“What are the best next steps for my marketing?” This is a question we hear a lot from our clients. As your small business’s online marketing campaign flourishes, it’s natural to wonder what you can do to multiply your success. Regardless of which online marketing strategy from Prospect Genius you’re currently using, there’s a way for you to keep climbing the ladder, if that’s what you want. Of course, what you do next depends largely on what you’ve already done. You can’t just start hiking halfway up a mountain, right? You have to start at the bottom and work your way to the top. So, in this post, we’ll explore your options for advancement based on which of our online marketing strategies you’ve already succeeded with. Let’s dive in!
First, the Bare Necessities
Before you can try any advanced online marketing strategies, these are your must-haves:
- Basic website
- Google Maps listing
Basic website: You’ve heard the old saying, “All roads lead to Rome.” Well, when we’re talking about your online presence, all roads lead to your website. An optimized website forms the basis of your online presence because it’s tied to every listing and gives your business the SEO fuel it needs. Find out more about the connection between websites and local search in this blog post. (And remember, a website must be optimized for mobile devices as well as desktop computers!) Google Maps listing: Since Google Maps listings are tied directly to Google’s search engine and algorithms, having one is absolutely, 100% essential. You can’t have a local web presence without one. Read more about Google maps listing optimization on our website. This is why the overwhelming majority of our clients purchase both a CoreSite and Google Maps optimization.
Now, Choose Your Own Adventure
Once you have these fundamentals covered, you can take your own path. Here are the online marketing strategies to consider:
- SEO content writing
- More directory listings
- Paid advertising
- Social media outreach
- Paid social media advertising
SEO content writing (a.k.a. Ghost Writing): Add more pages to your CoreSite to target specific keywords. This boosts your SEO and, therefore, your local search rankings. More visibility means more visitors to your site! More directory listings (a.k.a. Directory Dominator): Push your business’s information into all the right directories. The more your business info appears on quality websites, the stronger your SEO and local web presence will be. This option works great when you already have lots of website content, but it can be effective on its own as well. Paid advertising (a.k.a. Pay-Per-Click): As we like to say, “Why walk when you can run?” Boost your visibility in local search by promoting your business in sponsored ads. They appear right at the top of the search results page. For best results, do this after you’ve optimized your website. Social media outreach (a.k.a. SocialStream and/or SocialBuzz): Put yourself on the social media platforms where your customers are already spending their time! In competitive industries, it isn’t enough to be visible in Google results. You also need to interact and engage with your customers on Facebook and Twitter to demonstrate your accessibility. Since social media doesn’t add much SEO-wise, we don’t advise focusing on this until you feel you’ve fully optimized your website and directory listings. Paid social media advertising (a.k.a. Facebook Ads): Get even more exposure on social media by sponsoring your own posts. This is next-level social media outreach for businesses that already have a well-established presence. Remarketing: Go beyond sponsored ads on Google. Remarketing allows you to target ads at people who previously visited your site, so your business and brand stay top of mind. This is another next-level option, so be sure you’ve maximized your website’s SEO as much as possible before investing in it.
Consider These Outside Add-Ons
After you’ve achieved a certain level of success with our online marketing strategies, you may wish to add a service or two that Prospect Genius doesn’t offer ourselves. For example, you may want to leverage:
- Customer review aggregators
- E-mail marketing blasts
- Professional answering services
Customer review aggregators: These services contact customers on your behalf and request reviews from them. Then, you can add those reviews to your website. In the past, we’ve had success using Customer Lobby for our own customer review needs. E-mail marketing blasts: Want to keep your customers up to date on special deals and company news? Communicate en masse with the help of an e-mail marketing service. We like ActiveCampaign and MailChimp. Professional answering services: If you’re too busy to answer the phone when customers call, enlist a remote answering service. They answer your calls with professionalism and record all your messages. We have a partnership with Professional Answering Service, Inc. that gets you a discount on their services!
Your Unique Circumstance Determines a Lot
Of course, your next steps will depend on several variables, including your short-term needs and long-term goals. For example, if you want to use paid advertising long-term, then you should only do so after you’ve completed substantial SEO work on your website. This ensures good ROI because it lowers your AdWords costs and makes your ads more potent. On the other hand, if you’re only looking for a temporary campaign to promote a special offering or discount, then you probably aren’t as concerned with long-term ROI. Geographic location also influences which online marketing strategies will work for you. For instance, if you’re in a rural area without much competition, then you may only need a Google listing and a three-page CoreSite. However, if you’re in a densely populated area, then you’ll have to do significantly more work and narrowly target specific keywords to beat the competition. Countless other quirks can dictate how each program works for your business. That’s why you should discuss your needs and goals with your Prospect Genius account manager. We’ll make sure you’re using the best strategy for your business. Ready to make the next move for your online marketing? Call today!