I want to spend a quick minute and discuss a basic fundamental step in marketing your company on the web.
It starts with a question, what are you using your website for?
Assuming you are a for-profit company, the need of the website is to support sales and support for your clients.
Basically, to make money and to save money.
I am going to focus this discussion on the “make money” side.
Let’s step away from the Internet discussion for a quick minute and talk about the art of sales.
Generally, you need to find someone who has a need or desire you wish to fulfill in exchange (typically) for money. The goal is to be introduced (preferably through a trusted third party) to some person or company who needs your product or services. You have to create a relationship with this person who has interest (or you create interest, but that is a different post) and get them to trust that your company has the solution they need. Then you need to close the transaction.
Usually, it is expected that you need to ‘touch’ a person 7 times before you have a chance to create the start of this relationship.
You can use networking, cold-calls, direct mail, advertising, word-of-mouth, Internet ads, podcasting… etc. etc.
In fact, you need to use a few different solutions.
Some times, you have a product which someone ‘just wants’ and you need to get the word out about your product, then let the customer quickly close the transaction. Typically, this is a small purchase. Large purchases can go years to close.
However; they all start with an introduction some where, some how.
So, you need to create a conversation between your company and your potential clients. On the web, that means you need to be creating content which solves the easy problems within your industry or group, shares compelling new ideas and offers ways people can solve their problems while always pointing back to you or your company as a trusted advisor and provider of this information.
When searchers have found your content, and hopefully followed the content back to your website, have you created a few different ways they can stay in this relationship? Hopefully getting fed (and reminded) weekly about your solutions? Are you staying top of mind for when they finally need (or want) you?
You should be.
You could spend a year advertising, however; if you are not top of mind and recent when someone needs you there is a good chance you have wasted your efforts. You don’t need to!
Use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Email as promotion tools to stay on top of your clients mind effectively and efficiently. You don’t spam them (they have signed up for all of the relationships, so it is truly ‘opt in’).
Simplify Your Marketing Efforts
Use a tool such as Yoono to simplify your marketing efforts.
There are other tools and strategies (such as building an Artificially Intelligent Website to get more done with less time and effort) to facilitate your marketing. Use them!
Become a student of dropping great hints cheaply, easily and often.
Support others who do the same to your clients and you will reap other rewards as well. These others can be useful for your clients, but not in the same industry as you are. Offer to them the opportunity to create content on your website which links back to theirs. Just make sure that you explain this is for informational copy, not a long sales letter.
Have other suggestions? Just add them to the comments below.