If you are running your own small business, it is only right to have a website. With everyone being on the internet it is almost impossible not to take advantage of it. Unless you do not want your business to grow and succeed it is essential to build up your online presence and having a website is one of the ways to do it. Thanks to the evolution of technology and free website builders like Webflow, building your own personal website has never been easier. You do not need to be a computer engineer or know computer programing. Free website builders enable you to build a personal website to your liking. There are so many positives to having your own business website.
So, here are the benefits and advantages of having your own website:
Having your own website will help improve your credibility and consumer satisfaction. We already know that you can post ads on social media which is also great but once somebody clicks on your ad it is important to link them to your website. This will help the potential customer feel more comfortable. With 56% of people stating that they won’t trust a business without a website. So, visiting a well put together website with great content and reviews will automatically improve a potential customers opinion about your business. Making them more interested in what you are offering and creating a good first impression.
A website can help you keep track of important information about your marketing campaigns. By looking at stats like how many people have visited your page, engagement, where your traffic is coming from and etc. You can get an idea on how people are finding your business which can be very helpful when you are running online marketing campaigns. This will give you an insight on how successful they are and what needs to be improved.
As mentioned in the beginning it cost nothing to build a website thanks to free online website builders such as Webflow. Thanks to these new web design tools which help you create your own personal website with a simple editing interface. Which also makes it easy to keep your website up to date with new content and information. So, there are no more excuses not to build your own website.
This gives you the opportunity to design and create the perfect image for your business. Creating the best visual representation of your business through a website is the best way for you to showcase your business to your potential customers. This can help you build a close relationship with your audience with the help of blogs, pictures, videos and much more. This is a place for you to show off and represent your brand and business to everyone.
Even though you won’t be available 24/7 your website will always be there for people to visit, make purchases and find out information. This can also boost sales and marketing because you are not only depending on your local customers but your global ones too. A lot of people and businesses depend too much on social media profiles but it is important to have your own website which you have complete control over. This includes being able to sell your products or services on it. Another thing that could happen is if a certain social media platform had to ever go offline so does your profile. That is something you don't have to worry about with a website.
Building a website will help you reach a global audience. This can turn your local business into a global one. The internet is full of potential customers who may be looking for what you are offering. So, having a website makes it easier for them to find you. Which in return will help your business grow and expand.
With 81% of shoppers conducting online research before buying it is easy to see why it is important to have a website and appear in the search results. By having good content and using keywords on your website you increase the chances of appearing higher on the search engine results page. Without a website, there is no chance of people finding you through search engines which makes you less visible and can damage your business growth.
There are key things to look out for:
· Keep your website up to date with the times.
· Keep adding relevant information and content.
· Make sure your website is optimized and mobile friendly.
· More than often simplicity is key, don’t overdesign your website.
· Make sure your products are up to par, so you don’t have negative reviews.
· Offer good customer service.
· Don’t spam your customers who have signed up by email.
· Target the right audience.
In conclusion, a website is a necessity in this day and age. With everyone being on the internet it is important to have an online presence. You need a platform to update and promote what you are offering. A website will help you do that and help you reach new customers not just locally but globally too. This will help your business grow and succeed.
Gone are the days of driving through different neighborhoods and searching for houses and apartments with the for-sale sign. With around 50% of new homeowners finding their new homes online and only 7% finding it through the traditional yard sign it is easy to see why online advertising is becoming very important and effective in the real estate industry. More and more buyers are using the internet to search and find their dream house and it is easy to see why. Today’s technology allows us to search for any corner of the country for properties from the comfort of our living rooms.
So, with everything happening online here are 5 effective ways to sell houses with online advertising.
Let’s be honest — some online ads simply don’t work. At least we think that they don’t. Or better put, we judge them before knowing the real reason they don’t… Now, there are almost unlimited ways to reach your target audience on the internet: targeting people who search on Google with your search ad, capturing people’s attention with your promoted social media post, direct messaging on LinkedIn or creating a short video on Youtube. There are many channels and many types of ads that can use to target your potential customers.
But why the heck don’t they work for you? Many businesses have rapidly grown thanks to online advertising and yours hasn’t. What is it that makes your campaign inefficient?
First of all, be clear on the problem you are facing. What metrics say that your campaign is not working? Is it the ROI (return on investment — easily put, how many dollars are you making out of 1 dollar you invest in the ad), cost per lead (in case of lead generation campaigns) or number of people your campaign reached? When reporting on your marketing efforts, make sure to be as precise on the desired metrics as possible. “Thoughts” are the worst reporting tool.
Secondly, who is running your ads? Is it you who has access to all the important metrics and reporting or do you outsource ad management to someone else? If so, are they fully transparent on the process of a campaign setting? Do they let you “watch the chef while cooking”?
Let us be clear: this point is crucial. Online advertising is not a black box. It truly works and increases the ROI if done well. But if not, there is no positive ROI, just money thrown out of the window… What I am trying to say is, that there will be plenty of companies charging you for the ad management who are not truly willing to help you. As a result, your campaign ends up being inefficient.
Let’s say you are running the ads on your own and still suffering from lack of efficiency. We won’t let you down. We’ve prepared a few points which — when done well — will increase your ad efficiency.
One of the buzzwords and a key trend in marketing is automation. Even though it may sound complicated and unaffordable for small businesses, the opposite is true – you only have to know where to begin. If you know what to focus on, choose the right software and analyze your efforts, marketing automation can truly get your business to the next level.
Marketing automation is, as the name suggests, a category of technology that streamlines your marketing activities. It gives you the power to focus on customers with the highest potential and saves your time by triggering messages (campaigns) across multiple channels without you having to start them manually. A miracle, I know.
There is always a buzz around new technologies. We recommend reading our article about the difference between Hype & Trend. Marketing automation, we believe, is a trend to stay. Jump on the train as soon as you can. No matter how big your business is. If you choose an affordable solution, your business can never be too small for this.
There are more arguments to start using a marketing automation tool:
Stop. Doing. Manual. Work. Period. Let technology help you automate. It's not as hard as it looks. You will find out soon, just bear with us…
Let us guide you through the very first steps to start using marketing automation that will take your business to the next level.
Be clear about what you want to achieve and how you'll track it. This is a prerequisite to get started. If you don't clearly set your expectations, you won't know where to go and you won't recognize when you get there.
Do you want to save time? Great! Are you more interested in increasing your response rate? That's cool too. Would you like to generate more leads? That counts as well. Goals and expectations should come out of your status quo - no one will help you here, just you, so start by defining your goals.
Know the journey of your customer. You can only optimize if you know what leads your customers to purchase. We are fans of marketing funnels that help you (in a simplified way) understand the customer journey. Draw one for your business – you will get a better idea of where your customers get stuck.
Let us give an example here. Say you run your real estate business. Your primary selling point is your website with all the listings and offers. You run Google, Bing and social media ads to generate traffic. You might send some newsletters too.
Your primary goal is to generate leads and close them, right? There are multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey (before you close the deal). Here is what a customer journey may look like:
Now that you know how your customers behave – you've identified the touchpoints, let's slowly start automating. Or better said, let's find out what can be automated. Tools like Hubspot, ActiveCampaign or Keap are mostly focused on email marketing, social media ads, search & display ads, SMS, widgets and pop ups on the website. These represent the channels that you can use to get in touch with your audience. Let us expand on our example above. The touchpoints where the communication can be fully automated are now marked in red:
There are plenty of tools to choose from. Going back to your potential question: “Are these tools affordable for small businesses?”, note that you don't have to pick Marketo or Hubspot to automate your efforts. These are tools mainly for enterprises that operate with big marketing budgets. Not in our case. We go small. But effectively…
Let's list some of the tools you can use to start automating your communication:
ActiveCampaign gives you not just marketing automation software, but CRM on top. Its pricing starts at 9 USD (if paid annually) and offers not just email marketing, but also SMS, Facebook targeting, subscription forms and personalised content on your website. It's a great tool.
You will have to go deeper into your pocket here. Plans start at 49 USD, but they offer you a sales pipeline plus invoices & payment management on top of what ActiveCampaign gives you. If you lead a sales team, this can be a great choice.
As well as other automation tools, Drip focuses on campaign orchestration – creating a single view across multiple channels. We worship the 360°customer view and so does Drip. Their focus is ecommerce and they offer great features, like personalised product recommendations.
It started solely as an email marketing tool, and is now moving into the automation platform. Mailchimp offers features like landing page creation, social media ads and soon-to-be-launched marketing CRM. Pricing starts at 9,99 USD plus they offer a freemium to play with the tool and use basic features.
We love Zapier – the glue of the internet. It allows you to connect two platforms that, by themselves, do not communicate with each other. Say you generate leads on your Wix website and need to send them to your Drip account. Zapier helps you do that – automatically of course. With more than 1,500 platforms, they are the real glue of the internet...
As much as we love Zapier, we adore our own solution – groost. The name itself says that it'll grow & boost your business. We do it by automating and simplifying your campaign management. If you need to generate more leads, increase website traffic or get more post engagement on your social media profile, you probably run paid campaigns – knowing that organic reach is constantly decreasing – which can be overwhelming. Learning how Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, LinkedIn Campaign Manager or Bing Ads work takes ages. Not with groost – a single platform for all your marketing efforts. We do offer freemium too to show your business on both Facebook and Instagram – try it out!
Make sure to come back and analyze your efforts. As Peter Drucker said, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Analyzing what works and what doesn't is crucial. We recommend running continual AB testing to optimise every step of your funnel and every touchpoint with your customers. All tools that have been listed above allow you to do so easily.
These are the 5 easy steps to get started with marketing automation. Some of them might seem obvious, but believe me, there is no shortcut. Set your priorities first, define the customer journey and touchpoints, find out what can be automated, choose the right tool(s) and after some period of time, come back, analyze and improve.
Today's online services have one major advantage. They track users and collect information about them and segment it accurately. This is a huge advantage for advertisers because they can specify their target audience precisely, so that an ad is shown only to a relevant people.
Surely, you come across such ads daily. On Facebook, Google Search… lots of you have probably tried to publish similar types of ads on these platforms.
Facebook and Google are obviously dominants of the PPC ads market. But did you know that there are a number of other platforms where you can advertise in a similar way?
You may think that this is unnecessary, when most internet users are using Facebook or Google and their services. Yes, it is true, but it doesn't mean your ad will be effective on these platforms.
Each user behaves differently on different platforms, which means that he can be immune to your Facebook advertising, for example, because he only goes there in the evenings to watch some funny videos, so advertising for selling real estate is not relevant to him. Maybe, in the morning, when he opens Linkedin, he is in a completely different state of mind and is ready to see the ad and take action.
The goal of this article is to list relevant platforms where you can advertise your services. To find out which platform is most effective for you, read this article.
Facebook gathers more than 2,4 billion monthly active users. That being said, it is obvious that the possibility to reach your potential customers is high. On the other hand, getting to know the platform takes time or costs tons of money (for agency fees). For small business owners who decide to leverage this platform, time and money are the core assets.
So how can you get the most out of the biggest social network? First of all, know the basics. Facebook (and any other advertising platform) can be overwhelming, which makes it easy to get lost. Don’t try to understand everything. Choose to learn what matters to your business the most!
We have prepared content that will help you get to know the very basic idea behind advertising on Facebook. We call it the Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising and within it we cover the following topics:
Dig into the Facebook advertising by downloading the e-book below and let us know how it helped you boost your business!
Do you know who you should have in mind as your ideal buyer? What are their needs, what do they desire, how and when do they like to consume content, and through which channels? To answer these questions, it's extremely helpful to create buyer personas. The personas are developed based on a combination of customers' behavior and your understanding of their motivations and challenges. In the process of creating these personas, you’ll gain insights into how your audience thinks and discover what they want. You will find out the communication style that works for them, and the ways in which they like to consume content. Also, you can find out the ideal price they are most likely to pay for your product or what features the product should have.
For your business, it is crucial to define your buyer persona (aka marketing persona). What are buyer personas? Imagine them as a representation of the demographic where you can find your ideal customer. Creating them helps you understand your customers' needs, while online marketing gives you the ability to target groups or individuals according to specific aspects you can define by creating the personas. Your result? A more efficient and effective marketing campaign.
The challenge of current operating businesses is whether or not to take time out of your already busy day in order to spend time on a persona project. But so much information and knowledge can be gained and your marketing can really improve by doing it flawlessly. And remember, personas are also crucial to getting your 5 marketing Ps right.
1. Ask questions!
To elaborate your personas you need to determine what their goals and attitudes are. You have to ask yourself, what do they know? What do they respond to? What are their behaviors? What do they need? Where are they?
Do qualitative research to gather this knowledge. Ask them. Watch them. Follow them.
Try to create one or more buyer personas. Developing personas helps you understand your buyers as much as possible. It can provide insights into the different roles in companies or families, as well as into an individuals' life. This information may eventually factor into a customers’ decision to make a purchase.
Basically, personas are a comprehensive kind of map of your customers’ minds and personalities, helping you see the world from their perspective. With this X-ray super power, you can find and tailor your ideas to fill in the gaps, meet their needs, and ensure that your content is interesting and relevant to them.
2. How do you get this information?
Well, you are an entrepreneur, you know nothing is easy. The best source of information is interviews and surveys! Do you see your customers in person? Ask them! Do you have a sales or customer support team? Ask them about the customers. Once you determine your personas, you can schedule user interviews that last about 20 minutes or send them a survey. Make sure they get a little reward afterwards :)
A good source of information is also statistics and reliable broad research done by companies.
I am sure you have heard that some companies even hire trained anthropologists to watch what people do and how they behave. Your research can be as deep as you want. Just do not bother your clients for too long.
3. How do you create the personas?
Once you’ve collected your responses, comb through your research to identify the common threads, concerns, hopes, desires, and challenges people face. Sometimes, you may notice a common theme or even phrase in your responses. These are incredibly valuable.
Have you gathered all of your data from research? Now you can start developing your unique segments. Divide the people by:
e) Whatever is relevant for you e. g. job title
4. Finalize them!
Once you have your “rough” personas, it’s time to polish it all. Make sure you have a name for each, and circulate your personas for feedback from relevant people (e.g., your sales team). Once refined, memorialize these in a Google Doc or Excel spreadsheet that is easily accessible. Use these finalized personas to brainstorm content. Going forward, you should be able to identify: Which persona will be interested in your product, service or idea. Why will that persona be interested in it? Make sure to regularly review and update personas, as well.
The more detailed your personas are, the better your marketing targeting can be. You should be able to imagine them or draw them. You should be able to simulate an interview with them, to know what tone you should use, and what their interests are. Imagine that you are selling something to them personally and play with your new imaginary customers.
You know you did a good job if your personas are: Divergent from each other, feel real, and are easy to explain. Create files for each one, so you don't forget anything about them, hang pictures of them around the office, so you feel they are present. If you have coworkers, they all should know these personas perfectly. Your aim is for the company to culturally adopt the concept of talking about these personas as real people.
Your created personas will help you understand your audience’s concerns, preferences, and goals. When you know these, you are able to create content your buyers will find engaging, relevant, entertaining and valuable. Personas help you determine that very sort of content you will need. If you divide your current content down by persona, you can simply see which personas are getting enough content - they are nurtured, and which personas need more or a different kind of content.
Because you already know who you are talking to, set the tone, style, and delivery strategies for your content according to your personas. For example, some buyers respond best to a friendly, conversational voice, with some jokes and questions, while others trust a more formal tone and serious negotiation. By creating your personas, you’ll determine the best tone and style for your content. You can even target the topics you should be writing about for each persona.
At the end of the day, personas tell you where buyers prefer to get their information. Are they like bookworms? Do they like to sink their teeth into 100-page guides, or do they prefer short, concise texts and easy graphics? This information will help you set the way you create your content for each persona and how your buyers will discover it. It's the same for your creatives. Some people won't watch a video, some will only respond to a colorful picture and some only to a call to action post. Create content that will engage your buyers more effectively.
Note: The delivery strategies for your content may or may not be the same for all your buyer personas. It is also okay to have only one or to have many buyer personas, it's up to you!
Besides demography e.g. age, location and sex, each platform gives us a different way to target the customers.
LinkedIn, as an employment platform, allows us to target people based on their job title, their knowledge, education, abilities, their current employer, as well as companies they have been employed by or their level of seniority.
Facebook is more informal and fun, so you can target people according to their interest, pages they like, devices they use, travel plans or according to an upcoming birthday in their friend list. There are a vast number of options you can select to describe your persona(s) as precisely as possible. If you take an interest in this topic, you can read more about Facebook targeting according to interests , as well as location.
To sum it all up…
Create a comprehensive list of your personas.
One campaign should target one persona, for a more effective strategy.
Smaller campaigns, with an in-depth target, are more effective with an individual persona.
Having said this, buyer personas are something you REALLY need to run your business and use the online platforms effectively. Got any questions? Don't hesitate to contact us!