Back in April/May 2016, a real estate agent hired Hale Associations to formulate a marketing plan that would allow him to sell event tickets. The real estate client was established, but did not have much of an online presence outside a few subscribers to his podcast.
After Richard Hale was able to talk to him and discuss strategies, we were able to approve an online marketing campaign that would allow him the reach he needed to sale tickets.
Case Study Outlook
Objective: Sell real estate event tickets
Niche: Real Estate
Real Estate Marketing Segment: List Presentation
Pricing: 3 Levels Of Pricing – $199-$349
Lead And Traffic Sources: Facebook, Active Rain, EventBright
Our Planning And Approach
- Build Landing Page
- Use EventBright To Sale Event Tickets
- Run Facebook Ads
- Join Active Rain
Building The Landing Page
The landing page we built was designed with Divi Page Builder, a drag and drop page builder designed specifically for WordPress websites. There’s several key points to any landing page;
- Strong CTA – We built a strong CTA above the fold, this is the prime real estate for your landing page. The copy we wrote had strong action. You should always A/B test your landing pages by using different copy, CTAs, images and positioning. We only had 40 days until the event. Our copy was a rock star from day one, so we didn’t do much editing.
- Integration – Since the client didn’t want to mess with payment processors, we decided to integrate the landing page with EventBright. All ticket sales would be done through their platform. EventBright has custom widgets that we could use and integrate with the website.
- One Main Purpose – A lot of marketers and designers overwhelm customers by adding too many elements to the page. This is often a mistake. We made it very clear what our priority offer was and what we wanted customers to do. Simple is better.
As I said earlier, we integrated everything through the EventBright platform.
We built a second landing page on EventBright’s platform. We also used EventBright for easy payments and felt it would be more trusted than trying to set up payment processing on the website.
Running Facebook Ads
Since we only had 40 days to get everything done and we wanted to target local audience segments, we decided to run our ads on Facebook.
We chose to run an ad with an image that represented real estate training. Our client had hosted a prior event of him speaking in front of attendees. We felt it was very relevant, appropriate and would give users the visual impact they needed to click on the ad. This worked very well.
Since we had two main landing pages, we wanted to test both.
- We sent Facebook traffic to the landing page we built on his main website.
- We also built a landing page on the EventBright platform and sent traffic there.
We wanted to see which landing page sold the most event tickets. We were shocked by the results (below).
Facebook allows you to target audience segments and locations. This allowed us to directly target those in the area of the event and users that had interest in real estate.
We did such a great job targeting interest, our ad spend was only $5-$10 a day, eventually totaling $200 in cost for our client.
Joining Active Rain
I wanted our client to get the most exposure for his event, so promoting real estate events in the past, I knew Active Rain was a great platform to join.
He joined Active Rain for free, he was able to create a great profile and also published a high quality article there. The content was not used to promote the event, but rather show his expertise in real estate listings.
It took us 5 days to build, integrate and setup everything mentioned above. That gave us 35 days (5 weeks) to promote the event.
The real estate event tickets were high priced tickets, starting at $199 all the way up to $299.
The strategy we decided to use was to give early ticket holders the lowest price at $199. We called it an “earlybird special.”
- 32 event tickets sold – $8,341.00
- After EventBright Cost – $8,100.68
- Walk-Ins for event – $1,002.40
Facebook ads only cost us $200, leaving our total revenue at $8,903.08
Huge Conversion Rate Driving Traffic From Facebook To Website Landing Page
What impressed us the most was our conversion rate with Facebook traffic to our website landing page. I thought we’d see more sales driving traffic to our landing page on EventBright, but that was not the case. Split test like this allowed us to build on the landing page that wasn’t converting as well.
We used 2 tracking links, one to track Facebook traffic to EventBright and one to track Facebook traffic to the website landing page.
We saw 35.42 percent of traffic convert that hit our website landing page.
We saw only 0.73 percent of traffic convert when we traffic went to our EventBright landing page.
A conversion test such as this is extremely helpful because we used this data to change the EventBright landing page for the next event. Just out of curiosity, we saw conversions increase by 21.4 percent.
On top of these results, we also saw a few hundred new subscribers and a few hundred new downloads. On the website landing page, we added optins for users to use and it worked well.
What We Learned And What You Can Take Away
Tracking and testing is important to any business. It allows you to build, test and consistently make the right improvements. Test everything.
While $8K in revenue is not overwhelming, I’d take $9K for a few hours work any day of the week. Imagine if your real estate events were bringing in $9K revenue over and over again.
Facebook marketing works and it’s great to use for local events, but your ad and landing page are equally important. Learn how you can build a Conversion Rate Optimization Roadmap.
If you have a local event planned for the future and need help promoting it, reach out and contact us. We’d love to hear from you. Hope you found this case study helpful.
Growing an online business is tough. It takes a time, effort, patience, dedication and a lot of work. Don’t let anyone fool you, there’s no get rich quick schemes. Even those that make a quick buck have put a lot of work into growing their online business. I enjoy finding the time to write on our website about business. We’re so busy anymore, I’m lucky to find the time to write once a month. I enjoy helping others. I didn’t have anyone training me or guiding me, but it was articles by niche experts that helped me learn. I spent years learning before I began working online and I still spend a few hours each week keeping up with SEO. It’s always a benefit to find an author that is experienced and knows his subject manner. So for those of you that find our website, our content, we hope you find it helpful.
So you want to grow an online business. Perhaps you have started growing your online business or you’ve hit a dead end recently. Your business isn’t making sales, not bringing in leads or has no traffic. We’re going to explore some very important keys to operating a successful online business, from the idea concept to an established online business. We’ll take it step by step, focusing on key factors to growing an online business. This article is very long, so bookmark it, copy the URL so it can be your resource content.
My Business Experience
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, growing an online business is no easy task. If you’re not willing to dedicate your life to growing your online business, you’ll never reach your full potential. I’ve been an online web developer for a decade. I started out writing landing pages, sales scripts over 16 years ago. I spent a few years as a ghost writer, where I learned about SEO and SEO writing. Over the last 8 years, I’ve been a professional consultant in web design, web development, SEO, SEM, SMM, SMO, PPC, PR, media, online marketing, sales analysis, landing pages and much more. I also have a degree in Business Management, as well as many training hours in online business.
Work ethic, it can determine the success or failure of your business. I’ve always been fully committed. I take my business serious. I know that my customer’s lively hood is often at stake and chance nothing. I can’t count the number of times I’ve worked 20 hour days, 7 days a week. If you’re willing to put the work in, you’ll go far.
Another tip I’ll give you before we get into the article topic of growing an online business, surround yourself with great people. Even if you’re a single person team now, at some point if you do reach success, you’ll need a good team behind your business. I’m fortunate to have a great team that treat my business like their own. I’ve been blessed and I’m proud to say that.
More important than any of my prior experience, I’m always a student. The online business market is a fast paced world. There’s so many different elements that you have to stay ahead of and the more you take in and learn, the better off you’re going to be in the long run. Never stop learning, never stop improving and if you’re going to grow an online business, surround yourself with smart people! Seriously, having a great team is vital.
Pick A Strong Market
Some of you may not have much of choice when it comes to choosing your business. Others may already have a business and trying to transfer their success online. For the remaining individuals, you may have the choice to decide what type of business you’re going to operate. And if that’s true, you may want to go with a business in a strong market, one that has good market growth outlooks.
Likely, you’ve spent some time thinking about starting your online business. That’s important, the more research and thinking you do, often the better. At least you get an idea of the challenge ahead. Picking the right market and business niche is just as important as operating it. If you can find a niche in demand, a market likely to grow, that may be a wise decision to invest in.
Competition should always be a concern when building your online business. Chances are, someone before you is doing it and successfully. Some markets are saturated, others are not. That’s going to be your job to determine. There’s a wide range of options to deliver high quality traffic to your business. Higher grades of traffic often result in conversions, Here’s you a tip – Learn how the big companies market and promote their business. Match their success. I know you can only do this to an extent, but the more you watch the competition, the more you’re going to know what is needed to perform better. In SEO, we always analyze our competition. Somewhere along the line to be successful, your business is going to need to build market share.
Building Your Online Presence
If you’re first starting out and nobody knows your name, get ready for a long bumpy ride. Don’t feel intimidated, but understand the challenge that lies ahead. Growing an online business is easy in a sense, making that online business successful, that’s the tricky part.
No matter what other platforms you use to drive business and build your brand, you’re going to need to build a website. Your online website will be the cornerstone of your operation. We chose to grow our business on WordPress. It’s a decision that we thought hard about. There’s a reason, WordPress is one of the best content management systems in the world. We don’t have products to sell, we provide services. Therefore, WordPress worked for us.
If you’re selling products, there’s a lot of great options out there. Magneto, Modern Retail and Shopify are 3 strong choices. If you plan to have hundreds/thousands of products, you want a strong back office to make adding products easier. An easy to navigate backend will help save you time and money. I’m sure you’ll have a learning curve with new technology, but a good eCommerce platform is always worth the investment.
No matter where you’re starting, it takes time to grow an online business. The online world is big and growing, plenty of opportunity. And you have to start somewhere. The more online resources you can build, the better. Make connections with influencers, very important. Any type of exposure you can gain in the early stages is a benefit, all good exposure of course. Then again, you may be in a niche where scandals sale.
Search Engine Optimization
This is a term you’ve likely heard about a time or two, search engine optimization, also known as SEO. If you want to be successful online, then you have to learn the basics behind SEO. There’s a lot of different factors when it comes to search engine optimization. In total, some believe there’s over 200 SEO ranking factors that Google uses when determining search engine rankings. SEO can be tough to grasp because it’s always evolving, what worked a week ago may not work now. But in SEO, the basics remain the same and if you want to build online visibility for your business, you need to take the time to get the important SEO factors down.
Some of the strongest SEO ranking factors in 2015 include social media. Social media influence has become more of a ranking factor in SEO. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ are 4 of the top social media platforms that affect your SEO rankings. While link building and link values are still important, we feel that Google trust social media signals more, one of the reasons why social influence is among the strongest SEO ranking factors in 2015 and likely beyond.
10 SEO Predictions For 2015
Social Media Marketing
Millions of businesses use social media to promote their business. There’s a reason, it works. Social media marketing can be a very effective when done correctly. Nearly every major corporation in the world has a Facebook page. Billions of people use Facebook. Facebook is the most popular social media platform. With millions of potential customers using Facebook, the opportunities are always there. If you haven’t, you need to build a business page on Facebook for your company.
There’s hundreds of popular social media platforms that can be used to promote your business and drive traffic to your products and services. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Reddit, Vines, and many more that can be used. You need to decide which social media accounts will work in favor of your business. For example, if you’re a photographer, Pinterest, Instagram or Flickr may be your top choices due to the photo sharing.
Targeting The Right Keywords
Targeting keywords can be defined as a SEO technique or related to SEO. Most people would agree. However, when it comes to growing your online business, choosing the right keywords to target is vital. Your keywords will be dependent on your business, niche, market, products and services. The goal of targeting keywords is to bring in organic traffic to your website. Organic traffic is one of the best traffic types when it comes to conversions.
You can test and play with certain keywords, organic and paid through Google or other search engines and paid services. Some of you will find that your keywords are already written in stone. If you’re trying to sell products, your keywords are going to be related to those products. If you’re offering specific services, your keywords will be related. And in order to rank for those keywords, you’re going to need content to do so. Always keep a blog on the side.
We’ve been touching on deep subjects throughout this article. Real quickly closing out keywords, you only need one page to rank one keyword. You don’t need a dozen pages using the same keyword. In fact, this is not the way to go about it. You don’t want your keywords fighting one another. One page, one keyword, all you need.
Growing Your Email List
Growing your email list and subscribers is important to any online business owner. I’ll be honest, when I first started out, I said, “I don’t need no email list.” I was wrong. Your email list can generate revenue and traffic for years to come. There’s a variety of different ways that you can grow your email list. Put yourself in your own shoes, when you sign up to an email list, newsletter or subscribe to a site, why do you? We’re often looking for value, something specific. Just another important reason to drive targeted traffic to your popup, landing page or newsletter.
Another common tactic used to generate email subscribers is giving away something of value for free. My advice, try different techniques. Don’t get frustrated if one way or another doesn’t work. It could be a great offer but perhaps you’re targeting the wrong traffic. Run your A/B testing and remember to record everything! Keep your data and results, analyze and plan.
Growing Your Start-Up Online Business
For those of you that are just now making your mark on the world, you have a long road ahead. I suggest reading our complete guide on growing an online business. When you start your online business with no resources, the work can be overwhelming. Many people feel that they can hit the ground running and it is often far from it. This is especially true if you’re trying to grow your start-up on a small budget. Hopefully, you have some funding and investors behind you. If not, you have to start somewhere. Might as well be now.
Great content is my best tip for start-ups on a budget. Use your blog. The goal is to begin the process of targeting keywords. Make the content valuable for readers. Your topic depends on your brand and market. For the sake of this example, we’ll say that our new start-up is in women’s fashion. Our content will focus on that subject. We’ll be looking for online resources related to women’s fashion. Take time to do your research.
When you do your research, you’re looking for established online platforms that can be targeted to gain traffic, exposure and sales to your website. This can be done in the form of a link, profile, forum, post, picture, or some other type of content. Facebook is an easy example. Billions of users on Facebook. You can share your products and content on Facebook. You could look for fashion websites that allow you to share products. A lot can be done and since you’re on a budget, any type of exposure you can get is a benefit in the early stages.
What If Our Start-Up Business Is Funded?
If your start-up business is funded or has funds for growth, you’re a step ahead of the curb. Investing your money properly is crucial. Do you invest in SEO? PPC? Market research? Social media? That’s a great question, right? As a start-up, revenue has to be your main concern. If you only have one round of funding, you have to bring in revenue. How do you do that?
By this time, I hope you have a general idea of what to expect. Again, we try to help everyone out and speak to a wide audience in our articles so you can get that help. Having funding is a big advantage, but you still have to play your cards right. Not to scare you or deter you in anyway, you likely have one opportunity with your funding. Carefully plan your numbers.
No matter how funded your business is, I suggest writing a detailed business plan. There’s several main topics to a business plan. Here’s the main points you need to know.
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Market Analysis
- Organization and Management
- Products and Services
- Marketing and Sales
- Funding Request
- Financial Projections (For funding)
I always ask for a detailed business plan. I know this can be tough, especially market research. I’ve wrote a few dozen in my time and market analysis will cost you thousands. But the reports are priceless. You need to know your market potential, revenue potential, potential reach. All of this data is helpful. Worth the investment. Don’t be disappointed if you can’t have a detailed business plan, but if you’re looking to get funded, you better make it detailed as possible.
Building Targeted Traffic
In order to have a successful online business, you’re going to have to be able to build and drive targeted traffic to your products and services. And you can use the techniques listed in this article to do that. A customer profile can be built to know exactly who you’re targeting and why. Here’s what you need to know;
- What is the age group that is most likely to buy my product or service?
- Where do my potential customers live?
- What type of occupation would my potential customer have?
- What is the best approach to reach my target audience?
- What types of marketing would be most effective?
Here’s the deal, if you don’t know your customer, you”ll likely fail. Know everything you can about your potential customer. Data is such a crucial element in online development, marketing, SEO. My best advice? Track everything. Google Analytics, Google Webmaster, SEO software, marketing software, email automation, you’re going to need the proper tools to be successful.
Again, everything has to be dependent on the services you provide or the products you sale. You should know your services and products through and through. Know everything you can about them. Most importantly, know and understand why someone would buy them.
You can use different strategies and techniques to build traffic to your business. You know the niche and market you work in. If you have a new business with minimal funding, take the time to research related websites that may give you the opportunity to build traffic and readers. There’s a number of platforms that allow you to publish content on other websites. You could do press release, PR work. My advice, I look for established platforms that fit my customer profile and that website’s traffic needs to be big. At least a few thousand a month.
Become A Leader In Your Niche
One of the biggest tips that I can give you in regards to growing an online business is the fact that you need to become a leader in your niche. It doesn’t matter if it’s digital graphics or men’s shoes, you need to learn your niche through and through. Content is a powerful and great way to show your expertise on any subject manner. This is especially true for those of you that offer services, less for those of you that sell products, excluding software and a few other products that can relate to your services.
How do you become a niche leader? You have to engage with people. I’m not perfect in any stretch, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes over the past decade. One of the biggest mistakes I made was not engaging others and I’m referring to other leaders in my industry. I regret that. Now, I find little time to write and discuss topics in web development, SEO, marketing, ect. Don’t make that mistake. We learn from others, we get ideas from others and in online business, you always need someone.
Video marketing is another great way to express leadership and experience. Most people relate better seeing something visually compared to reading it in an article. YouTube host your videos for free, YouTube has millions of users, it’s a perfect relationship. Not only will you have your videos for promoting, you can also publish them on your blog or use them on landing pages.
Keys To Successfully Growing Your Online Business
We’ve discussed many things in the course of this article to help you begin growing your online business. All of these are proven strategies and techniques to successfully grow an online business. Now, we’re going to discuss the main keys to grow your business.
Brand exposure is important from day one. Some of you may have an online business and physical business. Kudos if you do. Your objective should be to expose your business as much as possible. Writing great content is always an effective growth tactic. Think about YouTube. Video marketing is another great way to build brand awareness. Case studies have shown that we react more to videos, we visually connect with them. YouTube has millions of users, the exact type of platform that can build brand exposure. YouTube is the type of platform you look for.
Building relationships is so important. This goes for all levels. It allows you to open doors, open opportunities that your business may not have had prior. If you’re in the fashion niche, connecting with bloggers may help you get your business discussed and talked about. You may be able to start a referral program that benefits all parties. The more connections you make, the better. These resources can be an immediate benefit now and for years to come.
Customer service is important in any business. Treat your customers and clients like gold. The best referral system is often mouth to mouth referrals. So I’m talking about all areas of customer service. For example, we give our clients 24-7 support. This shows them we care, we want them to come to us with their issues. 80 percent of our referrals are from past and current clients. Work hard for them, treat them with respect and they can become customers for life.
Revenue and sales are the bottom line. If revenue is lower than expenses, you’re going to fail. If you have an unique product that no one else has, you have an advantage. If you’re an affiliate based business, then you have a lot of competition. What do you do when you sell the same products? People do it all the time, Amazon, BeachBody, there’s tens of thousands of affiliate business owners. You’ll have to take the time to figure out how you can drive traffic to your business better than you competition. Not an easy task.
No matter what you offer or sell, you have to generate revenue. As a start-up business, you may find yourself spending more than you’re receiving. This is ok when you’re investing in the business, but it has to be built to turn revenue. Finding your target audience is crucial. Having a professional website is important. Building trust with your customers is important as well.
Continue to adapt and change as needed. Sometimes, you have to make changes. You have to evolve with your customers. You may have to bring in new products or add new services to grow your business. The odds are stacked against you. Most people will fail. However, some put in the work and become great. You can also. Continue to learn about online business, continue to educate yourself with new techniques and your niche. With hard work, dedication and experience, your business can face any challenge that lies ahead.
Introduction To Growing An Online Business
Growing an online business is a tough task. If you’ve come across this article, you probably already know that. Heck, if you have common sense, you know it’s tough. Growing an online business takes a lot of work. There’s so many things that can factor into your success or failure. The majority of them lead to failure. Not to discourage you at all, I’m just being straight up from the get go. Even though the weight of the world is on your shoulders, if you follow my guide on growing your business, you’ll have the opportunity to do it successfully. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme, there’s going to be some great tips, knowledge, information and help in this business guide. We’re going to touch on online business development, SEO, Social Media, Marketing and much more.
Before we get started, I’m going to do my best to cover and discuss growing your business in different markets. Every business is different, every business faces competition and your business can be dependent on the market and niche it operates in. Not to mention funding and other elements that determine the growth of a company. This article will cover online businesses, but will not be limited to just online businesses. If you’re not marketing your business online, it’s a great time to start.
Building Your Website
If you’re looking at growing an online business, you can’t do it without a website. The most important step to creating a successful online business is building your website. If you’re not familiar with web design, web development and hosting, you’ll need to become familiar with these terms and what they mean. Yes, you can hire a company to build your website but you still want to know and learn as much as you can.
The type of website you build usually depends on the type of business you have or plan to have. We’ve used a number of different sources to build websites for our clients. One of the most common used is WordPress. WordPress is easy to use, easy to learn and you can find thousands of reliable guides and information on building websites in WordPress. All reasons why I suggest you start with WordPress. You’re going to have a lot to do, simplicity is the key as you start into web development.
Building Pages, Product Pages and Content
Once you have the design and framework of your website complete, you should be close to adding pages to your website. If your online business has products, you’ll be planning to add these products to your website. If your business offers services, you’ll be planning to write content that defines your business services. In the process, you should begin the process of learning how to build landing pages, squeeze pages and considering email marketing for your business.
When you build pages to your website, there’s several key factors that you need to be aware of before you start publishing your pages. Most of these concerns are SEO related. Most business owners know a little about SEO, some of you may not. Get use to the terminology, SEO (search engine optimization) is a key factor to most successful online businesses. Organic traffic is a key element to growing an online business.
Leveraging Sales Funnels
While you’ll have several pages on your website, none may be more important than a successful landing page. If you have an online store with product pages, you’ll likely have less of a need for landing pages, unless you offer a special promotion or have new products. For online businesses that offer services, landing pages are going to be important. But in a sense, we all need landing pages, squeeze pages, sales funnels, what ever terminology you use. In many cases, a landing page can be your key to success or failure.
What is a landing page? According to the Unbounce and a company I trust, I credit them with the definition.
In the purest sense, a landing page is any web page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on. However, when discussing landing pages within the realm of marketing and advertising, it’s more common to refer to a landing page as being a standalone web page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single focused objective.
This means that your landing page should have no global navigation to tie it to your primary website. The main reason for this is to limit the options available to your visitors, helping to guide them toward your intended conversion goal.
There’s (2) types of landing pages, click through landing pages and lead generation landing pages. Click through landing pages uses the method of getting users to click to another page. They are common funnels for eCommerce platforms. Its often used to “warm” up a visitor, lean them closer to making a purchase. Lead generation landing pages are used to capture user data. In most cases, this is a name, email or phone number. This allows you to connect with potential prospects and market the leads you capture.
Techniques Used To Capture Leads
- Free Trials
- Free Gifts
- Free Consultation
- Pre-Product Launches
Testing Your Landing Pages
No landing page is perfect. In many cases, it can take us multiple times to format and write the correct script for our landing pages. A/B testing is the key. Having two versions of the same offer or deal can allow you to test the different copies to see which works better. Always be sure to track the data you receive. The smallest changes can make the biggest differences. This will allow you to fine tune your landing pages until they convert.
Building Your Social Media Profiles
Once your website is built and the foundation of your business is up, you need to go ahead and build your social media profiles. Social media marketing has a variety of different benefits that will help your business grow. Social media plays a role in search engine optimization, a tactic used to gain visibility in search engines. We’ll discuss SEO in detail later.
There’s actually thousands of social media platforms online. For now, your focus should be the main social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram. These are some of the most popular social media websites in the world and each can benefit your business as it grows. Depending on the nature of your business, some social media profiles may be a benefit, others may not. It’s going to be your responsibility to test different social platforms to determine the best social media profiles to use for marketing your business.
Social Media Marketing
Also known as SMM, social media marketing can be used to build your brand name, interact with customers, interact with leads, link building, sharing content, sharing photos and growing the exposure of your business. Social media marketing is also a benefit to your SEO as social signals are SEO ranking factors. You can never go wrong with A/B testing. A/B testing refers to taking two different positions to accomplish the same goal. The point is to learn what performs better. In SMM, we would be referring to your social posting.
For example, you may have two different ad types promoting the same offer. Copy A and Copy B would be different. One copy may include an image while the other copy doesn’t. The text may be different from one copy to the next. The smallest differences can make big differences, so A/B testing is always worth the time you invest to see which copy works better.
Social Media Marketing Resources
Facebook Marketing Tips
Marketing Tools For Twitter
Marketing Tips For Pinterest
Building The Foundation Of Your Online Business
Once you have your website built and all your social media profiles built, you’re going to be ready to begin promoting your business. You’re in the process of building the foundation of your online business. While it’s a crucial time for your business, remember this is a journey, you can’t get there in one day. That likely goes for most of you. Some of you may be in the position to promote your business or products for a year before your launch. For you guys and gals, you’re in a totally different boat. And although this is probably a small percentage of you, we will discuss it in this article.
Pre-Launch Phase Of Your Business
Some of you may wish to go to the process of promoting your business, product or app prior to the launch of your business. There’s nothing wrong with this tactic. In order to promote the launch of your new online business, you’re going to need resources. The more reach you have, the more opportunities. So how can you build interest in the months before you launch your business?
There’s a number of different ways to promote your business, product or app before launch. The cost of doing so varies. Here’s some of the most common techniques you could use;
- Google Adwords
- Bing Advertising
- Yahoo Advertising
- Facebook Advertising
- Twitter Advertising
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
Do You Have A Network You Can Use?
These are just a few of the common techniques used to promote a business before launch. If you have an established website or blog related to your market, this is a great start. Perhaps you’re already have traffic, a following, social media platforms and email subscribers. These established sources give you the opportunity to start creating the buzz around your business. If you have strong business ties with others, you can ask them to help. Return the favor with a link, social shout out, anything to show appreciation for their participation.
What If I Don’t Have No Online Resources?
If you don’t have any online resources that can be used, you need to start establishing them now. You need to start connecting with thought leaders in your niche and market. Be authentic with any relationships you build. Networking is so crucial in business and at some point, you’ll rely on someone. You need to go ahead and start building your social media profiles. At the least, I would suggest Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. If you’re in graphics or photography for example, of course you want to develop on Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr.
Some consider YouTube a social platform, I do. Others don’t, but videos are great for early brand exposure and giving you the opportunity to impress. You can make professional videos cheap with the right software and tools. Think about the users on YouTube, they number in the millions. That’s a lot of potential traffic for your business. You can also share your videos on your social channels as well as your blog or website.
Forums, Blogs And Email
In the early stages, brand exposure is critical. Most niches and markets have particular forums and blogs. These are great platforms to build relationships with customers, business contacts, dealers and potential partners. If you’re promoting on forums, you have to be aware of the rules, every authority forum has them. You just can’t go on there and start promoting your business. Some… sure, but the majority won’t allow it. The idea is to become an active member in the forums and then you can gain more credit and exposure for your business. There’s tactic involved, but it can help you grow your business.
Niche and market blogs are another great resource that can pay off for your business. There’s thousands of popular blogs online and most bloggers welcome comments. Again, there’s a need to be tactical here, you don’t want to drop your business promotion in your first blog comment. Rather, you should make an effort to take advantage of the traffic, audience and interaction. You need to know which articles to comment on and take advantage of. A great link builder would be the one to talk to in this case. Link builders commonly use this SEO technique to build backlinks from the comments to their website of choice.
When I refer to email, I mean email marketing. A great email list is an asset to any business, pre-launch or after. Remember what I said about your business contacts, you should start building those contacts now. This goes for everyone, B2B or B2C. It doesn’t matter if you’re building an email now that your business has launched or your a year prior, start building that list today.
Press Releases, PR, Media Outlets
If your budget allows, PR is a great tactic for growing your online business. This is especially true for those of you in pre-launch, but if your business just launched or you have a new product or app, PR is a great way to get the word out. There’s a few important things to keep in mind here, so let’s break them down.
There’s only a few times when I consider using press releases.
- Launching A New Business
- Launching A New Product/App
- Launching New Features/Software/Tools
- Pre-Launch Of Your Business
- Important Company News
Google come down hard on press release websites in terms of SEO and backlinks, so you do want to be careful whom you choose for your press releases and when you send them out. In business, timing is everything. I would suggest using press release services for every piece of content you have. If the reason falls in the categories above,it’s justified. The right press release website can broadcast your announcement to major media outlets all over the internet. While press release services can start at $99 or more, they are often well worth your initial investment if your budget can afford them.
It’s not a bad idea to have a PR in your corner. But again, this is going to cost you some money. The right PR can get your content to the right people at the right time. Strategy is important and an experienced PR or PR company can help you develop strategies based on your needs. There’s no denying the importance of reaching the right audience when it comes to marketing.
Media outlets often have a variety of great resources you can use to promote your business, pre-launch or after launch. From newspapers to magazines and social, media outlets can allow you to reach your market on many levels. Just as everything we’ve explained, one thing you can be sure of is the fact that you’re going to need a budget for any of these types of services. Never choose the first company you come across. Please make a genuine effort to research anyone you hire.
What If I Can’t Afford These Services?
I know that growing an online business is far from being affordable. It’s likely you don’t have a budget to pay for anything. If you don’t have money coming in, the last thing you want to do is send more money out, so I get it. You’ve likely heard it, you may even know it’s coming. It takes money to make money. That statement screams truth. In the end, in all that you do, it’s all about ROI.
Return On Investment
ROI is the most common profitability ratio. There are several ways to determine ROI, but the most frequently used method is to divide net profit by total assets. So if your net profit is $100,000 and your total assets are $300,000, your ROI would be .33 or 33 percent.
Over the course of 8+ years, I’ve worked with a lot of business owners, start-ups and small businesses. Nearly all of them never tracked their ROI. A common mistake that can lead to failure. Companies rate ROI in a lot of different ways, the example above is one of the most common. It’ll be your responsibility to value ROI for your business.
ROI When There’s No Monetary Value
Yes, the question of the day. How do you price your ROI when there’s no monetary value? There’s no right or wrong answer here. Technically speaking. Let’s use an example so you understand.
Jim is a freelancer graphic designer. He has his website up and he has a landing page that he directs traffic to. The landing page showcases Jim’s graphic work for logos. Since Jim charges different rates for logos, the ROI varies from one client to the next. On the exit, he has a popup form for visitors to subscribe via email. While Jim knows his exact ROI through Google Adwords because he knows how much his ads cost, there’s no set value for the visitors that sign up and subscribe.
In order to know his ROI for subscribers, Jim will need to add a monetary value to all leads that sign up via email. Most businesses use email signups to capture leads for their email marketing campaigns. These leads are often thrown into a sales funnel based on their behavior and interest of the offer. If you have a free app, every download has value.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is an online technique used to increase the visibility of your website. SEO is a broad subject, we could discuss it for weeks. There’s a ton of techniques and tactics used that are classified under SEO. Search engine optimization is the process of creating content that ranks in search engines to drive organic traffic to your website.
Our Guide To SEO On WordPress is a great start for anyone that doesn’t have much experience with SEO. While this guide is focused on performing SEO with a WordPress website, the same techniques apply to us all. This guide will walk you through step by step so you understand the most important aspects of performing SEO for your business.
There’s a variety of different SEO ranking factors that you need to be aware of. Search engine optimization is always changing, always evolving and if you don’t keep up with those changes, it can hurt your organic rankings.
Targeting The Right Keywords
Perhaps the most important part of SEO is targeting the correct keywords for your business. If there’s one thing you want to get right, it’s choosing the right keywords. Every business is different, you have different products and services. Every other online business in your market with the same products or services is your competition. Depending on the type of business you have, you may find that some keywords are highly competitive while others are not. It all depends on what market your business operates in.
If you’re an insurance agent, real estate agent, contractor, attorney or doctor, you’ll be competing in one of the most competitive markets online. This makes growing an online business that much harder. I don’t want to discourage you at all, I’m just being honest with you. These markets are among the toughest to rank keywords for. It doesn’t make ranking keywords impossible, but it does make it harder.
What Keywords Should I Target?
Well, this all depends on your business. If you’re trying to sell products, these are going to be keywords that you have a need to use. If you’re selling homes in Florida, you want to rank for keywords that describe such a service. You may consider using “Homes For Sale In Florida” or “Florida Homes For Sale.” If you’re selling Apple iPhones, you want to rank for keywords that would bring in organic traffic to buy that product, such as “Top Apple iPhones or “Apple iPhones for sell.
You also want to make sure that the keywords you target have traffic, ensuring the keywords are being searched for on a monthly basis. There’s a wide range of SEO software that is used to estimate keyword traffic. You can also use Google Adwords to determine which keywords have traffic and which keywords don’t.
You can search for keywords and monthly searches with Google’s Keyword Planner.
SEO And The Importance Of Content
In order to rank keywords high, you need to have content. Content can refer to pages, post, images an videos. Learning how to write SEO content would be a big benefit. Content is the most important SEO technique you can use. There’s a number of different ways to optimize your content and you need to become familiar with the techniques.
For example only, we want to rank for “Growing An Online Business.” This is the keyword we’re targeting in our content, the very article you read now. Growing An Online Business is the title for our article. Notice that our URL has that exact match keyword in it. The keyword we’re targeting is within our content, we use it in a heading as well. We also use that keyword in our metadata. The Yoast SEO Plugin allows us to do this. If you don’t have it, get it. It’s free. These are some of the most important elements of giving our article the opportunity to rank for growing an online business.
One Keyword Per Article
When you target a specific keyword, you should target one keyword per page. It’s ok to list multiple keywords in your articles, but only target one main keyword. All you need is one article to rank for any given keyword. If you target your keyword in multiple articles, they will fight against one another, it’s a very common mistake. Remember,
- Target One Keyword Per Article
- Use Targeted Keyword In Title
- Use Targeted Keyword In Sub-Titles (Sub-Headings) H1-H6
- Use Targeted Keyword In URL
- Use Targeted Keyword In Content
- Use Targeted Keyword In Metadata (SEO Title And Description)
Content Has To Be Original, Unique, Informative And Great
If there’s one thing I’ve personally learned over the years, if you want to rank among the best, your content has to be great. It needs to be original, informative, unique and have a purpose. If you want to receive your ROI with your content, make every article have purpose. Learn how to build your domain authority.
Think about it, if you’re just starting out and learning how to grow an online business, you’re at the bottom of the heap. I do hope you have online resources because they can make a world of different. But if you don’t, you have a long run. You’re likely competing against tens of thousands of articles. Not to mention thousands of businesses. It’s hard to make a name for yourself. In the end though, if you produce great content, you will get there.
The more you can add to your content, often, you’ll add value to the article. Learn how to add value to your content to give it the chance to rank first page. Adding helpful details and instructions is always a good idea. Adding images so readers can understand visually is important. Keeping your content clean and formatted is important. A table of contents for guides is useful. If you can add videos to your article, the more power to you. All of these can turn a good article into a great article. Better yet, when you cover your topic, make it better than anything else out there.
Link Building Backlinks And Internal Links
Link building is a sensitive subject. Some SEOs believe in it, other SEOs say no way. In the end though, we all find ourselves building links. Google has different views on link building compared to Yahoo and Bing. Yahoo and Bing says build all the links you want. Google says link building will lead to penalty. What qualifies as fair and foul is up to you to determine.
Backlinks are a major SEO ranking factor. This refers to when another domain links to your website. Google wants this process to be natural. The best way to build natural backlinks is by creating great content. Not good content, great content. When you publish an article on your website, share it via social media. You have to get your content out there for others to see. Here’s some great online traffic sources to get you started.
Internal links serve a number of different purposes. You want your readers to be able to find your content, products and services. You need to make sure they have clear paths to navigate your website. So internal links is an important user metric. Internal links can also be used to add value to your content. Just like this article leads to other content I’ve wrote, using this same technique adds important needed value to our content.
It doesn’t matter if you’re building backlinks, internal links or any type of link, always keep your links relative. When you build links, make sure they go where they need to go. If you build a link using the anchor text “Best Social Media Marketing Tips,” make sure that is what the article is about. You don’t want to mislead anyone nor get in trouble for building spammy links.
Every Link Has A Different Value
Every link that you have will have a value. There’s a lot of terminology regarding links, but we want to keep it simple. There’s two important things you need to know about link types, do follow links and no follow links. Do follow links pass value, no follow links don’t pass value. While no follow links don’t pass value from the link giving domain, you do get a little value for the link.
How To Determine Link Values
The important thing to remember, all links have some type of value. You’ll need link analysis tools to help you determine the value of links. Most SEO software provides link values. You’ve likely heard of Moz and Ahrefs, both provide values for links.
Online Marketing And Building Quality Traffic
Every business needs solid online marketing campaigns to grow an online business. If you have a brand new domain or young domain (12 months old or less) it will take time to establish value to your website. It’s going to take time to build organic traffic, build keyword rankings and build brand awareness. Domain age is a ranking factor. The older your domain, most often represents trust. The longer a site is online, the more a site becomes valued in Google’s eyes. (As long as you’re following the rules).
5 Tips To Help Your Marketing Efforts
You’ll have the choice to apply free online marketing techniques or pay for your marketing and advertising. It all depends on your budget. Although it may be a free technique that is used, it will still cost you time. Remember, nothing is for free. Let’s say you’re in the technology niche and market. Your goal will be to find technology platforms where you can establish backlinks, a profile, comments, using a forum, listings in a directory or any other technique used to build awareness and traffic for your website. Again, this has to be done in a creative way, other authority platforms won’t tolerate your spam.
Marketing Strategies For Your Start-Up Business
Since nearly all online business offer a service or product, the grade of your traffic coming into your website will play a vital role in your success. From my experience and based on case studies, organic traffic is often the top converting traffic. This is true but you do have to target the right keywords. Remember, your keywords should relate to your products and services. Building quality traffic is your goal.
Email marketing and list are often the second highest quality of traffic coming in followed by paid advertising. This can vary from one business to the next. Nothing is in stone. Your goal is to know the quality of the traffic coming in and where it’s coming from. Learn how to build your email list.
If you need help getting started with traffic, here’s some of the best online traffic sources.
Final Thoughts On Growing An Online Business
This is a lot of information to take in. I hope you find it useful and helpful. Truth be told, this is only a small percentage of growing a successful business. There’s nothing easy about it and nothing comes easy. But if you listen to my advice, if you put the time in, put the effort in, you can find success.
Be open to learning, take the time to read the helpful articles, watch the informative videos. The great thing, you have a whole internet of great resources from hard working business owners willing to share the success with you. If you did find this article useful, please do take the time to share it with others. We appreciate your support. If you have any questions at all, we’ll be more than happy to answer them. I truly wish you the best of luck growing your online business. To your success!
I know this is a lot to take in at the moment. If you have any questions or you’re ready to see how we can help your business grow online, feel free to contact us. We love hearing about your business and ideas. We’ll help you bring those ideas to life and develop a plan that has your best interest at heart. 304-752-3433 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.