Using Web Marketing to win new clients

Added over 7 years ago

Driving traffic to your website is a great way to generate new business, and there are a number of techniques for marketing your website. You may consider hiring a marketing consultant to help achieve this, however if your budget doesn’t allow for this yet, here are some strategies you can try yourself, many of which are completely free.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

This is probably the most important web marketing strategy, because it allows you to be found when someone searches for you. This is a multi faceted approach that can take months to complete, but which pays dividends, because it’s virtually free.

To start, you need to optimise your website with keyword phrases – which are the words people type in to a search engine (such as Google, Yahoo or Bing) to find a product or service. These companies all try to ensure that keyword searches prove useful and relevant for the person searching, so one of the keys to improving your SEO is to ensure the copy on your home page is relevant to what you do. This may stifle creativity a little, but there’s a balance between getting noticed - by saying something different, and being found - by using words and phrases relevant to your industry. To start the process, consider all the phrases you would type in to a search engine, to find the product or services you provide. Have a look at your competitor websites and see what phrases they are using as titles for their pages. Once you’ve established which keyword phrases are most relevant to your business, go back to your own website and make sure these words are incorporated in the copy on your website – especially your home page. Then ensure that these keywords appear on the tile of your pages. For instance, many companies have ‘Home’ as the title of their home page. By changing this title to include the keywords that are most relevant to your business will help companies like Google to rank you higher for relevance.

Other SEO techniques include writing blogs and articles on your website containing those keyword phrases. This helps to demonstrate your experience in your chosen field to potential customers, but it also improves your SEO ranking with the search engines. You then need to create backlinks to your website by using article directories such as Ezine, BlogSpot, WordPress and other free sites. You will link your websites URL to specific keywords and keyword phrases that others can click on to reach your site.

Continually update website content.

Another tip that you can take from a good marketing consultant is to continually update your website. Even if you aren't coming out with new products or new services, by adding new pages, (you can even rewrite old information), you are keeping your pages fresh and relevant, which will attract search engine response.

Regular communication with your database.

Don’t forget about your current customers and contacts. Send them regular updates, offer a coupon if they subscribe to your blog, and so on. The old phrase, "out of site, out of mind" is very true in web marketing terms, so regular contact will ensure your customers don’t forget about you.

Affiliates and paid advertising.

 There are also ways to market your website that cost money. You can use affiliates to sell your products, which means advertising with them - however, you will have to pay them a commission for this service. In addition, you can use banner ads, pay per click campaigns and more, all of which a marketing consultant can organise and manage for you if you don’t have the time.

Return on Investment.

One very important thing to consider, however, is your return on investment. Your time has value and if you are spending more time on your marketing than you are on your business, then your customers may well suffer. Consider starting with an SEO campaign and then adding other methods as your campaign starts seeing results. As your business grows, consider hiring a marketing consultant to provide expert advice and to develop more complex campaigns for you, which in turn, will deliver further growth for your business.

What is branding?

Added over 7 years ago

7 Golden Rules of Marketing

Added over 7 years ago

Seven Golden Rules of Marketing

Regardless of the type of business you operate, or services you offer, a solid marketing strategy is critical to creating a successful business. Here are the seven golden rules to create a stronger brand and to attract more customers to your business:

  1. Highlight your uniqueness. Businesses often struggle to find something different to say about their services. They talk about what they do. You offer professional and expert accounting services? So does every accountant. What makes your services unique compared to your competitors? Rather than what you offer, think about how you offer it, and how this benefits your customers. You might have a special way of presenting their accounts or a proprietary system of assessing their accounting needs. Focus on this and you’ll have created your unique selling proposition (USP).  
  2. Be consistent Once you’ve worked out your USP, apply it to EVERYTHING. Don’t be tempted to leave old messages out there. New prospects can come to you from all kinds of ways – business card, website, phone call, newsletter, blog, print or online ads and so on. If you’re not consistent you run the risk of confusing your audience with mixed messages.  
  3. Keep it simple. Don’t over-complicate your message. You may understand the intricate workings of your service, but is this entirely relevant, useful or interesting to your customer? Potential customers are more inclined to read your ad or marketing blog if it’s direct and straightforward. Wordy explanations and flowery writing will lose their attention before you can get your point across. What do you want them to know? Give it to them creatively, yet concisely.
  4. Branding. When branding your business, how can you create a look that is uniquely yours? Look at your competitors’ websites – do they tend to use the same colours as each other? For accountants this is often blue. Choose a colour or two that’s different from the others and which will form the basis of your web design or logo. This will help ensure stand out from the competition.
  5. Keep it real. Build your brand from a position of truth not hype. Customers can spot hype a mile off – much better to offer them real content, real benefits, real value. Demonstrate your ability to do this through case studies and testimonials. Don’t offer the moon, if you can't operate a space ship.
  6. SEO. Learn the secrets of using keywords to get your business higher on search engine listings. Knowing how to use keywords to generate more hits on your blog or website will bring in the customers who need what you've got.
  7. Blogging For Dollars. Create a Wordpress website and write about your market in a new and engaging way. This can be linked to your business home page blog. Learn how to blog effectively to bring in more hits and to get more business. Advertising on your blog also opens the doors to more cash flow options.

With your marketing strategy firmly in place, you’ll be able to create a really successful business. Being real, and consistently presenting your products and services in a simple yet creative and memorable way, will help your business to stand out from your competitors and keep customers knocking at your virtual doors.

How do I get my business and my brand noticed?

Added over 7 years ago

3 tips to getting your Business-to-Business brand noticed

1. Identify the one thing you do differently from your competitors

One of the key ingredients of a strong marketing strategy is to create a unique point of difference for your business. 

 But while most companies claim to be different, much of the time these claims aren’t actually unique. Promising the ‘best people,’ ‘the best systems,’ or being the ‘most passionate’ in the market is simply not enough.

 The problem is that these terms have become over-used. Words like ‘proactive,’ ‘quality’ and ‘personalised’ are so clichéd they’re virtually invisible.

 So without having to engage a marketing consultant, what should an SME owner do to stand out in the market?

 The answer is to look at how you differ from your competitors, and specifically how this benefits your customer.

 For example, a small Sydney accounting firm (let’s call them The Matrix) decides that instead of claiming to be the best tax, financial planning and superannuation provider in Australia, they will develop a new system to identify where a client exists in the financial planning ‘lifecycle’.

 They then tailor solutions proven to work for each client’s ‘lifestage’. By creating this unique system, the firm has established a clear point of difference from its closest competitors. It can now focus on demonstrating how this unique system benefits its customers. No more bland statements about having the ‘best people.’ The Matrix now stands apart.

 2. Build real interest around your brand story

Once you’ve created your unique point of difference, it’s important to bring it to life by creating an engaging story around it. The fact is that people love stories. They resonate with childhood. Stories invite us to create meaningful connections with the people we want to communicate with.

But how do you build an engaging brand story as part of your marketing strategy?

Begin by making it easy for people to understand you. Explain what you do in plain English. Every day we are exposed to approximately 500 marketing messages online, via television, radio and outdoor ads. The messages that cut through all the noise are the simplest ones. The easiest way to think about this is to apply ‘KISS’ principle (keep it simple stupid). If your marketing message is a simple one, you’re much more likely to be remembered in all that clutter.

Here are some other ways of extending the impact of your brand story:

  • Embed elements of your brand story into all of your products, services and branding (logo design, web design, brochures, newsletters etc)
  • Sponsor events which highlight your brand story
  • Design customer experiences which link to your point of difference

3. Be clear and concise in all your communications

Tell someone one thing about your business and they will remember it. Tell them 7 things and they will forget everything. Focus on one aspect of your story and ensure the benefit to your customer is clearly highlighted.

But content is not the only consideration.

The visual components must also clearly and concisely represent your brand and weave into the fabric of your story. Your marketing agency wouldn’t marry an elegantly written piece about the world’s finest chocolates with visual components that work for an adventure magazine, so why should you?

Follow these simple marketing guidelines and you’re well on your way to building stronger customer loyalty – which leads means building a bigger business.

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