What it takes to win online — and why it matters

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When it comes to digital marketing, winning content that attracts prospects and converts them into customers is critical, whether companies are marketing to consumers or other businesses.
When trying to attract attention from B2C buyers, keep in mind that 76 percent of mobile shoppers change their minds about which retailer or brand to buy from after searching online, according to Google. In addition, eight out of 10 consumers are influenced by online sources before purchasing.
When trying to convert B2B decision-makers, remember that business decision-makers conduct, on average, 12 online searches before engaging with a brand, according to Google. Those same decision-makers are 75 percent of the way through the process before they contact a company.
If you’re focusing on the digital marketing aspect of your business, home in on key areas.

  • Website. What does your website say about your company? The site should convince prospective customers that your business is reliable, reputable and up to date with industry trends. Your website also should address customer pain points and let customers know what problem you can solve for them. It should be mobile friendly, given that more than half of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Businesses that optimize for mobile devices generate 30 percent more traffic and leads.
  • Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of optimizing a website to make sure it ranks higher in results when prospective customers search. The SEO game is painstaking, and the rules change frequently. Google looks at over 200 factors to rank websites and changes its algorithms more than 700 times a year — almost twice a day.
  • Local SEO. This refers to taking advantage of local business listings — Google My Business, Bing listings, etc., — and ensuring those are updated, owned and verified. For many searches, business listings will outrank website listings. Be sure include business descriptions, menus, photos, addresses and phone numbers.
  • Search Engine Marketing. To get to the top of Google, sometimes SEM, i.e., Google Ads, provides the shot in the arm to boost your company in the listings. Paid placements, after all, appear above organic listings in Google search. It’s important, though, to know how to manage Google Ads correctly. It can get expensive, so it’s critical to work with a Google-certified agency.
  • Social media. There are about 3 billion social media users, according to Statista, so it makes sense to capture those eyeballs. Stay focused on message and on channels, and don’t spread yourself too thin. And don’t forget YouTube. It can be a way to educate prospects about your product or solutions through video. These days, the social media game also includes paid social campaigns. Boosting or sponsoring posts allows for extraordinary targeting, to make sure your message is seen by the right demographics, with the right job title and interests.

Your prospects and customers are going digital — even if you’re not. To be successful, you need to stay abreast of what they want and how they research and buy products and services. Armed with that information, you can prioritize strategies and create a plan to increase sales.

Kelly Borth is the CEO and chief strategy officer at GREENCREST, a 29-year-old brand development, strategic and online marketing and public relations firm that turns market players into industry leaders™. Kelly is one of 35 certified brand strategists in North America and works with companies to establish brands and build brand value for their businesses.