September 24, 2009
If you build it, they will NOT come. A website is passive at best. It takes a lot of work to let the public know that it is there let alone generate interest. Most people have a concept that SEO (search engine optimization) will generate enough traffic. While it is definitely necessary, it is not the end all be all.
1. Know your audience: Know who buys from you. Know where they shop, what clubs they belong to, how they get their news, what they read. This will help you decide where it the most effective place to spend your money.
2. Plan the work and work the plan: You have a marketing budget right now whether you know it or not. You buy business cards, you network, you have a website, etc. Instead of randomly spending money as the need arises, figure out what that budget is. Take the results from #1 and your budget and develop a plan to reach your target audience. In this way you will be able to make better decisions about when and where to spend your money.
3. Use integrated marketing strategies: PPC, SEO, Link trading, ads, signage, media, social media, blogs, article writing, public speaking, banner ads - these are just a few of the ways you can build brand recognition. The more the public hears about you, the more credibility you have.
4. Measure everything: There are services that can generate phone numbers that will ring in your office. These services can record the calls to evaluate your staff, keep track of who calls from what ad and even give you information on someone who hangs up before you answer. There are also several free tools including google analytics that can show you ROI on your web marketing results. Technology these days makes everything measurable.
5. Strategize: Take the results of all of the above and make smart decisions on where your marketing dollars are most effective. Set time aside on your calendar to look into your results. Do this monthly, quarterly and annually. Make adjustments where needed. There is no magic bullet. You have to change with the times.
Now get out there and look good.
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