Esteemed Marketers and Business Owners:
We’ve finally arrived at our destination – the land of milk and honey and 100 percent “not provided” keywords. Sound scary? Don’t worry, we can still bask in the milk and honey as well as rise above Google’s latest decision to “protect” its users’ organic search queries. How? Well, the concept is quite simple – diversify your marketing efforts both online and offline.
After all, for most businesses, having a credible web presence helps move a sale along. However, when a business relies solely on its website to gain leads and sales, it misses out on a variety of other, and sometimes more effective, marketing opportunities. Often, businesses chase popular keywords in their industries and devote much of their attention to achieving high rankings for these terms, when in reality, keywords and rankings don’t always translate to an increase in profits. Perhaps, Google’s latest move will inspire businesses to reevaluate their marketing efforts and goals so the real focus is on sales and leads. People, not keywords.
At We Do Web Content, we help clients build their businesses from within by creating offline marketing campaigns that are focused on increasing referrals. The best part is, the content businesses create for their offline marketing initiatives can be used for promoting their businesses online.
So instead of getting hung up on what Google’s done or will do to hurt your business, zero in on the marketing efforts that will keep clients connected to your business and are sure to drive leads and sales:
- Build your list – a decent list will have the names, addresses and email addresses of at least 2,500 people. There are a number of ways to increase your list. One of the easiest ways to collect names is by attaching your request to an event or a free offer like an eBook.
- Send mailers (direct mail and e-mail) – if you have an enticing offer, share it with your prospects! When using direct mail, you can encourage recipients to log on to a specific URL on your website. This allows you to track the effectiveness of the campaign. Give eco-conscious users the option for email communications instead.
- Send clients FREE information – freebies can come in the form of newsletters, reports and checklists. Focus on sharing information that will demonstrate your expertise on industry topics. Be sure the content is remarkable so subscribers stay onboard and, even better, share the content with their friends and family.
- Hold contests – your business can get fairly creative with this provided your contest rules don’t violate the rules of any associations to which you are tied. Capitalize on the popularity of mobile devices and hold a picture or video contest on a relevant topic.
- Support a local school’s sports/academic/arts team, a local or national charity, or a message campaign relevant to your business-if your business is close to your elementary school, middle school or high school, look for ways in which you can help the school. Alternatively, if you’re passionate about a particular charity – local or national – show your support by donating funds or time from your business. You can even get behind a new campaign to eradicate something negative.
- Send clients birthday and anniversary cards – ever get one of these post cards in the mail and say to yourself, “How nice of Doc Oct to wish me a happy birthday!” Your clients will have the same reaction to your well wishes and as a result, think of you the next time they need your services.
- Thank clients for their business – send handwritten thank you cards and/or small gifts like a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries or a Starbucks gift card.
- Hold special events – invite your list to join a Skype Q & A or Google Hangout where you answer industry-related questions, throw client-appreciation parties or open houses,or gain invaluable feedback from your clients with focus groups.
- Offer free, in-person consultations – in today’s hectic world, most of us would welcome the prospect of having someone come to us when we need to solve a problem, and at no cost to boot!
- Public speaking engagements and lectures – find opportunities to speak at local business seminars, chamber of commerce meetings and community events. You’ll want to focus on the events that have the most opportunity to grow your network of referral partners and potential clients. Remember to collect registrations!
And just to circle back to Google for a second, don’t miss a big alternative – Bing. For many industries, Bing data may be similar to what Google’s not providing, so the data could be considered representative. If you haven’t done so already, we recommend installing Bing’s Webmaster Tools code to your site.