Caution – continue reading only if you’re prepared to deal with wild enthusiasm for growing businesses right here in Michigan, right now!
How can I be so excited about growing businesses in this economy? Because I’m watching businesses buck the trend and grow every day! I’m watching Michigan manufacturers and other local companies reach global audiences in ways we wouldn’t have dreamed possible only a few years ago.
What’s even more exciting about this trend is that the technology that makes this possible is accessible to practically every business. Your business in the industrial park around the corner has access to many of the same tools and technologies as the Fortune 500. The playing field has never been so level. But it won’t be long before that shifts (it’s starting already!), so the time to figure out how the internet can help your business grow is now.
I can’t promise a get rich quick scheme – on the contrary, I only seem to know how to make money by working really hard. It turns out to be pretty darn handy that I grew up on a farm and learned the practice of planting, cultivating, nurturing, harvesting, measuring and improving year after year – because it’s the exact same process I help clients such as Total Security Solutions
(a manufacturer of bullet-proof glass in Fowlerville, Michigan) navigate through every day.
Online marketing takes the same kind of dedication, faith, creativity and elbow grease as farming. When you get one of those postcards in the mail about how you can set up an online advertising account in virtually no time, that’s only half the story. It’s not hard to set up an online advertising account – the hard part is making it make money. ;-)
The good news is, there is no big secret surrounding how to make sales online. Once again, farming turns out to be good training. You’ve got to pay attention to each point in the process and work on improving it. Everything works together to generate higher yields. In our case, we call that system an online sales engine.
An online sales engine starts with a good, solid website. I’ve learned (the hard way) that even though our ad copy is important – it means nothing if it doesn’t take a potential buyer to a page that just grabs them out of their seat. But please don’t think I mean that it has to be flashy. Au contraire!
That “landing page” where a prospect first gets to know you must speak to your prospect in THEIR language. (That’s worth an article on its own – the science of linguistics is a large part of our world…) Your landing page must connect the dots from the need that the buyer wants to fill to your solution. Understand that if you don’t paint that picture, someone else will – and they are only a few clicks away. Your landing page must provide explicit and compelling means to take action… And that action needs to be measurable.
There’s a lot more to say about measurement, but only so many words left in this article. So let me leave you with another key concept about the measurement of online sales that tends to raise a lot of eyebrows. Did you know that it’s possible to track the effectiveness of online ads – even if the sale happens offline? It takes a bit of elbow grease to set up a system that “closes the loop” like that what, but when you do – the feedback you get is pure gold.
If you’re curious to learn more about how to create an online sales engine of your own, join us for “Donuts and Search Marketing.” It's free and, frankly, most people don't come in to become clients but rather get some guidance. We serve only the best donuts (from Washtnenaw Dairy, of course!) and we’d be happy to help you improve the yield of your online marketing!