De-mystifying the world of WEB marketing
Web marketing can offer something no other marketing method can: an inexpensive way to reach a continually growing target audience and move your business forward.
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t take advantage of it as well as they could – we want to help change that.
Our intent here is to remove some of the mystery from web marketing and show you how your business can take the first step toward implementing a web marketing today.
What are the Advantages of Web Marketing?
In 2016, Internet advertising revenues in the United States surpassed those of cable and broadcast television, and that gap will continue to widen in 2018. This is because digital marketing campaigns have distinct advantages over traditional print marketing, radio and tv advertising.
Both can be highly effective for the right industry at the right time, but digital marketing is much more efficient and therefore a better place for small businesses to start out.
- You Can Measure Your Results
With print, tv, radio and traditional marketing, how do measure how many leads you get because of the $1500 half page ad you just placed in an industry magazine?
You can try, but you will most likely never get accurate lead numbers.
With web marketing, you can measure your results by tracking each campaign, click, phone call, and form response.
For years, mailers were the way to go, but now you can generate the same brand awareness online for about a 10th of the cost. Ad impressions for mailers can cost anywhere from $250-500 per 1000 impressions.
Through web marketing, you can deliver the same amount of impressions for $10-25.
- It’s More flexible
Have you ever been excited to get your new marketing materials in the mail only to realize that the 5,000 brochures you had printed have a word misspelled on the cover?
Maybe you’ve spent time on a catchy slogan that turns out, isn’t all that “catchy”. Too late, because you just sent out 25,000 mailers to the houses surrounding your business.
With web marketing, you can make changes on the fly and tweak your ads until they are providing the results you want.
Not sure how to choose between two ad ideas? No problem. Just run multiple ads at the same time to see which one provides better results.
- Better Targeting
Sending out mailers or using other various forms of traditional print marketing guarantees quantity and can definitely increase brand awareness. But remember the 25,000 mailers you just sent out to the homes around your business? How do you know that a majority of people living in those homes are the right target audience?
Web marketing makes it easy to target the right location and demographic through targeted audiences.
This not only helps generate better quality leads, but it stretches your budget to reach more of the right kind of customers.
Through web marketing, platforms like AdWords or Facebook allow you to get specific with who you want to see your ads and target specifically the people who are searching for the products and services you offer.
There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about diving into web marketing. We are not saying that you should never use traditional print marketing or any other form of advertising.
Sometimes, print, radio or tv is exactly what you need.
Consider your target audience and the services you offer before you invest in web marketing.
A good strategy most likely includes a combination of web, print, radio, and tv.
3 Web Marketing Channels you should invest in
We have found over the past few years that most businesses want to invest in web marketing, they just don't know where to start.
Social Media, SEO, Paid, Email, Youtube... the list goes on. Where should you start?
These aren't in any particular order, but these 3 are probably the most basic and foundational channels that you can start investing in no matter what your budget is.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.”
Think of it like this...
When you search for a service like "Apartments in Bloomington" or "Things to Do in Bloomington", the search engine determines your intent and returns hundreds-of-thousands of search results. Based on your location and query, it can return different results.
The search engine, in a matter of milliseconds, is scouring millions of sites to determine the best fit. If your website matches the query intent, the search engine will place your website in the results. Through SEO, the goal is to show up on the first page of results in order to increase the quality and the quantity of your website traffic.
So what determines whether or not your site shows up in the search results?
Well, a number of things can affect where your website ranks in the results. A few of those things include: Technical optimization, backlinks (the number of links from other websites pointing towards your site), content, and consistency of business information across the web.
SEO is a tedious process that takes time, and a lot of effort and energy to pull off. But...if done right, it can increase the quality and the quantity of your traffic, which ultimately leads to more clients and brand recognition.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
PPC is exactly what it sounds like. You pay-per-click.
There are various platforms that offer this service, but the most common platform is Google AdWords.
One of the advantages to paid is that unlike SEO, you don't have to wait months for Google to associate your site with a relevant place to send their users. If you are willing to pay for clicks, you could show up on the first page of Google from day one.
The way it works is you create Ads, place the maximum price you are willing to pay for a click (bid) and then set up parameters for who you want to see this ad.
It looks different for both Google and Facebook, but for Google, your ad shows up on the search results based on your Ad Rank.
Your Ad Rank is figured by two factors: the quality of your ad (does the ad copy match the page you are sending the user to and services you offer) and your bid.
We often get asked, "what does it cost?" The short answer is, it depends.
Different markets have different costs because the value of a click varies from market to market. For instance, the long-term value of a click that leads to a new client for a lawyer is most likely significantly higher than the value of a click that results in someone buying a product from your online shop.
The beauty of Pay-Per-Click is that you can start with any budget. You tell Google how much you want to spend per day and they won't go over that amount.
Another popular way to advertise with Google is through remarketing. Without going too far into detail, after adding some snippets of code to your website, Google will give each user a unique idea and store their browsing data.
You can then setup unique audiences based on what pages they visited and send them targeted ads to hopefully bring them back to your website to close the deal.
PPC campaigns are one of the most cost-effective advertising methods available to businesses today, but the majority do not utilize it as well as they could.
Google does a great job of giving you advice and insights to help manage your campaign, but setting it up and continuing to optimize the campaign can be time-consuming.
If you are pretty technical and have quite a bit of time to spend on it every week, you might be able to do this on your own. If not, looking for an agency to help you run your PPC campaign might be your best bet.
- Social Media
Social media is the new craze in web marketing. SEO and PPC have been around for some time, but in the past 5 years, social media has taken off.
Statista.com estimates that 81% of the US population has a social media account.
Facebook leads the way with 78% of the US having an account on their platform. With quite a wide gap in between them, Youtube (48%), Twitter (34%), Instagram (29%), and Pinterest (27%) round out the top 5 most popular social media platforms (source).
Social media is about creating trust, brand recognition and building a relationship with your followers. It is unique to other forms of web marketing in that you can engage with your clients.
Often, someone will follow you on social media for weeks or months before they decide to purchase. It is an opportunity for the client to see if you are who you really say you are.
Social Media has a ton of great free options but it too, like AdWords, can be used to get your content in front of highly targeted groups of people. You set a budget, create a visual ad or promote a video, select the audience and promote content to build brand recognition, promote an event/product or to get leads to your website.
It's important that you do the research on each network to see where your target audience exists. You can find detailed information about each of the networks by clicking on the image below.
With so many options, jumping into social media can be overwhelming.
One of the best pieces of advice that we can give you is this: Be consistent.
Be consistent with your voice (Your brand) and be consistent with your posting schedule.
A common mistake made by small businesses entering the social media world is going into it without a plan. Remember, you don't have to be on every platform and post every day. If you have the capacity to do that, great! If not – most of you don't – come up with a plan and stick to it.
This is just the beginning...
So there you have it... everything you need to master the world of web marketing.
Just kidding. But, if you aren't currently investing in web marketing for your business, you are most likely missing an incredible opportunity to move your business forward.
Before you go, we can't stress enough how important it is to have an effective website.
"In most cases, web marketing is useless without an effective website."
Of course we would say that...we build websites. But, whether you have a website with us or with squarespace or with one of the hundreds of other great website companies that exist, you NEED a website.
Without a website, you don't have a foundation set that collects all of your inquiries. All of your web marketing strategies should point back to one, singular place.
That place should be your website.
Ready to jump into Web Marketing?
Our web marketing team at Cybernautic has years of experience dealing with companies of all sizes. If you have any questions you'd like to ask, don't hesitate to reach out to our team!
Thanks for checking out our guide on web marketing. We'd love to hear your thoughts on web marketing. What other channels have you found succesful? What else would you like to hear more about?