Many businesses today must feel like they are being pulled in every direction by wild stallions.
As well as your revenue management and day-to-day running, they must find time to advertise their services in what has become a highly competitive and, at times, incredibly fickle environment; namely, the online space.
How does one find time to navigate this online space, stay current and produce results? And how important is it to be represented correctly in this space?
No, we’re not just talking about a website, there are multiple segments where a business can be present.
1) Your website.
2) Directory Listings.
3) Online advertising.
4) Social Media.
Segment 1) Your website. It’s now become commonplace for all forward thinking businesses to have a website. It’s your shop window and now often the first port-of-call for prospects, as they weigh up your services against a rival.
How important is it to have a user-friendly website? The answer to this it is of the utmost importance! Gone are the days of a ‘business card’ style website. Just being present on the Web isn’t enough for today’s user. Your website and the information displayed must be ever-evolving and engaging. There’s no use spending a lot of money on a party that no-one goes to. Treat your website like a garden; it needs constant attention to reach the best results. At COO’EE we would recommend starting with Google Analytics for up-to-date reports on how your website is performing. These reports tell you how many unique visitors you are receiving weekly, monthly or yearly, and how long they are spending on your pages. If you receiving a bad hit rate, you may need to look at segments two and three.
Segment 2) Directory listings. Trades are the most competitive in the directory space and having a prominent presence is key. Depending on the industry and demand for listings and therefore costs can vary dramatically. Being present in a directory is all about creating touch points for your customers to discover your brand, products or services. and, most often, to help answer their immediate need. More often than not they are a feeder to your website. Remember, you will be displayed here directly next to your competitors. It is important to bear in mind that whilst Google is a Search Engine, it is not a directory so if you’re not shown in search results, you are not competing with your rivals.
Segment 3) Online advertising. Now with more options than any other advertising medium, online advertising has become one of the most challenging spaces for people to navigate. Search word advertising, display advertising, remarketing advertising, rich media advertising and targeted advertising are all options that are available. Before choosing your path it really pays to be clear on what your objectives are. If you are looking for brand awareness, promotion or results-driven advertising, there are obvious differences in how you go about it. Online advertising is incredibly cost-effective, targeted and measurable, and is a major contributor to driving traffic (prospects) to your website.
Segment 4) Social Media. Social is at the forefront of communication evolution. The way customers interact with your product, service or brand has changed forever. Whether you’re present or not, the fact of the matter is, you are already being talked about online somewhere, whether you like it or not. Social Media is now the number one online activity – even larger than email. People spend more time online engaging through Social Media than they do in anything else. Targeted advertising through Social Media can be the most effective use of the medium, but there is some merit in creating a personality for your business through also hosting your own Social Media page. Consider carefully what your insight is, and your set of house rules, before you take the leap into this. Resources and manpower are also something to consider. Being talked about online through Social Media has its negatives, but handled correctly the positives far outweigh these. S.E.O. generation is one of the biggest positives in this area. Basically the more you are discussed, the more current you are, and Google loves fresh content.
We’ve only just scratched the surface on these four segments. However, each segment deserves careful consideration. If you do feel like you’re being pulled by wild stallions in all directions and your digital focus isn’t clear, feel free to contact COO’EE for friendly advice in the digital and online space. We are a stallion free zone!