Dana Frisbie, Create the Movement:
All right. We’re going to talk about a local website. A website is an investment. When a small business writes a check; it’s near and dear to your hearts. To get started whenever you’re just, your idea or your dream is just kind of a concept. Or, maybe you just have a handful of clients. You know? Every penny counts. So, we know that. But the cool thing about a website is that it works 24-7. And so, your website can actually be much more cost effective than hiring a staff to work 24-7.
So, the cool thing about a website is that it does work for you around the clock. Everything on your website is trackable. And it’s so important to track all of your traffic. You need to know who is coming your way, and who’s interested. A lot of times people are interested in your product and service, but they’re afraid to approach you. So, this kind of takes that away. It takes that intimidation factor away. And all of this is trackable.
And then Google Analytics allows us to track so many more analytics, than say print ads will. A website serves as central online destination for the whole brand. So, whatever brand that you have, it totally expands your reach. And it takes your brand beyond the Le Flore County-area.
And you get what you pay for. Bottom line: you get what you pay for. So, why not just go online, get a free WordPress site, just kind of get something up to get something up there? Google’s tricky. Google’s constantly changing its algorithms. It’s constantly changing the criteria. One month something may be acceptable, but as Google is constantly researching and scouring the internet, you know, links that are on your site that maybe they were good links at one point, become bad links. And it’s very important to find professionals to handle this for you. You know?
Clients should trust the experts to perform the services that they’re good at. You can get the free website online, but it’s kind of like using duct tape to fix a broken window. It might work, but it isn’t very energy efficient, and it certainly isn’t very pretty.
So, we’re finding now, too, that Google is ranking your website according to user engagement. So, whenever you go online, you look at a person’s website, you click. That gives that site more credibility. The longer that the person spends on the on the website, and the more pages that that person clicks on, that gives you more weight with Google. Google tracks that.
So, it’s important to get professional people behind your website that can help you with all of that. People that – that’s what we do all the time.
Branding and image.
Having no website, or a poorly designed website stretches as far as Google reviews and Better Business Bureau. So, if you get a website up, or you don’t have a website, you know, you have a whole world out there. Whatever you decide to put, or don’t put up there, it matters. That’s how people are judging your business. So, if you’ve got a brand of, and you’re very proud of that brand, it makes sense to have a website, and to have a brand, and to have a logo that appropriately reflects the image that you’re trying to present to your potential client.
A business wants a potential customer to have enough information for them to pick up the phone. Especially, if one of your competitors is dominating the search. So, you know, if you’ve got a product and service and you don’t have a website, or you have a poorly designed website, and Joe Smith down the street is marketing the same product or service. But he has an amazing website down the street. Chances are, he’s going to get the business that you could be competing for.
Even in a smaller community where everything is word-of-mouth. I mean, as we sit here and we introduced ourselves, and we spoke to one another. And I saw Mitchie, because I know Mitchie. And I’ve spoken to Karen. And Karen and I, we know some of the same people. And I spoke with Betty, and she knows my sisters. And so, you know everything’s word-of-mouth. But still, in a community where everything is word-of-mouth, having a professional image is critical to your success.
Okay, let’s talk about advertising. Money spent on online advertising is much more trackable than money spent on traditional advertising like newspaper ads, flyers, and phone books.
Online ads and listings, SEO and web content.
You know if you’ve got an online ad, and say you’re not getting the traffic that you want, it’s not etched in stone. It’s not permanent. Change your content and experiment. Move things around. You have that option to do that. If you’re not on the first page of Google – optimize. Re-write the content on your website. Change your keywords.
Branding Image Statistics.
According to our findings, 65% of consumers report that a digital brand experience has changed their opinion (either positively or negatively) about a brand or the products and services a brand offers… For those brand marketers still neglecting (or underestimating) digital, it’s as if they showed up to a cocktail party in sweatpants.
94% of the consumers surveyed have gone online for local shopping purposes within the last six months. Among those surveyed, 59.5% have completed a local purchase of merchandise or services online, within the last six months.
83% of surveyed US consumers reported that having a website and using social media was a factor considered of high importance when choosing small businesses.
80% of small business owners consider the design of their logos, websites, marketing materials and other branding tools either “very important” or “important” to the success of their companies.
Spending your money online versus offline is a no-brainer. It’s measurable. You don’t like the metrics -you have the flexibility to change things. In traditional advertising, once it’s printed, that’s it. There’s no changing. Traditional marketing is typically more expensive. And after you consider the costs of printing it, then the cost to distribute it. So, you know, you have flyers. It takes, somebody’s got to go hand those flyers out.
I was working with one of our attorneys, and I was looking at what he was spending on yellow book. And it was amazing to me the amount of money he was spending on Yellowbook. For the amount of money he was spending with Yellowbook, and after we looked at it, I was able to save him $400. And so he could take that $400 towards his online marketing.
But, you know, it’s crazy to me. Or, billboards, you know, there up there, and they’re there. There’s no changing it. It’s there, and it’s there for a period of time. And the amount of money that’s spent on that, I mean, you can get so much more bang-for-your-buck by, you know, getting a great, great quality website. A well-designed website. Putting that up, and then, you know, your SEO. And just really giving it some juice. I mean, you could sell outside of Le Flore County.
And really, our ultimate goal is to bring money into Le Flore County. Not go and spend money outside of Le Flore County.
If properly thought out, a website can enhance your productivity. More people are willing to submit a form online, than to pick up the phone. So, you know, it’s much easier. You’re sitting on your computer, you’re researching things, “Well, I’ll go ahead and shoot over an email and see what I can find out.” So, on your website, you can have a form, a ‘Contact Us’ form, where people can give you their email address, or phone number. They can ask a question. Then you can, you know, for you, you get that email, you can think about the answer that you want to give that person. So, you know, while you’ll get more leads, you have more time to research the thoughtful answers. Than what you would if you were on the phone. Because, sometimes people ask you questions, and you’re thinking, “I don’t know the answer to that question.” And you’re kind of making stuff up, and you’re stumbling. Cause I’ve been there. It’s a lot easier. You know? You get something online, you can schedule time in your day, you can look at those questions, you can research them if necessary. And then you can respond appropriately. Your chances of getting the business that way is much greater than if you’re on the phone just going, you know, “I don’t know about. Uh…let me ask. I got a buddy…” You know? You don’t have to do that. You can give them a great answer that meets their need and that’s well thought out.
There’re so things that you can do with your website. Again, you can do it from home. You don’t have to leave this area. And you totally reach the country, the world. You can reach, you know, the edges of this earth. You can schedule bill payments. You can make sales from, you know, in your pajamas.
So you can change the information that you’re putting out there. You can have a customer portal. Email-direct campaigns is really cool because you can set up a campaign to where that you’re sending information to your potential clients. And then, maybe you send an email with certain information that piques interest in different people. So you can collect these emails, and you can send out these campaigns.
You can get people to sign up for subscriptions.
Each of these are ways to reach out to people, or to serve your potential client or customer.
Let a Professional Handle It.
So, you know, as far as this website stuff is concerned, you know, we’ve talked about, I’ve talked to different people about their websites. There’s a place in Tulsa. I’m actually speaking with a lady. She has a company. And they actually, what they do is, and they specialize in after-market parts for Mustangs. So, like, superchargers, or, you know, wheels, rims, you know, anything that you might put on that car to kind of ramp it up. And her, and her mom, they run the company. And they’re just like, “You know? Business is bad.” And it’s really, just, you know, “a sinking ship” is what they’re telling me.
And so, I’m trying to work with them. Because this is a family company that they’ve poured their heart and soul. They’ve poured all of these years into this company. And I asked her, “What’s going wrong with the company? Why is it sinking?” Because I always hate to hear of something dying, and not having life in it. I don’t care what it is. And she said, “Well, you know, it’s just online. Everybody can get everything online.” And my thought is, you know, inside I’m screaming, “You can do this too! You can compete with people online. Don’t think of it as a sinking ship. Think of this as just a little bump in the road.” You know? But to try to communicate that to her, you know? And I said, “Have you ever had a website?” And she goes, “Yeah, I tried to have a website. And I did it myself. And then I took it down because it wasn’t really that effective.” And, you know, for me, it’s heart-breaking. Because I’m looking at them, I’m thinking, “Gosh, you know, your family have invested so much of themselves in this company. And I think that there’s a way out. I think that there’s an answer.”
And so, you know, you want more than a website company. You need somebody that’s more of a marketing arm, you know, that’s going to be here to consult with you about your marketing needs. You know? We want to partner with our clients.
You want somebody that gets that. That understands that. That’s not going to just gouge you, and doesn’t want to have a personal relationship with you. That just wants to build a website and then leave you alone, and say, “Good luck, buddy!” Because that’s not how it works.
Google’s constantly changing. You need a marketing arm. You know? If there’re other marketing ideas that you’re bringing to the table, or you’re considering, wouldn’t it be nice to reach out to somebody that has some sort of experience in that area? That can really kind of coach you along, and say, “Hey, that’s a great idea! Or, you know what? I think that over here this company that we have, they’re marketing in this way, and it’s really been effective.” So, you want somebody that’s going to have a professional relationship with you and help you grow your company. And that’s going to get excited about your successes, and has a vested interest in you being successful.
We’ll talk about social media real quick. One thing we always make sure of is that you have a central hub of marketing to your business. And we always encourage that to be your website. A lot of people work Facebook, and all of the other things, but we always try to, and we run social media campaigns. But try to always push them back to the website. That way you can kind of track what people are looking at. But, you know, there’s Facebook, there’s Twitter. Can I do a quick poll? Raise your hand if you’re on Facebook? Everyone. Everyone. Man, that’s awesome! Okay. Raise your hand if you’re on Twitter? Okay, that still counts. You have an egg up there? What about LinkedIn? Good. Google Plus? Is it still around? What about Instagram? Okay. A little bit more. What about Snapchat? Dang! Okay, wow! That’s surprising. Good. And then there’s other ones like YouTube and Vine and whatnot.
But one thing we try to do when marketing a business is we try to point everything back to the website. So, you know, we try to have a call to action. But when we’re running social media for a business they’ve changed a lot of things. We actually think, I mean everyone raise their hand. I mean, everyone’s on Facebook. We encourage Facebook. Like a lot. That’s how, it’s a very effective way. Running Facebook ads is very effective, very cost-efficient.
Again, everyone in this room is on Facebook. A lot of people ask us, “Well, what about sponsored Instagram ads and all these others?” But really, everyone’s on Facebook. So, we really work Facebook well. And the way they’ve changed it for business, like you have to go ‘like it.’ It doesn’t show up in your feed.
So, Facebook wants businesses to pay for ads. But if you’re posting on Facebook as a business you don’t always want to be going, “Hey, go buy my stuff. Hey, go buy my stuff.” You want to be sharing information. You want to be sharing content. You want to be having fun with it. We post funny pictures and videos and stuff like that just to add stuff to it. But we also let people, you know, let people know what we do. Nobody likes the person that, or their business, that posts everything about their stuff.
One thing that we encourage, definitely as a small business, is one of the most important things you can do, is join the local chamber of commerce. We have core values at our company and one of them is community. We really are passionate about getting involved in our community. And so, join the chamber is really good. In a town like this, especially with someone like Karen, and the way you guys are running it here. And then, also get, if you’re looking, and I’m just talking about growing your small business, joining a committee is always good. Right? Attending community events. Volunteering. Doing pro bono work. That was always on my heart. I worked in the non-profit sector for a long time. That was my passion. Just get in the community and help people. Encourage people.
Contact us today to see how we can help your company market in a rural area.