The Internet is the future of marketing. I’m sure this isn’t a big surprise and many of us have felt a shift in that direction due to the pandemic and economic downturn of 2020. Here are some statistics courtesy of Blue Corona to give you a fuller picture:
- 97% of consumers use the internet when researching local services.
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- Approximately 50% of small and medium-sized businesses invest in a website.
Additionally, 30% of small businesses without a website cite cost is the main factor, but then you have to ask yourself, “Wait a second. In this increasingly internet-enabled world, does it make any sense whatsoever to be flying without a website?” I mean, if someone asks you to do business with them, what's the first thing you do? You probably look to see if they have a website. If not, you check them out on LinkedIn or Facebook. You might also look for Yelp reviews, learning through word of mouth.
It’s unavoidable: a legitimate company has a website, preferably professionally designed and in a reasonably contemporary style. 98% of searchers choose a business that is on the first page of search results. This is something you most likely do when you’re seeking solutions. If you’ve got a website, make sure you’re on that first page! Nearly 90% of marketers say their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts have increased exposure for their business and 75% have noticed increased traffic. So, these are all things to think about.
Aside from upgrading your SEO, here are other tips that will keep you ahead when you pursue online marketing:
- Don’t spread yourself too thin. If you’re currently considering how much to invest in online marketing, come up with a good game plan, choose a few modalities and make sure to monitor your results.
- Feature the most important things about your business. This is especially pertinent to social media. Use professional pictures, pique human interest and address any negative comments authoritatively and quickly.
- Focus on a niche. Maybe you work in hard-hit neighborhoods. Maybe you specialize in homeowners that are associated with a particular religious or professional institution. Whatever it is, put it at the forefront of your messaging and find the right prospects who are looking for your services.
- Create a memorable logo. Sometimes that is all it takes to gain some recognition. Get a professional to help you out and brainstorm some ideas. Believe me, it’s worth it. Visuals go a long way.
- Showcase a project’s progress, not just the results. At this point people are used to watching reality television about home renovations and things like that. They want to see the good, the bad and the ugly. When you get to the end there’s an immense sense of accomplishment. Why not recreate that for your potential customers?
- Create a guest-friendly website. People shouldn’t find it difficult to connect with your company. The path to contacting you should be pretty obvious, with just a few clicks or swipes away.
- Be consistent. Make sure that your information is the same on your website as it is everywhere else on social media. Don’t let your addresses get out of date or your copyright lag several years behind. Maintain your presence on LinkedIn and engage with locals for word of mouth.
- Get an endorsement. If it’s possible to get a public figure or an expert in your field to back you, it can have an extraordinary effect on your outreach.
- Understand how effective a video can be. If anything, don’t read from a brochure or text for your website. Focus on what you do, not what you say. It’s better to show instead of tell, especially concerning your work. It’s a reminder to your customers that you can walk them through the process and that they will need a professional’s help to get it done correctly.