Why I Need To Tell You About Internet Marketing
And Before You Ask, No — This Isn't a Sales Pitch
The other day, I was at my daughter’s softball practice, and I was chatting with some of the other parents. As I was getting to know these people that I will hopefully be in the stands with for the next 6 years, one of the dads asked me the inevitable, "What do you do for a living?" Unfortunately, this has never been an easy question for me to answer because 1) I do too much to be able to accurately explain and 2) what I actually do is constantly evolving — both my field and my job description.
I used to say “I’m a web developer,” or “I build web sites,” and people would understand that, but I’d get a little squirmy because it wasn’t strictly true. Yes, technically I can build web sites — it's what I went to school for — but I’m not very good at it. And then there was the inevitable “Oh, can you make me a web site? My wife wrote a book, and we want to be able to sell it online...” (Well, no...)
After a few iterations, I came up with, “I do internet marketing,” because your average person on the street doesn’t know what 'Inbound Marketing' is, but they do know what the internet is and they usually have some concept of what marketing is. Nine times out of 10 they understand enough that they’ll give me the opportunity to give my elevator speech, which is a version of "I work for an agency that designs and builds web sites for companies, gets them found on Google, and manages all of the marketing activities around the site: blogging, social media, etc." That is a super simplistic description, but that’s what I do for a living.
This time, the 10th time, when I said “I do internet marketing,” I got a look of skepticism. I know that look. I get that look every time I meet someone who sells something. It hit me that for someone with no real concept of how web sites work, how search engines work, or why they keep seeing all these ads on Facebook for things they have looked at on other sites, I might have just as well said, “Oh I’m a [satellite TV company] reseller. Do you wanna join up under me and we’ll convince people to leave their cable companies together?”
No. A thousand times no.
So, if you’re interested, here is what Internet Marketing means to us.
The Real Answer to What I Do for a Living
Let’s say you’re a business owner. Business is okay, but you need to be growing. You need more leads, and you need to be able to turn these leads into customers. Cold-calling sucks and doesn’t work anyway, so that's out. You’re feeling like maybe you need to turn to the internet.
First, you need a web site. You don’t need cool flash animations (which are not cool, by the way — they’re super annoying and don’t actually serve any purpose) or an intro page or whatever. You need a site that:
- Looks professional
- Represents your brand and tells its story
- Is up-to-date
- Provides the information your visitor is looking for
- Uses funnels to guide your visitor through your sales process
- Convinces your visitor that you can solve their pain better than your competitor
- Captures leads — meaning that your visitor who actually needs your product or service doesn’t go away without letting you know that they need your product or service
Second, you need your new site to get found on search engines. Google knows your new site is there, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to show up in search results. You need to be on page 1 or no one is going to see your cool new site that represents your brand and captures leads.
Third, you need to participate in various marketing activities outside of your site. Posting on Facebook is nice, but the point is to send people back to your site. Then your site can do its job. These marketing activities include, but are not limited to:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Management
- Directory Listings (is your business on YellowPages.com? Did you know that it needs to be? Do you know that your name, address, and phone number must be identical to the way it appears on your site? Do you know all of the online directories that are relevant to your industry?)
- Link Building
- Paid Advertising
- Getting those paid spots at the top of search results
- Getting your Google ads on other sites
- Facebook ads
This is a lot — a lot — of work which is why it’s not cheap. However, for businesses who need to stay competitive, internet marketing is totally worth the cost. We know what makes a good website, we know what Google is looking for, and we know all about the extra marketing work that goes into making your site and your company successful — so we spend a lot of time giving your site those things.
If you are a business owner and you’ve read this thinking, “yeah… that’s what I need! Someone to help figure all this internet stuff out!” then give us a call at (864) 288-6162 or fill out our contact form. If you’re not quite ready to talk yet but you want to learn a bit more about how internet marketing works to grow your business, help yourself to our FREE e-book about what your website really needs in order to be your best sales person.