We run into a lot of companies and small businesses that are just getting started. And, we often get asked what to do first, second, third, etc. to launch a business.
There are many ways to get going, and we believe that it is best to ask yourself where you see yourself in the next year to two.
If you have the budget, there are programs that you can implement that will really get traction in a hurry. But, can you handle the sales? For others, there is limited budget. What is the best place to begin?
Generally said, there are a few things that are foundational:
1) Your website establishes your brand online. It also serves to communicate who you are, how you help and how you relate to the audience. This is probably the most critical starting point. Do not skimp on this. And, make sure that your image communicates a consistent brand with who you are trying to be. Check out Industry Communications for original design work. They rock!
2) Simply building a website will not generate one visitor. Sales don’t come just because you built the best looking site on the Internet. You need to generate awareness. The first group to address should be Google. On-page SEO will make the site friendly to Google and let them know that you are out there. It wont get you to page one. You need ongoing work to do that. But, you will never gain visibility without it. Our friends at EBWAY Creative do some great SEO work.
3) For lead generation, you have several options. Paid Search (PPC) is a quick-hitter. Effective campaigns can run $2,000 to $2,500 per month and grow out of sight from there. But, they produce. We once had a client tell us to stop the faucet because too many leads were coming in. Wow!
Blogging produces amazing results. If you read enough of our posts, you will understand why. Blog and blog frequently. Ghost blogging can be done for $500/mo or less. There is a big reason to have someone help you with this service. Most people think that they can write, but when you ask what an H2 tag is, they have no clue. Let the pros do what they do.
Email continues to produce leads. We are not talking the spammy stuff. Develop a concerted campaign focusing on key issues. Target based upon tight criteria.
PR is amazing. There are tools out there today that allow you to target specific journalists who write for a certain industry, issue, publication, etc. You can blast them with great material that they desperately seek.
Social Media can also generate leads, but the amount of human involvement can be considerable unless you utilize some great technology like HootSuite or Vocus or Hubspot. We like Vocus.
4) Make sure that you really understand the value that you create in the marketplace. And, if you can, measure it. Communicate that clearly in every element of your online marketing. It is amazing how many times we go to a website and walk away not understanding what they do for a living and how they can help me.
5) Content is going to increase in its utility and value. We are blessed enough to have realized this long ago, which is why Content and Blog exists. There really is a difference between writing because you think you know how and writing to cause people to act and Google to take note. That is our differentiation, and we are honored to help you any way that we can. We frequently work hand in hand with the design team to strategize on how to best communicate to your audience. The results are proven.
Hopefully, these points will give some food for thought. If you do not have enough budget or time right now to get into lead generation and lead nurturing programs, get your presence known and start contributing content. Build an amazing website. Blog. Guest blog. Give away ideas. Build alliances.
That is a great place to start.
Call us at 720-334-7308