In the Quentin Tarantino movie The Hateful Eight, annoyed bounty hunter John Ruth, played by Kurt Russell, confronts his guitar-strumming prisoner Daisy Domergue, portrayed by Jennifer Jason Leigh. He abruptly snatches the old guitar out of her hands.
Snarling, "Music time's over!" he turns, smashes it against a substantial wooden post and tosses the wreckage aside.
Responding with complete disbelief, Daisy shrieks, "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" and looks off camera to the left, wide-eyed and shocked. It wasn't just Daisy pretending to be surprised, though. Hers was an authentically horrified reaction by Leigh who knew that the instrument Russell had just destroyed wasn't what he thought it was.
Kurt Russell assumed that the guitar was one of the six props destined for destruction. Only after the cameras cut did the film crew tell him it was actually a priceless 1870s vintage Martin guitar, on loan to the movie production company from the Martin Guitar Museum.
Not knowing what you've got can be tragic and possibly very expensive.
Like most businesses, you probably have a website. But do you know its true value? Do you know what to do with it? Digital Marketing can be a gold mine for any business and it's not going away; it’s just going to continue to grow.
How can you leverage your online footprint to garner leads and get your marketing message out there?
Before you do anything else, set goals.
Who do you want to hear and to see your message? What are the core elements of your marketing content? Is there a number of leads you want to try for? What’s your plan to gather and to follow up on those new leads?
Start by being specific. Use numbers if at all possible, like this:
"We want to increase ___ [a key metric like revenue, sales, leads, etc.] by ________ %, from ______ (a raw number like '50' to _____ (the increased raw number) by this date ________ (a deadline on the calendar)."
For example: "We want to increase the number of leads we can call by 15%, from 100 to 115 per month by January 31st.
There are a LOT of ways you can market your business on the internet — some easy and quick, some lengthy and difficult, and a whole lot that are in the middle somewhere. Of the massive list of ideas, here are FIVE that you can start working on that will get you in the game and on your way.
Why blog? Because in the world of online marketing, content is king. Google looks for relevant, fresh content in order to decide if your site is worth showing to a searcher. Buyers researching your product or service actually read your articles before they buy. The numbers don’t lie:
- B2B marketers that blog rake in 67% more leads than those who don't.
- Marketers who blog are 13 times more likely to see positive ROI.
- Companies with blogs receive 97% more links to their website.
How do you blog? Write about daily happenings in your company. Celebrate milestones. Talk up new products. Spotlight new customers. Address the pain points your customers have.
There are a lot of great blogging platforms out there, and they even help you ground your material on keywords and phrases that will help you become found online. There are a few basic blogging guidelines to follow if you want your writing to appeal to search engines. But in the meantime, just start!
#2 Downloadable Offers
What questions come up in every sales call? What objections do people have? What facts do they seem interested in?
Use these to shape an e-book or whitepaper that you can offer in return for their email address.
Are you a building contractor? Publish a piece on how houses are built. Legal professional? Write up a glossary of legal jargon that would interest people who are looking for a lawyer. Once you produce content that people really want, e-mail addresses of contacts will start to flow.
#3 Social Media
Social Media Marketing has acquired a reputation for being "high-risk, high-reward" for many reasons, including a very public failure when you get it wrong. However, with a plan, along with a studied familiarity with the medium and your audience, it's not as perilous as you might think. In fact, sharing your message on a social media channel can be fun!
The first thing to realize is that most social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, for instance — is conversational. Don't expect to just pump out Tweets and go home for the day. Companies that leverage their following are active in the conversation, responding quickly and professionally when their audience engages.
Remember, too, that a large number of likes, retweets or shares on Facebook does not actually equal qualified leads. Are your posts getting the phone to ring?
#4 Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
While Google keeps much of their magic secret, there are some tricks of the trade to make sure you’re appearing on search engine results. Internal and external links, backlinks, word count, URL structure and a lot of other technical hocus pocus can be executed by professionals who know what they are doing. Here are four tips to get you started:
- Decide on a handful of keywords and phrases that a searcher would type in to find you.
- Do your own Google searches on those words.
- Examine what the authors did and didn't do on the highest ranked pages.
- Create your own content featuring your keywords that is BETTER than the ones you found.
#5 Cultivate Online Reviews
If you have not set up your account on Google My Business, stop reading and do it now.
Those yellow ranking stars could mean new leads and customers for you.
While there are abuses of the online review systems in place now, most people still take a good look at others' opinions of a business they are considering. And most business benefit from a healthy and growing number of reviewers, especially those who thank their customers for giving them a thumbs up.
What about negative reviews? This is a great opportunity to show off how professional you are. Respond kindly and professionally and offer to resolve the matter off the review page.
Asking for reviews is a good idea, just stay away from asking for positive ones only. You have nothing to worry about if your enterprise is customer-focused and beneficial. Sure, there will be an occasional crank, but most online shoppers know that there will always be that one person who was having a bad day and took it out on you. If you are on top of a quick response, you can usually neutralize a negative review by a reasonable response.
The real trick is to make sure all of these strategies interlock. For example, if someone leaves a comment on a review that pertains to something you blogged about, add the link to your reply. Put a link to your most recent blog in your social media posts. Use keywords you find in social media feeds you follow that have a bearing on your product or service.
Most of our clients don't realize what they have in their hands when they upgrade or create a website — so much marketing power! We always tell them to EXPECT that their online presence will add revenue and grow their business. In discovery meetings, we often ask, “How much business can you handle?”
About the guitar mishap. The Martin Guitar Museum now refuses to loan out any guitars for any reason whatsoever. Kurt Russell got emotional when told what he had done. Jennifer Jason Leigh said, "Kurt felt terrible; he had no idea. When he found out, his eyes literally welled up. It ended up being great for the scene, but very sad for the guitar, for my guitar teacher and for me.”
Don’t be Kurt Russell. Find out what you've got there on your computer and leverage it to marketing success. The United WebWorks marketing team can help you plan, create and build a powerful customized marketing plan that makes sense for your business. Set up a free consultation today.