Just recently, we have been looking at Social Media and where/how it fits into the business marketing picture. Now I don’t know about you but I receive a LOT of offers promoting marketing services. These cover all platforms, including social media.
Back in the day (pre-internet if you can remember that long ago!) marketing services tended to be offering lead generation. A business enquiry (lead) normally meant an opportunity to talk to your prospect. Hopefully, you knew your stuff so, in the dialogue with your prospective customer, you could read them and adapt your message to match their interest/need. This process often leads to a decent conversion rate. I regularly met with business owners who claimed 20%, 30% or even more, conversion from enquiry to customer.
These days, most marketing services have gone online. Let’s face it, the internet has hugely driven down communication costs so marketing online is a no-brainer, however, whether it is Social Media, SEO, Banner advertising, Pay-per-click, or whatever, virtually all of today’s marketing services are offering to generate more web traffic.
Interestingly, all this means is that they will deliver more visitors to your website. You are left to join the dots and equate More Traffic => More Opportunities => More Revenue.
…but do these necessarily follow? I suggest not.
Undoubtedly, a website is a must for most businesses these days. Maybe you operate your business face to face or based on close, professional relationships, as we do? Even so, potential customers and clients still expect a website as a way of checking you out.
Even if your marketing approach delivers prospective clients to your website, what do they see when they get there?
Does your website really tell your story?
Often, creating a new website is a project. You create a design, add some content and launch your website, then move on to something else. If you have got it right, on the day of launch, your website should do a good job of reflecting the reality of what you and your business stand for. However, in my experience, this is (disappointingly) often not the case.
Businesses are inevitably dynamic and changing while too often, a website is static. As your business evolves, don’t forget your website? As time moves on, your website disconnects from your business. It doesn’t tell your story. Even if you are getting good quality, relevant visitors to your website from your target market, there is a growing risk that they won’t see the right message. They need to see the true business proposition and opportunity that you can offer them.
The more this happens, the greater the risk that the link between site visitors and business enquiries is broken. Effective marketing is joined-up and consistent.
Your website should be dynamic
A modern business website should no longer be the exclusive domain of the techies and designers. It is a key business communication tool so should be at the heart of your business.
Yes, the site should maintain a consistent and logical style and layout, but the content should be dynamic so that, no matter how long ago you launched your website, it reflects your business as it is today. A dynamic website, regularly refreshed will stay relevant to your business and make sure your website visitors are seeing the right message at all times.
Traditionally, you create a website and it then lives for a few years (often in splendid isolation) until the time came for a new site and the process started again. This should not happen now. A dynamic website, joined-up with your business marketing, will evolve along with the rest of your company
Are your site visitors getting the right message?
Don't guess. Measure
At the top of this post, I talked about the connection between website visitors and business opportunities. One of the beauties of the internet is that you can see what happens when people visit your website.
Analytics can have a bit of a learning curve but they are worth the effort. Using website analytics allows you to join up between site visitors, their engagement with your content and their actions. You can see where they enter your site, how long they stay on a particular page and what content interests them most. Analytics can pretty much tell you what you need to do to make your site interesting and relevant to your visitors. Then all you need to do is make sure that, at the same time, it stays true to your business message.
Deliver your message in a way that engages your visitors. New customers are the natural next step.