Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

Branding essentials: Tune your website for business

Business websites must fit your brand and deliver the goods

If someone is referred to your company, what do they do first? Look you up online. Where do your customers/clients/prospects look for information on the goods and services you offer? The internet.

A website is essential to anyone in business. It’s more powerful than a phone number. It has far more reach than a brochure. It’s a 24/7 marketing message. It’s a vital component in any marketing strategy. And it’s a top-tier point of choice for any brand.

Yet so many business websites are nothing more than an online brochure. A static, copy heavy, hard-to-read discussion of “we, we, we” with little information of value to the right visitor, the one that could turn into a customer.

Marketing has changed. A lot.

In just five years, your audiences have flocked to new ways of buying and new platforms for communicating.

Social media, the big three being Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; online access via smartphone or tablet; shopping from a phone or tablet; the explosion of YouTube (the #2 search engine); use of social media for recommendations and referrals; and a greater volume of online research before a purchase; have all changed what your audiences expect.

It’s a significant disruption to the “old way” of marketing. To be successful in the next five years you must shift your thinking and your marketing, just as your audiences have changed their expectations.

Outbound or the “old way” of marketing is based on interruption and media:

Trade shows, media advertising, direct mail, catalogs, telemarketing, newsletters, emails, sales calls, brochures.

There’s still a place for many of these marketing tools, but the mix is different now. Rather than being the primary communication vehicle, they are part of an integrated online and offline program.

Inbound marketing is based around a carefully-planned, content-rich website:

It’s designed to help potential customers find you, then provide them with valuable information, capture their interest, and begin a relationship that will culminate in a new customer.

It invites those looking for what you have to offer to explore and learn further, to build a connection. And it integrates social  media to spread your message and ideas to a broader community.

That’s not all. Statistics show the average cost per lead for outbound marketing is $373, while the average cost per lead for inbound marketing is $143, or 67% less.

The principles of inbound marketing on business websites:

1. Get found online by creating, optimizing and promoting remarkable content

  • Increase traffic to your website through search engine optimization (SEO), blogging and effective use of social media.

2. Convert traffic into transactions and re-marketable leads

  • Generate leads from your website by offering good content, focused on benefits and value, tied to actionable landing pages that capture prospect information.
  • Share content with communities you build in social media platforms and by blogging.
  •  Convert leads to customers by nurturing those leads through the sales funnel, from initial interest, to added value, to a sales conversation.

3. Measure your marketing and sales data to grow your business

  • Track and measure the results of the content you create and the online campaigns you create. Which content is downloaded? Which keywords are sending visitors to your site? What creates the most conversions?

The advantage of working on a digital platform, rather than the “old way” of marketing, is that nearly every action and contact can be tracked. The tactics of direct mail (the most measurable form of traditional marketing) support the principles of inbound marketing and can be applied to building an effective website.

AIDA — Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

Use these direct marketing principles to test your website’s effectiveness in supporting your brand and engaging visitors

Ready to get started?

Start by looking at where your business leads are coming from now, and how many are generated by your website. Then take a look at the traffic that’s coming to your website (Google Analytics is free and can tell you a lot).

Read more on inbound marketing tactics at hubspot.com. Or visit our website at creativeco.com, then give us a call toll-free at 866.363.4433. We’re happy to  talk about the “new” marketing with you!

When you’re ready for a website redesign, download our guide to 6 essentials for your site and 8 mistakes to avoid. 


About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

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