As the holiday shopping season rapidly approaches, small companies are revving up online marketing efforts. But obviously not every business has a huge budget to shell out for Internet marketing.
Here is some insight shared by Irfan Jafrey, CEO of Chicago’s AdRevenu, a company that has grown 100% since 2010 because of its expertise in helping companies expand their businesses online and in developing high-quality websites. An advertising technology veteran, Irfan reveals some basics on where many small businesses struggle:
1. You can’t always get a customer on their first website visit, but often can get them on your email list by offering a coupon on future purchases. Email marketing still works, just don’t over e-blast and get labeled as SPAM. One email blast per month is perfectly sufficient in most cases, but if you really think you need more, don’t exceed four. Attention-getting subject lines, keeping your content short and valuable, and targeting your audience are all critical.
2. Thirty-three percent of total searches are local, and most people doing local searches are ready to take action. Local SEO can work wonders.
3. Call to Action buttons are very important in increasing conversion rates, and you can experiment with what works best. Try different locations on your page. Use different captions – even a reverse-psychology approach such as “Don’t click here” has worked well for some companies. Try putting the button at the end of a great video, or leave a lot of white space around it so it is easy to spot. And remember, a clean, well-designed and easy-to-navigate site will also help you make the most of every visitor to your site.
4. It’s quality content that’s going to make your website consistently rank well in searches, above all else. Many businesses will spend loads of money on a flashy website but will skimp on driving any traffic to it, or worse, spend money on the wrong type of marketing. Top-notch content is essential.
5. Try a lot of A/B testing to increase conversion rates. It will tell you a lot about your customers’ buying preferences. Buy now vs. free trial, credit card vs. no credit card, and the often taken-for-granted Trust symbol are just some examples of things to try.
6. Invest in a stellar PR person, either on a consulting or full-time basis. In many cases, the smaller your budget, the less attention you get with big agencies. Talking about yourself is great. And getting PR ink validates you – more so than traditional advertising. Writers and editors don’t HAVE to write about you if they don’t like you. And most importantly, press coverage adds to the quality content that helps you earn high search rankings!
7. Measure. Google Analytics is free and can tell you a lot — where your visitors are coming from, what content is working best, how long people are staying on your site and more.
8. Be consistent with your social media strategies. Many small companies want to do everything all at once, so they do a social media program, don’t see results right away and change to something else every week. It’s a waste of time, energy and money. And the more quality content you add to your Facebook or Linkedin business pages, the more results you’ll get.
9. Review a friend’s or favorite client’s Linkedin connections and find five to 10 prospects that would be perfect clients for your company, based on their profiles. Ask for introductions to them.
10. Be authentic. Small businesses are sometimes insecure their identity in the marketplace. Find what differentiates you and don’t be bashful about showing it. And if you specialize in a very specific or small niche, make sure you make that clear in your content – again, great for search rankings!
AdRevenu is a Chicago-based, technology focused media and marketing company specializing in web development, traffic acquisition and conversion. Founded in 2010, AdRevenu has doubled in growth year after year. The team’s collective experience comes from a variety of household-name companies, including Google, Sprint, Target and Best Western. AdRevenu attributes its growth to working collaboratively with its clients, teaming with talented business partners, maintaining a deep understanding of the marketplace, and hiring smart, passionate individuals who care about building a company that drives value for its stakeholders. And unlike most other marketing agencies, AdRevenu does not require contracts.