Do you remember those cereal commercials… with cute animated characters bouncing around convincing you that their cereal was the only thing you needed for breakfast? Yet, at the very end to showed a picture while the announcer claimed, “Sugary Puffs are part of this complete breakfast.” The photo showed a meal with eggs, fruit, whole wheat toast, orange juice, and whatever else the food lawyers told them to include. While it was a quick flash, it was the most important part of the message: although tempting and convenient, you can’t get balanced nutrition from a bowl of sugar. You must ingest more to satisfy your body’s needs.
As it turns out, the same exact principle holds true for industrial marketing. Over the years, I’ve heard so many claim that they didn’t need “more marketing”, since they already had a website and/or a whatever. Well, you can’t just eat your SE-O’s and call ‘em breakfast! A company’s digital marketing appetite is much bigger. The keys to satisfaction? Variety and balance. Just as the mix of foods provides different benefits to your body, so do the various online marketing channels. Let’s take a look at the menu:
Your Website – as the centerpiece of your complete breakfast, this benefits you the most. It’s critical to have a protein-rich website that’s informative, user friendly, fresh and encourages visitors to connect with you by requesting quotes/info, or buying now. But remember, the website alone will not satisfy the hunger, you still need to drive traffic to that site.
SEO – time tested and mother approved, organic SEO is a delicious way to “supplement” your website. Moms love SEO since it drives traffic while prospects are ACTIVELY SEARCHING for your product or service. Searchers type in a service or product along with a few descriptive words, your company comes up and they click – you now got a live one on the line.
Social Media – rich in vitamins and minerals, this tasty dish helps keep you fit for the long run. Social is about making impressions and improving brand exposure to targeted audiences. Although it takes time and consistency to strengthen your social media muscle, it pays off long term. Manufacturers are adapting to social media at impressive rates. LinkedIn is signing on one new professional every two seconds. Twitter is making it relatively easy to expose your brand to thousands of targeted people, including those at Fortune 500 companies. Social is becoming indispensible as a tool to connect with people, inform them, earn their trust, and ultimately get their business.
Email Marketing – like whole grain toast, email is tried and true, particularly the retention based variety. Here, you are reaching out to your existing customers on a regular basis to keep your name and messaging in front of them. This is something you know you need to do, but never have the time to, right? Do avoid that gluey, soft white bread variety though – email blasts to rented or borrowed lists. These do not convert well and will leave you very hungry. All of that bleached flour does a better job at harming your reputation rather than improving it. Nobody likes junk mail. People want to receive emails from people that they know.
Directories– listing your website with online directories is another yummy way to attract targeted traffic. Directories tend to attract quality visitors that stay on sites longer and view more pages content. They typically stay on longer and drill deeper than traffic driven directly from search engines. As a result, conversion rates are higher – they are much more likely to request a quote, give you a call or hit that buy now button.
SEM/PPC/Online Display Ads – Pay-for-play can get pricey, but when properly tweaked, can be an excellent source of quality site traffic. PPC strategies, where you pay search engines to come up for certain words, should only be implemented when you can’t succeed organically. When placing display or banner ads, be sure to target your exposure. If you make pumps, there isn’t much value for exposure when someone is looking for cable assemblies.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and a well balanced one is the key. No short cuts, no sugar puffs. Plan a well balanced digital diet so your company can be energetic in the short term and remain healthy for the long run. Mothers everywhere will approve.