PrimeView Musings – Why You Need a Website More Than Ever
When a global pandemic was declared in March of 2020, many businesses took a hit. Stores, restaurants, and other brick-and-mortar businesses soon lost many customers. Perhaps you experienced the same fate.
Losing their ability to shop as easily as they were accustomed to with lockdowns, masses of consumers began their purchasing online. Businesses with a website and well-developed internet presence gained a competitive edge.
Before March of 2020, it could be possible for many businesses to stay profitable without relying on a website or having a substantial internet presence. Although it certainly could help, it wasn’t always necessary to stay in business.
You simply cannot afford not to have a website and internet presence today. A properly created website can become the most useful and profitable component for getting you back in business. The Internet is powerful because it never sleeps, rests, or takes a vacation and requires relatively little cost. A website and an internet marketing campaign do, however, require time.
Creating, managing, and expanding a good website should be considered a business asset, just like real estate, equipment, tools, patents, trademarks, and inventory. In today’s digital world, a good website backed by an online marketing strategy may even become one of your most important assets, if not your biggest.
Owning a website address, otherwise known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), is like owning a piece of real estate. Every business can and should take advantage of an integrated internet or online marketing strategy that may include:
- Social media accounts
- LinkedIn account
- Pay per click campaign
- Online Press Releases
Your needs, objectives, budget and abilities may differ widely, but this is a basic integrated online strategy to gain exposure and prominence on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Correctly done, you will gain exposure and leads for your business. It will take effort, time and some money to get things going, but it will be a very cost-effective marketing strategy compared to many if not all others.
An integrated online strategy simply means creating one core message, theme, campaign, promotion, and creative execution (look and feel) that is executed across several online platforms or channels. Creating an integrated campaign is really creating a consistent or cohesive message that is all designed to drive the same result using the same basic copy and design personality.
Every business can benefit from a website presence, even if it’s just a small microsite of one to three pages. Why is a website so important even for a small home-based business or one with a single retail location? Because a website can accomplish many marketing and sales objectives:
- Establish credibility
- Positioning yourself as an expert with online articles, how-to tips, and expert advice
- Create exposure to a wider audience
- Provide contact information (address, phone number, email address)
- Give detailed product and service descriptions and photographs
- Map to retail location or map of service coverage area
The technology used in modern website design and development is so flexible there is almost no end to what you can do or create online.
Digital marketing, in the broadest sense, is everything you do on the internet to attract, reach, influence, communicate with, or sell to buyers or potential buyers.
Digital marketing may also include everything you do online to create or manage your personal or brand reputation, increase exposure to your brand, generate new brand awareness, influence public perception, or establish a list of followers or people interested in your company, products online content or message.
Digital marketing tools include:
- Email marketing
- Social media
- Pay Per Click (PPC) ads, also known as search engine marketing or SEM
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or organic/free search
Digital marketing strategies are planned activities you engage in to drive traffic to your site and those things you do to improve your rankings on the search engines. These marketing activities can be broken down into one of four primary objectives:
- Creating exposure to your brand, company, location, etc.
- Managing your brand or reputation online
- Generating online sales
- Generating a list of prospective customers for future follow-up and sales (usually requires collecting an opt-in list of email addresses, and possibly phone numbers and mailing addresses)
Creating pure exposure or awareness is referred to as “brand awareness” marketing or “top of mind” marketing. Also known as “imaging.” This is not usually a cost-effective strategy for a small business with limited financial resources.
Digital Marketing, an Integrated Approach
Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is simply the process of creating a consistent and integrated look, feel and message across all advertising venues, channels or platforms, because leveraging and maximizing your brand and your advertising impressions requires message continuity and consistency.
If your message, campaign, or theme changes frequently, people will not recognize your brand from one ad to the next. Therefore, you will have lost a critical component of effective advertising known as “frequency.” The frequency of impressions is important to creating credibility, breaking through the competitive noise, and getting noticed. Message continuity is what allows frequency to occur.
Another component that creates frequency is the consistent use of mediums, channels, or platforms. If you change your media mix frequently, you will have a tough time obtaining the frequency of impressions against the audience or users of any medium or channel.
As online and offline communication channels become crowded with new and alternative options, their audiences become smaller and more fragmented. As new advertisers move into the space, they become more competitive. Therefore, leverage every impression and contact point possible with an IMC strategy is more important than ever.
Your website is a sales tool
Consider your website to be more than a marketing tool. Nowadays, if you want to grow your business, you must consider your website as a sales tool. Your website must perform this critical sales function because the bulk of the buyer’s journey occurs online before interacting with a sales rep.
Your website’s content should address the critical questions that your salespeople typically address during the sales process. Your website, to be effective at sales, must address the following:
What are you trying to sell? Prospective clients want to know about your products and services instantly. They should be able to tell within five seconds of visiting your site, based on the content and pictures you employ.
Why should people be interested in what you’re offering? Your website’s objective should be to express your value proposition effectively. Justify your prospective consumers’ interest in your product and desire to do business with your firm.
Let PrimeView Help You Get Back in the Game
As we are saying here, you need a website more than ever in these new times. PrimeView can design and build the perfect website for your business and provide digital marketing expertise. If you have a website and it is not getting the results you need, we can give new life to your site and brand.
Contact us today and learn more about the many ways we can help your business thrive. Call 480-800-4528 or follow this link to talk to a live agent!