So much has been said about the value of a good website. I encounter many clients who (incorrectly) think that a website will solve all of their marketing problems. They don’t realize that having a website launched is just the beginning, and unless you work with it, your new website isn’t likely to yield the results you desire.
It’s like the old adage says: use it or lose it.
It’s the ongoing work that will help your website (and your business) flourish.
And I’m not just talking about maintaining your website. I’m actually talking about marketing nd how we’ve really got our work cut out for us in all areas of marketing.
Because consumers have instant access to just about everything means that business owners have to seriously consider and understand that relationship building is the new reality for successful marketing.
What are some tools for marketing that contribute to relationship building?
- Social media – there’s no better way to build a community than to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media to cultivate a following.
- Compelling content – you have to develop compelling content, period. You have to give people a reason to want to stay a while on your site, and more importantly, to want to come back; your website content should make people feel like you’ve taken time to write for them (not for yourself).
- Blogging – use your blog to develop a community, write about what your customers are interested in, use your blog to provide resources or as a dynamic FAQ or customer care arm.
- Online customer care – depending on the type of business you have, you can use your website to develop an extended customer care program.
- Email marketing – this is a tool that you should plan to build into your website right from the beginning. It needs to have a mechanism to build a mailing list, and once you’ve started that list you need something worthwhile to send out to each member. Call it loyalty marketing if you want—reward those people who take the time to visit your website and sign up for your mailing list—send them exclusive information, offers and specials.
- Loyalty marketing – really, loyalty marketing is all of the above: using Internet marketing strategies to produce positive results so that your customers continue to follow you.
Nowadays people surf the net looking for something that meets a need. They are no longer motivated (as much) by print ads or written words—they want interaction from you, and most of all, they want to feel like you care about making them happy.
What’s with all the work?
Well then, how are you going to take advantage of the limitless possibilities for corporate growth (and success) the Net has to offer without a corporate website?
In today’s highly competitive world just about anything you do to help your business succeed requires time and effort. The same can be said for your corporate website and your marketing strategy. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Just go with the flow
You may find that once you begin to employ online marketing strategies that you actually enjoy it. You’ll tap into opportunities to understand your customer better, or how to serve them better. You’ll discover new ways to communicate with customers, and perhaps create new products and services because of your marketing efforts. Your business could go in an exciting new direction. The possibilities are endless.
Now’s not the time to get stressed out about marketing. Instead, think of it as a time to discover new skills, to do things just a little bit differently, and to get excited about new possibilities.
Set aside time each day for your marketing efforts. Be consistent; there’s nothing worse than a Twitter page that hasn’t had a new tweet in a week. Do your research and discover some of the best tools to monitor your progress. Actually enjoy engaging with your customers and potential customers.
This is a time to get excited!