Marketing spans many activities from audience research, product or service development right through to sales. However, when most people talk about ‘marketing’ they’re talking about the promotional part of the process. This is the bit where you are trying to ensure as many people as possible know what you can deliver for them and are excited enough about it to want to get in touch with you.
This part of the marketing mix can include blogging, social media, direct mail campaigns, lumpy mail, promotional flyers, exhibitions, networking, pop up banners, brochures, business cards, newsletters, list building and so much more. However, there is one thing that sits at the centre of all this – your website.
If your website isn’t ‘sticky’ (attractive with a compelling message) all the other activities can be a waste of time and money. In today’s world we’re conditioned to check people out online and, for most people, that’s the company website.
So you’ve paid a designer to create an attractive marketing flyer, you’ve paid a copywriter to write a powerful message, you’ve paid the printer to print a few hundred and you may even have paid someone to distribute them for you or invested in a mailing campaign. Now what?
If you happen to be very lucky you may find that one or two people are actually looking for exactly what you are offering and are on the phone right away (you did include your phone number on the marketing flyer, or course). Quite a large percentage of the recipients will file the card into the nearest bin! Some people will think ‘that might be useful sometime’ and file it in a marketing file. The rest will be mildly curious and want to find out a bit more about you and your company; these people will look online and most will go to your website (which, of course, was also on the flyer, wasn’t it?)
This is where you win or lose.
If the majority of people arrive on your website, look at it for a few seconds and leave again all that money you’ve invested in your marketing flyer have been wasted. If they stay on the site, sign up for your free report (so they’re on your list and you can continue to market to them), read your blog, look at a few other pages and like what they see, it doesn’t mean they will get in touch and buy today – but they’ll be open to listening to you some more in future and may become a customer down the line when they need what you have to offer. The stats say that, on average, you have to ask people at least 5 times to buy before they actually say ‘yes’.
So how good is your website at getting people to stay on it?
Check out your analytics to find out how long people stay and make sure there’s a means of capturing their email address for future marketing mailouts. If your bounce rate is more than 50% you need to start work on making your marketing hub much more attractive. The problem could be the layout, the colours, the message, the number of options people have, the titles on the menu tabs, the headline (or lack of it) – or many other things.
Remember, everything points at your website – your business card, social media profiles, all your marketing material – it really is the hub around which everything else revolves. Make sure you’ve got it right.