small business marketing

Blog challenge 37/99: The importance of landing pages for your website

By definition, a landing page is a web page which serves as the entry point for a website or a particular section of a website. A landing page is just the page people land on because an ad or email directed them to that specific page as opposed to your site’s homepage.

Effective landing pages make it very clear what a visitor is going to get from a page and how to get it. That’s it plain and simple. There are many great articles on how to create better landing pages (including this one from Unbounce) but today we are going to focus on why you need to create and use landing pages as a core online tool.

Local content

One of the best ways to get your site to rank higher when people search locally and on mobile devices is to have lots of local content. Creating landing pages that feature very localized, down to the neighborhood perhaps, content is a great way to start building the local content and link necessary to have your pages move up in the search index for local search.

Social content

Sending your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook connections to landing pages that are personalized to each network is a great way to deepen the connection. By running Twitter and Facebook feeds on these pages and acknowledging the connection with those that come from those networks you will also find a much higher degree of engagement in those networks.

Smart content

By creating landing pages that address the specific market segments, product segments or key content segments for your business you can begin to better funnel people to the specific types of content they desire. Using a tool like Survey Funnel in conjunction with your landing pages could allow a visitor to tell you what they are looking for and be directed to specific content based on their choices.

Lead capture

Landing pages are your lead capture workhorse. If you have a great eBook or free workshop to promote you may want to create signup forms for most of your web pages, but your signups will soar when you create a page that details, sells and demonstrates the benefits of acquiring your free report. A landing page with video, audio, images, descriptions and very intuitive call to action is a must for lead capture campaigns.

Advertising conversion

Any form of advertising will be much more effective if it is targeted to a page that contains nothing but content that supports the message in your ads. The more relevant the page to the ad, the more effective. Smart marketers constantly experiment with ad and landing page combinations, including creating keyword optimized pages for specific groups of PPC ads.

The bottom line is, if you have a correctly crafted landing page, that is trust worthy and engaging to the reader, you will find it easier to convert a lead into a sale. We have created these for our clients with a high success rate and for minimal investment. If you would like to chat with us about landing pages or how to improve your website, feel free to contact us here. Thanks for reading!

Blog challenge 34/99: Ask your landlord this!

So you have decided to relocate your business to a new premises or you are a new business owner looking to open a shop front in a prime location. Exciting times - no doubt! A million things are probably going through your mind, negotiating a new fit out, lease terms, contents insurance, the list seems never ending. 

So here's a thought - prior to signing any lease or contract, ask the landlord how they can help promote your business. If your new premises is in the same location as several other businesses and the property is owned by the same landlord (eg. a shopping centre), you could ask if they have a cooperative marketing fund that all businesses contribute to. If they do, be sure to ask how much is injected into the fund each month. 

If your landlord is smart, he / she should be willing to invest in marketing for your business. After all, the longer you stay in their premises, the more rent they will receive from you. They should want you to succeed.

So let's say your landlord is willing to invest in marketing. Where is it best spent? Who to contact to get the best deal? Well, here you have 2 options. You can employ a marketing agency (like ours!) or you can do all the research, negotiating, media buying and production coordination by yourself. There is a lot of effort involved in getting a successful marketing campaign off the ground. But if you have a background in marketing or are just willing to put in the time and effort, you can make it happen.

It is important to note that traditional media like radio broadcasters, television networks and newspapers are a lot more negotiable in price than they were several years ago and still provide effective advertising methods, particularly in the Darwin market. You can bolster your marketing efforts by contributing to your landlords funding, which will give your business further awareness.

So make sure you have the conversation with your landlord. Promotion of your new premises should be in your business plan and if it isn't - make some changes to include it!! If you would like to find out more about business plans and general business advice, the NT Government has a team for this. Contact your nearest small business champion here. Thanks for reading.

 

Blog challenge 20/99: Choosing the correct social media platform

It is easy to think that when launching a new business, product or service that you need to be across all social media platforms to truly succeed. This really isn't the case. It all depends on what business sector you are playing in. If you are in the start up phase of a business, social media marketing is important, however, if your resources are stretched, really try to nail down what platform/s your customer is on.

1. Seek Out Your Target Audience

Who is your target audience? On which platforms are they spending most of their time? When they are on these platforms, what are they doing? What are they seeking out? Who are they interacting with? How are they interacting with the platform? Look at the key demographics such as gender and location of the users and gain a general understanding of what each network is used for.

You may also want to check out which platforms your competitors have successfully engaged with their audience on. A simple Google keyword search can help you see which social media network your market is most active on. For example, try search terms like “motorcycle shops + Facebook”, or “motorcycles + Pinterest”. Even if your business caters to a niche market, you’ll be surprised at the broad spectrum of users who are on social media networks.

2. Define Your Objective on Social Media

What are your social media marketing goals? Are you trying to grow your audience, spread word of mouth, or engage with your current customers on social media? Perform an audit of your business: start with identifying gaps in your current marketing plans. Do you need to:
-Grow your base?
-Improve your customer service and build customer loyalty?
-Create a channel for customer feedback?
-Update your customers on new products, services, or deals?
–Increase traffic to your website?
-Conduct informal market research?

Initially, rather than defining your goals in terms of the number of fans or followers you want to reach, think about which platforms will help you increase engagement with your audience. The number of followers you have is simply a vanity metric that doesn’t indicate business success. It’s important to keep in mind that with social media, a larger audience doesn’t necessarily convert to real results for your business, while a highly engaged audience (despite its size) will. Align the objectives of your social media marketing plan with the platform that will complement your goals.

3. Identify Your Resources and Skills

What types of resources and skills are needed to execute a successful social media marketing plan for the different types of networks? We already know now that each platform is unique in terms of how you can engage your audience, but each platform also complements different sets of skills and require different resources to execute. It’s not only important to align the needs of your business with the right social network, but it’s also vital that you have the skill set and resources to effectively use it.

There are also a number of free marketing tools online to help you create content that’s optimized for each type of social media network. Think about what your strengths are and research what type resources or skills are involved to be successful on each network. Thanks for reading and as always just click here to get in touch if you need a hand for all things social media for your business.

Blog challenge: 11/99: Giving back to your clients

It can be all too easy once you sign up a new client, to think that the exchange between the service you provide and the payment of your invoices are enough to maintain a healthy business relationship for years to come. Quite often it can be enough, but we like to put in those 1% efforts that can help endure any difficult periods. Here are a few suggestions of what you can do:

  • Christmas and Birthday Gifts: Find out what your clients favourite beer or wine is. If they don't drink, find out what they like to do in their leisure time. Perhaps a voucher to a day spa would hit the spot!
  • Hand Written Cards: It is easy to say thank you via an email. If you were to write a hand written thank you note in a card, it requires another level of effort. You have to buy the card, write meaningful words in the card, buy the stamp and post it. Effort like this doesn't go un-noticed with clients.
  • Provide Additional Services at No Charge: Now, this can be a contentious one! What we suggest is to give away a minor product or service, that does not cost your business a large amount of money. For example, if you own a printing business and you service commercial printers, you may be able to provide a complementary toner cartridge. Make sure you enter this on your invoice with a $0.00 charge next to it, so the client sees.
  • Provide a Bundle Offer: If a client buys several of your products or services, perhaps you can look at a bundle offer. If they buy two services or products, you may be able to offer a third for free. This works well with ecommerce and bricks and mortar fashion stores.

So there you have it, a few suggestions to assist you with further developing your relationships with your clients. At the end of the day, people like to see that they are getting value. Go over and above and this will increase the lifetime value of each customer. Thanks for reading. 

 

 

Blog challenge 6/99: The Google Adwords process

We don't like to sugar coat things here at Illume Marketing. So when we say Google Adwords is technical and requires a lot of your patience, we mean it! Google Adwords requires persistence too. If you are a small business owner and you find that this form of marketing is difficult, we would advise to outsource it. That is not a sales pitch, it just makes sense that you, the business owner, need to spend your time doing what you do best. For those that are looking to get started, please see below the process for using Google Adwords:

  1. Install Google analytics to your website: Set up an account here and ensure the correct code is injected into each page so your analytics are accurate. Or there should be an app that you can install which will be the easier option. 
  2.  Link your Google Adwords account: Make sure your Adwords account is linked and that you have enabled auto tagging. This will let Google Analytics report the details of each click taken across your website. This is very important.
  3. Import a goal: A goal may be to have people sign up to your monthly newsletter or to complete a contact us form. You can do this via the admin tab of google analytics and then head to goal set up.
  4. Import conversion actions: Within your Google Adwords account you want to import your conversion actions. This will assist in the tracking process. By doing this you will be able to see the exact path a visitor takes through your website prior to purchasing.
  5. Create a campaign: Head into your Adwords account, and select the new campaign option to start a new campaign. Name the campaign and include the Google Search partners option. Do not add the Google display network. This is completely different to an Adwords account. Select location that you want to target and your language and select your bidding. If you are just starting out select maximize conversions
  6. Set your daily budget: The best way to do this is to work out your monthly budget and divide it by how many days there are in the month. Set your start and end dates.
  7. Set up ad groups: This is where you enter your key words. Best practice is to have a maximum of 10 keywords per ad campaign. You can use Google Keyword Planner for this, which I will talk through in another blog.
  8. Create your ad: This is the fun part! Put your headline 1 and headline 2 in. Usually headline 2 is a call to action. For example, 1 Month Free Membership or Free Shipping. Then construct the body of your ad. Insert your final URL that will direct visitors to your website. Your ad will then be created right in front of your eyes.
  9.  Revisit Google Analytics: Keep an eye on what key words are being used and be patient. Google will spend your budget evenly across the month.

The ultimate goal that you want to get to is to have 15 conversions in 30 days, then we can switch to a more advanced strategy using the Target CPA bidding option, but we are going to leave that for another time.

Google Adwords is a lot of work, you need patience and an analytical mindset but done correctly it can drive sales for your business and greatly assist with your Google ranking. Thanks for reading.