Good question, huh? If you build it, they will come... is that the idea? WRONG! Creating a website is only the first step in effectively marketing your business online. Of course, if your website is 3-5 years old, built by a cousin, nephew, college student, or yourself, or was created using Website Tonight or some other template based monthly service fee product, you need to consider revamping and redesigning with a professional marketing-based website design and development firm (if you need one, call us).
But let's say you have a dynamic, well-designed, easy-to-navigate website that communicates your brand and your product or service, has a clear call-to-action for converting leads, and is full of original content, that's a great start. Let's look at some of the next steps your business should be considering for its 2011 internet marketing plan:
1. SEO - search engine optimization. Worth the investment? Depends. On what? Competition, content, keywords, audience, search rates. Local businesses - yeah - it's worth it! What's it involve? Some research, some copy edits, some renaming, some file additions, some logic. What's it cost? Anywhere from $375 to $750 (could be thousands with other companies). Does it work? If you have the website described above, yes, it should have a great ROI for your business.
2. SEM - search engine marketing. Your website is part of the requirement. The other half? Links. Inbound links specifically. How are they built? Through marketing your website online with other sites that will help boost your SEO ranking. What's it cost? Depends on how much time you want to spend on it and how much you want to sub out to a partner.
3. SMI - social media integration. Do I have to? Depends. Are you a B2B or B2C company? What's your customer look like and how are they influenced into making buying decisions? What's your sales cycle look like? Social Media can include the simplest LinkedIn account or a full-blown integration of blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Is what I have to say interesting to others? If you are in business and have customers, they and others will want to hold 2-way social conversations with you.What's right for your company? Depends on many of the factors listed above, and more. Worth discussing more? Sure... call I2D and schedule a $65 marketing planning meeting, and the coffee is on us.
4. BMI - brand & marketing integration. What? Boost your website visitors by driving traffic to it. How? Through each and every other customer touch you currently have, and those you may be considering adding in 2011. That means adding your website address to every marketing piece - business card, brochure, postcards, ads, signage and vehicle art, email signatures, social media accounts, etc. That also means driving traffic to your company website through promotions, offers, and information exchange. Your website is a tool for your company as well as your clients and prospects. If you aren't looking at it that way, you may want to take another look.
5. MMA - mobile marketing & apps. Please explain? There have been over 55 million iPhones sold since Apple released it. That fact alone should peak your interest in mobile marketing. Experts estimate that by 2015 mobile phone web browsing will overtake desktop browsing. So if you're website is not compliant with the majority of users out there, then guess what? The visitor goes elsewhere... likely to your competition. We not only develop mobile apps, we create Google Mobile compatible sites that load fast, view well, and contain the information needed to convert the visitor (after all, we are a marketing company first, then a technology company!). Need a custom app for your business to prompt customers to come visit your store? Coupons, specials, calculators, inventory database? Contact us.
6. KMG - keep momentum going. HUH? Since you're on a roll, keep the forward momentum going. Keep up to date on the latest, and greatest, or at the very least, consult with a company that is... like I2D.
There are many steps you can take once your website is complete. I won't say that it doesn't matter which step you take, it does. But the most important thing is that you take A STEP... if you build it, they WON'T come - sorry to say!