1) What percent of my gross annual sales am I investing back into my advertising plan?
Most experts recommended business owners invest 10-12% of gross sales or 3-5% of net profit back into Advertising for their business. Understandably, this can be quite a daunting figure for some, especially a new business. Yet, despite the actual percentage, more importantly, you need to have a plan, a budget and clearly defined business goals. Let your short and long-term business goals dictate the direction of your marketing efforts.
2) Does my website give the same experience as a face-to-face meeting?
Hopefully, in an initial business meeting you’re asking a plethora of questions to fully understand the other person and their business. My challenge to clients is to recreate that face-to-face meeting, on the web. Provide all the pertinent facts about your business and allow the design or layout of your site to reflect your brand’s personality. We can’t meet with everyone, but the ones that find us online need to have, as close to, the same experience as shaking our hand.
3) Am I utilizing video to help tell my story?
Over 80 BILLION hours of video were viewed online in the month of April. Each generation is consuming more video. It’s no surprise that search engines devour words, pictures and videos, but some business owners still struggle with developing a strong content strategy that incorporates compelling pictures and videos. Your brand should have a clearly defined voice and it’s equally as important that the images and videos align with your brand. Production is a necessary line item in your marketing budget and will pay dividends for your business. Make a goal to get video produced to help tell your company’s story.
4) Can my core customer find me online?
A recent survey found over 86% of consumers perform a search on a product or service before they make a purchase. Search engines are the #1 starting point when consumers decide to do research, browse the Internet or simply search for a specific business category. In order to be competitive, businesses must create relevant and consistent content. Content is the #1 driving force behind search engines. People love pictures and definitely watch video, but the actual content and content strategy are the most important pieces of the puzzle. Small businesses can be competitive to their (current) larger competitors with a strong content strategy. What that means to you is investing in Search Engine Optimization. SEO practices performed by a true SEO expert will give your website and overall digital brand an increased advantage.
5) Is your website a funnel?
My clients often hear me say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you better make sure there’s actually water there”. It’s not very difficult to generate traffic to a website. However, It does require a little more effort to engage with site visitors and convince them to take further action. Converting site traffic should be a goal of your website. I believe all business owners appreciate a phone call or a completed form generated by their website. I recommend my clients budget for redesign, revisions and review of site analytics every 12-18 months. Analytic reviews will offer greater insight into where on your website previous traffic went and how much time was spent browsing the different pages. Allow the data to guide your redesigns and continued revisions to help create stronger conversions.