Online Marketing Overview
There are numerous online marketing channels. The things that I think are important and we're going to hammer through these throughout this presentation:
Having a website that converts. So it's not just enough to have a website. You need to think through how your website is constructed, what the user experiences and build it in a way that is not only professional, but it also helps you get people to want to contact your business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is organic search engine optimization. So this is where you do not have to pay Google to rank for search by advertising.
There are pay-per-click ads, like Google ads or Bing Ads.
So then there is the Google map listing, which is super, super important for any painting company.
Social media; numerous social media platforms are available. I think it’s important to understand how you can leverage those. They are a really important driver for visibility and credibility and likeableness and those kinds of things.
Online directories, which may not be super obvious for a lot of people, but these online directories send important signals to the search engines about the validity of the information about your business.
Last but not least, there are paid lead services. Google has launched one of its own called Google local services ads. We'll get to that here in just a minute.
When you're thinking about online marketing, if you're going to be taking a comprehensive approach, which is what we recommend if your goal is to be found when people are doing searches online, you have to update your website for search engine optimization and conversion.
So by conversion, I mean, when somebody goes to your website, you want them to take some call to action. They [visitor to your website] may not be ready to buy from you quite yet. They may not want to contact your business, but they may be willing to give you an email address in return for you providing them a really valuable guide on how to prepare their home for painting, for example.
As a result of that, you can capture their email address. You find out somebody is interested in doing some painting. Hopefully, that's going to help you stay top of mind and then you can follow up with a series of emails and lead nurturing opportunities or even phone calls to check in with folks if you captured their phone number.
We're going to talk a lot about search engine optimization. So that's not only the stuff that you can do on your website, it's also how do you get links from other websites to link to your business, what type of content you need to be creating and whatnot.
Optimizing your Google My Business page to show up on Google maps; we'll go through that. We'll talk about the importance of these directory or citation type sites and how you can take advantage of those, and the review process.
Then we'll talk about social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube I think are probably platforms that are most common and most relevant for painting companies.
I certainly would not overlook Pinterest as well. I think there's a lot of opportunity for Pinterest, but again, you don't want to bite off more than you can chew. And I think it's much more important to pick some channels that you're good at and, and take advantage of those.
Leveraging Email Marketing:
Email marketing continues to be one of the most important tools in our online marketing arsenal. That helps us stay top of mind and move people again through the buyer's journey. (from the time they're thinking about doing something until the time they pick up the phone and call you and have you come out and provide an estimate and have you win the job).
Then there are paid channels that you should be considering. That could be Google ad-words. They're now called Google ads or any other pay-per-click type strategy. Microsoft's search engine, for example, has another option for pay-per-click.
There are online paid directories like Angie's list or Yelp or City Search, where you can pay them to have a more prominent listing.
So then there were paid lead services that you can take advantage of.
And then, of course, the thing I love about online is you can measure and track almost everything. It may take a little bit of work sometimes to get it set up properly. But the great thing about it is you can see everything that is going on in your online presence. And I actually am a big believer that you need to use your online properties to help you measure and track the performance of your offline marketing strategies.
So if you're doing a billboard, if you're doing a direct mail campaign or running television or radio ads or a flyer that you're distributing, if you do it right, you can track all of the activity and results, through online means. So don't forget about that.
So we're going to talk about the search engines. We're going to look at:
A website and the type of content that you're really going to need to have on it, how you structure your site.
The Google map results as we talked about before
Inbound links (when other websites link to your website). You linking to another website does not help your website rank necessarily very much-- it certainly is something you want to do, but it's not going to be the thing that's going to help you get your site ranked. You want other websites that have credibility and trust with the search engines linking to your website.
Doing social media.
Looking at paid online marketing and advertising.