How to Embrace Change
The world has changed in the last decade leaving many previously successful businesses on the sidelines.
The speed at which online business has grown has taken many traditional bricks and mortar businesses by surprise and unawares. Many business owners still rely upon outdated about outmoded Business and sales generation methods.
Embracing this brave New World is one of the biggest challenges facing business today. There are so many opportunities to generate business online that it can be a bewildering experience for many.
The difficulty is often where to start, who to trust, and how to develop a cohesive plan of action.
Online Lead Generation
There are several important ways to generate new business online:
- Organic search engine traffic
- Paid search engine traffic
- Paid advertising
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
Each has its own pros and cons. There is a school of thought that it’s wise to have a foot in each camp so you can hedge your bets going forwards should one method gain a significant advantage over the others.
1/ Organic search engine traffic is the so-called free traffic where you appear in search engine listings (SERP’s) depending on the relevance and popularity of your website. For example web design for photographers offers highly relevant content about how photographers can best display their high quality images online to generate new business.
While considered free, for the most competitive search terms it’s often necessary to employ a reputable search engine optimisation company to apply some Affordable SEO on your website. Optimise your site with effective SEO attributes at a cost effective price and achieve top rankings.
The traffic you receive from organic listings in search engine is generally speaking very high quality, targeted traffic that will convert into sales for you.
2/ Paid search engine traffic is much faster to achieve but more costly because you pay every time somebody clicks on one of your adverts. These ads appear on the search engine listing pages in prominent positions.
They are organised in terms of who bids the most for each keyword so you sometimes require deep pockets for the most competitive search terms.
3/ Paid online advertising allows you to publish banners, text ads and billboards across the web on websites that are relevant to your business and that will be interested in your goods or services.
Conversion rates for paid online advertising I generally much lower than organic SEO and paid ads because you’re not targeting your audience as closely and precisely as with search engine traffic.
Paid advertising can still be very useful however for building your brand and gaining valuable exposure across the web.
Often used as a remarketing tool, so that people who have already visited your website will then be reminded of your business by seeing ads where ever they go online, increasing conversions and bringing window shoppers back to your site when they are ready to buy.
4/ Social media marketing is becoming big business but it can be tricky beast to get right. Generally speaking people don’t use social media to buy anything. It is a communication tool used to stay in touch with friends, Family, and colleagues.
However the world changes and many big brands are building their social media presence because there are so many people on social networks. Social media is about soft sell, building an online reputation and becoming the recommendation of choice for large groups of people.
If you’re going to market across social networks you need to bear this in mind and aim to be useful, helpful, friendly and give rather than take, in order to be trusted.
Testimonials and recommendations from your customers on social networks go along way to build your reputation and drive business to your door. If you help people then they will recommend you.
5/ Email marketing is becoming old hat in many regards due to the improvements in spam filtering that now exist meaning that for email marketing campaigns the open rates are generally much lower than in the past.
This doesn’t mean however that email marketing no longer works, it just means that you have to work harder and smarter to tempt your audience into opening your email in the first place.
Targeted contact lists are far more valuable than buying random lists of email addresses as you will know that your audience is already interested in what you are selling.
Building a strong list of potential customers and sharing useful, helpful and valuable advice will encourage your readership to open your emails read your content and take action.
Whatever route to market you choose online the important thing is to be proactive and develop your online presence.
Keep a tight control on costs as they can soon get away from you if not kept in check.