website-into-lead-generating-machine

How To Turn Your Website Into A Lead Generation Machine

website-into-lead-generating-machine

 

Running a business can be a rewarding experience for many entrepreneurs. However, it can be difficult to build a customer base. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks for turning your website into a lead generating machine.

When utilizing your website to market your business, there are several different ways to improve conversion rates. When a visitor accesses your website, it's important to make sure that every page of the site pushes users towards either purchasing an item, signing up for a service, requesting a quote or even signing up for a mailing list. However, it's important to balance high conversion rates against the accessibility of a website. If you try too hard to generate leads, customers may be turned off by the design of your site. For example, some websites use javascript to create an alert prompt when an individual attempts to browse away from a website. This can be an effective way to increase your conversion rates, but can sometimes be a little annoying for the user.

Obviously techniques like this are on the extreme end of the spectrum, but reasonable lead generation techniques are a great way to increase sales and boost customer mailing lists.

Your Call To Action

When users visit your website, it's important to have a call to action as a button or other visual indicator on the screen. This call to action should provide a simple, seamless way for users to purchase your product or service. The homepage of a website should have a large call to action button, but it's also important to have a smaller call to action on all other pages for a website. A fixed menu bar at the top or bottom of the screen with a call to action is a great way to ensure that website visitors have instant access to your website's shopping cart system.

It's also important to ask customers for as little information as possible during the checkout process. If a checkout form is relatively long, it will increase the odds that a customer will simply give up after a few minutes. For example, some checkout systems will ask users to provide their email address, phone, address, interests, and several other pieces of information that may not be relevant on first contact. These types of inefficiencies can be a hassle for website visitors and can detract from your website.

Give Something of Value

Fortunately, there are a variety of incentives that can help you increase your mailing list numbers. One of the best ways is by offering a lead magnet such as a free product or a coupon to people who sign up for a mailing list. To receive the product or coupon, an individual has to enter their email address in a form provided on your website.

There are a variety of free products you could offer to potential mailing list signups. These include ebooks, instructional videos, access to a free podcast, and more. Since digital goods don't have any costs associated with their distribution, they can be a great incentive for website owners.

Most important of all, it's essential to test your website on a regular basis. Many website design tools, like Wordpress, offer A/B testing. This allows you to serve website visitors different versions of your website.

If you find it too complicated to build an effective landing page using your Wordpress website, you can consider using a third party platform such as Clickfunnels and Leadpages. These platforms make it relatively easy to create landing pages with their template options.

Play it Safe

If you're looking to gain contacts for a mailing list, it's important to make sure that you have a call to action that provides immediate value to the user. Most website visitors won't be willing to provide their email address to a website if they don't get anything in return. In addition, if you send marketing emails to contacts without their permission, your email messages may be marked as spam by the recipients. If this happens, mail servers may begin to reject any emails that come from your domain. In extreme cases, your entire domain may be blacklisted by major email exchanges. This will mean that essentially all outgoing emails from your domain will be blocked.

Summary

This is very important - The businesses that are thriving today, are those that have learned to create, build and nurture relationships online.

Generating the leads may be the easy part. What to do with them after you have them is an entirely different story. Make sure you keep in touch with your new contacts. A monthly newsletter can sometimes do the trick. It's not uncommon that a lead you generate today becomes a customer tomorrow. It's also not uncommon that a lead you generate today will become a customer a year from now.

The point is, keep your funnel full. Keep your lead generating machine "always on". In the end, you will position yourself or your business as the leader in your industry.

 

Phil Fisk - CEO/Digital Marketing Consultant - Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.

 


7-steps-defining-target-market

7 Steps to Defining Your Target Market

7-steps-defining-target-market

 

The most effective way to ensure that your company stays at the forefront of its industry is to ensure you are tapped into the correct target audience. Defining your target market is no easy task that requires money, time, and a significant amount of effort for companies, both small and large. With the right tools, however, every business can find their niche audience.

Targeting Your Audience

Too often, businesses make the mistake of only targeting people that are interested in their business. However, this is hardly an effective way to intentionally reach a specific audience. To really help you understand how to define your target market, you need to explore seven tips commonly used in the business world.

1. Identify Your Customer Base

The first step in defining your target market is to understand what interests your current customers and identifying why they continue to support your company. As you review the numbers, you must be sure to pay attention to what type of customers generate the most business and what products and services they gravitate towards. This will help you understand how to better cater to your current customers as well as how to reach out to others like them.

2. Know Your Competition

You must make the time to thoroughly analyze your competition. While it may be distracting to spend too much time focusing on the competitors, it is important to know who else is competing for your business. Which companies are stealing customers away from you and why? Asking and answering this and similar questions will help you pinpoint where and how you should be reaching out to your audience.

3. Review Products and Services

As you look for ways to reach your target audience, it is incredibly important to review your business' products and services. In order to understand how to entice new customers, it is imperative that you know all the ins and outs of the services that you are offering. That means knowing what you're selling as well as knowing what the customer expects to receive. Similarly, you must understand what occurs in the aftermath of a customer's purchase from your company. Are they happy with the product? Are they displeased with the customer service? Knowing where your company currently stands with its products and services will help you determine how to better market yourself to potential customers. This will allow you to easily figure out the types of people that would most benefit from your business.

4. Identify the Demographics of Potential Customers

This step in your marketing process requires you to reach out to your community and new customers. By thinking about varying factors like location, gender, education level, income level, age, marital status, ethnic background, and the like, you will be able to better identify the types of customers that may be more inclined to do business with your company.

5. Target Potential Demographics

In order to understand which demographics are more likely to turn to your company, we should use polls, trials, samples and other methods of market research. This will help you effectively determine whether or not your company is the best match for your chosen demographic,

6. Analyze the Psychographics

The psychographics of a potential consumer include the values, attitudes, personalities, hobbies, interest,s behavior and lifestyle of the person. This will allow you to determine when and how a potential customer uses your service or product, as well as which method of marketing is most effective on a person by person basis.

7. Make a Decision

All of the research in the world will be of no help if you can't figure out how to use it. The last step in finding your target audience is making a decision on who you will reach out to. With the best data and analyses, you will be able to comfortably choose the correct demographic to market to. As you work on making a decision you must be sure that your audience can afford your company's products and services. Additionally, you must determine if there is a need for your company among the chosen demographic as well as enough diversity among your products and services that the target audience doesn't lose interest.

There is no secret formula to identifying a target audience. By following these seven steps, you will be able to use your resources to make the right decision. Keep in mind that you can always reach out to multiple markets, but you must make sure you do so after conducting the right research and spending time analyzing whether or not your company is the right fit for a chosen audience.

 

Phil Fisk - CEO/Digital Marketing Consultant - Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


Woman yawning at computer

How to Market a "Boring" Business on Facebook

marketing boring business on facebook

Facebook marketing is only for fun and entertaining businesses, right? WRONG! Boring businesses are marketed on the social media platform all the time. More importantly, they are marketed effectively.

If you consider your business "too boring" for Facebook, then you simply need to know how to market on Facebook the right way.

First: Know Your Audience

You need to know who your audience is before you can communicate with them. Creating buyer personas is a great way to familiarize yourself with who your target audience is.

You have to ask yourself a few important questions to truly home in on who you're selling to:

  • What is the age range of your ideal customer?
  • Is your ideal customer single or married?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • How much money do they make per year?
  • What are their hobbies?

Each of these questions have to be answered to help you learn more about who you are marketing to. If you don’t know anything about your customer, you will inevitably fail because you can’t form a connection.

buyer persona imageCreate a picture of what your ideal customer looks like. You can work with a graphic artist to give this buyer persona an actual image. From there, you can start a list of all of the characteristics that make them unique in the marketplace.

When you know more about your ideal customer, you can choose to market using the right language as well as graphics that are more likely to attract them. If you are marketing to seniors, for example, you wouldn’t use a graphic of a young man because they can’t relate to them.

Your entire goal on Facebook is to relate to your audience.

Boring or not, that is the one goal you have for your business – and there are a few ways that you can do this.

Your Facebook Ads MUST: Inform, Educate, and/or Entertain

Facebook is used by billions of people every single day. When people log-in, they are looking for three things: information, education, and entertainment. What this means for you as a business is that you have to choose which one of these you are going to do with your Facebook marketing campaign.

From the posts that you make on your Facebook page to the posts that you boost to the ads that you create, you have to inform, educate, or entertain the people that are out there.

More specifically, you have to do this with your target audience so you can start to see a higher level of interaction.

It doesn’t matter if you have a boring business. Your goal is to connect with your audience. If you have a boring business, you can still inform, educate, and even entertain. You just have to figure out the best approach.

Inform Your Audience

Consider informing people about something going on within your industry. A “Did you know…?” kind of post can go a long way to getting people to stop and think about what you’re saying.

Any time that you can come across as an expert will help you. People might not need the product or service you have to offer right away, but they will need it eventually. If they remember you to be the business that informed them of something they didn’t know, they will be more likely to choose you in the end.

Educate Your Audience

Consumers want to do business with companies that are experts at what they do. You could educate people on something that you excel at. This could be anything from explaining how toilet flappers work to the nutrients in soil. If you help people to have that “A ha” moment, they will remember you for being the one to educate them on a painpoint they have been having.

Educating is even better than testimonials because you’re showcasing your knowledge in such a way that you’re sharing information without being condescending.

Note to "boring businesses": When you are sending a constant stream of Educational and Informational content to your audience, you are essentially positioning yourself in the market place as THE LEADER in your industry. By educating your audience on an ongoing basis, you are effectively building a relationship with that audience. They WILL remember you when it's time they need your product or services.

Entertain Your Audience

People enjoy laughing and being entertained and when you can achieve this, it’s a way to form a connection. Often, you can entertain with a boring business because of understanding the painpoints of your idea customer.

You could poke fun at a DIY approach gone bad in order to get a laugh and then position yourself as a way to avoid such a thing happening to the consumer.

You get to pick: educate, inform, or entertain. If you have a really creative marketing team, you can even do all three.

Where to Find Content

Now that you know your target audience and what you need to do on Facebook, there’s the task of getting content. Where do you get it in order to accomplish these goals?

It’s a good idea to have a list of resources to go to. These include:

  • Your blog or website
  • Buzzsumo.com for popular, shared content
  • Clickfunnels.com create beautiful landing pages
  • Canva.com to create images and memes
  • Animoto.com to create amazing videos and montages
  • Fiverr.com to connect with freelancers who will help with virtually any aspect of marketing

Valuable Content Tip: Still not sure what content to put out? Try this - Write down the top five questions you are always asked. Now, write out your answer to each of those questions as thoroughly as possible. You have just created 5 separate blogs to post on your website. Now, create ads on Facebook that drive people to those blogs. 

If you continue to think of yourself as having a “boring” business, everyone else will, too. Consider what makes you unique and figure out who your target audience is. From there, figure out what the painpoints are and how your products and/or services can help consumers. Once you accomplish this, create and share content that informs, educates, or entertains in order to market more effectively on Facebook.

Need help with marketing your business on Facebook? We have a team of pros that can help. Think of us as an extension of your business, without the payroll, workmans comp, additional taxes, attitude, etc. :) Visit our Facebook advertising page for more information.

 

digital marketing consultant phil fiskPhil Fisk
CEO- Digital Marketing Strategist
Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.
Schedule a Free Consultation here

 

 

 

 


restaurant social media

How to Pinpoint your Target Market

Hone In and Win

You strike oil by drilling a single hole a mile deep. You do not find oil while digging 100 holes, each one 100 feet deep. Marketing is the same way. Too many business take a scattershot approach to marketing, spreading themselves thin across a wide array of channels. These business hope to get lucky and strike oil, but that’s rarely possible when you aren’t drilling down far enough. Casting a wide net doesn’t work if the net is full of holes. The minimal effort a business is able to put into each one of their huge set of campaigns may be as good as useless if those campaigns aren’t properly focused.

A more effective approach is to determine who and where your target audience is, create a specific strategy to market to that audience, and go all in.

As Entrepreneur Magazine puts it, back in the day, many business owners thought it fine to market to “18- to 49-year olds,” but “those days are a thing of the past.” The marketplace is so saturated and differentiated, it’s become impossible to talk about it in a general way.

Now, every single business on the planet has a specific target market, even if they claim otherwise, or they’re oblivious and trying to target everyone. The trick to successful marketing is to be intimately familiar with your demographic — their hopes, fears, desires, incomes, careers, and hobbies — because everything is relevant when it comes to getting someone to buy your product or service. If you’re able to find your target market, you’ll be able to determine where your marketing efforts will have the greatest impact.

Who Is Your Ideal Customer?

Look at your current clientele. What do they all have in common? Identify patterns, areas where your customers live, as well as platforms they often use. Find what experiences they have in common — there’s a difference between baby boomers growing up in the 50s versus the 60s. The better you know your own customers, the better you can serve, market to, and reach them.

The same applies to your own product or service. Look at what you offer. What are the specific benefits of what you’re selling? What sets it apart from similar items? How would a person use your product or service, and how would it improve their life? This will enable you to make a list of the types of customers who have a need or use for those benefits. This tactic will give you an even clearer picture of who your demographic really is.

If you fire ten bullets in random directions, instead of aiming just one at the bullseye, you’re wasting your time and resources. If you have any questions about how to magnify the impact of your marketing, how to focus in and strike oil, just ask us! We love to help businesses streamline and amplify their marketing tactics.

- Phil Fisk


reputation-management

How A Customer Centric Focus Can Improve Your Online Reviews

Below is a transcript of a speech I give to local business owners. It's basically a lesson in how to be a responsible business owner, and a responsible consumer. It's been slightly edited to make it easier to read. Enjoy.

Today, I'd like to discuss how online reviews can make or break your business. More importantly, I want to examine this through a customer-centric lens. As in, instead of talking about how we can garner good reviews through manipulation or techniques meant to game the system, let's talk about how we can get good reviews by pleasing the customer in an organic way.

Before I jump in, let me start by giving you a little background information about who I am and what it is that I do. I am a digital marketing consultant, a blogger and someone who might not have all the answers, but who's had more than a bit of experience in the online marketing world. When I say I don't have "all the answers," what I mean is that I firmly believe that there is no magic bullet that one can unleash in order to give their brand a strong online presence overnight. I believe that different companies have different needs; however, there are certain basic techniques and concepts that I think can be helpful to all businesses.

There are countless webinars, seminars and blogs devoted to teaching businesses how to promote their brand online, especially through social media. These days, even those of us who aren't particularly tech savvy know that Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms are essential to building your brand, increasing visibility and raising profits.

However, I don't see a lot of attention being paid to what I as a professional consider to be the most important digital marketing strategy in the current era, which is having a positive presence on customer review websites like Yelp.

The History of Customer Reviews

To understand the importance of a website like Yelp, let's think about the history of customer reviews. Fifty years ago, customer reviews came in two forms. There was, of course, the professional critic, who would critique a restaurant or a brand in a written publication. We still have those today, naturally. I've personally never put too much stock in the value of professional critics and a quick glance at the user review section of any Rotten Tomatoes page would show that I'm not alone. I don't think customers were or have ever been truly influenced by professional critics. But that was one of the earlier forms of brand criticism.

The second form, which I consider to be the granddaddy of a site like Yelp, was word of mouth. In our parents' and grandparents' day, if they were going to make a major buying decision, they were going to consult with family and friends. If a store in an area had a reputation for being overpriced or for employing rude people, this information would spread via word of mouth and business would diminish. This is where the "customer is always right" mentality sprang from. Businesses understood how quickly word of their ineptitude could make it around a neighborhood. This is why great customer service was essential.

Valuing the Opinions of Friends and Family, or not.

Today, word of mouth reviews don't hold as much weight. It's not that you all don't value the opinions of your family and friends - well, maybe there's a few whose opinions you don't value. I have one or two I can think of who I always take with a grain of salt. No, word of mouth hasn't lost its value because we've stopped valuing the opinions of our friends, but rather because the scope of our buying power has expanded.

So, if you've found an obscure online retailer that looks promising but you're unsure, it's not all that likely that you have any real world friends who've purchased from them. It also has to do with the rise of chain stores. Most of us aren't going to take the time to ask where the best place is to buy a microwave, because we know that the answer will probably be Walmart or Sears. We know where to buy things.

Enter the world of online review sites like Yelp. Yelp allows any person, in a matter of seconds, to look up a business and instantly see whether or not they have good reviews from the general public. It also allows customers to instantly air their grievances. In the old days, if you wanted to air a grievance, you had to file with the Better Business Bureau. Most people don't want to go through the trouble of that unless they've been somehow scammed or defrauded. You didn't have an outlet through which to merely alert others about poor customer service or a faulty product.

Who's Controlling Your Message?

Let's say you're a restaurant owner and your entire staff is having a bad day. The kitchen is sending out tasteless food, the waitstaff is giving the customers attitude. Do you know the scariest thing that a patron can do in that situation? It's not walking out on their tab. Rather, it's pulling out their smartphone. In a minute or so, they can relay their experience to the entire world. This puts the consumer in control of your message.

I'm a really big fan of talking about plumbers when I'm talking about online reviews. Let's say that it's the 1970s and your hot water heater springs a leak. Water is soaking your basement and it's the 70s, so you probably have shag carpeting, which means if you don't take care of it quickly there'll be mildew everywhere. What do you do in this situation?...

You go to the phone book. You go to the phone book and you call the first plumber that you see. You're not going to take the time to call up a friend and ask them who they recommend, especially if the water level is rising. You're going to pick who has the nicest ad in the phonebook.

Today, if your hot water heater springs a leak - hopefully none of you still have shag carpeting - you're still on a time crunch, sure. But consulting Yelp, consulting Angie's List... it takes just as much time as flipping through the phone book. You can quickly access not only a list of plumbers, but a list of plumbers ranked by overall rating. In a matter of minutes, you can skim the reviews and check for any red flags. You don't care about their blog's keyword optimization, you don't care about the company's strong Facebook presence... all you care about is a list of plumbers and the voices of real people who've hired them.

That's what I'm talking about when I talk about the power of online reviews.

How do we get those positive reviews?

The biggest question I get asked, then, is how? How do we get those positive reviews? And that brings me to my point about the importance of being customer-centric. Yes, there are steps you can take towards garnering more online reviews. You can put up signs urging people to review your company on Yelp. That's what I call the "passive approach." Or, you can take what I call the "active approach," which is offering a discount of some sort in exchange for a customer showing that they left a review.

However, the best way to get good reviews is what I call the "organic approach," and that's great customer service. Two years ago, I began working with a client. A dentist. She was passionate about what she did, she was passionate about her practice, but she had a handful of reviews and a two-star rating... which is downright toxic for any business.

When she came to me, I don't think she was expecting me to push the organic approach. I think she was expecting me to behave like some sort of computer hacker from the movies: "Oh, we can fix those bad reviews with this special secret code I bought from some Russian hackers. There, you're all set! Thanks to my special internet expert powers, you're a five star business!"

She thought she was coming to me for a magic fix. But there was no magic fix.

There is No Magic Fix

What I ended up doing for her was coming into her business, looking around, and seeing a lot of things that were wrong. A lot of things that weren't designed with the patient in mind. Something I want you to remember is that Yelpers and online reviewers are not the "enemy." This is a dangerous mindset that I see in far too many business owners. When I walked into her practice, I didn't see the two-star reviewer as my enemy. Rather, I saw him as a person just like me. I could see what he found wrong when he stepped foot in her business. I could put myself in his shoes, and in his shoes, I would have left the same review.

Ultimately, the best thing I could do for her as an internet marketing expert didn't come in the form of keywords or optimization. It came from me sitting down with she and her staff and coming up with a plan on how we could fix what wasn't working, improve on the good qualities and ultimately create a practice where patients felt valued, respected and satisfied. And we worked hard at this. We didn't stop. We focused on creating a customer-centric business.

Today her practice has over 200 Yelp reviews and over 80 Google reviews. 95% percent of those reviews are five stars. Her business has tripled and she just opened her second location.

Yelpers Are Not The Enemy

Remember what I said about Yelpers not being the enemy. I can't stress this enough. Yelpers were the reason why that dentist was able to open a second location. If your business has bad Yelp reviews, you'd be a fool to blame the reviewers and not yourself.

I see so many digital marketing professionals who act as if Yelp is a hindrance, who act as if Yelp is this massive inconvenience that they've been burdened with. It's utterly bizarre to me. If you're in the business of marketing to or appealing to customers, the fact that you would have scorn for those very customers shows me that you might be in the wrong line of work.

I don't think the rise of online review websites is a bad thing; in fact, I'd go so far to say that it's overwhelmingly positive for society at large. There are some truly sleazy companies out there. Companies that only care about a fast buck, who have no qualms about ripping off their customers. In the old days, those companies got away with it time and time again with no penalties. Today, that's changed. Unscrupulous companies get what they deserve. And great companies, companies that are truly focused on their customers, get the praise, popularity and success that they deserve.

Ultimately, my advice to any company that wants to improve its standing on Yelp has nothing to do with my experience in internet marketing. It has to do with the most organic, basic business advice of all: The customer is always right. If you can provide outstanding service, if you can put your heart and soul into your product and you can really invest all you have into pleasing your consumer, then you'll get the positive reviews on Yelp that your business needs to thrive. Remember, it's about the people. If you can't accept that, then like I said, you're in the wrong line of work.

Thank you very much.


online reputation management

4 Steps To Bring Millennials Into Your Small Business

The Millennial generation has an undeservedly bad reputation. Every time I hear about them, it's the same story - they're entitled, they're lazy, they're all special snowflakes who can't work in the real world. Every time I encounter someone from that generation, I see something different. This is a generation that works hard, but doesn't always see the fruits of their labor. It's a generation that certainly wants to be rewarded, but that is willing to sacrifice for those rewards. More than anything else, millennials are a generation that wants to do things their own way - but they're fiercely loyal to those who will work with them.

For businesses, millennials can be scary. Because they don't fall into the patterns of previous generations, it's easy to dismiss them. After all, it's hard to capture that millennial dollar and many businesses just don't want to put in the work. That's a shame, because millennials represent a huge chunk of the adult population - and their spending power is continuing to grow. If you want to succeed in the future, you've got to respect this generation. You also have to know what they want. The four steps below can help you understand the millennial generation and help gain their business at the same time.

1. Be Honest With Millenials

I care about honesty. I'm sure you do, too. You probably don't care as much as the millennial generation, though. This is a generation that came of age during an era in which almost everything has been called into question. The world around them seems to change by the day and they've become incredibly aware of the fact that some people want to take advantage of them. If you don't believe me, take a moment to look at the internet - there are a million articles about how to take advantage of millennials and trick them into loving your business. Millennials don't just know this, by the way - they've got an almost instinctual ability to sniff out fakes.

What does that mean for you? It means you're going to have to be honest about what your business does and how it accomplishes its goals. Don't go for spin - go for honesty. Don't hide behind marketing language or false promises, but rather be genuine in your advertising and your communications with your customers. Millennials know when they're being pandered to and most respond to it with disgust. You can't afford to lose their business, so it's time to pull back the curtain of marketing and deal with this generation in a fair and equitable manner.

2. Millenials Are A Mobile Generation

Most online traffic now comes through mobile devices. It doesn't matter if it's on wi-fi or using precious data, more people are looking at your business on mobile phones than on traditional computers. Millennials are driving this trend, and for good reason - they've grown up with mobile phones. Even the oldest of this generation have had cellphones since high school and they were among the earliest non-business adopters of smartphones. If you can't keep up with them, they'll find someone who can.

So, what do you do? I'd recommend making sure your site is optimized for mobile. I'd also look into building an app that rewards customers for their loyalty. Millennials are frugal and they love loyalty programs - combine that with an app, and you'll definitely go far. Don't make the mistake of marketing towards outdated technology just because you're more comfortable with it - millennial visit your business through mobile browsers, so get used to it now.

3. The Social Connection

There's probably nothing more cliche than saying that millennials like social networks, but it's true. Honestly, everyone likes them and everyone uses them. Millennials have simply grown up with them and understand how to use them a little bit better than their older counterparts. As a business owner, you've got to jump on the social bandwagon so you can benefit from the millennial love of social networking.

Once you're on there, you'll be walking a fine line. Like I said before, this is a generation that craves authenticity. They'll know that if your'e pandering and they'll know if you're just using ad-speak. If you can make a legitimate connection, though, you'll gain a group of followers who will stick with you through thick and thin.

4. Millennials Care

While there's always a lot of noise about this generation being disaffected or selfish, that's not something I've really seen. Millennials tend to care - maybe not always about the same things, but they've got a general care for humanity that's admirable. Millennials care how you treat your employees, how your business functions in the community, and the overall impact of what your business does. If they don't believe you're acting in good faith, they won't want anything to do with you.

The fact that this generation cares about how your business works is a fantastic opportunity for you. Think about all the times that sticking to your guns about your principles has caused you to miss opportunities or make less money. Imagine, now, that your customers actually care about those choices and will reward you for them. This is what millennials bring to the table - rewards for acting like the kind of business owner you've always wanted to be.

Millennials are already changing the way the world works. Whether you want to admit it or not, your business is going to live or die by how well you interact with them. This generation of change represents an incredible opportunity on your part, especially if you want to stick to your own principles. If you can be honest, embrace technology and make a real effort to be one of the good guys, millennials are going to be interested in your business

  • Phil Fisk, President Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.

Landing Page Audit Report - SEO Monterey

Digital Marketing & Your Business

The influence of the internet has led to business owners being inundated with tons of noise regarding the importance of updating their digital marketing plans. By now, you have probably received solicitations from multiple marketing agencies proclaiming that their strategies are the next big thing that will turn your business around. While increasing your visibility and enticing new customers to your doors is always a good thing, it is hard to know who to believe or where to even start with developing an effective strategy that stays true to your brand. Fortunately, you don’t have to lose sight of your goals to drive sales when you understand the power of focusing on one effective strategy.

Do One Thing Well

A simple business concept that you may have learned your freshmen year is to take one thing you do well and make it better. Many of the marketing agencies out there take an overboard approach that never allows any of their strategies to reach their full potential. Unfortunately, this tends to lead to weaknesses in your marketing plan when it becomes impossible to keep up with it all. Look at it this way. It is better to drill one 1,000-foot well that hits the liquid gold than to drill 1000 1-foot wells that completely miss their mark. In business, time and energy equal money, so make sure yours goes where it is profitable.

If a marketing agency tells you that their strategies are a fast track to building your business, you should be skeptical. Building an online reputation takes time since each new review, comment and update serves as a springboard for future interactions. Over time, it is these interactions between you and your target audience that drives sales. While you may get lucky and manage to squeak out digital content that becomes viral, it is more important to focus on building long-term relationships with your customers that establishes your business as being reliable. Avoid wasting all of your efforts by leaving the band right before it gets signed.

Working With Multiple Agencies Doesn't Work

A major mistake many business owners make is to invest in multiple marketing agencies that all promise to do different things. While diversifying is usually a good thing, trying to keep up with multiple agencies makes it harder for your company to stay on message. In fact, your dedicated customers can actually pick up on the differences in the messages that are conveyed by different agencies, and it generates confusion that results in a lack of trust for your brand. Instead of spreading your marketing budget and personal energy too thin, it is best to choose one marketing partner that encompasses all of what you hope to achieve in your digital marketing efforts.

Digital marketing can be a major asset or a huge headache. When you built your business, you knew that there is no true get rich quick scheme or else you’d already have been retired. Instead, choose a marketing agency that knows how to partner with your business to develop a real plan for success that opens up the door to new customer relationships and opportunities.

-Phil Fisk
President, Coastline Marketing Group, Inc


customer centric approach

Above & Beyond: The Ultimate Customer Experience

How your business presents itself online — to both current and potential customers — can mean everything. It’s the difference between a click back to the search results and a click further into your website to learn more about a product or service.

The customer experience doesn’t end once an order is placed, a product is shipped, or a service is rendered. The customer experience is ongoing, and it plays a huge role in a business’s reputation. It often means a business must go above and beyond with their customers to earn a positive reputation — online and offline.

We Set Our Own Expectations

We expect to be taken care of and to know we can trust a business. Many people rely on reviews, ratings, and testimonials before they make an initial purchase (or even a second or third purchase). These factors influence which product they buy, which service they use, and which business they feel deserves their money.

Because of our expectations of customer service, and the assumption that the experience will be “okay,” we don’t always think to leave a review or talk about the experience with family, friends, or colleagues. It’s typically only when a business goes above and beyond that customers talk about the experience or post about it on social media or review websites.

When your customers share an experience on social media or on a review website because you went above and beyond, this improves your online reputation. This can do two big things for your business. Not only does boosting your online reputation improve your overall bottom line, it can boost your rankings in search engine results. It can do wonders for your SEO.

Your Outside Salesforce

I always tell people to think of those little five stars as sales people. You see these stars all over the web — on e-commerce websites, restaurant review sites, and more. When someone searches for a product or service you provide, and they see those five little stars next to a business, that has incredible power.

In that moment, the person will make the decision to do business with that “five star” company. If the choice is between you and your competitor — and there is a star difference between the two choices — the business with the higher rating will likely gain the new customer.

This is why investing the time and effort to go above and beyond is worth it. Building a solid online reputation can lead to more people visiting your website and buying from you. It all comes back to delivering a truly epic customer experience and giving your customers something to talk about.

At Coastline Marketing Group, a big part of our focus is helping local businesses deliver a better customer experience. It’s right up there with providing our clients with an in-depth and accessible education on all things digital marketing. We help businesses with every aspect of the customer experience, from a customer’s very first click onto their website, all the way through what to do after the transaction.

If you have questions about your own online reputation or if you’re curious about how you can go above and beyond, don’t hesitate to ask! We’re here to help you get those answers and discover new ways for your business to deliver the ultimate customer experience.

- Phil Fisk


difference between seo and internet marketing

What's The Difference Between SEO and Internet Marketing?

updated: July 3, 2020

difference between seo and internet marketing

So, what is the difference between SEO and Internet Marketing?

Understanding the differences between search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing is critical to achieving greater success in your online advertising and marketing efforts. While these two terms are sometimes used as if they were synonymous, they perform quite different functions for your business. Creating a balanced approach when managing SEO and online marketing activities will reap significant benefits for your visibility and your competitive edge in the modern business environment.

What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO, as its full name indicates, is designed to improve your ranking among search engines to push your business to the top of the results. Keywords are an integral part of the SEO process for most businesses. Good SEO practices include creating mobile-friendly websites and content, geographical targeting, structuring your data properly with schemas, and creating relationships with other companies, websites, and blogs. These methods can improve your ranking with search engines like Google and Bing.

According to statistics collected by Net Marketshare between July 2019 and June 2020, Google held down 70 percent of the market share of searches for desktops and laptops and 94 percent of searches on mobile devices. These figures make it evident that achieving first-page status on Google can significantly increase your company's visibility in the public arena.

What Is Internet Marketing?

Also referred to as digital marketing, internet marketing includes the full range of ways in which your company reaches out to its potential customers. These may include paid online advertising, social media marketing, emails, content marketing campaigns, and affiliate marketing strategies:

• Paid online advertising typically includes pay-per-click campaigns as well as ads targeted by topic and by geographical location.
Social media marketing strategies may include customer outreach, reputation management, and other elements that can help you attract and retain customers through these venues.
• Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your current customers and to promote sales and products for your business.
Content marketing is the delivery of useful articles, blog posts, and other information for your current and potential customers to establish your company as an authority in its field.
• Affiliate marketing is not as popular as it once was. This method involves building relationships with bloggers and review sites and providing them with revenue streams for recommending and promoting your products.

Five Primary Differences Between SEO and Internet Marketing

While SEO is generally considered to be a subset of internet marketing, the two processes have some significant differences. Keeping these distinctions in mind will ensure the best and most positive results from both of these activities.

1. Internet Marketing Encompasses SEO Practices

The first and most important difference between internet marketing and SEO is the scope of each of these activities. Digital internet marketing covers all aspects of your online customer outreach programs, which include SEO, paid advertising and social media marketing. SEO is a subset of these activities that can be applied to each element in your digital marketing campaigns. For instance, the right keywords can boost the visibility of your blog posts, your content marketing materials, and your paid and unpaid advertising efforts.

This indicates that internet or digital marketing is general and that SEO is pervasive. Thinking about these activities in these terms can help you achieve the right balance between SEO and internet marketing for your own company.

2. SEO Targets Search Engines While Internet Marketing Targets People

The technical aspects of SEO are directed toward making your website, content, and advertising more visible to search engines. Using the right keywords and providing your audience with the right meta information to ensure that your SEO content can be properly identified and categorized is the primary purpose of SEO.

By contrast, internet marketing is designed to appeal to people and not solely to algorithms. Your advertising, content creation, and social media strategies should be designed to provide useful information and practical help for real people. Rather than packing your internet marketing materials with extraneous keywords, you should drill down to the most important messages and information for your prospective customers.

3. SEO Is a Tool While Internet Marketing Is a Process

SEO techniques are designed for one basic purpose. They are intended to make your webpage more visible to search engine algorithms. To this end, you may include targeted keywords, metadata information and other SEO techniques in all aspects of your online activities. In general, SEO is a tool used to make all of your internet marketing activities more effective.

Internet marketing, by contrast, is the process of making your products and your company more visible and attractive to potential customers. This can be accomplished by writing relevant and SEO-aware blogs, by advertising your products with pay-per-click or email campaigns and by making your presence felt on social media. SEO should be integrated into these activities but should not be the point of them.

4. The Costs of SEO and Digital Marketing Are Different

Depending on whether you do your writing in-house or outsource it, SEO services are either relatively low-cost or free to your company. Researching and integrating keywords into your online content and your website is part of the normal process of creating this content.

Digital marketing, by contrast, may cost a significant amount depending on the scope and range of these activities. Geo-targeted advertising offers local reach at a fraction of the price of large-scale advertising campaigns. For national advertising on major search engines and certain pay-per-click campaigns, you may end up spending a healthy chunk of change to boost your company's overall visibility and sales.

5. SEO Takes Second Place to Quality Content Marketing

While it may be tempting to stuff keywords into your content and website, Google's algorithm has changed significantly over the last decade. Well-written and high-quality content for your website and content marketing efforts will typically rank higher than old-school keyword stuffing and the forcing of long-tail keywords to create awkward phrasing and less valuable content. With Internet Live Stats reporting in July 2020 that nearly 84,000 searches take place on Google's engine every second, it is clear that optimizing your content for Google is a step in the right direction for your marketing campaigns.

SEO and Internet Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand

By placing equal focus on SEO and on your digital marketing efforts, your business can boost your visibility and increase your customer base. This can add up to improved profitability and added reach in the consumer marketplace.

 

2018_CoastalMarketingGroup_Phil_0868-webFor more information on developing a proper SEO and/or an Internet Marketing Campaign, contact Phil Fisk with Coastline Marketing Group, Inc - 831-789-9320