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Top 10 Tips for SMB’s Online (As Featured in Ottawa Top 10 Magazine)

Kyle Smendziuk & Dave Kachaniwsky of WebMarketers

Top 10 Tips for SMB’s Online (As Featured in Ottawa Top 10 Magazine)

WebMarketers is an Ottawa-based digital marketing agency recently featured in Ottawa Top 10 Magazine.

Specializing in the unique needs of small-to-medium sized businesses (SMB’s), we know the challenges these organizations face, and what it takes for them to succeed online.

As SMB owners, Dave and I intimately understand the joys and struggles of running an SMB.

SMB’s know that investing in digital marketing has a massive potential to generate value, but understand there is a wide gulf between investment and return.

At WebMarketers it’s our business to close this gap, providing you with the insight and experience you need to skip trial-and-error and get straight to results.

Get the results you want when you want them with WebMarketers list of the top 10 things you can focus on in 2017 to help your business increase its online performance:

1. Start Every Marketing Campaign With ‘Why’.

2. Don’t Underestimate The Power of Social Proof.

3. Skip the Stock Images and Invest in a Photographer.

4. Set Up Google Analytics and Conversion Tracking.

5. Remarket Your Ideal Customer 7+ Times.

6. Create Enticing Call To Actions.

7.  Set Up An Automated Opt-In Marketing Campaign.

8. Increase ROI By Selling More To Existing Customers.

9. Setup and Maintain Your Google My Business Campaign.

10. Optimize Mobile For Impulse Decisions.

 

1. Start Every Marketing Campaign With ‘Why’

 

How you do business is an important consideration to help maximize the efficiency of your organization.

But why you do business is the most important consideration to make when thinking about how to distinguish your business from others in the minds of your customers.

‘Why’ is a tough question to answer, but as Simon Sinek illustrates, addressing it is key to the success of the most legendary businesses and brands in human history.

 

 

What Are We Talking About?

 

‘Why’ feels like an expensive question to ask in business because we can’t immediately understand why investing time and energy in the question relates to bottom-line.

How‘ you can get more customers, ‘what‘ you can do to drive revenue; theses are questions that appeal to a businesses bottom-line sensibility, but not one that appeals to customers.

Why’ is the perspective potential clients and customers speak, think, and make decisions from. It feels wrong to ask these questions because you are not a customer.

 

'Why' is the prospective potential clients and customers speak, think, and make decisions from. It feels wrong to ask these questions because you are not a customer.

 

Learn to think from this perspective, and you’ll be able to speak to the core of your audience. Speak to their core, and you’ll be in the best possible position to deliver value and receive it in return.

 

How Do You Do This?

 

When you approach marketing, are you thinking first about how your efforts will meet the needs of your business, or those of your prospective customers?

If you’re like most businesses, you start with your needs. This is the wrong way to do things.Why Choose Us

The success of any marketing effort you take depends fundamentally on your ability to shift your inside-looking-out perspective to that of a customer’s outside-looking-in view.

Approaching marketing strategy by asking “What benefits can I expect from marketing method X” might get you respectable results.

But get started by asking “Why is method X best for my market”, and you’re on your way to legendary ones.

 

What Results Should You Expect?

 

When you proceed to produce content, be it on-page copy, email marketing, blog posts, video, etc; speaking from the perspective of your audience is the best way to ensure your content reflects their needs, wants, and expectations.

Ensuring that every marketing effort you make expresses a clear “why” that intimately speaks to the needs of an audience is an intangible, but tremendously powerful asset guaranteed to drive success.

Thinking about ‘why’ customers want what you offer exposes you to invaluable insight on audiences to target, as well as the emotional and subconscious drives that compel these audiences to engage with you.

Identify these people, identify their needs, and you can pave a direct path to influencing their purchase decisions with content and marketing materials.

 

2. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Social Proof

 

The primary obstacle blocking customers from doing business with you online is doubt.

Minimize this doubt, and you maximize sales.

 

What Are We Talking About:

 

Online we cannot see, touch, and interact with products or services like we can in stores and face-to-face.

Potential customers have doubts about the true nature of your products and services because they have no direct experience with them.

The more doubt a user has about what you sell or do, the less likely they are to spend their money on it.

Put potential customers in touch with the experiences of previous customers, and you expose them to information that eases their doubts.

This is called social proof, and it’s a fundamental requirement for the success of SMB’s online. Consider the following:

  • 92% of consumers read testimonials and reviews to inform purchase decisions both online and offline. (Vendasta)
  • 89% of B2B marketers consider customer testimonials the most effective tactic available for content marketing. (Pardot)
  • Social proof is more powerful at influencing decisions than mone-saving offers. (Wall Street Journal)

 

How Do You Do This?

 

Reviews and TestimonialsIntegrating review/testimonials functionality onto your website is a piece of cake, so long as you have legitimate testimonials to begin with.

If you don’t, often the easiest way to get some is to simply ask for them.

Think of a previous clients or customers you think especially likely to leave glowing reviews, and reach out to them and request one. This approach may seem simple, but it works!

People love to reciprocate value, and so long as these clients and customers have been pleased with doing business with you, you can expect a good percentage of them to respond.

If you sell a wide range of products, reliably getting reviews for each one is a slightly more detailed process that you can learn here.

 

What Results Should I Expect?

 

Social proof is among the most powerful tools to boost your conversion rate by those critical percentage points, opening the floodgates on revenue and realising the true potential your website is capable of producing for your business.

 

3. Skip The Stock Images and Invest In A Photographer

 

Stock images are cheap, but the bitterness of their impact on your conversion rate outlasts the sweetness of their low cost.

Jacob Neilsen explains that when you don’t have real photos, viewers unconsciously think that you’re trying to hide something.

Invest in high-quality, professional photography for your digital presence, and you can reap all the benefits they provide.

 

What Are We Talking About?

 

A picture tells a thousand words, and when yours are taken professionally, you can be 100% sure they’re saying what you want them to.

 

A picture tells a thousand words, and when yours are taken professionally, you can be 100% sure they're saying what you want them to.

 

Your customers want to get to know you and your business when they visit your website. Pictures of you and your business meet this desire.

 

How Do I Do It?

 

Every picture you use on your site is an opportunity to tell a story, build trust and make people comfortable with who you are. Working with a commercial photographer means you can expect your photos to tell the story and inflict the emotion you’re looking for.

Wedding photographers might be skilled with a camera, but it can be risky to invest in a service that doesn’t specialize in delivering on your specific needs.

Remember that this is an investment. These pictures will have a direct impact on conversion rates, and conversion rates have a direct impact on your bottom line!

 

What Results Should I Expect?

 

93% of Facebook’s most engaging posts are photos (SocialBakers)

65% of users like emails that are mostly made up of images, while only 35 percent prefer their emails to be text heavy. (Hubspot)

Users pay close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information but ignore fluffy pictures used to “jazz up” web pages. (Jacob Neilsen)

The jury is in on this one. When it comes to content online, quality pictures and photos are a fundamental attribute to the success of your pages, emails, and social posts.

Neglect to consider their impact, and you neglect a critical opportunity for your business!

 

4. Set Up Google Analytics and Conversion Tracking

 

Social Tools Business

It’s impossible to succeed at digital marketing without Google Analytics.

Google Analytics provides crucial measurement of every indicator to success in the digital realm, as well as a plethora of tools you can use to understand user behaviour and optimize your digital strategy.

 

What Are We Talking About?

 

If you can measure every movement and action of visitors, then you can craft an experience they’ll love and find value in.

Without the information it provides, you leave yourself without vital information, and massively disadvantaged.

With the information it provides, and knowledge of how to read and use it, you equip yourself with the real-time insight you can use to optimize your every effort online.

Google Analytics, amongst other analytics tools and software is an essential freebie anyone interested in success online should be capitalizing on.

 

How Do I Do It?

 

Google Analytics is complex, but learning and using it isn’t difficult.

Google provides Analytics Academy, a series of courses on its use guaranteed to provide all the core competencies required to use Google Analytics comfortably.

These courses are not difficult, nor particularly time-consuming. Step-by-step instructions guide you through everything you need to know to set up Analytics for your website, and your first campaigns.

 

What Results Should I Expect?

 

Once you’ve got analytics set up and have started tracking a few goals, you’ll have access to information that will tell you exactly how your efforts online impact value generation for your business!

Google Analytics tells you exactly where a lead came from, and where how they used your site.  This then allows you to spend more money what what’s working, less on what isn’t and improve your ROI.

 

5. Remarket To Your Ideal Customer 7+ Times

 

A key habit of the top 1% of salespeople worldwide is that they follow up with leads at least 5 times before moving on from them.

This principle is just as lucrative in digital marketing.

 

What Are We Talking About?

 

Someone comes to your site, clicks around. Maybe they sign up for your newsletter, make a wishlist, or fill and abandon a cart.

And then they leave.

This potential lead has expressed interest in your business but has failed to follow through. Find out what it takes to close the deal, and you can expect to do so!

 

How Do I Do It?

 

To capture optimal value from remarketing, the first step you want to take is identifying the leads you want to pursue.

Google Analytics and email automation software make it easy to sort the ‘whales’ out from low-value leads.

After you have your target, you have to figure out how to hit it. Maybe a 10% discount on your services offered by email will work to make the sale. If it doesn’t, try offering free shipping.

The key is to not give up. Our rule when remarketing is to try at least 7 distinct offers before moving on from one lead to the next. You never know what’s going to make the sale, and often, it’s what you’re about to do next!

 

What Results Should I Expect?

 

Remarketing is one of the most effective methods to improve your close rate. Apply it to your highest-value leads, and you can also depend on the method to consistently drive significant revenue!

 

6. Create Enticing Call-To-Actions on All Pages

 

Your content makes the deal with your visitors, but your CTA closes it.

The call-to-action, or CTA, is a directive you give to an audience to compel them to act in a way you want.

Depending on your business, this means purchasing, signing up for email newsletters, contacting your business, and so on.

 

What Are We Talking About?

 

What separates a good CTA from a bad one is a matter of mindful targeting.

‘Buy Now’ or ‘Get In Touch’ are cliches. Seen everywhere online, visitors are often numbed to their presence, viewing them but left uncompelled to complete the action. They’re easy to plug, but not very effective.

You’ll notice that not one of HubSpot’s list of 31 top-quality CTA’s use CTA’s you’ve seen anywhere else. Each is custom-made; tailored to the needs, wants, and expectations of a specific audience.

 

How Do I Do It?

 

Nailing CTA’s you can rely on to reflect them requires 2 things.

  1. A knowledge of the principles of great CTA writing, which you can find here.
  2. Ongoing refinement and testing.

 

To get your traffic converting at full potential, experiment with different CTA’s according to the above principles, measure the results of your efforts, and constantly optimize!

 

What Results Should I Expect?

 

Conversions!

Wordstream has shown that Emails with a single clean, strong CTA increased clicks by  371%, and sales by a whopping 1617%.

 

Credit: Wordstream.com

 

Unbounce shows how apparently minor changes to CTA’s in web copy wind up massively impacting conversion rates.

It doesn’t matter which digital marketing channel you’re looking to use. With compelling CTA’s, you’re setting yourself up for success. Learn to produce them, and enjoy the conversions that result!

 

7. Set Up an Automated Opt-In Email Marketing Campaign

 

Email marketing is an inexpensive, easy-to-manage digital marketing channel that can produce significant results for your business if you do it properly.

 

What Are We Talking About?

 

For business, email has long been one of the most profitable digital marketing channels. The Data & Marketing Association reporting that for every $1 spent on email marketing, industry average ROI is $38!

 

For every $1 spent on email marketing, industry average ROI is $38!

 

With the right tools and know-how, capitalising on this opportunity isn’t even difficult! Here’s how:

 

How Do I Do It?

 

The first thing to begin email marketing is choosing an email automation software.

Services like MailChimp and it’s many alternatives take the labour out of email management and provide the tools needed to keep your focus on strategy and off administration.

Providing comprehensive analytics on audience behaviour and campaign results, these services provide a serious boon for your business with minimal investment and effort.

 

What Results Should I Expect?

People are twice as likely to sign up for your email list as they are to engage with you on Facebook (Forrester), and 61% of consumers report enjoying weekly promotional emails (MarketingSherpa).

Email marketing works, and people actually like it!

Pick your automation software, learn to use it, and you can access the revenue that comes with one from the most established digital marketing channel, email.

 

8. Increase ROI By Selling More To Existing Clients

 

Previous customers are a far more likely to do business with you than potentially new ones.

It’s important to invest in marketing to create new customers, but it’s crucial to recognize the opportunity for ROI that marketing to existing customers provides.

 

What Are We Talking About?

Existing customers know you and (hopefully) trust you.

More importantly, you know them.

You’ve gathered analytics on their behavior online, you’ve got their purchase history and a wealth of data on personal details and preferences specific to them.

Deploying this knowledge strategically can be the most profitable digital marketing decision you ever make.

How Do I Do It?

 

Your clients and customers share similar characteristics that you can use to group them into target segments. Deploying tailor-made content and marketing materials that reflect the specific needs of these segments is a proven way to drive conversions and revenue.

 

Segmentation

 

Which characteristics they share is not always obvious, which is a large part of the reason gathering and processing data via services like Google Analytics is such a critical tool for success in digital marketing.

Information like where users came from, how they navigated your site, where they live and more can be used to define market segments of customers.

Tailor your marketing efforts to them, and you can expect to see significant return as a result.

 

What Results Should I Expect?

 

The better your marketing material delivers on the needs, wants, and expectations of its audience; the better your conversion results will be.

Existing customers not only trust you more than potentially new ones but provide you a wealth of information on their needs simply by doing business with you online.

Use this information to group them into market segments, and you are far more capable of intimately addressing their needs.

In turn, you can expect significantly higher conversions and the revenue that results.

 

9. Setup and Maintain Your Google My Business Page

 

Google my business is free, easy,  only takes about 10 minutes to set up, and immediately exposes your business to thousands of potential mobile searches.

 

What Are We Talking About?

 

A Google My Business account allows you to control the way that Google presents your business online to potential customers.

Setting one up and managing it provides searchers (especially mobile ones) a quick and easy means by which to get to know and engage with your business.

In one click, viewers can give you a call, get directions to your business, read reviews on your products and services, visit your website, and more.

 

How Do I Do It?

 

Setting up a Google My Business account is quick and easy. Just follow the steps in this guide, and in a matter of minutes you can do the work required to expose your business to tons of mobile traffic!

 

What Results Should I Expect?

 

Mobile searchers aren’t looking to do comprehensive research on products or services. They want to find a solution to a problem, assess it quickly, and connect with it in moments.

Google My Business lets them do it.

Businesses with GMB accounts are given preference at the top of mobile SERPS because they provide the most value to the searcher.

Just set it up, and let GMB bring mobile traffic right to your front door.

 

10. Optimize Mobile For Impulse Decisions

 

It’s not easy to do research on a smartphone, but it is easy to make calls, send emails, and make purchases.

Optimize your online presence to take advantage of these, and you can expect more of them.

 

What Are We Talking About?

 

When purchases are informed or made on a mobile device, these decisions are generally being made as a result of a person’s imminent circumstances.

Maybe they’ve seen an ad on the bus home, and want to check a product out. Maybe they wanted to find out where to get lawn care like that house they see walking their dog.

In all these cases, a potential customer pulls out their phone to search for a product/service, and a brief window of opportunity opens.

Here’s how you take advantage of it:

 

How Do I Do It?

 

Mobile App DevelopmentAmong the most effective tools available to drive mobile impulse decisions is reviews, especially ones that include images.

Mobile users are looking to keep their assessments quick and easy, and image reviews provide a great format to consume relevant information they can trust in order to make the decision to purchase.

Of course, any review is going to be better than none at all,  but it’s worthwhile to provide an incentive for images as part of your review cultivation strategy.

 

What Results Should I Expect?

 

Almost half of all eCommerce traffic comes from mobile devices. 40% from smartphone users, and 10% from tablets.

If it’s difficult to engage with your business on mobile devices, you can expect the impulse buyer to go somewhere that makes it easy.

Make it easy to engage with your services and purchase your products from these devices, and your business can cash-in on the impulsive relationship half your traffic has with their mobile devices!

Closing the Gap With WebMarketers

 

Are you an SMB looking to implement a digital strategy you can rely on to succeed? WebMarketers specializes in the unique needs of SMB’s, and we love to meet new companies with new ideas.

If you’d like to talk about your ideas over coffee (or beer!), drop us a line and let’s talk!

 

Kyle Smendziuk

Kyle is the CEO of WebMarketers and a passionate entrepreneur. In his free time, you'll find him spending time outdoors, playing sports, or relaxing with a local craft beer.

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