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Digital Marketing Strategy 2017
Kick off 2017 with an effective Digital Marketing Strategy for your business.Posted by Websuccess on Tuesday, November 29, 2016
There is one thing I know for sure after 6 years of weekly encounters with entrepreneurs from varying countries and industries - that most business-owners feel that generating quality sales leads is one of the most challenging aspects in running a business!
Too often, you may feel confused or overwhelmed by the fact that while marketing your products is inevitable, it is costly, ineffective and very much out of your control. Marketing your product may feel a bit like gambling; you put your time and money on what you consider a decent option and then keep your fingers crossed that the result would be profitable.
Many times, the result is mediocre, but since; "stopping your marketing to save money is like stopping the clock to save time", as they say, marketing becomes an unavoidable yearly expense that we just can't do without.
The reason why this happens is that most business have little to no strategy behind their marketing. They also have no form of properly monitoring and adjusting their marketing efforts so this leaves no option but to try their luck and shoot in the dark.
You can generate new, quality sales prospects every week, with little money and effort. It can also be put on "auto-pilot", scaled and repeated over and over again.
How Close is Your Business From Achieving This? Find Out by Answering These 8 Questions.
As with every other valuable aspect of your business, it will require some input, but when done right, the process is straight-forward and you can start seeing some results quickly. Let's consider the following facts:
FACT 1 - If a product offers any kind of value (by solving a problem or somehow improve clients' lives) then there are always clients (maybe even lots) who will pay money for it.
If you have something valuable to offer than you are more than half-way there.
FACT 2 - Everybody can be reached online. In fact, there are nearly 3.5 Billion people online to date and the number is growing daily. Rest assured that the people who are willing to pay for your product are among them.
This means that we just need to find them.
FACT 3 - People look online for solutions and opportunities to improve their lives every day. Even when they are not "actively searching" (by typing in search-phrases in Google) for products to achieve this for them, they are always on the lookout.
We simply need to find ways of meeting these prospects online and help them understand how we can help them.
You can have your own digital marketing strategy running from as little as €120/month.
OK, so let's start understanding how it all works.
Getting ongoing sales online is actually quite simple and consists mainly of 2 main ingredients, equally as important but one has to come before the other.
FIRST: You need a website/page or online store that has the ability to receive an online visitor and convert him/her into one of the following:
1) A paying customer
2) A person interested in your product who leaves his contact details (email mostly) - these sales-leads may become clients later on through systematic communication (as I will explain soon)
3) A social media follower - also sales-leads who may become clients later on and introduce us to other prospects similar to themselves
SECOND: You need enough visitors on your website/page to get your sales, potential leads and brand followers. Consider this as fuel for your engine. This will keep growing continuously through your improved website find-ability, bigger mailing lists and social following.
In order to be more realistic, we have to keep in mind that 92% of visitors do not buy first time round and need to be guided through the purchase process. Apart from this, people who do buy can still buy from your business again in the future or introduce other people. Therefore, we need to add to this picture our social media followers and subscribers in our mailing list which as explained further on, will account for much more of our sales.
Prospects who do not buy now, can buy in the future
As with anything else, a good digital marketing strategy starts with defining goals that you would like to achieve.
Let us say that:
1) you want to increase sales by €5,000 per month using your new digital strategy and
2) your product sells at an average cost of €1,000, then
3) we must attract 5 new clients/month.
1) we can set up a website experience that delivers 2 sales inquiries per 100 visitors and
2) 1 person out of every 4 sales inquiries buys our product
...then we know exactly how many website visits per month we need to make this happen. A good marketing professional will help you allocate your budget wisely towards achieving the required website traffic.
In order to attract website visitors and get them interested in our products, we need to understand what is really in it for them. We need to do 1 of 2 things:
1) solve a problem that they have OR
2) present an opportunity to improve their lives
This is why every digital marketing strategy starts with understanding exactly who the client will be (his age, nationality, level of education and more) and more importantly his/her needs, problems and desires with relation to our line of products.
We need to answer:
- Why do people buy our products?
- What problem do they wish to solve or how does it make their lives better?
- How do they feel without the value that our product offers?
- How they look, search for it, what info do they need?
- What questions do they typically ask before buying (how are they re-assured)?
- How can we make the sales process easy and effortless for your client?
- How can we build brand confidence and maintain a sales follow-up strategy?
You need a smart content strategy for 2 main reasons:
1) to turn your website visitors into prospects or sales
2) to attract attention (often without paying for it) of visitors interested in what you are selling
Once you have understood the questions mentioned above, you will know exactly:
1) How to present your product in a way that resonates with your typical client
2) How to make your client comfortable and confident that you are truly understanding what he is after
3) How to explain and display your product in way that creates interest in the buyer and answers the important questions looming in his head
4) How to entice the website visitor to submit a sales inquiry, get in touch with you, provide his contact details or buy directly from the website
It is now simply a matter of preparing the right content (text, images, video, tools) to use in your digital strategy. For naturally visual products such as food, property and clothing you would be using images and videos. For technical products you might be writing some articles, content-rich web-pages or PDF downloadable material.
Outside of your website you will be using this content to drive traffic into your website from search engines (like Google), social media (such as Facebook and LinkedIn) and other websites as we shall mention soon.
Within your website, you will then use this content to move the website visitor through the buying process. You might want to include a lead magnet (something valuable that people can download or request) in your website to be able to capture prospects' details and start communicating with them via email or personally (with permission).
a lead magnet will kick off your sales process
Using the content that you have come up with in STEP 2, you will now be fueling different digital marketing mechanisms that will drive sales-leads to your "money-pages".
Everybody is online but people use the internet differently and interact with brands and products in different ways. You therefore need to place your content in the right places at the right time to get the right clients. It is important to note that as long as we have enough website traffic, it is more important to focus on the quality of the website visits (they fit our target market) than the quantity.
The most powerful techniques are:
Thousands of people use Google and other search engines to search for products and services that you are offering. Using the right tools, a digital marketing specialist could help you (or show you how) to discover opportunities for you to reach the people making these searches. These are typically very good prospects due to them being at the right time to make a buying decision and probably why they are directly looking for a product.
With some proper research you will be able to find words that a large volume of sales-prospects are using to look for products that have a low level of competition within your industry. If your website ranks well for these words, you will automatically get hundreds or maybe thousands of new website visitors every month, most of them with the intent of purchasing a product. That is the power of SEO and can be used to target not just Malta but any country.
Content Marketing draws attention from your market by offering valuable content to web-visitors such as answers to their questions and visual content (like images and videos) that satisfy their curiosity or need for entertainment. If your product or service has any information to offer that interest your typical client in any way , than you can make good use of this.
By writing articles and posting them on your blog or social media (both free or cheap) you can be sure to gain website visits and put your brand in front of a lot of sales-leads while building trust among your audience. By turning your articles to slide presentations or PDF documents, you can drive traffic from popular websites like slideshare.com and scribd.com.
Make sure to use Facebook and LinkedIn groups to leverage the power of already existing large groups of people (however, always be sure to focus on offering value through your content and not machine-gunning everyone with your adverts). Using your blog, you can also capture email addresses which can then be used for smart email-marketing campaigns.
Using links to your website and sales pages within your articles, you can direct leads who are interested in what you have to offer to your product offer where you can get their contact details or ask them to contact you. You can also use your articles to motivate visitors to ask you questions about your product/service and spark off conversations which if handled with tact, can lead to sales.
By looking for other website and blogs that cater for sales-prospects within your target market, you can network with other website/blog owners and share high quality traffic by posting on each other's blogs and referring visitors to each other's websites. This way you are making use of huge fan-bases created over many years among your target market. This can be achieved by looking for potential partners and reaching out to them. Ask good questions and be generous without asking for anything in return. You can offer to be of service to them first and many times you can rest assured that reciprocation will happen.
You can also post your articles on a large number of very popular free websites(such as triberr.com and tumblr.com among so many other) that you can find online and which are frequented daily by thousands of people who are looking for content on a wide variety of topics and interests.
One last thing to keep in mind about the topic of creating articles and posting them on the internet is that these techniques are typically very good for improving your search engine rankings which will get you even more traffic to your website and blog.
You can engage and interact with your target audience, as a brand, using social media. You will not need to use every social media platform available to man but simply select the one or two most suitable for your target audience and the product you are selling. If for example you sell products that are highly visual in nature, Facebook and Instagram may be a great opportunity for you whether if you are selling corporately-used products/services, LinkedIn may be a better investment of your time.
You may also pay to attract clients directly into your website's sales pages using Google, social media such as Facebook and other websites that offer advertising spots. This might be a fast-track to generating traffic BUT it is also a fast-track to losing lots of money really fast if not done well (most people do).
This should be done when you have a very good sales process in your website (so that a high rate of visitors become interested leads or clients) and when you know exactly how to generate enough traffic with the least cost possible. A professional would help you test these strategies out and develop a working model (make your clicks profitable) from which you may then scale up when you are operating at a profit.
For those who are not familiar with the concept of affiliate marketing, this is where you get other markketing-experts to do your online marketing, lead generation and sales for you for a commission on results. This is obviously an amazing way to get business without doing the work or risking any money yourself.
Affiliate programs can be set up to bring you sales leads or actual sales, depending on how you prefer to work and you will pay a commission to your affiliates depending on the price of your product, whether they are getting a complete sale or just a lead and your opinion of what a good commission is. The number of affiliates who actually rake up your offer will naturally be affected primarily by your commission rate so it is important to be fair here. If you can create a win-win situation between your business and your affiliates you can easily put your business on fast-track.
There are many existing platforms that allow you to connect with an existing affiliate base by listing your product (such as clickbank.com for example). You can also create your own affiliate tracking if you want to have full control over it but this will obviously cost you more.
Once you have built your mailing lists and social media following, your most important job is to start maintain communication with your followers, converting these business-leads who are already interested in your products into customers. The way to do this is by offering value throughout all your communication. Offer advice, solutions that they can implement, updates that might interest them, giveaways and anything you can think of that they will enjoy receiving, including material that simply entertains.
Done well, this process will take your slightly interested prospects through a journey that builds curiosity in your product benefits, trust in your brand and interest in your products. You can even segment your mailing list and provide the right content to the right audience based on what their initial interest. This approach will be the very best follow-up strategy you have every used!
Your website should gather statistics continually regarding number of visitors, their demographics, how your audience is finding your website, how long they stay on every page as well as what pages they visit and other important performance indicators. This allows you to monitor, measure and improve your strategy accordingly.
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