If you build it, they will come…
This is a famous (mis)quote from the film Field of Dreams. Adopted by many gurus and coaches since its release, it suggests that all you need to do is create something and everyone will want to see it/buy it/engage with it.
In marketing, this is hardly ever the case. Building the product, website or service is the easiest part of the process. Ensuring people know it exists is the difficult bit.
We’ve worked with clients in the past that believed, once we created their website, that their business would automatically flourish and bloom.
Why would this be? If no one visited your site before it had a makeover, they’re not likely to visit afterwards, unless you tell them to. Unless you give them reason to come. Unless you promote it to the right people. Though good design, effortless navigation and evocative copy will grab your visitors once they journey to your site, if they don’t know it exists, it doesn’t matter how fantastic it is.
The internet is an infinite entity. It gathers more and more URLs with each passing year and few people (if any) stumble across websites of interest anymore; they have to be directed to them by effective signposting.
You need to put the work in, in order to be seen. It won’t just happen, unless your brand is already established and active.
So, how do you do this?
If Mohammed won’t come to the mountain, the mountain must go to Mohammed, as they say. People gather on social media; these platforms are the digital equivalent of water coolers, town squares, busy parks, etc. However, social media sites have become monsters in their own right, which means simply posting on them is unlikely to gather much traction.
Consistency is key…the more you post, the more visibility and notoriety you will gain. Another tip is to take advantage of filtering tools and analytics to get in front of your target market.
Your biggest concern here is to engage your potential customers, which means not talking AT them all the time. Talk to them, try and encourage them to interact with you, aim to build relationships. Your content must connect with them before you can direct them to your website.
Just because your website is in the digital domain it doesn’t mean that you can’t signpost people to it when offline. You can absolutely use traditional methods to alert possible clients to your presence—via adverts, flyers, posters, and connecting with you in person at networking/trade events, for example.
The downside with being physically in front of a potential customer is that, unless they log on to your site and/or purchase from you there and then, you risk them forgetting to visit or ‘going off the boil’ when they get home. Use good sales tactics to encourage people to sign up/purchase/visit your site whilst they’re still with you. Alternatively, add a discount code to your flyers to push/prompt customers to act later on.
We wouldn’t like to guess how many websites are live on the internet today, but we can safely say it’s not a small number. Knowledge of your site is one thing—even then, you’ve got to give people reason to visit it. They’d be much more motivated to do this if they were to receive something for their trouble.
This could be a free ebook or download, an industry report, subscriber-only content…something that will be of real value to them. You will still need to promote this ‘value offering’ through other methods, but at least your visitors will likely feel that the typing of your site’s URL into their browser is worth their time and effort.
This may seem a magical, mystical way to get traffic to your website, and it is indeed something of a fine art. However, don’t let that put you off; it’s still worth understanding the basics of SEO and applying them to your marketing efforts. Think of it like fishing: SEO keywords, hashtags and metadata act as bait. When people type search terms/questions into their browser, and these match those within your SEO subject matter, Google gets to work, displaying your content (and, ultimately, your site’s URL) towards those ‘fishing’.
Unless you invest some good money and time into your SEO, however, you may find that your site is listed quite far down the search results…and how many of us look any further than page one or two of what Google et al bring up? That’s why the subheading was ‘good SEO’; DIY SEO will only get you so far. We’d recommend getting in the experts if SEO is something you wish to embrace.
This stands for ‘pay per click’ and refers to targeted adverts you can create online for your audience(s). With traditional marketing, you may post out 100 leaflets or speak to 100 attendees at an event; only a small proportion of these 100 people/recipients will be your target audience, i.e. people already looking to buy your product.
Online, the process of finding your ideal customers is arguably easier with PPC. The best part about this method is that your PPC advert will ultimately be shown hundreds of times to people searching for what you offer on the internet, but you will only be charged when one of them actually clicks on your advert to visit your site. Even then, the cost will amount to just a few pounds and pence (the price per click varies with the popularity of your search terms/target words and phrases; the more popular a term, the more each visitor’s click will cost you).
Again, it may be best to engage the professionals if you wish to create an effective PPC campaign. Don’t think of the expense as an added cost either—look at it as a huge shortcut and a cheaper way of getting in front of the people you’re trying to sell to or engage.
Have you ever read an article or blog that’s resonated with you so much that you’ve looked at who the author was? Maybe that’s just us. Evidence shows that if you establish yourself as an expert with your content, you will attract people to you. Ensure your articles link back to your website and expect to see your site’s traffic go up.
Good content is underrated in the digital world today—some people feel that there’s already too much stuff out there to realistically read, or that our attention spans simply don’t want to consume long-form content. Well, if you’re reading this sentence, which is over 1,000 words into this article, you’re proving that assumption wrong. Like anything, when done well and in the right place, long-form content can prove extremely evocative to the right audiences. There is no firm right or wrong way of marketing a product—different strokes work for different folks, that’s all. Your task is finding out what works for your audience.
These are just some of the ways you can increase traffic to your site and stoke your visitors’ interest long enough for them to act. If you’d like help with your marketing strategy, we’re the experts; contact us on 07983 575934 for more information.