing is believing. There’s not enough text in the world that will convince some people that they need to do business with your brand. They need to see it. Video is a great way to accomplish this.

Whether you use animated videos or professional video production, you’re providing a different way to convey your message. Further, approximately 95% of a message is retained in a video in comparison to 10% of what is read in text.

Provide Testimonials without a Shadow of a Doubt

Don’t ever assume that your target audience is naïve. While many people search for online reviews to see what other people are saying about you, there are others who will question the authenticity. You read about fake reviews all the time. Unfortunately, there are companies that use fake reviews in order to promote that they are better than they really are.

Even if all of your reviews are authentic, it can make it hard for people to believe it. This is when you can, yet again, turn to the power of video marketing. You can use video testimonials as a way to prove that people love your product or service. People can see that it’s a real person using their own words to tell others what they love about you.

Testimonial videos are easy to create and highly shareable. You can have them on your website, Facebook, and more.

Change Up Your Marketing Strategies

99% of businesses don’t market in the year that they actually live. Essentially, I’m referring to the idea that most businesses are using outdated marketing strategies. Video is the ultimate way to stand out from the competition. It’s great for search engine optimization, too, because your website is more likely to be on the first page of Google when there’s video content on it.

By switching up your marketing tactics, you can start to see more traffic to your website, more leads, and higher conversion rates. You may also be able to tap into new demographics because of giving people what they want to see.

Marketing videos can be as creative as you want them to be. More importantly, they can be branded to your business. You can use them to give people a “behind the scenes” look at your operations, be entirely promotional, as well as be a tutorial of how to use a product.

You can use marketing videos in so many exciting ways, too.

  • Have them on the landing pages of your website.
  • Incorporate them into blogs.
  • Load them onto your YouTube channel.
  • Post them on social media, including Facebook and Instagram.
  • Add them to email newsletters.

Many brands grow 49% faster on an annual basis when videos are integrated into their marketing strategy. With more and more businesses figuring out that video is where the future is, you owe it to yourself to get in on the movement. The results may shock and pleasantly surprise you. The best part is that you don’t have to do it alone. Rather than winging it every step of the way, you can have a professional marketing team guide you through the video marketing tactics.

Video creation services provide you with the opportunity to get above your competition. 30 to 60-second animated videos can entertain site visitors. 3-minute professional production videos can also be used to educate potential consumers and increase conversion rates. We’re already starting to offer these services to Monterey Bay Area businesses and look forward to showing you how they can work.

Start a conversation with us at Coastline Marketing Group by contacting us today. We’ll talk to you more about marketing videos so that it can have the biggest impact for you.

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


5 Reasons Why Your Company Should Have a Solid SEO Strategy

You want your company to succeed, just as we all want our companies to succeed. In order to be successful, we need sales. That requires a constant source of leads. Search engine optimization or SEO delivers the traffic to our websites so that we’re able to push content, advertisements, and more in front of them.

Without the traffic, it’s hard to stay afloat. A solid strategy will help you to reach your goals by allowing you to be more visible. You don’t want to linger in the shadows because people won’t be able to find you. Without having traffic to your site, why bother having a website?

First, you have to understand something. What is SEO? It’s a process where you increase the quantity and the quality of traffic that visits your website. Organic results allow you to be seen naturally as a result of keyword research, keyword density, backlinks, the amount of content, where your content is located, and a number of other variables. SEO allows you to be seen in the search engines without spending money to get the traffic, as you do with PPC marketing.

  1. Organic Search Delivers Traffic

Consumers use search engines. Approximately 4 billion searches are conducted on Google every day, which accounts for 75 percent of the market. That’s a lot of people looking for things. If someone searches for a product or service that you offer, you want your website to appear. Because it’s organic, people trust it. They know you didn’t pay to get your website in front of them.

  1. The Return on Investment is Undeniable

Digital marketing can get expensive. However, search engine optimization is something that you can do for free. Even if you do pay for things such as a custom web design and search engine optimization services, it’s a lot cheaper than some of the other digital marketing campaigns that you may pay for, such as spending $10,000 per month to have ads shown to people who visit YouTube.

With a lower cost of marketing, the return on investment is going to be impressive. This allows you to get a significant amount of traffic to your website without spending a significant amount of money.

  1. You Build Trust & Credibility

You want anyone visiting your site to trust you. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Building trust and credibility take time. However, when you have a great-looking website and the right SEO in place, you can provide a better user experience. Trust and credibility are built with quality backlinks, positive user behavior, and various on-page elements and content that has been optimized. When people trust you, they’re more likely to do business with you.

  1. Enjoy Increased Engagement & Conversions

Mobile traffic is becoming more prevalent because people use smartphones and tablets to search for things on the go. Local search engine optimization, therefore, is becoming more popular. It allows people to find businesses within their area. It allows you to have increased engagement from those within your community. You can also boost the number of conversions because people have connected with you.

Local SEO should be a major part of your strategy. Developing reviews on social media as well as Yelp, and others can play a big role in converting leads to customers. It also creates more content, which helps your organic SEO standings.

  1. Google Analytics Delivers Insight

Google Analytics can provide you with the insight needed to know whether search engine optimization is working or not. You can see where your traffic is originating, what keywords people used in the search engine to find you, and even how long they stayed on your website. All of this makes a difference in the end. Without the analytics, you could be doing everything wrong.

You could have the best search engine optimization strategy out there but if your landing pages aren’t professional and engaging, it’s all for nothing. Similarly, consumer insight could be telling you that you’re spending your time on the wrong social media platform.

This is where we want to make sure you have a complete strategy in place so you don’t lose out on the traffic that could be coming your way. A digital marketing agency can be your beacon of light to make sure that you have a strategy that incorporates all of the insight and analytics.

The reality is that search engine optimization is constantly changing. A search engine can change their algorithm overnight, changing the way that websites are shown in the search results. However, when you have a solid strategy in place, you’re less likely to be affected in a dramatic way.

Search engine optimization is so much more than keywords. You need to have a strategy in place that is capable of being updated as new algorithms are made available. Further, it’s an ongoing process. As soon as you stop focusing on SEO, you lose your footing in the search engines.

Search engine optimization needs to be a focus within your business. Set an appointment for a consultation with us today so that we can discuss strategies for your business in detail. Starting a conversation can be the best way to re-focus your energy and start getting more traffic to your website.

 

phil fisk digital marketing consultant

 

 

 

 

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


Content Marketing: The Key to Marketing Smarter Not Harder!

Running a business is hard enough. None of us want to work harder than necessary. This is why it’s so important to focus on content marketing. By establishing a strong content marketing strategy from the very beginning, it’s much easier to market smarter instead of harder.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is all about having content online for people to read. The content can be anywhere: web pages, sales copy, blogs, press releases, and even social media accounts. The content is written in such a way that it gets people interested and shows that you know what you’re talking about.

It’s impossible to know how people are going to find what they’re looking for. They may take a DIY approach at first and look for a guide on how to do something. If you have DIY blogs on your website, they’ll likely find you. Then again, someone could go straight to Facebook to try to find a company that has made a few posts about the subject they’re interested in. If you have an active Facebook account, they could find you.

The more content you have, in various areas across the internet, the easier it will be for consumers to “stumble” upon that content. You, then, drive them to your website where there will be a lead generation landing page. They’ll be interested in the information you have provided and will submit their email address to learn more. This is the first step in generating a lead.

Bring the Customers to You

It’s important to bring the customers to you. Otherwise, you’re creating content that will never get read. How is this done?

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is all about optimizing your online presence so that you’re more visible in the search engines. There are over four billion searches conducted on Google every day. People are looking for things on their computer, on their tablet, and on their smartphone. If they’re looking for something pertaining to your business, it’s vital that you appear in their search engine result pages, and preferably, on page one.

Paid Advertising

If you have ever seen a banner advertising a company on a blog or a shopping website, that is because of paid advertising. You can have banners that direct people back to your website on various other websites. Usually, you pay per click. The cost per click will vary based on the traffic of the website as well as your banner’s position. You can have paid advertising in Google search engines, in Facebook, and on plenty of other websites, too.

Press Releases

Press releases tell people about upcoming news, such as a grand opening, the launch of a new product or something else that is exciting. These press releases are often shared by major news outlets, ensuring that more and more links are created with information about your business. If someone reads a press release about your business, they’ll likely follow a link to land on a lead generation page of yours.

Social Media

Social media marketing is becoming increasingly more popular. Much of this has to do with Facebook having over one billion users. Every audience uses one social media platform more than another. Younger generations rely more on Instagram while older generations focus on YouTube and Facebook. Creating messages and ads can drive people to the content on your website, allowing you to capture leads.

Email Marketing

Every time you get an email entered into the lead form on your website, it can go into a database. This database will store all of the emails. Then, when you’re ready, you can send out an email to everyone to identify a new product, a sale or some other news about your company. Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with customers and potential customers. The emails can also drive people to specific content on your site as a way of giving them more information to push them closer to buying a product or service.

Get Social

Content is designed to help you get social. Although you may not be having many face-to-face conversations with customers (and potential customers) you can socialize through your content. Blogs are written as though you’re conversing with someone, providing them with advice, a how-to or trending news. Social media posts are more interactive, asking questions and listening to feedback from those who follow you.

All of the content is to help you become more human. When you’re more human, customers will see you as more than a faceless website. They’ll be more likely to follow you, listen to your advice, and call on you when they need your product or service.

Keep Content Fresh

When you keep content fresh, you will be able to have a constant influx of leads coming in, too. When you have a content marketing strategy in place, you will have the necessary lead tools on your website. As people read new content from you, they’ll be more interested in what you have to offer. They’ll complete the lead form on your website, entering them into the sales funnel.

With the right automation in place, you can continue to feed leads information without having to do anything. Let the leads come to you. This is what I’m talking about when I say we all need to market smarter. There’s absolutely no reason to go chasing around leads when there is a smarter way to get the leads. Besides, no one wants to feel as though they’re being chased. As long as we leave the right bread crumbs in place, they’ll find the trail and come right to us.

The only way to generate traffic to the lead generation landing pages, however, is by having content. Creating content doesn’t have to be an all-consuming task. You can hire a company to do all of the content creation and marketing for you, which is certainly something we can help with if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

By getting in touch with us, we can start a conversation to guide you towards a better marketing strategy. It can make it easier for you to operate your business knowing that content will deliver the leads right to you.

phil fisk digital marketing consultant

 

 

 

 

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.

 

 

 


Reviving Digital Marketing

Tough Love Tips for Reviving Your Dysfunctional Digital Marketing

If there's one thing that I've learned in spending 12 years helping more than 500 business master marketing, it's that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Despite what so-called gurus and experts might have entrepreneurs believe, each circumstance demands unique situational awareness: Regardless whether they're working from scratch or following some premade methodology, marketers have to be constantly on their toes.

Fortunately, outreach doesn't have to be a blind venture into the unwelcoming darkness. Learning from other people's mistakes can make oversights easier to avoid. Why not use some of these tough-love concepts to make wiser marketing choices?

Amateur Marketing Almost Always Falls Short

Feel like a thrifty business champion for getting a relative or friend to build a free web portal? Think it's easy to master Google AdWords with no SEO training? DIY digital marketing never functions the way business owners anticipate, and the small amount of cash they save is rarely worth the longterm revenue potential they sacrifice.

Companies work with digital marketing professionals for a good reason: No matter how clear a business owner's executive vision seems, it takes well-designed, secure, functional sites and brand experiences to convince customers to transact. Companies that settle for anything less suffer because they appear less professional. Tools like AdWords and Google Analytics may be powerful indeed, but when misused, they waste money.

Why not save everyone time by doing things the right way from the start? Although it can be tempting to conserve limited resources as much as humanly possible, smarter marketing expenditures are always more justified than merely trying ideas until something sticks.

Bad Marketers Ignore Their Audience's Preferences

One of the biggest marketing mistakes that business owners make is assuming they fully understand their target users. Even if they have lots of data, experience or intuition to back up their assertions, these leaders commit the fatal sin of not playing to the audience, and this makes it way harder to get the message out.

How do competent advertisers accommodate their adoring public? These tips might help:

  • Research the audience before each campaign to discover common desires and pain points. When using Facebook, Google and other outreach tools, address individual audience segments with thoughtful, keyword-based content that addresses their unique needs.
  • Use UTM codes, which are little bits of extra text tacked onto the end of URLs, to track how people engage with content online. UTM codes can reveal which sites visitors came from, which advertising campaigns and keyword terms they followed, or which kinds of marketing media they responded to, such as social platforms and blogs.
  • Cater to people's device preferences. A prospective customer might engage with a site using their laptop or PC before switching to mobile and eventually wandering back to their computer's browser. Make it easy for them to transition freely by designing a site that offers a uniform cross-platform experience.

The Best Marketing Campaigns Create Interesting Content

Long gone are the dark days of marketing initiatives that succeeded solely on the strength of banner ads and blaring popups. No matter how expertly companies place their keywords on a page or target their social media ads, they can't win without content that makes web users want to engage with their brands.

Fortunately, there's no shortage of ways to make outreach content attention-worthy. A company that sells a cool tech product, for example, might publish a series of blogs that go behind the scenes to explain the inner workings of their devices. Firms that want to make waves on social media might post about topics related to their niches and use clever tie-ins to lead people back to their brands. Discover what consumers have already expressed interest in, and respond with well-crafted marketing materials that scratch their collective itch for knowledge.

Marketers Who Talk At People Instead of Conversing With Them Usually Don't Get Heard

People are more likely to ignore advertisers that shout at, steamroll or talk down to them. Good consumer relationships are a two-way street, so open up a dialogue instead of standing on a soapbox to yell at whoever happens to be within earshot.

It's also way simpler to keep people focused on the message when it's packaged in an intriguing story instead of another boring old ad. Whether this takes the form of an ongoing article series or a cross-platform campaign involving alternate reality games and social media influencers, crafting a tale that takes people on a journey is always a worthwhile pursuit.

Marketing Content Shouldn't Outshine the Main Event

High-impact digital marketing is great, but when the websites that it promotes don't live up to expectations, brands inevitably suffer. Companies that want to attract attention from users must first ensure that they're ready to handle it. In other words, website upgrades, SEO audits and redesigns should all be accounted for in the marketing budget.

Don't think a new site is necessary? Remember that competition is fierce in the digital arena. Companies that want to rise to the top need sites that imbue viewers with a certain level of confidence. Don't skimp on aesthetics, functionality or third-party integrations.

Effective Targeting Doesn't Happen By Itself

Marketing campaigns can be overachievers, and this isn't necessarily a good thing. Ads that only resonate with people who aren't in the demographic, for instance, usually don't generate a positive return on investment, or ROI, regardless whether they produce additional views. Even if an ad is highly visible, it does no good if viewers don't care about what it's selling.

Focus on marketing content that connects with the most relevant audiences. For instance, when creating an AdWords campaign, business advertisers should use negative keywords to filter out searches that don't match their target users.

Marketing Campaigns Rarely Come Out Perfect on the First Try

Feeling confused about why a particular campaign isn't living up to its potential? Outreach, like most other business projects, demands continuous improvement.

Marketers who want their efforts to be fruitful never stop working to refine them. For instance, advertisers can use Google Ads' Quality Score ratings to get a good idea of how their campaign keywords perform. Facebook's relevance scoring offers similar information. Audiences are fickle, so it's vital to take advantage of all available feedback.

Marketers That Track ROI Waste Less and Profit More

From a business perspective, return on investment is probably the most reliable indicator of a campaign's success. No matter how viral a marketing video goes or how many page hits a social media post gets, ads need to produce sufficient revenue to sustain themselves as well as turn a profit. If they don't do both, then refine them soon or ditch them.

Getting the Ball Rolling in Real Life

Recognizing that it's time for a marketing shakeup is just the beginning. Serious firms take it further by putting these principles into action with the help of an expert.

What makes a good marketing agency partner?

People's experiences with different marketing agencies vary widely. Nonetheless, there are a few common factors worth thinking about while judging the options:

  • All good marketing is founded on market understanding. For small businesses, this often means getting to know the neighborhood or locale where most clients originate. When picking agencies, it's always a good sign if they have real-world storefronts or physical presences in the target region.
  • Applicable experience trumps all else. Agencies must have proven portfolios of their prior work. In addition to checking out pictures of the ad campaigns and business sites built by each prospect, always take the live versions for a spin. Test out how they function, look and feel to get a more intimate understanding of the agency's work.
  • Ratings aren't everything, but they do mean something. Whether they involve SEO audits, social media integrations or rebranding campaigns, digital marketing projects require time, effort and strong business relationships to evolve healthily. Agencies that accommodate different business models and genuinely care about providing a good client experience are a lot easier to work with. Those with the greatest number of 5-star reviews are generally safer bets.

Did these tips help bring successful marketing philosophies into clearer focus? Subscribe for more insightful pointers that could make it easier to reach audiences.


facebook-advertising

Using Facebook to Advertise Your Business? You May Be Doing it Wrong

There are many ways to market your business online, one of the most common methods being social media. When it comes to social media platforms, Facebook is one of the largest platforms. However, there are a lot of business owners doing everything they can think of on Facebook to market their business but often see no positive return on investment.

There could be plenty of factors to consider when it comes to marketing with Facebook. Often times, a business owner might believe that all he has to do is post an update to his page and make periodic "boosts". This is a common mistake for people who are new to marketing their business on Facebook.

Our recommendation is this; Only "boost" posts when you don't have time to create an ad. This is where the Facebook Ad Manager comes in.

Understanding the Facebook Ad Manager Platform

As mentioned before, most business owners feel that "boosting" their posts is an effective way to advertise on Facebook. However, having a full understanding of the Facebook Ad Manager will allow you to create a highly targeted and highly effective Facebook ad campaign.

Ads Manager is your starting point for running ads on Facebook, Instagram or the Audience Network. It's an all-in-one tool for creating ads, managing when and where they'll run, and tracking how well your campaigns are performing.

One of the biggest advantages of advertising on Facebook is that you can advertise on any budget. This is very useful for people who are a little tight on money while trying to start their own business. However, it is not just the cost-effectiveness of advertising but also the methods of gathering information and targeting that make advertising on Facebook so effective for business owners. Facebook helps you find the best types of people to advertise to so that you can achieve very high conversion rates.

4 Reasons Why You Should Set Up a Facebook Ad Account

1. The Power of the Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel is one of the tools that can prove to be beneficial to your marketing on social media. The pixel is code provided by Facebook that you place on your website. It helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads based on collected data, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to qualified leads - people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.

2. Create Lookalike Audiences

This is one helpful tool for conversions. The Facebook Pixel is very helpful with this. Lookalike audiences are used by taking a look at the customers that are already visiting your site and gathering information such as likes, demographics, and other traits in order to help you find similar people. This can make it easier for you to expand your reach and gain new customers.

3. Create Custom Audiences

This is slightly similar to Lookalike Audiences. Basically, you look at your current set of customers and build an audience based on your customers. Simply take your current customer email list and upload it to Facebook so that it can use the data for targeting. Once you have created your Custom Audience list, you can develop and target your ads to this group of customers you have built. For those of you that may have small audiences, one of the things you can do is test different aspects of your marketing in order to find the methods people respond to the most.

4. Custom Conversions

With Custom Conversions, you can track events on your site without having to change the Facebook Pixel code. This feature enables you to track your conversions and perform optimization techniques without having to add new code to your site. You are also replacing conversion data on the pages you have set up. In order for this to be effective, you already have to have the Facebook pixel embedded on your page.

In Summary

If you're running a business of any size, you are probably not going to have time to handle all of your own marketing. Fortunately, there are digital marketing agencies that are available for you to get in touch with. We know of one you might want to consider :)

 

There’s a lot of information here to consider but help is available if needed. Business owners with any questions or who need help on any part of their quest to build a powerful social presence can contact our team at Coastline Marketing Group. We offer a wide range of digital marketing solutions that can help position your business for success.


website-design-salinas-monterey

3 Things You MUST Consider Before Building Your New Website

For the last couple of decades, you've been told that you must have a website for your business both to improve your bottom line and to build a brand.

Still, recent studies show that as many as 46% of all small businesses in the U.S. don't have a website. When asked why they didn't have a site for their business, one common explanation given was that they had developed a website at one time but had received little to no benefit from it.

Developing a website is easier than ever today with the wealth of online tools, content management systems, and web development agencies available. But blindly developing a website for your business isn't likely to result in a successful online presence.

Blindly developing a website for your business is like sitting down at a piano to play, and for most of us, wondering why you can't play as well as Mozart.

A quality website that helps build a brand, maintains a low bounce rate and achieves a strong conversion rate will do much to enhance your bottom line. Such a website, however, isn't tossed together quickly using a free, commercial drag and drop utility. A quality website requires careful planning and consideration before it ever goes live.

How do Websites Benefit Small Business?

The internet is where the consumers are. Small businesses remain open without all of the overhead costs of traditional business. Additionally, giving the ability to market products and services to a global audience. The internet is an invaluable tool for the business owner who learns to use it wisely.

Statistics show that there are currently over 4 billion internet users worldwide. The average American internet user is online an average of 24 hours per week. That's a lot of people connected to the internet who just might be looking for products or services that you offer. And each year sees an increase in the amount of global ecommerce spending.

So once you decide to develop a website, or try again, where do you start?

What 3 Things Must Be Considered Before Building a Website?

Before getting started on the work of developing a website, there are 3 things a business owner must do.

1. Decide on a Strategy

The first question you should ask is what is the objective of your proposed website? Will it be a store where customers can buy your products and you ship to them? If we're dealing in digital goods, perhaps your store will be set up so downloadable digital files are available after purchase. Perhaps you offer a service or information online and you require a website that will allow customers to sign up for a paid subscription to receive your information or services on an ongoing basis.

You must be very clear in understanding the role the website will serve for you and it can serve more than one. A website done well can be your online presence 24/7 to the world, providing information and a way to contact you with any questions. It will also serve a primary purpose whether as an online store, an information site, or subscription service. You just need to be very clear in defining its primary function.

Once you've determined what purpose the site will serve, you need to determine what action you would like for your visitors to take on it. You definitely want them to find and purchase your products and services. If you can also provide fresh, relevant content of value to your audience, your site can be a source of information and an authority within your area of interest. You likely want them to sign up for your newsletter, fill out a form to contact you, or use social media functions on your website to share your content.

2. Focus On The Message:

Your message is a crucial part of developing a website. It's important to know and understand what your message is and how to best present it to the world.

Humans are social creatures of habit. In communication either personal or written, you tend to examine the speaker in a given conversation and you subconsciously try to determine what their intentions are. Are they trustworthy? Are they similar to you?

There is a foreground message you offer. If you sell pool cues and you write a blog about the top 10 pool cue brands, then the 10 brands listed are an example of your foreground message.

There is also a background message which is the "reading between the lines" portion of what you're saying to your audience. What is your audience looking for? They are trying to discern what type of people you are or what type of business or organization you have. The background message is incredibly important because if there are any doubts about you, your business, or your intentions, the visitor will immediately leave your website.

Considerations

You should make time to consider the impression you want to make and what you'd like for your audience to take away from visiting your site. You need to consider the message you want to convey carefully and develop your website around that. Once that's established, You need to ensure all of your communications carry that message.

Some questions you might want to ask:

  • What are your values?
  • What words could be used to describe your business? (Dependable, efficient, energetic, friendly, insightful, responsible, and more.)
  • Which type of people are in the audience you want?
  • What needs does your business serve for this audience?
  • Which problems do you intend to solve for your audience?
  • What do you think your audiences expects from your business?
  • How can your business best connect with the audience you want?

3. What's Your Marketing Strategy?

When it comes to talking about online marketing strategies and search engine optimization (SEO), many would rather not have that conversation. Isn't it enough to build a website with a clearly defined objective and a solid message for your intended audience?

No.

Just having a website, even if it's an incredible website, isn't enough. The audience you want has to be able to find it. The best way for them to find any product or service online is through the search engines.

SEO is a set of techniques used to improve your chances of being found within the search engines when users go to find a product or service you offer. It goes hand in hand with content marketing, social marketing, and email marketing, all effective ways of building an audience and your bottom line.

Many business owners throw their hands up at this point for many reasons. They don't understand what SEO is and expect immediate results when they try it. For that reason, they don't think they have time to be on social media platforms 24/7 to drum up business. They may know a little about how email marketing basically works but not all of the details.

Business owners should understand that marketing strategies are the key to successful online business and they include the following.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is all about increasing your business website's visibility on the search engines. It includes a number of components from creative to technical in building awareness of your site on Google, Bing, and more. Yes, it requires knowing what the search engines expect from your website from readability to structure. Yet in making the website easier to use and understand for the search engines, you're doing the same thing for potential visitors.

The more traffic you receive, the greater the number of conversions. It should be understood that SEO techniques don't work overnight but over a period of time. When it's done correctly, it's absolutely worth any invested time and resources.

Mobile Marketing

More than half of all search engine queries are made on mobile devices and that number is only expected to increase. With more than half of your intended audience on mobile devices, it then becomes vital to ensure your planned website will be formatted for mobile devices.

Often called "responsive website design", mobile optimization means your website looks good and functions well across all devices. Being optimized for mobile is also crucial to your SEO efforts. As of Google's July 2018 update, they switched from rewarding websites optimized for mobile with better rankings to penalizing any site that's not optimized for such. Since Google is the largest search engine on the internet, mobile optimization becomes even more crucial.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the consistent use of fresh, relevant content of value to your intended audience. It's the online creation and sharing of content like blogs, social media posts, video, and more that offers value to your audience without being an advertisement.

Using our pool cue website example, you might offer a blog on your website. Include articles about proper care and storage of cues, pool techniques, troubleshooting, and more. The idea is to offer content that stimulates an interest.  All the while, without being too obvious that you want them to buy them from you.

The content used for this type of marketing gives them a reason to return to your website even if they don't always intend to buy something with each visit. The search engines love such content. This technique allows you to build a reputation as an authority in your given area of interest.

Social Media Marketing

While it's not the overnight success tool some claim, social media marketing has great potential in cultivating an audience on social media. Content is also important here. If you employ content marketing, you already have what you need.  It can be modified to suit the individual platform. There's a learning curve here in understanding each venue and its rules. The great opportunity to increase your brand visibility, reputation, and traffic will be more than worth the time spent.

Email Marketing

Many think of email marketing as old marketing news but it's a very effective and inexpensive method to use. You collect subscribers from your website and social media platforms.  You use them to send simple mailings to remind people about your website and what it has to offer. It's an invaluable tool to use if you have a sale or special offer. You want to quickly inform your targets.

In Conclusion

Unless there's a compelling reason why you don't need more business, developing a website is vital for your business. Your website represents you online and it's important to present the best site you possibly can.

There's a lot of information here to consider but help is available if needed. Business owners with any questions or who need help on any part of their quest to build a powerful website can contact our team at Coastline Marketing Group. We offer a wide range of digital marketing solutions that can help position your business for success.

 

phil fisk digital marketing consultant

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.
SCORE Monterey Bay Chapter Chair