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Why Hiring a Digital Vendor is Worthwhile

In my work as a business coach and in my conversations with business owners, I often have to ask myself “Is this something I’d be willing to do myself?” Even though I consider myself a “jack of all trades,” especially where it comes to digital marketing, there comes a point where I have to admit that I’ve reached my limit of ability and need to bring someone else on board.
Could I learn to do it myself effectively? Probably.
Would it be worth hiring someone else to do it? Probably.
I’ve been harping for years now about how important it is to be doing online marketing. As a business owner, you have to be willing to ask yourself “If I’m not getting it done, is it important enough to have someone do it for me?” In the case of online business growth, my answer would be a resounding “YES!”
Here are 3 reasons why hiring a digital marketing vendor is worth your hard-earned money:
1) Time Savings
2) Knowledge & Expertise
3) Business Growth

Time Savings

As a business owner, you have many demands on your time. Whether it’s answering phones, managing employees or – most importantly – servicing customers, from when you wake up to the time your head hits the pillow, there seems to be a non-stop barrage of “things”.
Would you rather spend your most precious and valuable commodity (time) trying to do those “things” yourself or risk them not getting done?
If you find at the end of the day there are still too many “things” to get done, save yourself some time and stress by letting a trusted vendor take care of it for you.

Knowledge & Expertise

Have you ever wondered why CEO’s manage to get so much done?
They delegate to specialists. That’s why your customers come to you and are willing to pay you for your service. You know more. You can do it better and faster than they can.
The same should be said of a vendor – especially in the ever-changing space of online marketing. To make sure it’s done right, and at the right time, it’s worth having someone take that off your plate. Just like you go to annual training’s to stay on top of your game, any vendor worth their salt is going to be attending conferences, re-certifications, and webinars. They’re going to be reading books and blogs on new subjects.
They speak “Digital Market-ese.” Do you? No? I think you can see where I’m going with this.

Business Growth

I hear all too often something like, “Scott, I can’t afford to do this stuff myself, how can I afford to pay someone else to do it?”
Look at it this way:
If you were to pay yourself for your time and work, what would you charge? $100/hour? If you’re taking time out of your busy day to manage your online marketing on a weekly basis (which you should be doing), you’re likely costing yourself $800-$1,600 (in time/opportunity cost) per month to do something you may not be technically qualified to do. That’s time that you could be spending doing what you do best – servicing your customers.
Instead, it makes more sense to pay a specialist $300-400 per month do help you get even MORE customers, make MORE money, and have MORE time to do it in.
You want to grow your business this year? Don’t just invest in digital marketing that you do yourself. Invest in someone to do that marketing for you.

Big Takeaway:

Your business needs digital marketing. If your time, knowledge, or costs are the reason it’s not getting done, are you ready to fix it?
  1. Check the list of approved vendors for services like Pay-Per-Click, SEO, and Social Media. Make a few calls to see what they can offer you. Most will do a free assessment for you as well!
  2. Adjust your marketing budget to allow for paying a vendor. You’ll free up time and sanity while seeing more quality work come to you.
  3. Read this post to learn more about holding your vendors accountable and making them work for you and with you.
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What Should You Use Facebook For?

Many people are very ready to write off Facebook as a waste of time. “Too many game invitations and cat videos.” Not me. Though, to be fair, I’m a big fan of using it for business.
Here are 3 ways you can use Facebook to build your advantage:
1 – Reviews
2 – Customer Service
3 – Advertising

Reviews

Facebook is the world’s largest social network. To many people, if your business can’t be found there, you “don’t exist.” While you know that’s not true, you need a presence so potential customers can see how AWESOME you are.
Next to Google, Facebook would be my number one choice for places to get business reviews. Google is even starting to show your Facebook review rating on their search results page! Also, far more people have a Facebook account than have an established Google account, so it’s a natural place to send them for a review, a like, and to engage in the awesome content you share there!

Customer Service

Not every one of your customers is going to be thrilled with your service. While you can expect it to be a VERY small number, you’ll run into the occasional Debbie Downer that is never satisfied with anything and leaves a bad review or post on your page. Facebook is a great resource for not only getting the notice quickly, but also responding quickly and publicly so that other potential customers can see how responsive you are.

Advertising

According to a recent study, the average amount of time spent on Facebook every day is 20 minutes (obviously, some people are MUCH higher than that). That means you have a short, but sufficient, window of time to catch someone’s attention with posts from your page.
When you log onto Facebook personally, you only see a fraction of what your contacts are actually posting. The Facebook algorithm essentially chooses what content you see based on what you’ve liked in the past. So, unless your customer has been really engaged with you in the past, they may not see your regular daily/weekly posts. Plus, the average consumer needs to see an ad or post from you at least 5 times before they’ll make a purchase.
BUT you have an opportunity through paid ads to garner more attention with past and future customers. Not only can you target demographic groups based on their characteristics, but you can also create different ads for people who have or haven’t already liked your page.
*BONUS: If you’re really into this, you can get what’s called a Facebook Pixel, which is essentially a small bit of code you have embedded on your website. Every time someone visits your website (regardless of how they got there), that pixel will “fire” and follow them around so that the next time they log on to Facebook, you can show them an ad and remind them how amazing you are.

Big Takeaway:

Your business needs Facebook. In today’s market, you’re going to fail in the long run if you don’t have a presence there.
  1. You need to have a business Facebook page. If you don’t already have one, watch this webinar recording to learn how.
  2. Encourage your customers to like your Facebook page and leave a review. It’s easy for them!
  3. Make sure that you, or someone you trust, monitors your Facebook page to quickly address any customer service issues that may arise there.
  4. Take a look into advertising on Facebook. It’s very inexpensive and is a great way to connect with interested people.
Take control of your social media today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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PPC Needs Mobile Access

Image Source_ worldwidemasters.com

According to a recent study, upwards of 60% of online searches happen on mobile devices. Google now gives organic search result preference to websites that are mobile-friendly.

On top of that, with the advent of “Expanded Text Ads” from Google, you now have ads that targeted at both desktop AND mobile websites, and you can tell it which one to pick, but the ad is the same. So what would you do?

There’s a BIG Difference

When it comes to accessibility for websites on mobile devices, it’s important that you make some changes. Searchers on mobile devices usually have:
  1. Immediate needs
  2. Short attention spans
  3. Small screens
That means you have to have the right information available to your customer as quickly and visibly as possible.
Below is an example from Carnation Chem-Dry Middleton, located near Madison, Wisconsin. They have done a GREAT job building their chem-dry.net website, which came with their franchise. It looks wonderful.
But here’s the thing:

While they’ve done a great job building the site, and it’s perfectly navigable on a desktop (i.e. ACTUAL computer) the site doesn’t naturally transition itself and adjust to be more readable on a mobile device like an iPhone or Android.

More recently, Carnation Chem-Dry has made the move to a more mobile-friendly “.com” platform (as seen below).

In this case, they’ve opted for a micro-site from Web Marketing Services at HRI, which have mobile versions of your core service pages (carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, PURT, tile, etc.) by default, and it’s not hard to add more. WMS has several templates available that work well, but you don’t necessarily HAVE to get one from them.
Most website hosts will now offer a mobile friendly website, which can drastically improve your overall organic ranking and site performance in Google because they recognize the trend toward mobile.

Why Mobile Matters

As I stated earlier, the number searches happening on mobile devices is quickly outweighing desktop searches which means that you need to have mobile versions of your web pages – especially your high-traffic pages.

Google’s new ad format, “Expanded Text Ads” increase the amount of text you can have in an ad by about 20%. While this is great in and of itself, it also makes it so you don’t have to create desktop and mobile versions of your ads. They adjust them for you based on the device doing the search, BUT you have the option of sending a mobile search to a mobile version of your page, which is what I would do.

What this means for you is that if you’re paying to have someone click on your ad, you want to get as much out of that click as you can. Sending someone on a mobile device to a non-mobile friendly page can really hurt your chances of converting.
For instance, if you are running a PURT ad, and you normally send people to your regular PURT page, it may work very well on desktop. However, if your desktop page doesn’t convert to a mobile one, you may lose out on that opportunity because the visitor gave up on finding what they wanted.

Big Takeaway:

If you’re currently doing any kind of advertising online, especially PPC, you should give serious consideration to the ratio of mobile searches to desktop. That means:
  1. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you need to get one ASAP. Talk to your vendor today.
  2. Pay-Per-Click ads (especially with new Expanded Text) are one of the most sure-fire ways to find new customers. You should be using them.
  3. When you start advertising on PPC, make sure you’re using mobile-ready versions of your web pages to enhance your customers’ experience and increase likelihood of conversion.
Take control of your online marketing today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.