This interview was the first time I represented Farmers Marketing publically and I shared insights with Kevin Burgin, guest host on CJOB, about small business marketing topics such as website design, and blogging. I was asked several questions, but with being on-air and having limited time, my answers were very short, however, in an effort to share full information, I have provided the complete answers below the audio link.
1. Does every business need a website?
Yes! I said this succinct answer jokingly, but seriously, this question should never be asked ever again. The internet is over 20 years old and while it is still in its infancy it is not a fad. If your business doesn’t exist online, you simply don’t exist.
If you aren’t able to get a website set up quickly, at a minimum create a detailed Facebook business page.
2. What common mistakes do many small businesses make on their website?
- Too much info: Many treat their website like a digital Encylopedia, instead of treating is like their #1 sales rep.
- Inconsistent design, content and function: as a business grows it is common for more people to ask to add things to your website. Over time, your site becomes fat and loses its purpose.
- Technical issues: High blood pressure is nicknamed the silent killer. Technical issues are similar for your website as you often don’t see the issues that are hurting your traffic and conversion rates. For example, there are still many sites that are not responsive, meaning they work well whether you are on a desktop, a tablet, or a smartphone. Google implemented a new algorithm called ‘Mobilegeddon’ in 2015. In short, this algorithm change rewards mobile-friendly websites … which also is the same as penalizing websites that are not mobile-friendly. If you can only fix one thing on your website this year, making your website responsive would be the #1 thing to fix!
3. How to use small business marketing to build an online presence?
Slowly. It is easy to get caught in the trap where you try a Facebook post or ad and you don’t get waves of customers crashing through your front door. Some things hit big right away but most growth will grow over time.
The most important objective, in my opinion, is to think about your customers or audience first. Who are they? What do they care about? What are their needs and how can you help them? Find a way to add value to them and as you gain trust and a reputation, you will also build an audience.
4. What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. To keep it simple, basically, SEO helps Google understand what content you have which helps match the content online to the search query a user had. Think of it this way. If you upload an image, Google can’t see what the image is, but if you add alt tags to the photos such as “Red Mustang convertible beach palm trees summer”.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. – Search Engine Land
5. Why Blog?
Because Google says so :). Google rewards businesses that produce unique and consistent content that people engage with. Working to do what Google wants is generally a good business practice in today’s digital world. Blogging is a great forum for you to share your expertise, insight and philosophies. Having a robust blog covering relevant information is a great resource for you when dealing with your customers. When they have questions you can direct them to a thorough and well-produced blog post.
BONUS TIP: Not sure what to blog about? Create a list of your top 10 most asked questions. Then write a detailed post answering each question.
See more blogs from Farmers Marketing on the Farmers Report: a blog for lovers of marketing and growing small businesses.
6. What to look for in a digital marketing contractor?
We didn’t’ have time for this question on air, but it is a very important topic. Marketing has changed forever. Assuming you have watched Mad Men, there are still many marketing agencies that want to run 100% of a company’s marketing functions. For some very large brands, that practice still exists today but it is becoming less common. One major reason for this shift is digital marketing activities seem like one discipline, but it is actually is a collection of many specialized disciplines. For example, you have SEO, graphic design, website design, content creation, video production, email marketing, blogging, pay per click advertising, UX, and so on. In each one of these specialties, you could spend your career honing your skills. If a contractor tells you they can do EVERYTHING for your business they are simply wrong.
7. What should a business owner do first?
Go to Google and learn the importance of digital marketing. I suggest this because many agencies and experts like to throw around ten-dollar words to confuse you and show your importance. At a high-level, digital marketing is simple to understand:
Digital marketing (also known as data-driven marketing) is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. – Wikipedia
As a business, it is critically important to get a basic understanding of digital marketing. You want to be prepared for when a contractor tells you they can “make a new website for you, but it won’t be responsive.”, you need to know enough to politely stand-up and leave the meeting.
Google has upwards of 500 updates per year which is a pretty good reason to have an expert in your corner. If it helps you feel better, even website experts are challenged to keep up with all the changes.
Yes, there is a lot to know, but it is simple at the same time. So, don’t get overwhelmed or intimidated. You can do this.
Let me leave you with this: Over 50% of people pick up their smartphone immediately when they wake up. The digital world is here to stay and your customers, are like you – they live online. So make the commitment today to get started with digital marketing. You can’t do everything but you can do something.
Additional Show Notes and References:
- What is Mobilegeddon?
- Facebook’s new algorithm impacts professional publishers like Buzzfeed.
- Marketing Automation: www.hubspot.com.
- Link to download or listen to the full segment of the Saturday Morning Show on iTunes.
If you enjoyed the Master Modern Marketing podcast, please subscribe, rate and review the show.