by: Thomas Young
Unless you are strictly an online business, which most companies are not, the single biggest contributor to online marketing success is what you do offline. Your company’s brand and reputation will drive the most qualified traffic to your website that will convert at the highest levels. Ultimately, your website supports your overall sales and marketing strategy and must be in alignment with what you do offline to maximize results. Yes, offline marketing helps you win at online marketing! Here are a few things to consider when aligning your online and offline marketing efforts.
Pay Attention to Web Marketing
The company website is easy to ignore because it is not usually a part of the routine of the business owner or leader. You can make it a part of your regular sales and marketing work by reviewing web stats on a regular basis and scheduling a strategic digital marketing meeting at least once a month. Use these meetings and web stats to ask questions about web strategy and how it impacts the company’s overall marketing plan. Your web stats must be seen as a key business indicator to be reviewed on a regular basis.
Website Domain Name
Most people will look for your website domain name as the first step to visiting your website. They expect the domain name to match the company name and this should be an exact match. This is very important because you can actually send web traffic to your competitors by using a domain name that does not match your company name. We have consulted with many companies where this was the case, and they were sending traffic to a competitor’s website because of a poorly chosen domain name.
For example, if your company name is Standard Manufacturing, but your domain name is www.StandardInc.com, you will be sending traffic to www.StandardManufacturing.com.
If a competitor has that domain name, then they will get your web traffic regardless of their actual company name. In fact, much of their web traffic will come from your offline marketing efforts and referrals!
This is so important in today’s world of marketing that you should consider changing your company name to match an available domain name. Also, it is better to have a long domain name that is your full company name, rather than a shorter domain name that is cryptic and hard to remember. This makes it easier for people to refer others to your company.
Put Your Website Domain on Everything
Anything that is printed or visible to prospective customers should include your domain name. This includes invoices, packaging, vehicles, buildings and other parts of your business that are seen by prospective customers. This will drive qualified website traffic.
Coordinate Web Marketing with the Sales Team
Your sales team has a unique vantage point in understanding your website visitors. Web marketing efforts should be coordinated with the sales team. You will find some salespeople to be excellent web marketers. They do this by offering website design options, preparing online content, running social media programs and more. They should at least have input into strategic digital marketing efforts and regularly attend strategic digital marketing meetings. As prospecting becomes more difficult, more sales professionals will gravitate to online marketing as an important lead generation tactic.
The Website as an Extension of the Sales Process
Your website must be seen as an extension of your sales process. The sales team is talking to prospects and customers every day. They are in the best position to understand what motivates website users to become sales leads and how to develop a conversion process that seamlessly transitions the lead into their sales process.
The Internet is the biggest source of leads for many companies, and prospecting, or push marketing, has transitioned to content marketing, or pull marketing, to drive inquiries and sales leads. Get the sales team involved in the process to drive results and improve ROI.
What Works Offline Works Online
Sales and marketing tactics that work offline should be translated to the web and monitored. This can include promotions, pricing strategies, advertising campaigns, media resources and more. Look at what has driven the success of your company over time offline and translate those tactics to your website. This is set in motion with excellent website content that users can easily find on the web.
There is currently a blur between offline and online marketing. One of the biggest mistakes business leaders make is to ignore strategic digital marketing efforts because things are going well offline. Both work together to drive marketing results. It starts with making online marketing a part of your sales and marketing review and management process.
- Pay attention to your strategic digital marketing efforts and how they are coordinated with offline efforts. Have web stats sent to you once per week.
- Make sure your domain name exactly matches your company name.
- Put your website domain name on all your printed materials.
- Coordinate strategic digital marketing efforts with your sales team.
- See your website as an extension of your formal sales process.
- Find what works best offline and translate it to the Internet.
- Develop a strategic digital marketing plan and strategy for inbound marketing for lead generation.
Thomas Young is the CEO and founder of Intuitive Websites. He is an author, speaker and digital marketing consultant. Order Tom’s book “Winning the Website War” to get more digital marketing insights.