One would assume that most small business owners keep meticulous data on who is searching online for their products and services, but many still don’t have a comprehensive digital advertising strategy.  That could be a mistake; consider the following:

  • The close rate for organic search leads is almost 15% compared to just 1.7% for outbound leads

  • More than 80% of leading companies are using marketing automation

  • Marketers will increase their spend on digital advertising to 35% of their total budgets by 2016

If you’ve been slow to get on the digital bandwagon, it’s not too late.  But you need some simple, common sense strategies to maximize your odds of success.  Here are 4 which will let you hit the ground running:

1.  Create a plan:  this might sound like a no-brainer, but many companies fail at internet advertising simply because they don’t take the time to create a comprehensive plan.  Your plan needs to include clear and precise goals and outcomes.  How many qualified leads do you hope to generate?  Where will those leads come from?  What do you expect the lead to close ratio will be?  How will social media be incorporated?  And how will your digital advertising plan affect the bottom line?

2.  Adapt your marketing funnel for digital:  the digital marketing funnel is different than the one you use for outbound marketing.  You need to transform your outbound funnel to work with your new digital advertising plan.  The digital funnel consists of four touch points:

(1)   Awareness:  customers can’t buy your products or subscribe to your services if they don’t know about them.  There are a number of ways to build awareness.  One of the best is to “gate” your most valuable content.  Basically, you create content that prospective customers want and then ask them for their contact information in exchange for that content.  In this way, you get new leads and build trust by establishing expertise.

(2)   Interest:  use the customer data you gathered during the awareness phase to create customized messages for key market segments.  You could, for example, create segmented emails which relate to the interests and concerns of your leads.  By sending prospects information they need and helping them solve their individual problems, you build interest.

(3)   Desire:  once you have interest, you can create desire for your products and services.  You can respond to their requests, schedule a consultation or send additional content to move prospects to want what you’re selling.

(4)   Action:  now you’re near the finish line.  As customers come closer to making a final decision, you need to provide incentives for them to take action and make a purchase.  You can, for example, offer discounts and coupons that are the final push toward making the sale.

3.  Incorporate compelling calls to action:  every piece of your digital advertising strategy should include a pointed call to action.  Your call to action could be filling in an online form, subscribing to a newsletter or viewing a product demo.  Make sure your call to action does what it’s supposed to do.  For example, if the call takes a prospect to a landing page, the landing page has to relate to the call, (in other words, you don’t want your call to say “refrigerators” and take customers to a landing page which shows toasters).

4.  Drive website traffic:  your goal should be to push prospects to your website.  If you have social media posts, they should include links to your site, for example.  The more useful and engaging your content, the more traffic you’ll see.

With increasing competition across your city and around the globe, digital advertising is no longer only for big business.  To compete for new business, small companies need to develop a smart digital advertising strategy which increases leads and boosts sales.

For more information about creating a digital advertising strategy for your business, contact TS2 today.