The 5 Elements you need for successful online marketing

Logo & Branding Design
A strong design presence tends to help a company establish themselves as a leader, competitor and helps your visitors take your brand more seriously if you have a sophisticate logo and overall branding concept. In addition, you need a clear marketing slogan and explanation of what your business offers. A confusing brand strategy while drive customers away, but a clear and concise marketing strategy can help grow your business quicker. This would include a logo design, font concepts, color concepts, business card design, and marketing slogan concepts which then can be used consistently on all of your marketing material. 

Website Design
In 2018, websites are the cornerstone to any business's marketing strategy. Your website needs to be flexible, easy to update, and to help keep your long-term web development costs down. After working with over 600 business in the last 8 years, I strongly believe that Squarespace is the best website platform for most small and medium-sized businesses. The only exception would be if you are an ecommerce business driving over $100,000 in revenue per year directly from your website. For everyone else, Squarespace allows my clients to easily blog on their own, and make simple text and image updates within minutes. For more substantial changes you to your website, Squarespace development costs are dramatically lower than other popular platforms like WordPress & Shopify. I am passionately opinionated about informing you on which website platform is the best for small businesses, because I want to see your online business succeed. 

Email Marketing
Emails are engaged with much more frequently than social media. People who sign up for an email list are more likely to be buyers, and are more likely to stick with your brand for several months after signing up. All businesses need, at some point, to develop a strong email marketing campaign. At the very least, when you get your website live, you should collect email addresses - even if you aren't ready to start sending out regular email newsletters. This way, when you finally have time to take that next step, you'll have lots of email address you can send your first email blasts to. The best way to capture email addresses through your website are when you offer something free, valuable and unique on your website. You want to encourage someone to enter their email address to get access to free content, rather than simply saying "Sign up for our newsletter" or "Get 10% off your first order." Most people that visit a website are "on the fence" when they first are looking for products and services. So offering some sort of free download or other free content in exchange for their email address helps give you a competitive edge over other firms that don't have a clear on-boarding strategy. I've seen this work extremely well for business-to-business websites over and over again.

SEO & Google Search
While most business owners have heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the concept is really not as complex as people make it out to be. These days, Google Search algorithms tend to favor websites that regularly provide valuable, helpful, informative, and honest content. Most web developers are going to make this process sound highly complex and intimidating. But the truth is, if you create a weekly blog that continually contains valuable information that would greatly improve other peoples' lives, then there isn't much more you need to do in order to have successful SEO on your website. There are a few tips and tricks, but these days, valuable content is far more important than using "special website techniques" to get good traffic to your website. While SEO tends to be best for business to business that offer higher-end services or products, Social Media tends to work better for lower-end products that are business to consumer. For instance, a high-end technology consultant would do better with SEO marketing, while a local flower delivery service offering $49 bouquets would be better suited to focus on Social Media marketing.

Ongoing Marketing
Once each of the 4 main elements to your online marketing is established, the final step is maintain, grow and dominate your market online on a monthly basis. For my clients, I like to find the online marketing strategies that will likely work best for your business model. But in order for your website to be useful for your business, you must continue to maintain and grow all the different ways to bring new traffic to your website. This might include regular blog posts, email newsletters, more SEO integration, setting up a Yelp & Google Business page, asking previous customers to leave reviews on Yelp & Google Business, setting up Social Media accounts and doing regular posts, starting a Google Adwords or Facebook Ad campaign, or driving people to your website with business cards, flyers or brochures at your local office. There are many ways to drive traffic to your website, but you only want to select a few of them at first to ensure that your marketing strategy is paying off and gaining you new customers and clients. 

I encourage all of my clients to take this process one step at a time. First, by creating a logo & branding strategy, next is to build out an initial version of the website. Afterwards, if email marketing makes sense for your business, that will come next. And finally, SEO works great for most business-to-business websites. If not, you should continue to build and grow your online marketing strategy to reach more new customers each month. 

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