Why would you ever bother? …why not just go back to bed and stuff your head under a pillow, it’s stress free and hey, thousands of people do just that each morning…

Why would you ever bother? …why not just go back to bed and stuff your head under a pillow, it’s stress free and hey, thousands of people do just that each morning… quite successfully.

Let’s say it as it is…

An online presence means a sizeable investment of time and money, and a headache. However… things are looking up, maybe you can stay in bed or work from home… or perhaps even under a palm tree somewhere. Marketing technology gets better each day.

Marketing hasn’t changed, it is still about finding and engaging with customers, developing great products and making a few bob. But there has been a seismic shift in how we do this, marketing has moved online. In fact marketing has become slimmer, cheaper and more effective when implemented with the help of simple everyday technology.

One basic statistic that shows up again and again, more than half of shoppers research products and services on-line before making purchase decisions on the high street. If you forget all the other stats and there are a gazillion of them out there, this one indicator tells us one thing, if you are not on-line you are at a serious disadvantage.

 

Slow down … before you jump on your white steed and head for online glory consider a few of these…

 

First impressions

Most important, you will never get a second chance to make a first impression. Today, that first encounter with a potential customer is most likely to be online. It’s important you have a visually engaging web presence, that reflects well on both you and your business, that engages and inspires an immediate or future positive purchasing decision. You don’t have to break the bank setting up your presence on-line, start with just one page. Include your location, products, contact details and opening times, streamlined with a simple, clean design. It needs to look great, a tasteful professional website inspires confidence in your business. It will evolve over time, don’t ever put up anything that isn’t beautiful and relevant.

 

Five Years

Before you jump out of that bed… it is always wise to consider your planned ‘outcomes’. It is not a cliche to ask yourself…

Where would you like to be in one year, in five years, in ten years?

These are very positive questions, if you decide on an outcome, you can set goals and you can plan the steps needed to get there. With this clarity you can save on self doubt and procrastination. The biggest benefit are cost savings, if you have a plan, you can invest in only in the steps you have outlined.

 

Where are you going to find help?

Do yourself a favour, don’t be lazy here, this is a long term effort, choose your help with this in mind. Hiring within your own circle may be short sighted here. A developer or online marketer should have an established background in visual and content marketing content marketing, design, branding and sales. This is a visual content marketing project. Do not hire a computer geek to develop an online marketing campaign . If you are a fashion designer or retailer for example, the developers should have clients in the fashion design field.

 

Visual Branding

Do you want a beautiful online presence that reflects your brand message? What are the three most important elements of an online visual marketing campaign? The answer comes easy… 1. Content 2. Content 3. Content Yes, I am smirking, but I am very serious here. Beautiful engaging websites have beautiful engaging content. Plus Google now measures engaging visual content and rewards it in it’s ranking scheme.

 

WordPress versus a traditional HTML website?

WordPress is very popular now, it is a fantastic platform … but wordpress is not for everyone, it has become quite large and complex. It requires more server resources than a HTML5 website and can be dramatically slower. WordPress sites are under constant attack by outside entities. Ask for advice from your web developer before you decide, also make sure your web developer is comfortable with both HTML and WordPress… otherwise they will lean you towards the one they are most comfortable with.

 

Hosting

It is not very difficult to move your web hosting, but if it can be avoided… There are a few issues around hosting that people don’t realise. Shared hosting is the most common and the cheapest, it is usually less than six euros a month. Shared hosting is where the hosting company stuffs hundreds, maybe even thousands of websites on one server. For smaller sites that are built mostly with HTML, Shared hosting is adequate. However, it tends to be slow and is not very secure. In theory if one of your neighbouring websites is hacked or blacklisted, you may be vulnerable. Shared hosting is also a little slower and google now rewards fast loading sites in it’s ranking algorithms. Ask your web developer first before signing up to a web host.

 

“Great Execution is the Ultimate Differentiator.” – Margaret Molloy

 

One last one…

A Website, a facebook page, a linkedin profile, an instagram portfolio, twitter, pinterest, email, competitions, … the list is long. When you add it all together… what do you get

“Online Digital Marketing”.

Always remember this… This whole exercise is about marketing, pure and simple, if done effectively and consistently over the medium to long term

… you will be well rewarded.