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Digital Marketing is an Investment In Your Company’s Future

Companies that treat digital marketing as an investment, like a capital investment, are winning now and will in the future

Originally Aired: September 22, 2021

In this webinar you’re going to learn:

  • Sales Activity is Remote and Digital
  • One Company’s 5 Year Journey Working With WSI
  • 5 Actions to Take Now for 2022
  • Do a Digital Marketing Blueprint – Your Strategy
  • SEO is the Number 1 Investment for the Future
  • When Are Google Ads Important?
  • Content Marketing is a Must
  • Evolving Technologies for 2022 – What’s New
  • Our Top 7 Recommendations for 2022

Webinar Transcription

Hey, everybody, I hope you can hear me. Fine. And if you got any questions or comments been in Tiffany or standing by to take those. So I appreciate that then. Welcome.

Today. We’re our educational webinar. We’re going to talk about a couple of 22 focus areas for more growth, and we’re going to talk about in the end, seven recommendations. We’re going to cover some of what the trends are recently in digital marketing and some of the importance of it and just some data for you. And then we’ll talk about some ideas to get ready for 2022 and then things to work on once we get into the new year.

I hope everybody enjoys this and get some good value. So 2022 is really going to be a new world for us. I think all of you can see it coming. You know that we’ve been through COVID. We’re going to come out of covet.

It looks like we’re going to have a good economic recovery if nothing else changes and digital marketing continues to be in the forefront. Cova just moved out along so fast. It’s hard to believe sometimes in our business how much selling has changed digitally and marketing is continuing to change digitally. And all of this has been so confusing that particularly the digital marketing piece of has been confusing a little bit for a long time. But now people have to figure it out because the companies that that don’t I’m just going to get left behind.

There’s three reasons that this is really important, particularly for 2022, is the customer expectations are really sky high. We see it everywhere we turn, whether it’s buying something on Ecommerce, where that’s become the standard or the the expectation that when people come to your website, you’ve got a lot of good detailed information that they can read and download and study before they talk to you about sales or as they’re talking to you about a sale. So that customer expectation of how much information you have on your website and how easy to do business with you is that’s just becoming critical?

And then the other thing we’re seeing that strikes me is all the supply chain problems we’re having and getting containers through ports and all that just really shows us and drives home how big the global opportunity is both imports and exports. But all of that is driven a lot by digital marketing as well.

It’s kind of a hidden engine that makes all these sales happen.

So it’s really critical to think about why this is important, what happens if you don’t do this? And we’ve become totally convinced that companies to treat digital marketing as an investment, like a serious capital investment, like a new building or new major piece of machinery. They’re going to be winning now and they’re going to continue to win into the future. And I just think there’s no question about this at all. And if that doesn’t strike home a little bit that should hurt if you’re not up to speed on this.

So the process for digital marketing is pretty well proven. And this is this is a process chart that we use, but it applies no matter who you use as a partner for your digital marketing. It starts with a great strategy of business strategy and marketing strategy, and then it flows into a website. Now website could mean social media pages could mean landing pages for paid advertising, but it’s some sort of of web media, and that’s where the action occur. So that’s why it’s in the center of the the process chart here.

The third step is to drive traffic to your website and the three traditional ways or search engine optimization for high rankings paid advertising. Social media. You got to convert that traffic. We call that conversion architecture, and we really want to get an email lead, a phone call, or these days, a chat bot lead. So that’s become important.

Also, these leads are typically fairly cold. Unless you’re in an emergency service business or a true ecommerce business where people just buy something and then they’re done. You’ve got to retain these clients. And even in Ecommerce, you have to retain people, ask them why they bailed out of your store and at a certain step and what you need to do to get them back. So you’ve got to retain these people and then around the outside of the process is good analytics using Google Analytics.

Looking at that data, what does it tell you about your business testing new things and then looking at it again for the next time frame? So the process really hasn’t changed much in the last ten or 15 years that we’ve been doing this. Here’s an interesting prediction of all people from the United Nations, and that’s been in the news lately. So what it says is in the years to come, we’re going to look back at 2022 as the moment that changed everything and nowhere else has unprecedented and unforeseen growth occurred, as in digital ink and ecommerce sectors, which have boomed among the covid 19 crisis.

So it just drives home again this point that things are changing really fast.

Cove probably accelerated this by ten years. At least there’s a couple of trend data pieces. I just wanted to pass along. Marketing as a percentage marketing budget as a percentage of a company’s revenue continues to go up. It averages total around just a little less than now, with product companies spending a little less in service companies a little bit more.

If millennials, if you’re not paying attention, which I know you are, use the Internet to search and check out vendors and to buy things. It’s the top way to go research things on the Internet. An interesting piece of data I found was that engineers are consuming so much more. Now COVID drove some of this, but we would fully expect this to continue and we’re talking eight of an engineer’s total content taking place online. So that comes back to the issue of your website needs to have a lot of information on there.

You want to be feeding these engineers and project managers who might be actually the user buyer of your of your products and services.

Then just talking about growth and ROI. They both have been impressive recently. This is data from 2020. Digital was up 11.8%. That’s a big number in one year.

I continue to go up and up and up in traditional advertising, down their steady. That’s what we saw last year and then the return on investment. I think that’s a little high five to one, or we typically tell our clients that we expect a return on investment of at least ten. But we do typically see ten to one return on investment, particularly for companies that sell really big high ticket items that ROI can be through the roof. The last thing of data I wanted to talk about was this graph from McKinsey Marketing shows how people do their work in different stages of the buying cycle, whether they do it digitally self serve, which means totally hands off remotely.

They’re doing digital meetings or researching online that sort of thing. And then in person meetings. So for identifying new suppliers and for evaluating new suppliers, you can see about ten is self service. That’s a high number if you ask me for people doing that and then remotely about half and then about a third or in person, and then the in person goes down by a full third. Once you get to actually ordering parts or equipment or services and reordering.

So that’s where the ease of doing business and ecommerce comes in is vitally important. It’s a little story of one of our clients, Anderson Darlene, actually a previous client now, unfortunately, because they got bought out by a big Corporation and we weren’t really a great fit for them anymore. But we started with them back in 2015 and we really just started with digital marketing road map. These days. We call that a blueprint.

But we started with looking at the strategy, the competitive landscape, that sort of thing. And we studied their issues for about two to three months, and then they combine some business units. In 2016, we built them a nice new website. It was really a good website right from the start that took us about six or seven months. And then in 2017, we started marketing to that website.

And for the company doing paid advertising and doing search engine optimization, a lot of email marketing. We did quite a bit of that. And that started the snowball and and by 2018, the growth was really starting to pick up. And they went from when we started back in 2015, they were about 35, $40 million company and then 20 and 20 they sold the company. And I know that revenue was up at least 100,000 a year.

Excuse me. $100 million a year. By 2020, they sold the company to Gray Industries, and all the owners took a nice card full of cash home from that sale. So the company’s been extremely, extremely successful and continues to be under Grad Industries. So now, if I look at 2022 and the things that I would work on in the next three months, four months that we have left.

So all that holiday seasons coming up on us pretty quick. I’d start with a strategy and we’ll talk about each one of these a little bit more in some detail. But figure out where you want to go. Figure out what your competitive landscape looks like. Where do you stand?

With respect to digital marketing? Take a measure of where you are today and spend a little time to write that down. And really.

Research it in some detail. And then your website and your content marketing always good to take a fresh look at that. Every year. At least websites seldom stay constant and what your competitors are doing. You find out from that strategy look, and you may need to update your website if you’re not doing content marketing and constantly adding new content at least every week or so.

And so talking about valuable stuff, then you need to figure out a system to do that. And this prep time for 2022 is the time to get the system in place. Test some writers see how you might do that. You have the internal resources to do content marketing. And then, of course, search engine optimization and paid as a driving traffic.

That’s vitally important. So anything you can do to get a head start on that would be great for search engine optimization. It comes to research. Are you working the correct keywords? You have a system in place.

Do you even know what SEO is or have a partner and then kind of the same for paid advertising. You’ve got to figure out a way to be driving more traffic to your website. So as you go into the year, you should know how much traffic there is and have goals for gaining traffic throughout the whole year. That sort of thing. So talking about our blueprint, we have a product we call a digital marketing blueprint, and it does three basic things.

First of all, looks at a deep competitive analysis and what the market opportunity is. So we’re looking at how many people are searching for the kinds of things you sell, who your competitors are, what they’re ranked for, how much traffic they’re getting to their website. And we compare that to yours. And it gives you a pretty good feel for where you stand. Then we can look at best practices for the ways you do pieces of digital marketing.

How do you do your email marketing, for example, are you using best practices for that? So we’ll look at that, do a little audit of your digital marketing and tell you where you may be able to improve through some best practice work. And then last, we’ll recommend a strategy and some near turn tactics. Now we don’t do that in a vacuum. We do that over a series of meetings with you and looking at customer personas.

And there’s quite a bit of customer input into that, of course. And for our product, we guarantee it’s a great value or we give your money back. So in my mind, the search engine optimization is the number one investment for the future. And I know this sounds like the same old thing for digital marketing, but I can’t tell you how many people, how many companies we look at every day that they just don’t pay any attention to search engine optimization. And it’s like they don’t really care if the websites out there ranked as long as it’s a nice website and they’re happy with it.

And a few people come to it once in a while. That’s all they care about. But that’s just not how life is in 2022. So if you’re going to do SEO, which is a must do your research and be realistic. We see a lot of companies who come to us and say, Well, I want to be ranked for these ten terms, and they really haven’t thought this through.

They don’t know if their searches for it, they don’t kno if it’s relevant to their business, even who’s the competition, that sort of thing. So a lot of research and a lot of realism is required. You’ll be wasting your time. Seo is a long haul play. It’s not for short term, that’s for paid advertising, and it’s got to be really focused.

If you’re not focused on a very few number of search terms or help you pour a lot of money into it. But for our clients who are more modest in their digital marketing campaigns, you’ve got to be really focused if you’re going to receive results in any reasonable time. And of course, these days contents all the key. So we talk about content marketing and SEO to us, that’s almost all one in the same thing these days. And of course, Google ads continue to be important.

We talked about that at our last educational webinar. And these are four things four times when Google ads are really important to you. If you don’t have a great corner location for your business and you got to you don’t have that search engine optimization done, then you need to go put up billboards. And that’s more like what paid ads are, whether it’s Google LinkedIn could be other social media, but you got to get out in front of people and get them onto your website. Now, once you’ve done search engine optimization for a long time and you’re successful, you may not need as much paid advertising, so it’s kind of the same thing.

If SEO is not working for you to get those rankings, you fill it in with paid advertising, and that could be because you’re just starting SEO, or could be because you’ve got holes in the keywords that you rank for. And those you fill in with paid advertising. Paid can be very important for seasonal special events. You’ve got new products you want to launch, do paid advertising and get it out there in front of people. I can have a paid ad running for you tomorrow if you wanted to, so it can be very quick and be turned on and off can be targeted by.

Geography is just a lot of a lot of different ways to make it successful. And of course, you do paid ads if the return on investments there, so I wouldn’t recommend anybody do paid ads, at least not for very long. Unless you can prove to yourself that customers are calling or giving you the email address and you’re selling products or services from those paid ads. So you got to look hard at what the ROI is. We talked a couple of times about content marketing, and it’s a must for search engine optimization.

You just will not get ranked high for very many words. If you don’t have a lot of content on your site and customers are starting to love it too, now that they’re going to read all 500 pages of your website. But in the areas they want to be more knowledgeable about and what they’re interested in buying, they’re going to read those pages, maybe even copy and share with the rest of your team. So that content is just invaluable and there’s a few options for how you do this.

You can do it yourself.

You can work with an agency. We do a lot of copywriting for people and or you can hire a freelancer. You can hire an ex employee or retired employee. We see it done all sorts of different ways, but the key is you have to figure out somebody who can get you in the flow of writing content on a weekend, week out basis. One thing we always try to caution people is there’s some content that’s really only for SEO, and the quality of that does not have to be really as high as it does for sales.

So if you’re putting a a piece of content, a new web page, for example, about a new product that’s got to be really clean and has to be well thought out of what your customer focused message is, and the images have to be sharp and very relevant in all those things. When you put a blog post on for a specific topic, it doesn’t have to be quite as tight. But I mean, one thing you will have to realize is a lot of these blog posts, they get ranked, and if it gets ranked, that’s where people are going to come.

So you have to have ways to get them off that page and onto the sales pages fairly quickly to make that work for you. So just be clear why you’re writing.

This is the main point I’m making, and content to me is an investment. It’s like that capital investment, not like you’re throwing away money for an ad, even for a Google ad. When you write a great piece of content that’s going to stay with your website for years and years. So it really is a great investment. Okay, so shifting a little bit.

What’s new for 2022? These are four things that you really should be looking at. There’s some others. But if you’re a local business voice, search is just vitally important and that’s looking at does your website talk about things in a conversational way? Do you ask a lot of frequently asked questions, which is people ask on the phone, Siri, tell me where the nearest welding shop is they’re not the way they search using a laptop is quite a bit different than the way they might search using voice.

And so local businesses are more and more optimizing for that. And I don’t think big businesses that are big B to be businesses like our clients are necessarily exempt from that. We need to start thinking about that, particularly when it comes to things like things like frequently asked questions and other ways that we present the information on a website. Okay, so there’s a new Google metric, if you will call Core Web Vitals, and this is they did an update. It was about five or six months ago now where Core Vitals became a very important part of the search engine optimization ranking algorithm.

So now if you fail Core Vitals and I’ll be honest, we had a few of our clients who failed Core Web Vitals, and we’re still working on getting this back up to speed. But it is a more technical measure, and most people can’t do this themselves, but it mostly has to do with speed. And there’s really three factors. It’s when does the largest most important content piece load? How long does that take?

And the spec for good scores, two and a half seconds. That sounds like a lot of time. Two and a half seconds. But I would say fully half the websites that I research on a daily basis fail that parameter, so some of them can take then 12 seconds to load. And I can guarantee you they’re never going to get ranked on Google.

If that’s the case. The next piece is when you type something on you’re on a website, you click on something you click on, contact us. Whatever. How long does it take for that to get registered and action to start happening on the site? And the spec there again is 100 milliseconds.

So that’s fairly quick. And then the layout shifts a little more as an arbitrary one. And what it really is measuring is how much screen is moving around as things change on the screen. So when you go to a new page, how quickly does the old page go away? And a new page comes into into view?

And if things are moving around and still Loading and that sort of thing, then you get a low score on that, then it can hurt your web vitals. So the most important was the first one, the time to load that content piece. It’s all about speed. If your website is slow, it’s going to cost you. Next thing is simple video.

We’ve started doing marketing videos where we will do a five to seven minute video to send out to people instead of constantly trying to get them on the phone. And we find that they’ll take time to record this because we’ve done some good research. We put it into a little short video. There’s a tool we use called Vegard Vidyard makes us about as simple as it can be. I can sit and put on a nice blue shirt and I can have the video recorded, edited and ready to send out and in probably ten minutes or less.

So last thing I want to talk about was chat bots, and these have been around for a while, little chat systems. But now the bot part means that it has more artificial intelligence built in, and it’s becoming almost an expected thing to have a chat window on your website. But I would encourage you to explore using a chat bot and at least get in the first three or four questions. Is this a sales question or service question? Are you a current user?

Are you looking at our product for the first time? Get those kind of questions out of the way, gives you time to get the person on the line as well as get some good information for you. Okay, so finishing up here our top seven recommendations for 2022 or go do some research, find out where you are, find out where your competition is, what’s changed in the last year. Or maybe it’s been five years since you did this. But bring yourself up to date in terms of digital marketing, where you are, where your competition are, where your competition is, what your strategy is for the next year, and then start setting some goals.

This is probably one of my biggest Pepe is companies don’t like to set goals for digital marketing. Most digital marketing people probably don’t like to set goals either because it holds their feet to the fire. But unless you set one or two really key goals, I want more traffic on my website. I want to get two quality leads per month. Unless you get those goals and you get them down in writing and you meet about them periodically and work them.

You are not going to achieve as much as you could achieve with digital marketing. So please, once you do your strategy, that’s a senior level exercise to find out what are the right goals for 2022 and then e commerce. And this includes both e commerce. And if you’re not clearly, you can’t held your products or services in an e commerce way, then at least make it as easy as possible to do business with you. Have a page on your website that says, here’s how you buy from US ABCDE.

Here’s the way you go through it and try to make that as simple process as you can because the expectation is just getting higher and higher. And then partner with somebody where you don’t have the right expertise for digital marketing in 2022, find a partner. We’re starting to offer a pay for performance option a little bit sporty into marketing, but we’ve always been aggressive about that. Were one of the first companies to offer a guarantee for our work, and now we’re willing to jump in there and say, okay, we’ll take a percentage of your profit based on our performance and thus set those metrics and set those goals.

And that pucker up both sides to make sure we’re working in the right direction and that we’re working together content.

I’ve talked a lot about content. So if you’re not adding new content to your website on a weekly basis, then shame on you because you’re going to fall behind next is customer focus. We just continue to see a lot of a lot of need for that. We’re glad to help with it. We study it all the time, but getting your website off of being we focused and on the customer focus is just final.

Excuse me. So then the very last thing is a lead generation focus, and we see way too many websites. Sorry, I got to take a glass of water. We see way too many websites that are just satisfied with being a nice look, having a few nice pictures, but they don’t really care too much if it’s generating leads. It does.

That’s a shame, because that’s the real purpose of digital marketing is bringing people in the door figuratively and having them buy your products. Buy your services. If you’re not doing lead generation, then you’re failing in digital marketing. That’s our opinion. So thank you.

That’s the discussion. We’d love to help you.

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