What’s the best way to promote your business? That’s easy…get a website.
We are becoming dependent on immediate access to information through our computers, smartphones, and touch screen devices. These days, most people use search engines to find local companies to do business with –say goodbye to phonebooks. Conventional forms of advertising (billboards, magazines, word of mouth) are becoming outdated and ineffective.
Websites are the best form of advertising for any company offering a service to the community – dentists, masons, technical support, auto mechanics, electricians… People expect you to have a website, and they won’t find you if you’re not findable.
What is successful advertising?
All forms of advertising transmit information, hoping to receive a return on investment. We believe the goal of an advertising campaign determines whether or not it is successful. Most campaigns seek to do one of two things:
- Brand recognition – Your brand is everything about your company. It is your name, logo, services, quality assurance…it’s the essence that separates you from your competitors. Repetitive interaction with your brand helps gain your target market’s trust.
- Generate leads – Generally, advertising dollars are expected to be recuperated by selling more products, signing more contracts, or otherwise increasing business.
While these two general measurements of success remain consistent, the paths to achieving them are staggering.
What is the best way to promote your business? That’s easy…get a website.
Conventional problem – Typical company promotions take a right place at the right time approach, which limits your outreach. They also fall on deaf ears. Not only does a person need to be driving on a specific road in a direction facing your billboard and glance up at it, they have to actually care about what you’re offering. Billboards, signage, and other push advertising have become so interweaved into our scenery that we are numb to their very existence.
Website solution – The internet allows people to do their own research. Imagine someone in your area sitting at the computer searching for your services. In that moment, he is already reaching out for the services your company provides – he just doesn’t know about your company yet. Your website can focus on the keywords and phrases being searched to help you get listed in his search results. This process of fine-tuning your site to become associated with keywords is called search engine optimization, and we can help get you started.
Track online referrals to determine ROI
Conventional problem – One problem with advertising is tracking the effectiveness of the campaign. You may try to remember to ask clients how they found you, but the reality is this workflow is flawed by inevitable human error.
Website solution – Websites let you see how search engines and people interact with your web pages by seeing which pages they visited, how long they stayed on each page, what other site referred them to you, etc. You can even see the exact words they typed into the search engine that led them to your web page. That’s powerful.
Conventional problem – Traditional advertising enforces a limiting package for all users to experience equally – magazines give you size requirements, television gives you a time frame, and so on. But, not all users experience things the same way.
Website solution – Your site can be designed to offer various pathways to the same content, letting individuals explore your website the way they want. Putting the individual in the driver’s seat let’s him make his own decision, which means he’s already warmed up if he calls you.
Word of mouth sharing
Conventional problem – The word of mouth concept continues to be the greatest referral system. However, passing along business information from a Yellow Pages ad doesn’t paint the right picture for your audience. And I don’t always have 25 minutes to tell a friend about the great experience I had at the oil change place down the street.
Website solution – These days, people are passing your referrals through social network sites like Facebook, Digg, Twitter, and even through email. You can link your friend directly to a web page and let the page sell itself. The simple act of me sending it over generates the trust between the referral and your company.
Give me some feedback
This is not a complete list by any means, and there are certainly times when magazine and billboard ads are ideal for advertising something specific. But the biggest bang for the buck for marketing your company’s services is a well-designed and developed website. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.