We live in a truly remarkable age, dominated by the internet. There are nearly 280 million Americans with internet access, and we are now using the web in almost every aspect of our lives. From booking travel accommodations, to shopping, to paying bills and doing homework, the internet constantly makes our life easier and more efficient.
So in an age of such incredible technological advancement, why would you stick with traditional marketing methods such as yellow pages ads and mailers? The post office continues to struggle with revenue problems and the yellow pages shrink every year; meanwhile, broadband internet penetration continues to rise. If you’re not going to embrace internet marketing methods, you’re ignoring the world’s best marketing arena.
If you’ve never engaged in online marketing, you might be confused about how to begin. And depending on your familiarity with the web, it can seem like a scary proposition. But we’re here to let you know that it’s a lot easier than it seems, and we want to help you get started.
The first step: preparing your website
Your business has a website, right? If not, you need to stop reading this blog and call a web designer immediately (but please come back and finish reading when you get off the phone). For internet marketing, your website is going to become your most powerful sales tool. The reason is simple: you need somewhere for people to get more information about your business and (ideally) become a lead. Your website will serve this purpose, functioning as the central hub for your internet marketing efforts.
We’re major advocates of content marketing here at Rhino, and we’re going to discuss that method more in a moment. But regardless of whether you choose to use content marketing or not, your website is still going to be the key to your internet marketing efforts.
Your website should embrace simplicity and effectiveness over flash and fancy graphics. It should be pleasant to look at, but your primary goal isn’t to create a pretty website; instead, you want a website that works. Your site should make it extremely easy for a visitor to become a lead, and they should never be confused about how to get in touch with you.
Some great strategies for this include: have a permanent navigation bar that’s always at the top of the page, so visitors can navigate easily; include your business phone number and a “contact us” link as part of the navigation bar; include ample forms on the site, so visitors can share their contact information for you; and place social media links throughout your site, so visitors can connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Using content to generate leads
As mentioned above, we love content marketing here at Rhino. It’s a process that requires some explaining (which we’d be happy to do if you contact us), but in short, it involves using keyword-laden blogs to drive traffic to your site, and then using “content offers” to turn visitors into leads. A content offer is an informative eBook, white paper or similar item that a visitor can download in exchange for providing their contact info.
If you want to utilize content marketing, you should start by writing blogs for your website. 2-3 blogs a week is a good starting point. These blogs should be about topics that are relevant and popular in your field/market, and should utilize keywords that potential customers are likely to use in a Google search for those blog topics. For example, if you own a local pharmacy, some likely keywords might be “pharmacy” “prescription refills” “out of pocket meds price,” etc.
You should also create 3-5 content offers, which are more in-depth than your blogs. Remember, the content offer has to seem valuable enough that the visitor is willing to part with their contact information (and therefore become a lead for your business).
This is a very “quick and dirty” guide for beginning your internet marketing efforts. If you’d like to learn more, click on the link below to download our FREE eBook: