If you are a business owner wondering whether you should concentrate more on digital marketing or more traditional marketing methods, you are not alone. Many businesses today are asking the same question.

You may be surprised to learn, however, that choosing one of these methods over another is almost never a good idea. Instead, the name of the game is marketing integration.

While digital marketing seems to be all the rage, most marketers agree that if they are looking for the highest quality leads they will find those leads using decidedly traditional marketing techniques. In other words, at tradeshows, networking events and industry conferences.

That doesn’t mean you won’t need digital forms of marketing. While you may find some outstanding leads working a tradeshow, the best way to nurture many leads is through social media or other digital marketing methods. If you are interested in marrying digital and traditional marketing but are unsure how to do it, here are five simple ideas that will get you started.

  1. Parlay a TV ad into online exposure. A consumer will only see a television ad for 30 seconds but adding a digital call-to-action will keep viewers engaged in the long-term. This can be accomplished by encouraging viewers to go to your website, for example, to learn more about your product or to access special offers.
  2. While online shopping continues to skyrocket in popularity, more and more people are comparison shopping online and then making their final purchase in a physical store. Providing coupons online that allow shoppers to save in-store combines the virtual and brick-and-mortar shopping experiences. If you are trying to drive traffic to your website, make sure to have printed collaterals in your store that encourages shoppers to check you out online.
  3. Turn information collected online over to your sales team so that they can use this information to follow up leads with a phone call or personal note.
  4. If you are hosting an event at your place of business consider live video streams for those who can’t attend. You also can promote the event on your social media sites before they happen and post photos afterward.
  5. Make sure your print materials use keyword phrases that compliment your SEO strategy.

Whatever your marketing goals, it is important that you never view digital and traditional marketing as an either-or proposition. Instead use them together to engage customers in a more holistic manner.

Blogging can do wonders for a business. Driving traffic to its website and converting that traffic into leads are just two important benefits of blogging. Blogging also helps a business become seen as a thought leader in its industry which helps establish trust with current and prospective customers.

While it is easy to see why blogging is so important to a business, blogging itself can be much more difficult. Many times it isn’t the blogging itself that causes issues, rather the ability to come up with blog topics over and over. In order for blogging to successfully promote your business, it must be done on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, coming up with new and fresh ideas can be extremely challenging.

If you feel as if you have hit a wall in terms of blog post topics, rest easy. What follows is a list of ways to spark your creative juices and have you back at the keyboard in no time.

1. Ask questions. These questions don’t have to be profound. Next time you are talking with a client just ask that client what his or her biggest challenge is right now. And customers aren’t the only ones you can get ideas from, either.

2. Interview experts. People love to read interviews with leaders in their industry who have been successful. Interviews are great blogs because you don’t have to come up with the content, the interviewee does that for you.

3. Brainstorm. It seems simple but how many times have you asked your co-workers and sales team to sit with you for a few minutes and just throw out ideas. You might be surprised at how many topics you gain from such meetings. Bring donuts and the room will be packed!

4. Use personal experience. Think of a time when you learned an important lesson from a failure. Or when you stuck with an idea no one else believed in and it paid off. These types of blog posts make for great reading because they personalize the author.

5. Spy on your competitors. What are your biggest competitors writing about? If they are getting a lot of likes on their blog posts see if there is anything you could learn from their methods or topics.

6. Keep up on current events. This is a great way to write timely and creative blog posts. Sporting events are a good example. How about a post on how hiring employees is like preparing for the NBA draft.

7. Take a look back. What were your most popular blog posts? Consider updating those posts or expanding on them. Chances are they will be popular once again.

Blogging can be difficult but is essential to the success of your business. Hopefully the ideas listed above will make the task of blogging a little easier.

The most successful marketers have one thing in common—a laser-like focus on what they want to accomplish. This has never been truer than it is today.

While in the past marketers had only a few ways to market their products or services or promote their brand that is no longer the case.

Modern day marketers find themselves in a much different situation. The options available to market their products and services are virtually endless–social media, podcasts, blogs, content creation, radio and TV ads, print ads, white papers, cold calling, SEO. So what’s a marketer to do?

It all comes down to focus. Today’s marketers must focus on what they want to achieve with their marketing efforts. They either want to draw people to their business through inbound marketing or they want to get their message out to as many people as possible through outbound marketing.

Inbound marketing uses things like social media marketing, content creation and SEO. This type of marketing allows a business to be seen as a thought leader in their industry. And when a prospect is ready to make a purchase, he or she naturally is drawn to that business.

Outbound marketing is a more traditional form of marketing. Businesses who use outbound marketing want to get their name in front of the largest amount of people possible. They want to build brand awareness and so employ tactics such as cold calling, direct mail, and print and broadcast ads to do just that.

There are pros and cons to both of these methods. Inbound marketing requires patience as it takes time before results are achieved. Outbound marketers usually see faster results but those results are often short-lived.

As a marketer, it is important that you decide which technique fits best with your business model remember that if you choose to concentrate on inbound marketing that doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a print ad every once in a while. In general, however, it is important to concentrate on either inbound or outbound since the best results are achieved this way.

Finally, in order to decide between inbound or outbound marketing you need to look at your target audience. Decide which method aligns with that audience. Inbound marketing is usually best for businesses who really know their target audience. While more budget friendly, inbound marketing does require more time to see results. Consumers usually find this type of marketing less intrusive.

Outbound marketing is more costly but reaches a much larger audience. It is often preferred by businesses that are trying to get on the map. Outbound is often preferred by older consumers, B2B customers and when larger purchases such as cars are involved.

Many small businesses believe they do not need to be concerned with SEO but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, recent changes to SEO practices have shifted a great deal of focus to local SEO, making it more important than ever to small and local businesses.

Local businesses that aren’t maximizing their SEO results are likely to lose potential customers to their competitors who are easier to find online. It is essential, therefore, that businesses keep up with changes in SEO in order to achieve a higher local SEO ranking. After all, if you are a small, local business most of your sales leads will be local.

If you still believe SEO isn’t something you need to invest in, you might change your mind after considering the following:

  1. Local SEO improves your visibility because it gives you a better spot on a search engine result pages that show only local businesses.
  2. Local SEO attracts a very specific target audience. If are a painting company and someone types in house painters in your area, it is likely they really want someone to paint their house. This leads to much better conversion rates.
  3. Local SEO results in less competition. If your customers are looking for an interior designer, they likely want one in their area. In most cases, they don’t want to do business with someone four states away. If there are only a handful of interior designers in your area, your pool of competitors just got a whole lot smaller and your chance of landing a new customer a whole lot greater.
  4. Local SEO is an important element when it comes to mobile apps. Research shows that more than half of all internet searches take place on mobile phones. If you aren’t visible through SEO on mobile devices, people will not be able to find you. What’s more, Google reports that if an individual looks for a business on his or her phone, they are likely to visit that business the same

While small businesses may think that SEO is something they need not concern themselves with, this is absolutely false. In fact, SEO is critical to the success of all businesses, no matter how big or how small.

 

 

If you own a business, getting that business up and running online can seem like a Herculean task. When it finally goes live, it may be tempting to sit back and bask in your accomplishment but that is the last thing you should do.

While it’s true that more than 90 percent of consumers go online to look for products and services, just because you are online doesn’t mean these consumers will find you. In fact, not actively promoting your brand online is the same as not being online at all.

According to The First 5 Things to Do After Getting Your Business Online, an article by the small business editor at Small Business Trends, there are some critical steps you need to take to keep your business moving forward after it goes online.

  1. Use your domain name to promote your brand
  2. Create lots and lots (did we mention a lot) of content
  3. Find customers through email, social media, and search engine optimization
  4. Create ecommerce capabilities and/or capture leads online
  5. Remain flexible and open to new ways of doing things

Don’t get discouraged if you can’t accomplish every item on this list immediately or perfectly. The important thing is that you have a plan and continue to work toward your online goals.

Keep track of what you learn and don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way.  As your needs change, you may need a full-fledged ecommerce site or you may want to make your website mobile-friendly.

Of course, if you feel that you are in over your head when it comes to getting notice online, it might be time to enlist some help. At GoLeads, we have helped people just like you create content, actively connect with new customers, and capture leads. And that is just the beginning.

Finally, remember that just because your business is online, it doesn’t mean you can only use online methods to get it noticed. A combination of online and offline marketing tactics is usually the best strategy for getting your business noticed.