Creating an online strategy from scratch is probably the most difficult thing a business can do, yet time and time again I see companies throw in the towel mere weeks into the development.
I wonder if they have ever looked at the time and effort they have put into setting up their business and compared it to their marketing.
“I’ll just use the newspaper; I get a few calls from that!”
I’ve heard this on too many occasions, a client hasn’t received positive ROI in the first 3 weeks and they decide that the money would be better spent on something that is getting ROI, albeit limited.
The writing is on the wall, digital media is growing and newspapers are declining. They’re an old medium for news access, plus we have a tiny device in our pockets that allows us to gain an insight into the world’s information. Tell me how one would grow their business in a dying media and I’ll show you an advertising executive from the old guard.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a company. People invest in their business from the get-go, insurance, equipment, fees for registering the name, etc. This is all before anything has even been sold. This can take months, even years before the business is ready to trade.
I understand that there needs to be revenue, even if it isn’t positive ROI, there needs to be some ROI, but we have to look at the facts before jumping the gun and terminating an online strategy prior to it taking flight. Imagine buying a plane with the view of escaping to the Bahamas (or a destination of your choice), organising all the flight path requirements, gaining all the necessary documents, employing a pilot, taxiing to the runway, as the g-force of the take-off begins you run up to the cockpit and just as the wheels leave the asphalt, yell at him to power down because you’ve realised that the jet fuel is expensive and you could buy a rowing boat to get there cheaper.
“I will just do flyer drops!”
This amuses me, as I’ve had experience outside of work with this sort of advertising. It might bring in a couple of people, sure, and for some businesses a couple of ongoing customers is great. I had a friend with a gym and he did flyer drops in the local area, just like the eight or nine other gyms in the local area did. People did the free trial and yes, some signed up, but what happens then? Do you do another flyer drop in the hopes that you missed someone? What about the person in the suburb just over who drives through your suburb on the way home from work? There’s no way a flyer will catch them. There’s a much broader market out there that is being missed out on and that market is digital.
This is why the online strategy must be prepared for, budget allocated for several months to find the right strategy. There’s no magic button, you may be lucky and strike gold in the first month, or you may have to slog it out for 2-3 months before you find something that works. This is the nature of business.
“I would’ve expected more by now!”
There are a few quick and broad steps that I take, particularly in regards to AdWords, which sets the stage for a broader strategy:
1. Ensure the Keywords are relevant.
2. Remove search terms that are irrelevant.
3. Analyse the activity of people who are relevant on the website.
4. Ensure market targeted is correct
5. Optimise both the campaign and the website based off that information.
Once you know what returns business, take it to the next level, use that as a basis for your SEO, Facebook, etc.
To make it in business, investment is required. We are at the cusp of a revolution, in my opinion, that will return the power of business away from the corporations and into the hands of the little guy, aided by the internet and politics. Begin your journey now and be ahead of the game when this revolution takes hold.