Some of my clients come to me with a great looking website, but they’re frustrated no one is visiting. They feel as if they’ve paid for an awesome new billboard – but it’s plonked in the middle of the desert where no one can see it.
And they’re right.
There are over a billion websites on the internet. It’s no longer enough just to have a website. You need to find a way for your customers to find you.
There’s a number of digital strategies I recommend to generate new business for my clients, but, before I get to the what, it’s important to know the why.
Compared to traditional advertising methods, there’s a lot of unique benefits to investing in digital marketing.
Digital marketing is targeted.
Unlike newspaper ads or direct mail, with digital advertising you can choose exactly who sees your ads and who doesn’t. This way you’re not wasting money advertising to people who will never become customers.
Digital marketing is measurable.
Once you’ve experienced a successful digital campaign, you’ll get so used to having complete visibility, that investing in anything else will feel like you’re playing Russian Roulette with your marketing budget.
Every digital campaign will be able to tell you how many people are clicking and visiting your website. And you’ll know, to the cent, just how hard your marketing dollars are working.
Digital marketing is scalable.
Digital marketing campaigns always get better with time, because we are constantly measuring, testing and refining our tactics. Once we have hit the ‘sweet spot’ and you are seeing a consistently strong return on investment, you’ll have the confidence to invest more.
What can digital marketing do for you?
Digital marketing can be a strong driver for aggressive business growth, or it can be a simple tool to support your lifestyle so you don’t have to experience another rollercoaster year of seasonal peaks and troughs.
I’ve seen all kinds of businesses get good returns with digital. From highly niched manufacturing companies selling helicopter parts, right through to online stores selling kids clothes – digital marketing campaigns can work for just about everyone.
But it doesn’t work for all people, all of the time.
Some truisms when it comes to marketing (and life)
- You have to spend money to make money.
- Nothing in life is guaranteed.
- No risk, no reward.
If it were that easy to invest a dollar and make three back, we’d all be on a beach in Tahiti right now, being served overpriced cocktails by devilishly handsome bartenders (or am I the only one with that life goal?)
I’m not here to paint a picture that everything is rainbows and unicorns (and topless bartenders). Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, a digital campaign will flop. It happens to the best of us.
All marketing is, by it’s nature, a risk. But at least with digital marketing, you always have data to tell you how well your campaigns are working. You can tweak and change campaigns on the fly, and you will have proof, by way of the analytics, to see what your return on investment is. Compare that to your typical radio or newspaper ad, and you’ll start to see the benefits.
Compared to traditional advertising, digital marketing reduces your risk because of it’s ability to track results in real time and to provide data to help you make smarter marketing decisions.
YOUR ACTION POINTS FOR ONLINE SUCCESS:
- Write down your goals for business growth within the next six months.
- How much is a new customer worth to you?
- How many new online customers would you need each month to achieve your revenue goal?
Now, consider how digital marketing could help you achieve these goals…
- What is your sales hit rate? How many enquiries do you typically convert into a customer?
- Based on this number, how many new web/phone enquiries would you need each month?
- How much will you need to invest to generate this many enquiries via Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising (the cost is different on both platforms, but I can help you work that out).
Now you have have the data, do the math
- What is the cost to acquire a customer? Will this be a positive or negative return on investment?
- If positive… invest!
- If negative… have you factored in the lifetime value of your client? Do most clients buy from you again? If so, maybe you can invest a bit more to acquire them. But if not….
- Consider another method like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which takes longer to work, but is often more cost effective after 6-12 months.
If you’re still sitting on the fence about investing in digital marketing
So my advice is to choose one marketing channel and trial it for 3 to 6 months. But don’t do it yourself – not unless you’re one of those Brilliant Mind’s types with a love for spreadsheets.
Find a digital specialist who has spent years honing their craft, and together you can set a budget and define what a successful campaign looks like. (e.g. reduce your current cost per customer acquisition from $20 per lead to $10 per lead, or boost new enquiries by 20% etc etc.). Then, you can let the experts run and tweak your campaign for at least 3 months.
It takes a little while for a digital campaign to gain momentum, but if you aren’t seeing it heading in the right direction after a month, we can quickly adjust the parameters – or stop the spend – with the click of a button.
Then, ultimately, whether you win big, or lose a little – you’ve learned an important marketing lesson for your business. You’re learning what works and what doesn’t, and that’s business intelligence gold.