In November, a long-lost friend (not really lost) started talking over email. We had been emailing back and forth for a week about his frustrations in getting his website to convert from visitors to customers. I will start out this person is not a customer as he is happy with his current provider and is also a close friend of his. He wanted to be heard about his struggles, what he is currently doing, and think of ways to improve his situation in the upcoming months.
Three years ago, his focus was on bi-weekly original content giving tips and tricks to showcase his expertise. This was ultimately a blog that showed expertise and a willingness to educate his customers. Pictures were taken of projects being done with a before and after along with a story of what was being done.
- The blog articles stopped coming out completely. They were believed to not helping.
- The photos had stopped completely as they added time that was believed not worth the effort.
- Google started dropping in organic search, and paid advertising on Google was implemented to offset the dropping in Google.
- Web views have gone up but there is no conversion happening and there is a lack of call-to-action buttons on the site.
- Email marketing was sent with a recap of the blog articles and links to the full article on the website.
The Proposed Solution
- The owner will be given access to their analytics and instruction on how to read the critical parts to see if everything is working.
- Heat maps will be used to see where people are clicking and going while on the site.
- A re-check of all paid advertising will be gone through to see what should be kept, changed, and removed. A solid budget of what is needed will be set rather than a bottomless pit for paid advertising.
- The blog articles will start being produced and on a consistent schedule along with the photos to bring people into their unique space.
- Email marketing will begin again with the original list and the emails that have been still be gathered over the years from trade shows and events throughout the community that were attended.
Paying to be seen
We have already started talking about paid advertising with Google to offset the loss in organic (free) reach on the search engines. There is also another area where money is being spent poorly and that is on the social media side. There is no organic reach as there is no content beyond a picture every few weeks. Every post is being boosted from $5 to $250 resulting in over $3,800 spent on Facebook advertising.
- Money is being spent and there is no increase in business; only likes and fans. There is no engagement.
- There is no marketing plan to increase organic reach beyond "spend money".
- There is no consistent voice. The company doing the posts comes from multiple people and each does it their way rather than their client's way.
- When people did inquire on social media they were not being responded to. He thought his social media manager would but that was not part of their contract.
The Proposed Solution
- A marketing plan is being generated which will cover when to boost, the tone, posting times, what to post, what to not post, what to share, etc.
- A solid budget for social media will be set.
- Methods to draw all the fans into being more engaged with the brand.
- Employees will be asked to share (but not required) if they feel the information is of interest and ask their friends to share it as well to further reach in the organic.
- Sharing of other expert's information to provide more informative information. This information will be from experts that are obviously not in direct competition with them.
- Replies will be done by the social media manager AND the business will be checking daily for messages to respond to.
We see many people sharing content written by others and their name put on the content. This is perfectly legitimate and will help get information out to your masses. This doesn't make you an expert in your industry though. When information comes from internal and from the heart it will ring more with your audience as you are writing it for them rather than purchasing an article created by others.
- Today there is no original content being produced.
The Proposed Solution
- A shared approach of shared content and original content. The shared content will reference where it came from and will not have their name on it. Only the genuine content will have their name and an emphasis on promoting this content over the curated content will be done.
- Content will be pushed out on a consistent and reliable schedule.
- Search engine optimization or SEO will be implemented as there is no SEO being done now.
As we were talking there was a lot of small talk and questions about other avenues that could help increase engagement, lead generation, etc. With the areas defined below a lot is based on what the heat maps and analytics that are being implemented earlier in this document discover.
We talked about the use of popups to get visitor's information. We consider them beyond annoying as most will either popup instant, as you are trying to leave or after a predefined time. We have found these great approaches to drive customers away rather than making them bring in solid leads. After talking it came that having a signup form that is in a sidebar that doesn't disrupt the user experience would be optimal.
Lead Generation and a clear call-to-action
A key to converting visitors into leads, then opportunities, and finally into customers is a clear message to your visitors. You will always have window shoppers who are "just browsing", price comparing, or are looking for services you can offer. Without a plan to bring these people into your sales funnel will results will result in not getting the leads you need. The call to action will be clearly added to every page and based off analytics and the way users use the website.
As we were talking we found that video was a function that was available to him that he wasn't taking advantage of. He is going to work on a couple short promotional videos that will help inform people of what he is doing. We even talked about how we're using video for ourselves, our clients, and how we are planning to use it in our blog articles over the coming months.
Define as part of the solution what is considered success and failure to hold the provider accountable as well as the business as well. It is a two-way street after all and both need to be accountable. No branding and marketing plan can be considered complete without having accountability.
Yes, lunch. Although we've agreed that we won't work together on a professional level we will not sacrifice our personal friendship. Every quarter he's going to come out and we're going to sit down and have lunch and go over what is working for him and what isn't. This one hour lunch will be half small talk and half going over what he has going on.
The first step in any problem is identifying it. His problems have been clearly identified and he has a plan to make it better. Now success will be sticking to what he has planned and then re-evaluating it on a continual basis and adjusting to meet the changing needs of his business.
Marketing and branding on social media and your website is crucial in today's world. Both outlets working together will help acquire business as you have proven yourself a reputable expert in your industry. Marketing is a shot gun approach to get your word out to the masses and there are companies out there that can help you achieve your desired results. You can give us a call when you are ready at 219-229-1633, email us at sales@BusinessYETI.com, or through our online contact form here.
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