The common mistake that is made by many is that the Web is just seen as a simple marketing tool, and should be treated as a cheap way of getting a company’s brochures in front of more people than land mail…more people read about us more people will buy what we offer.
Well the mass (land) mailing concept has gone from most sales/marketing departments with the possible exception of large organisations who believe they can appeal to anyone. Mailing is still a valid tool, but it is now much more targeted, predominantly due to cost against response.
So why should it be any different using the Web as a channel of communication with your prospective clients? It is all very well and good to think I have got a great website so the business will come rolling in, BUT this is almost like hoping your prospective clients will find your needle in the haystack.
Yes, hundreds or thousands of prospective clients could potentially see you on the Web. However they could also see hundreds or thousands of alternatives to you on the Web. Additionally hundreds and thousands of people/businesses could see you on the Web, having absolutely no interest in your products or services.
So what does a business do?
This is where targeting comes in. The business must identify their prospective client and then identify how this client uses the Web. By doing this correctly the business can use the Web to get better return for less outlay.
A business does not want to respond to 1000 enquiries a month, for 1 – 2% sales. They want to respond to 100 enquiries for 50% sales. Targeting can help them to achieve this.
A good start is stepping back and asking
• Who is my potential client?
• Which channel(s) do they use on the Web?
• How do we want to do business with them?
This will dictate the content of the website, the Facebook page and/or other web-presence, and how these are used to interact with the visitors to start a relationship with a view to converting them into customers.
It will also dictate how they are targeted, with a view to steering them to one of these. The more focussed a business can be in targeting, the more quickly they can measure the results and proactively alter the way they are working if necessary.
More than one focussed Web campaign, can achieve much better results than one broad campaign. This should mean that by managing the way they are using the web, a company can put more of their resource into converting prospects to customers, rather than finding leads.
Prospective clients rarely go directly to a business’s website or Facebook page when they are looking for something on the Web. More often than not they will be using a search engine, such as Google. These are much more commonly used than any paper based directory. They also have many more “entries”. To steer prospective clients to their business, it is necessary to appear in the right place on the relevant searches for them.
There are many channels on the Web that can be used to steer the targeted visitor. A business needs to profile the prospective client and the phrases or keywords they use when searching for their product/service or information about them.
There is no absolute correct way. No two businesses are the same, even with the same product in the same town. One may be happy to sell the product on the Web; the other may want the Web to attract an enquiry, which is converted using human interaction. Or they may have the same product, but they do not want to sell to the same type of customers.
So the starting point in getting the right visitors is to identify the clients you want for your business. It is only by doing this that your digital strategy can be defined with a view to making these desired customers into visitors and, ultimately, converting them into your clients.