We always hear stories about how the digital age has bred a new type of business; businesses that rely solely on an Internet connection and that therefore could not have existed before the days of the web. However, what these stories often neglect to mention is that the digital age has also created an extra opportunity for established traditional companies to reach their audience, disrupt their industry and generate some serious growth.
Online Marketing For Established Companies
If you’ve been looking for a way to perk up your business, it’s likely that you may have considered online marketing. If so, you will have seen first-hand that the digital and online sector is saturated with confusing, jargon-filled articles claiming all sorts of profit-boosting marvels.
This article is different.
It will demonstrate how online marketing, when utilised with the same force as traditional marketing, can help established companies take their business to the next level. It will also discuss the online marketing techniques that are available and demonstrate how a combined approach can deliver a powerful marketing punch – and not just as a side project to offline marketing.
Taking the Online Marketing Plunge
As an established company, you’ll almost certainly have a wealth of experience in marketing your product traditionally. You might have some great results under your belt, as well as some not so great results. Chances are you’ve invested a significant amount into marketing in order to get your company to where it is today. You may have dabbled in online activity to ensure you have an Internet presence, but it’s not been at the top of your agenda.
But you may have noticed a plateau in results despite this investment. You may be frustrated that your growth has slowed. This is exactly where dedicated, creative online marketing input can have the most significant impact on your business. However, there are still many reasons that companies are nervous about investing in it:
1. Not Having The Proof of Concept
Without direct proof that online marketing will work for your business, signing up can be daunting, especially if you don’t have the expertise on hand to work through a tried and tested strategy with confidence.
2. Not Having the Expertise
Established businesses tend to have a variety of staff juggling different tasks – but online marketing requires a skill base that really understands the platforms and tools, as well as the insight to assess what’s working and what’s not. Someone with little or no experience in the area but great experience in traditional marketing may not bring success to the campaign, and this will see it fail or fall well short of expectations.
3. Not Having the Time
A new marketing strategy takes time to devise and implement; time that an established company might not have! Especially when it comes to learning the ropes of a new and largely alien field, let alone to test and optimise it.
4. Not Having Budget / Not Confident in Assigning Budget
And lastly, it all comes down to budget. The former three points all relate directly to how much money you’re prepared to invest in your online presence – and if the risks seem high and the rewards unclear, this can lead you to allocate budget and effort into a more historically proven method.
These are all understandable fears, and as a business leader it’s your job to assess the risks that are worth taking. But, online marketing is one of them and here is why.
A New Way to Target Your Customers
As an established company, you understand your market better than anyone. You know what you are offering and to whom, and you understand what sort of stages your customers go through to end up buying your product. Online marketing makes it easy to target these customers when they’re directly looking for your service, which means any budget you do put into online marketing won’t be wasted on the wrong audience.
If you’ve never committed to a dedicated online marketing strategy before, it’s likely that getting one in place and following it on an on-going basis will see your business pick up.
The Different types of Internet marketing and combining forces
There are lots of different ways to market a company on the internet, but it makes sense to begin by highlighting a few of the key methods, their purpose and how easy it is to measure their effectiveness.
PPC (pay per click)
To an outsider, this world of clicks, numbers and budgets can be a daunting and complicated one, but pay-per-click marketing is one of the easiest to measure in terms of ROI and growth.
Put simply, PPC allows you to target keywords that your customers use when they’re looking for a product you offer. You pay to appear on a Google search results page for certain terms or ‘keywords’. In an ideal world, when your customer lands on your page, they find exactly what they’re looking for and convert to a sale.
PPC allows you to measure how much it costs to get to the conversion and how much it was worth. This can work with eCommerce or lead generation, and can bring highly relevant and qualified business your way quickly.
But this really is the tip of a very big iceberg when it comes to PPC (check out this article on getting creative with PPC). With Google generating more data about demographics, location, likelihood of conversion and so much more, PPC can have a radical impact on businesses. With the right people behind the campaign, being imaginative, assessing performance, making changes and jumping on new technology as soon as it comes out, then it’s almost certain your return will be well worth the investment.
Social media is a good example of an online avenue that has changed significantly since marketers first harnessed its power just under a decade ago. It serves many purposes such as raising brand awareness; somewhere customers can communicate with you and also a place to update your customers on the latest business news or offers.It’s also a powerful tool for generating interest in your business. Nowadays, social media is used to connect with relevant people who may find your content interesting, useful or authoritative. This means that with a great strategy behind it, social media can serve as a way to get relevant and engaged traffic to your site, as well as good attention for your brand. Find out more about how Loom use social media.
People ask questions to Google every day, and Google wants to provide answers for them by returning the most relevant, detailed and easiest to consume content possible. And you really would be making Google’s job easier if you could just create that content for them.
And by content we’re referring to videos, articles, quizzes, maps, interactive games – anything and everything a creative mind can conjure up. If you create a piece of content that not only helps your audience and is relevant to them, chances are they’ll remember you and invest in your services.
Getting this content in front of the right people, whether it’s on Google or a social media platform is powerful. The online content you create says a great deal about your brand and can be a powerful tool when it comes to the conversion channel. Having a strategy and purpose behind each piece of content is vital. Learn more about how we use content marketing.
Google want to know everything about you. And then they want to make sure that people who are looking for you find you, too. Google have numerous tools that make this easier, such as Google Business (you can read Karen’s detailed explanation of this here) Webmaster Tools, and Analytics. These allow you to analyse what’s working and help you shape your campaign.
Technical SEO essentially means “optimising” a website for search engines and users in order to offer them both a really great experience when they’re there.
Without getting too technical, websites need to be easily accessed by Google. Google regularly sends its website crawling spiders through your site to decipher what’s there and determine how user-friendly it is. Unfortunately, quite often it’ll find some problems.
When a website is built with little or no thought to usability, this can cause problems. They will often be attractive websites, sporting a complicated design, but which are slow, glitchy and hard for Google to crawl. There may be broken links or evidence of pages that no longer exist – both giving users a poor experience.
Getting your website running as fast, as smoothly and as safely as possible is great for your users and Google will notice it too. But this requires a technical head to identify the problems and get them fixed.
You can see that the phrase ‘online marketing’ covers a number of different facets. Each of the areas highlighted above are very different to each other, but when strategically arranged, they can work together to create a well-oiled, on-going online marketing plan that allows you to pinpoint and attack your market more precisely than any advertorial or magazine feature ever could. It allows you to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. And not only that, but you’re able to assess the effectiveness of each aspect, every step of the way.
Online marketing shouldn’t just be an add-on to your traditional marketing or an afterthought to your new website build. It should be incorporated into your marketing plan and feed into and be fed by everything your business does.
Never Still, Never Plateauing
Online marketing is not static. It’s constantly changing and evolving, with new platforms and new opportunities for businesses to reach their audiences being introduced into the mix each month.
And this is why, if done well, online marketing offers businesses a chance to see continued growth. Month on month, year on year.
Online Marketing With Loom
At Loom, we specialise in helping established companies with a new appetite for growth reach their business potential. Our team understands the power of online marketing and knows how to transform a company’s success. We relish the opportunity to work with business leaders to devise bespoke strategies to make sure this happens.
Give us a call or drop us an email today and find out how we can help your business take a significant leap forwards.
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