Advertising once supplied the information people need to make intelligent purchase decisions. Today, people go to Google and other online search engines to find background data on the items they want to buy. They also rely on the blogosphere (“100 million blogs and counting”) and on social media websites such as “Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Digg, Reddit” and “YouTube” to learn about available products and services.
Smart companies do not simply transfer their traditional promotional approaches to the web. They understand that the Internet is not a “one-to-many broadcast tool,” that is to say, a megaphone. Companies using a megaphone approach on their websites drive visitors away. An astute firm wants its website to act as a “hub,” where individuals who share the same interests (such as a focus on your products or services) form communities and connect with one another.
Become an Online Digital Inbound Marketing Hub
Positioning your site as an online transit point or hub for your target market requires connecting to other sites. How? Provide great content that people value and will subscribe to through a feed reader such as RSS (a basic syndication). When you update your web content, your subscribers’ feed readers alert them to new material. People can also subscribe to your content via email.
Do not devote resources exclusively to website design. Compelling online content brings far more visitors than a flashy site. Instead of overspending on aesthetics, create a collaborative blog for your online visitors. Spend your money where the online payoff will prove the most rewarding: blogs, social media sites and Google. Learn how many links connect to your site from external sources and from “high-authority sites.”
If Google crawls a website that links to yours, your site will be included in its index. You also can manually add your website to Google by using “the Google Add URL tool.” To cite one example, design your website to resemble 37Signals, a true hub. It includes the popular “Signal vs. Noise” blog, as well as a job board, a product blog and product information. Plan arresting content and tools to draw the maximum number of visitors.
To score big online, you must offer an outstanding product or service. Consider two important strategies:
1. Become a unique alternative, instead of a competitive choice – Think of the iPod. Prior to its introduction, MP3 players had so many features that users had a hard time setting them up. Apple made it easy to download and listen to music.
2. Be the absolute best that you can be in your special niche – A manufacturer of monkey wrenches imaginatively managed to establish a unique online presence, even though many firms sell wrenches on the Internet. He specialized in monkey wrenches for left-handed plumbers, of which, it turns out, there are plenty. And now all those left-handed plumbers have an exclusive source.
Digital Marketing Converts Prospects into Sales
Enhancing your presence online increases your sales. Once people visit your website, get them to engage with you. That requires a strong call to action that’s valuable to visitors and answers their pivotal question: “What’s in it for me?” Suggest something easy for visitors to act upon and make it prominent on your website, as “a clickable image with a relatively large font.” That first connection must be “action-oriented,” for example, “Win Our Contest.” Avoid “Contact Us,” which is not compelling.
Tie your landing page specifically to the feature that drew visitors in, for example, another web page. If you use Google AdWords, make sure your landing page’s content concerns the keywords you targeted. Your landing page and call to action should match.
The landing page has a single goal: “to get people to fill out your form.” Keep it clean and simple. Visitors must be able to fill out your form quickly and easily, so don’t ask too many questions. If 15% of landing page visitors fill out and submit your form, you have succeeded!