It’s tough for any business to stand out from the crowd when almost every company in any given industry has some type of online presence. While several options exist with regards to marketing your business online, not all are created equal. While it is not impossible to gain a competitive advantage, to truly beat the rat race you need to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter means avoiding generic, non-descript internet marketing solutions, having a custom website, and working with an internet marketing expert to devise a working strategy.
Avoid Generic Marketing Services
You know the ones, they are the generic internet marketing services that SPAM you endlessly and promise you the world. Some examples: Yellow Pages, Yelp, DexOnline, MerchantCircle. These prime examples, combined with other cheap local business directories, are usually ineffective and offer little to no help in the promotion of your business.
The trick to gaining leads from the internet is to stand out and distance your business from the competition. You must demonstrate to potential customers online that you provide whatever it is they are looking for, and that you do it in a way that is better than the competition. With a generic marketing service, what differentiates you from the other 10, 20, or 100 businesses in your category that provide similar services? For example, let’s take a look at these two Yelp listings for Dog Groomer in Phoenix.
First listing for Dog Groomer in Phoenix
Second listing for Dog Groomer in Phoenix
Both listings are 95% identical. Both listings appear listed alongside dozens of other local dog groomers who also have listings that look virtually identical. For hundreds, or sometimes thousands of dollars per month, your business becomes essentially just one more blip in an ever growing list of your competitors. There is no guarantee that you will ever stand out in any way from the crowd using this type of service.
A Custom Website – The First Step in a Successful Internet Marketing Campaign
How do you avoid the dilemma of getting stuck in the crowd through generic marketing services? The solution is to develop your own identity, enhance your online visibility and reach potential customers directly.
A custom website helps you create a unique online identity for your business. You will never have to share your presence with others on your own website with your own branding. Most importantly, your website will never exactly resemble that of your competition. Unlike a template website, where every business looks the same, a custom website allows you to represent your business in a unique way that reflects your specialty, service quality, and customer centric approach.
Beyond making you look good, a custom website provides several other unique advantages. When developed by an experienced internet marketing company, your custom website will include all of the necessary components to attract and interact with potential customers, such as:
- Custom calls to action to encourage inquiries and leads from your customers
- Contact forms that collect contact details from visitors
- Customized feedback and client testimonial listings, with data that you control
- Social media components for Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter,and YouTube
- Interactive features such as feedback, comment, and chat boxes allowing you to engage with visitors
- Fully functional shopping carts
- Multiple embedded videos
- Marketing and informational blogs
- Plus dozens of additional marketing features –all completely under your control
A Custom Internet Marketing Strategy – With Your Custom Website at the Center
A custom website provides your business an impressive identity. A custom internet marketing strategy is the next step and can completely transform your bottom line. An intelligent internet marketing campaign not only helps you drive more traffic to your website, it places you far ahead of your competitors, helping you generate more leads and increase sales.
A well planned internet marketing strategy, specially developed according to your unique business needs, will help you reach your target audience faster and the cost incurred will be much less than the cost of traditional marketing mediums. With a custom strategy all of the most advanced online marketing tools are available to you, including the full power of social media. An internet marketing expert can help you blend together all available avenues and centralize them on your website, helping your business gain the largest possible advantage over the competition.
Cost Comparison – Custom Website and Marketing Strategy vs. Generic Marketing Services
Traditional advertising methods, like listings in a business advertising directory run by a national firm, can seem cost effective at first. The disadvantage to the low monthly fee, however, is a lack of desired results. $800 per month to generate zero new leads is an overhead of $9,600 per year – a wasted expense that few small businesses can afford.
The cost to develop a custom website with an affordable internet marketing firm is less than half of that $9,600 yearly fee. What’s more, this is a one-time investment! Once a custom website has been developed you do not need to spend a large amount of money each month. A good custom website for your business can cost as little as $3,000 and can last you up to five years. Compared to five years of generic marketing services at $800 per month, that’s an average savings of $45,000!
That amount of money can then be invested into internet marketing solutions that actually work. Solutions that are tied to your custom website, allow you to stand out from the crowd, and help you gain maximum exposure. We’re talking about search engine marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and email marketing. These methods can be tracked and analyzed and, more importantly, can be turned on and off depending on the needs of your business. When comparing the returns offered by a well thought out internet marketing strategy, the investment is less than a generic marketing service and the returns are far greater.
How to Develop a Custom Website and Internet Marketing Strategy
It’s no secret that the ROI from an old fashioned business listing compared to an expert online marketing strategy doesn’t stack up. That leaves just one question: “How do I develop my strategy?” The solution is to find a one stop service provider that understands how all of the various pieces work together. You should never have to chase different people in different organizations around for updates related to your website and SEO activities. A comprehensive service provider that understands the intricacies of web design, web development, and internet marketing will help eliminate the stress of:
- Managing contact information for multiple organizations
- Trying to get different companies to work together
- Dealing with the issues that arise when one person (web designer) doesn’t know what the other is doing (social media manager, SEO guru, etc.)
- Managing the waste that occurs when multiple people are working towards a singular goal all unaware of what others have already accomplished
Do you own a business and still rely on traditional print listings, cookie-cutter online business listings, or nothing more than a low-cost template website to advertise online? In this digital age, it may be time for you to venture into a whole new world of opportunity created by a custom website and online marketing plan specially developed for you. The results will amaze you.