Core Marketing System
The Foundation Stage
A Foundation Built to Last
A lot of small business owners hear about the latest trends in online marketing—AI, paid marketing, marketing automation—and begin to feel overwhelmed. There are already so many channels and tactics to consider, and it seems like there are new ones each day. Of course, in an ideal world, your business would be taking advantage of all the available channels. But there’s no point in trying to jump ahead to the latest and greatest technology if you don’t have the basics under control.
The Components of
a Strong Foundation
Your small business can’t survive in today's world without a website. It is the hub of your business’s online presence. And it’s not just about creating any old website, it’s about building one that is mobile-friendly, has a domain-connected email, is clear on its promises to solve problems, and gets your story out there. The final key relates back to our approach of strategy before tactics. A full editorial plan and SEO approach should be in place before you begin the design or build process. Your website, content, and SEO techniques have all risen to the strategic level in terms of marketing importance, so your plan to get your website up-and-running must seamlessly incorporate those three critical elements.
Approach to Content
Your content must work to tell the story of why a prospect should choose your business. This means leading with that value proposition on your home page. Each subsequent core page should build upon that message and ideally include a video to enhance your story. A review funnel will also be a central component, especially in regard to local business. These funnels are a way to stop bad reviews from being posted across various sites, and they make it easy for your happy customers to share their thoughts on social media and other platforms. Once you’ve built your content, you want to make sure the metadata is keyword rich. It should be clear exactly what you do in your titles so that prospects looking to solve a problem understand immediately that you offer a solution.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO sounds confusing, but it doesn't have to be. In the Foundation Stage, the most essential SEO component for any local business is making sure your business’s name, address, and phone number are correct on your website, and that that information is the same as what’s displayed on your Google My Business page. If your business has moved, you’ve changed your name, or you find that there is conflicting information online, we utilize software tools that ensure that your data is correct across all of the directories out there on the internet.
The first step to building your social media presence is making sure you’re present on the major networks where your customers are. Claim your profiles, make sure your branding is all over it, include links back to your website, and ensure that it’s a good experience. Even if you don’t plan to be active on social media, these profiles still must be claimed and established, because they’re going to show up in searches related to your business. Once you’ve got the pages established, claimed, and branded, you can begin thinking about putting out some basic content. If you have promotions, products, or sales that you’d like your audience to know about, a channel like Facebook can be a great place to tell them about it. Social media is also a great place to show a bit of your brand’s personality through culture posts.
What state is your email list in? Before you begin thinking about marketing campaigns, you need to do some list hygiene: do you have a domain email, how old is the list, how long is it, and how relevant are the names on it? Remove those who haven't purchased from you in years. Run a re-engagement campaign for those you think are still interested. But at the same time, remember that consumers are spammed with emails each day. Your content is going to need to make an emotional and visual connection in order to stand out from the crowd. That's why old fashioned networking is a critical element. Your goal is to meet other business owners going after your target market in order to increase your audiance. However, you'll need to make sure they aren't in competition with your own services!