I want to let you in on a secret. Most business owners don’t know much about marketing online successfully. They don’t know how to measure success, how to convert visitors, or any of that. They may be amazing at their core business, but digital success eludes them. It’s not surprising. Digital marketing is a very complicated topic. It can be a full time job for one person or even an entire team just to keep track of one business’ digital presence. Most business owners don’t have the time or the inclination to put in that much effort away from their core business.
That’s why digital strategists like myself are reaching out to business owners to help them transition to a digital business. Why is this important? People are turning online more than ever to do business.
Online sales are growing massively, and physical retail stores are starting to tank in response. So, it’s obvious that generating online sales can no longer be an afterthought. The question is, what to do about it?
Consulting with digital marketers
Digital marketing is really only one facet of a comprehensive digital strategy, so finding someone that understands the overall business goals is key. Any marketing consultant worth his or her salt is going to ask pointed questions about your business. The answers may be uncomfortable, but finding those pain points is crucial in finding ways to start selling online.
Maybe you can’t afford a digital strategist but you really want to start digital marketing. You need to weed out the pros from the amateurs so look for big picture questions like these to help out with this qualifying process.
“How would your rate your digital presence on a scale of 1 to 10?”
This lets me know several things. If I get a low number, that usually means that my client knows they need help. If it’s high, in most cases, that means I have to demonstrate why their current strategies might not be working anymore even if they did in the past. Sites that rely heavily on SEO strategies are a case in point. All Google has to do is change their algorithm and, poof, no more conversions.
Another question is “What is your web strategy?”
If I get an answer like “I have a website and a Facebook page,” and I look at them and they haven’t been updated in a few months, that’s a big red flag. Even a static web page requires updates every so often to let people and search engines know you’re still around. Would you pay attention to a friend who never said anything new in several months? Probably not.
Here’s a good one: “How do you convert visitors to sales?”
Our goal is to turn websites into customer acquisition engines. Customers want to interact with a company digitally, and that means more than a simple email address. Businesses must find ways to collect lead data as soon as a new visitor hits the site, and point them down their digital sales funnels to a sale. If your site isn’t doing this, you’ll be left behind by companies that do have a cohesive web strategy.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you’re a business owner, ask yourself these questions. If you don’t like the answers, start doing your research, find a consultant, and get ready to be a mighty force in the digital arena as a real competitor.
This article was written by Dominic Mazzone, Managing Partner of Smashbox Consulting.