“No one in my industry does Internet marketing, so why should I?”
Internet marketing is crucial in every industry. The above question is one of the most dangerous misconceptions that small business owners have about Internet marketing.
Just because your competitors aren’t doing Internet marketing, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t either. In fact, this is exactly why you should hire a digital marketer–to get ahead of your competition.
We are in the digital age, and there’s no better way to sell and promote your offerings to consumers than by appealing to your audience online.
Yes, industrial equipment companies and manufacturers, this applies to you too.
By implementing a strategic Internet marketing strategy, any industry can:
1. Increase visibility
One of the main benefits of online marketing is that it allows your business to be more visible on the channels that your customers use the most, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and social media. Your buyers are more likely to click on the first options that appear in their search results, so increasing your visibility will in turn increase traffic to your website. If your website is set up correctly, then the increase in traffic should translate to more leads.
If the increase in traffic doesn’t translate to more leads, then you’ll want to review the 7 A/B test to increase landing page conversion rates.
2. Be found on Google
Google is the new Yellow Pages. If you can't be found in search engines, your business does not exist in the mind of the consumer.
Simply having a website, especially one that's static, is not enough. It needs to be updated frequently with fresh content.
3. Increase their engagement
When people find content that speaks to them, they share it, and do so most often on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Well-written, well-produced content can be the catalyst for a viral wave, which means your business will gain exposure far beyond the few who see it initially.
4. Build trust
Most likely, you're not going to get a lead or make a sale just because you wrote a thoughtful article that demonstrates your expertise. The benefit comes in the form of implied trust, which is a valuable commodity in today's highly competitive marketplace. People want to do business with companies they trust, and what better way to build it than with credible, thoughtful content?
I bet there are many things you know about your industry that, if committed to paper or video, would influence prospective customers to do business with you instead of a competitor. Until you add your voice to the conversation, you'll never know.
5. Generates traffic and leads
Research conducted by marketing agency Hubspot found that companies that blog 15 or more times per month get five times more traffic than companies that don't blog at all.
Even better, companies that increase blogging from 3-5 times per month to 6-8 times per month nearly double the number of leads. Furthermore, B2B companies that blog only once or twice per month generate 70% more leads than those that don't blog at all, Hubspot found.
6. Enhance website traffic quality
Certain Internet marketing tactics are geared around bringing the right people to your website. More traffic doesn’t necessarily mean an influx of relevant visitors. You could be driving people to your site who do not fit your buyer persona and will likely leave as soon as they click on it.
Paid advertising, local SEO, and social media marketing allow you to target exactly who you want to visit your site–down to the most specific and intimate details. The ability to target with this level of specificity is exactly why Internet marketing is so effective. No other method of marketing allows you to directly and specifically target people who are exhibiting behavior that indicates they are currently interested in your products or services.
7. Increase in-store visits
Not only can Internet marketing help you enhance the quality of your website traffic, but it can also increase your in-store foot traffic. When you use these techniques to zero-in on your ideal potential buyers, you increase the likelihood that they will find your contact information on your website and visit your location in person.
8. Gain more customers
Nowadays, online platforms are an integral part of the customer journey for every industry. All of your potential buyers are using at least some form of online medium every day–whether it be Google, social media, or any other means of search. Knowing this fact, it’s easy to see how Internet marketing can be used to help you gain more customers.
9. Improve local presence
When your potential buyers are searching for a product or service on Google, Google attempts to identify their location and show results that are relevant to their area. With the proper Internet marketing tactics, your website will rank highly in these location-specific search results.
For example, if you own a CNC machining company in Lafayette, you want your business to show in the search results when someone googles “CNC machining lafayette.” With the appropriate Internet marketing techniques, this is possible. When you communicate your business location to Google, Google will in turn show your business to people in your area who are searching for your products or services.
10. Increase online authority
When you use online marketing to promote your business, you change the way that potential buyers view your company. By showing up first in Google search results alongside other respected industry competitors, your business gains more credibility, and the likelihood that new customers will buy from you increases.
BONUS REASON: Brand Monitoring
People will participate with your brand. If you're not monitoring it, then you could miss out on opportunities to learn about and learn from your customers. Social media is an unfiltered opportunity to learn at a grassroots level what people really think about your brand, products, or services.
People are talking and they are using the social web - blogs, social networks, online forums, video, etc. - as their mouthpiece.
Some time ago, I spoke at a gathering of local hospital marketing directors on the topic of social media. In preparation, I visited a couple of healthcare rating and review sites to see if any of the hospitals represented might be mentioned. Oh boy, were they! One hospital in particular was dealt a number of severe blows in terms of negative reviews. Another experienced quite the opposite effect.
Don't kid yourself. Reviews from "average people like me" are powerful. Not only do they influence consumer attitudes and behavior, often they show up prominently in search returns.
What to Listen For
There are three metrics involved in what is now referred to as reputation management: share of voice, tone of voice, and trends over time.
Share of voice
This is a measurement of how much and to what degree people are talking about you. For many small businesses, often nothing is being said. That's almost as bad as if people are talking negatively. When that happens, it is vital that something be done to stimulate conversation.
Tone of voice
This is a gauge of whether the conversation is largely positive or negative and is often referred to as "sentiment analysis.” If the sentiment is positive, reward those who speak well of you. That will presumably encourage them to do even more. If the tone is largely negative, it is incumbent upon you to get to the root of the problem, if, in fact, a problem exists.
Fix the problem and the tone will likely change. If it's misinformation that's being spread, you must engage the critics and correct their misunderstanding.
Trends over time
It is important to monitor both the above metrics over the course of time in order to see the effects of your advertising, marketing, and PR efforts.
Benefits to Monitoring Your Online Reputation
There are a number of key benefits associated with listening.
1. You will be made aware of a crisis long before it has an opportunity to escalate to a point where overcoming negative sentiment becomes a costly, lengthy affair.
2. You will know where the conversations are taking place, whether on Twitter, Facebook, in blogs, forums, or even in the mainstream press. If you know where the conversation is happening, you'll know where to go to respond.
3. You will know what topics are being discussed. You may learn that, resident with the bounds of the conversation, there is a marketing idea just waiting to be turned into a campaign which you would never have discovered had you not been listening. Related to that, you will also become aware of keywords people are using with regard to you -- keywords you can incorporate into your SEO, pay-per-click, or content marketing efforts.
4. You will find who the influencers are. While everyone's voice matters, it must be acknowledged that some matter more than others. Once identified, you can begin building a relationship with them that may result in their extending that influence on your behalf.
Regarding influencers, I am not suggesting that the most influential are always the ones with the most fans or biggest following. In social media, it's not merely a matter of how many, but who. Some of the people with the smallest number can easily have great influence.
I cannot imagine a company not wanting to listen to the conversation taking place around its brand, products, services, industry, and competition. And it's no less critical for a small business than it is for a large company. Listening should be an imperative for both.
Regardless of your industry, Internet marketing is crucial and can definitely help your business grow.
Want to learn more about how Internet marketing can help you hit your sales targets this year? Schedule a strategy call with Bizzuka today, and we’ll help you gain clarity on exactly what tactics you can use to improve your online lead generation.