You’ve built it, so where are they? Field of Dreams was a great movie — inspiring to this day, even. The moral of the story: create the space and someone will fill it. Taking that advice to heart, you’ve built a great Website to showcase your product or experience, but yet you look at your pageviews and number of visitors and the proverbial silence is deafening. So now what? It’s time you put on that inbound marketer hat and start to think like one.
- Content Marketing
Let’s walk through your Website and look at my 3 Cs of content marketing.
Content: Are the images and text you’ve combined to tell your story compelling? Are there stylistic issues (i.e., clashing fonts or colors)? How’s your grammar? Any typos? Do you have a friend that you’ve nicknamed “Spell Check”? Have them or the best writer/editor in your life take a look and offer an honest opinion.
Context: Is there an audience for this type of information? What does the marketplace look like? Are there others outpacing you for attention in the industry? Are you a big fish in a little pond, a little fish in a big pond, or a little fish in an ocean? If you are having inbound traffic issues, you may be swimming in the Atlantic. Don’t despair yet, you are still swimming, even Nemo managed to survive outside of the coral reef.
Consistency: Are you updating your site at regular intervals? Do people have a reason to come back daily or weekly? Is the content consistently interesting to your audience? Are you clear about your site’s purpose and do you stick to it? Do you have a content strategy and calendar? If not, check out some of the tools outlined in this blog post by Kevan Lee of Buffer to find what will best fit your needs.
- Social Media
Now that we’ve talked through the site itself, let’s look at your other self-promoting channels: your social media. At this point, we can all agree, social media is not a fad. In fact, it seems to be here to stay by the number of new apps, tools, and features we see each year. Therefore, it is a part of the marketing mix.
Your social media channels should tell the same story as your Website, with the social channels acting as extensions of the former. Provide links back to your Website often and where it fits organically into your messaging. Forcing a connection will feel inauthentic and come off as spam as opposed to information.
Can you tell from your sharing that you are caring? Promote a sense of community and a loyal audience by following the rule of thirds. Use social media to:
- Share self-promotional content (self-authored blogs, articles, product information, etc.)
- Share industry wide information authored by other industry thought leaders
- Actively engage with colleagues, followers, and influencers,
Encourage others to want to learn more about you by showing that you are a knowledgeable resource they can trust.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is essential to reaching your target audience. The average returns are staggering, with 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States according to the Direct Marketing Association. But it’s only great once you have a list to email. If you don’t have a list, you can use social media, in person promotional events, and interactions with other industry blogs to help you grow one. Purchasing mailing lists are always an option.
Many marketing automation companies provide an email marketing tool, a few are: HubSpot, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, and the list goes on. Some offer a free, low feature option, which may be all you need as you start to grow your audience. You can always upgrade later.
When evaluating the best email marketing tool, keep the user experience in mind as much as you do the data you will glean from the tool.
- Responsive design is a must: with screen sizes as varied as our shoe sizes, the format of the email should automatically adjust.
- Warm up your messaging: address email recipients by first name to further personalize the communication.
- Include social sharing icons: allowing recipients to easily share your emails on popular social channels.
- Don’t forget your branding: your emails are not operating in a vacuüm. They are part of a larger mix that is connected to your Website, connected to your social presence, connected to your company. Remember to link back to your main Website often.
Marketing for a digital experience is not just creating a Website. It is a calculated, integrated system of channels that tell the same story of your ability. If you want to increase your Website traffic, you have to bring the people to it. Once you know the Website is presentable, be social and engage in conversations on social media. Talk to others with common interests, share their knowledge, share your knowledge, be that resource. Build your list of subscribers and bring them back to your Website and social channels. Create a community and become its center. If your strategies are on target, you will see returns in the form of increased engagement, subscribers, and Website traffic. Be aggressive, but not overbearing. …it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Check back soon for future posts unpacking each of these tips.