Taking Your Business Online
Consumer behavior, no matter what business you have, has changed. Let’s be honest – all of our consumer research begins online. Without an inbound marketing strategy, you might be missing out on huge potential…
Over the last decade, there has been a massive shift in consumer behavior. Rather than reading ads, calling information lines, or speaking to sales reps, or driving to a bakery down the street…Google has become the research tool of choice. Before anyone walks in your store, you can bet 99% of them already know about you.
After one month of implementing the inbound marketing strategy, Übergrippen’s Facebook page had a 346% increase in page likes.
The buying journey begins and ends on the Internet. And Übergrippen Indoor Climbing Crag quickly realized this as part of their planning to bring a family friendly indoor climbing gym to NE Denver, CO. They quickly realized that their unique brand was supported by the typical ‘brick and mortar’ approach of location, location, location… but they wanted to be able to take their business “online” efficiently and effectively.
How to Take Your Business Online with Inbound Marketing
The more I talk and listen to small business owners the more I learn that they understand the need for inbound marketing via online and social channels, but they just don’t know how or where to start. Some are fearful they have no budget for inbound… Here are a few key strategies that Übergrippen was able to implement on a shoestring budget that produced results worth replicating for your business.
Strategy #1) Get a Good Website
For a carpenter who needs a straight screwdriver, the prettiest Phillips head isn’t going to be attractive. Good doesn’t mean pretty; it means useful. It gets the job done. For companies just getting started online, your website should accomplish three things:
Communicate Your Why, How, What
It should communicate your uniqueness and distinctiveness. What is it you provide your customers they can’t get from your competitors? That’s your unique value, and your website should communicate it clearly and directly. For Übergrippen their “why” focuses on community, “how” they do this will be about enabling a great customer experience through climbing (the “what”).
Be Lead Generation Ready
The purpose of your website is not to broadcast your offering to the world. It’s to introduce yourself and ask for information in return. A website should be a dialogue, not a monologue. Make sure your website is ready to generate leads with an offer. For Übergrippen, this meant designing landing pages with forms that captured key information from “inbound” leads like name, address, phone number, and email address. However, Übergrippen was creative in a way that they wanted to ensure the online visit created a unique experience. So they ensured visitors that left information to be part of their startup journey (by opting-in to be part of their blog), first ascent membership opportunities and connected visitors to the great activity and steps involved in launching their business.
Feature a Blog or a Hub of Learning
Regardless of what you call it, your blog is going to be the backbone of your inbound/online marketing strategies. It’s the place where you post fresh, interesting content your potential customers will find interesting. For Übergrippen, “The Approach” is their blog that will documents the path to opening an indoor climbing facility in heart of NE Denver, CO. The Approach tells the story of who they are, what they plan for this business to become, and provide interesting and fun stories that document their development of the business.
Strategy #2) Listen, Learn, Communicate & Repeat
Once you have your blog established and are producing great, insightful content – it’s always great to see how each post is doing. By analyzing traffic to your blog postings you can see what the ideal buyer is reading and learning from. A great tool is Google Analytics, which can be very useful for what and when you communicate next.
To help communicate their story Übergrippen implemented an email notification strategy to their followers when fresh content was posted on their website and communicated through the social media world. Here are some tips to consider when focusing on your social media efforts:
- If you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn is probably your best network.
- If you’re B2C (Like Übergrippen Indoor Climbing Crag), Facebook or Pinterest might bring you the best return.
- If you’re a SaaS company, Twitter might be where you find the most engagement.
Find out where your ideal customers hang out online, go there and mix it up with them. This is a great place to share your content. But, a word of warning, don’t just spam your channel with your blog posts. This is a place to have fun and be social. Share things that interest you and them, even things that have nothing to do with your business.
For example, after one month of implementing the inbound strategy, Übergrippen’s Facebook page had a 346% increase in page likes, +10,000% increase in weekly total reach, and over 1,000% increase in engagement. The higher engagement and reach resulted in significantly increased referral traffic from Facebook to www.ugclimbing.com, some 500% more than the period before the strategy was launched.
Strategy #3) Measure, Learn, and Adapt
Marketing online is not a campaign. This is something we, as a marketing, growth and innovation company, face with customers all the time. If inbound marketing is not something you will push this year, then move on. It’s a way of doing business; it’s the way it’s going to be moving forward.
For your first 12 months, you will be learning a lot, most of what not to do. Having negative results is frustrating when you’re just trying something out. But when you are truly an inbound marketing business with a “good” website, the results teach you how to be better going forward.
Whatever you try, be it paid ads or premium content offers, test and see how they perform. Measure their effectiveness against your goals. And then figure out how to make them work better moving forward.
Test. Try new things. Try different content. Try videos instead of slide decks. Try long “deep dive” articles, instead of short, simple ones. Test, test, test. Then, find something that works and focus on it. Then, test some more to improve it even more.
Offline-Only Business May Go Extinct
Inbound and online marketing is not a fad, and it’s not a one-time test. It’s the way businesses will be for the foreseeable future. Today, if you’re not actively marketing online, someone eventually will. And they will take your spot in line (or on the wall) quickly.
Contact us today to see how we can help!