Crafting a Compelling Story: StoryBrand
A website is one piece of your marketing (often one of the most important). It is a place to tell the story that you want your customers and prospects to hear. One that places them as the hero of the story and you as the guide to help them achieve success.
The design and technical aspects of a website are important (and can be harmful if done incorrectly). But, the content (the story) is the ultimate reason for the website. The story must be tailored to who your target audience is. What kind of people are you reaching? What are their struggles? And how can you help them accomplish what they want? Be sure to focus on the content.
Tip: Check out the book Building a StoryBrand for an easy to follow process to help develop your brand story.
The best way to “brag” about your business is to let your customers do it for you.
“Your customers speak more positively about you than you speak about yourself.”
– The Revenue Growth Habit
Customer testimonials are a powerful way to share how your business makes a difference in your customer’s lives. Testimonials can be used on your website, advertising, social media posts, emails, and other marketing materials.
We all struggle with this and think of reasons not to ask for testimonials or not to share them. But if you really think about it, these are simply excuses. Talk to your customers about how your business has helped them. Then turn these comments into a testimonial and ask the customer if they will allow you to use it. Almost always the answer will be yes.
Tip: Get the book The Revenue Growth Habit for some excellent ideas on how to comfortably ask for testimonials.
A website does not need to be perfect, but there are some basics that you should consider. These are a few items that we see as important and are often overlooked.
Have a prominent call to action
What step do you want the visitor to take? Sometimes it is to have them call or fill out a request form. But other times the goal may be to communicate with them in the future by having them sign up for an email list.
Mobile friendly responsive design
Typically more than 50% of visitors are on mobile devices. Responsive web design refers to building a website so that it works well regardless of the size of screen that the visitor is viewing it on.
Website speed is extremely important. Visitors leave quickly if they do not find what they are looking for. Because visitors care, Google also uses this as a factor in how well the website will rank.
Show your best work
Use custom photography to show your products, your work, and culture. Don’t settle for stock photos. This is essential for making a great impression.
The last three topics were really about positioning your online presence so that your website will convert visitors to leads. Now that this is in place, we can look at how to expand your reach online.
Google My Business
If your business serves a local area then you definitely need to set this up. This will add you to Google Maps, but more importantly it will improve your organic search results as well. Here are some tips on how to properly set up Google My Business.
Paid Search Advertising: Google Ads/Microsoft Ads
This is one of our favorite ways to gain immediate traction online. While paid search advertising can be costly, it allows you to immediately expand your reach. You can reach prospective customers based on the keywords they are searching for as well as the geographic location they are in. This is beneficial for building your online presence and is also scalable for many businesses.
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is one of the most widely used terms in online marketing and often it is misused and misunderstood. Our approach to SEO is that we do not try to trick Google (and other search engines) into showing a website at the top. Rather, we build a website in the recommended ways and use real original content within the website. The content is focused on the keywords your customers are looking for. Often these simple steps will take care of the majority of what needs to be done to get a website ranking well.
Links From Partners or Industry Organizations
If you have partners, industry organizations, or are certified in some way, you will want to have these organizations link to your website.
Social media gets talked about a lot (often too much). However, there are many great examples of organizations who built a strong social media following that results in leads. It’s not for everyone, but it is worth considering.
Lastly, remember that all of your marketing efforts need to work together.
Email Marketing: The Forgotten
Email marketing is still one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Building an email list of people who have given you permission to send content to their inbox has incredible value. This allows you to continue engaging with prospective customers. Then, when they are ready for your product/services, you are the one they reach out to. Email marketing is also a great way to stay in touch with your current customers. It allows you to continue giving them value and is another avenue of communication.
Don’t let all the hype about social media make you forget about email marketing… be sure to keep this as a part of your digital marketing strategy.
It Doesn’t End There: Measure and Improve
With all these strategies and ideas it is important to keep in mind that you measure what is working in order to focus your efforts. You won’t be able to do everything, so don’t feel bad if you only pick one item to start with. Pick one item to improve upon, set up ways to measure its effectiveness, and start there.
You may want to track things such as: number of leads, percentage of visitors becoming leads, number of visitors, and number of new newsletter subscribers. Pick a metric that makes sense and focus on that. Then work to improve it.