Is it only ecommerce businesses that are responding to a changing climate in how consumers are making buying decisions online?
Over the past couple of weeks I have met a number of business owners and self-employed individuals at various business networking events. Each of them had a website, which was good, but I after the events I visited their sites and had to pick up the phone to three of them.
I arranged to meet them for coffee, my shout, as I wanted to help them see how a real Internet marketing strategy could add another income stream to their businesses – there were simply not making full use of it.
These three business owners, two of whom sell products in a mainly business consumer focussed environment and the other, purely services to small businesses, all have flat websites with the same format – Home, About Me, Contact Me, My Products, My Services.
Last year I was asked if I would like to present a workshop and speak at the Direct Commerce Show in London, where I talked about businesses needing to major on making much more of the products and benefits of the products to build loyalty. Rather than have a ‘Look at me’ type of website that does nothing to help a consumer see how you can solve their problems or satisfy their needs, I showed how real engagement and selling in the right way online could work.
Today, Monday, is day one of an Internet marketing mentoring programme that I am delivering for each of these three businesses – They have joined the IM Elite. Two of my IM Elite students have products ready to sell online, so we are a little bit further down the line with them. For the third new student and I, this week and next is focussed on creating their products – they are a life coach, so they have a lot of the work done already!
Working with online retailers and those that use multi-channel marketing is a really exciting. Technology constantly changes and enables you to continue to evolve your marketing. I always say that standing still and marketing to your target audience in the same way every time, may keep the wolf from the door, but is it actually building you a stronger and more profitable business?
For those who are not selling products online or running an ecommerce business, it can be really difficult sometimes to see how you can make money online. After you have a product to sell, not just blocks of your time, using marketing tools such as Social Media, Email Marketing and Blogging, together with great SEO and PPC strategies, will bring you a greater return from your Internet presence.
There are still so many businesses that use their website as a simple online brochure and are missing out. Make it engaging, publish fresh content online, enable people to buy your products online and be found at the top of the search engines – that way your website will turn from just a couple of pages about the history of your company, a list of services and maybe a phone number, into a real transactional silent sales person for you.
This year instead of speaking at the Direct Commerce show, I have been asked to join the judging panel for selecting the winners of the prestigious 2012 ECMOD awards. I wont be able to tell you who I am judging, or what category, but it is a real privilege to be asked to do this. The ECMOD Awards have spearheaded the recognition of business excellence for organisations engaged in direct-to-customer retailing across traditional and newly emerging channels. I look forward to celebrating with businesses that are really going places with Internet marketing.