Step 4 – Create a Total Web Presence

There was a time, just a few short years ago really, when small businesses finally concluded they must use the web to supplement their marketing efforts and create another potential channel for marketing messages.

Today’s business must evolve that thinking radically again—or face extinction. The onslaught of social media use didn’t simply create another set of marketing tactics; it signaled, to those viewing it strategically, a shift in the marketing landscape that has become preposterously evident.

The Web and digital interactivity now represent the center of the marketing universe. Most marketing decisions must start and end there. Today’s small business must view its marketing strategies and tactics with an eye on growing the online center and radiating beyond with spokes that facilitate most of the offline transactional functions that drive sales and service.

All businesses, regardless of industry, have become what we like to refer to as O2O (online to offline) businesses. Their primary marketing objectives are focused on driving people online to engage offline. In that effort, the online core web presence has significantly heightened responsibilities.

Furthermore:

While advertising was used primarily to create a sale or enhance an image, it must now be used to create awareness about web content.

While SEO was primarily a function of optimizing a web site, it must now be a function of optimizing brand assets across social media.

While lead generation used to consist of broadcasting messages, it must now rely heavily on being found in the right place at the right time.

While lead conversion often consisted of multiple sales calls to supply information, it must now supplement web information gathering with value delivery.

While referrals used to be a simple matter of passing a name along, referrals now rely heavily on an organization’s online reputation, ratings and reviews.

While physical store location has always mattered, now the online location for the local business has become a life and death matter.

If you are still looking at marketing efforts in a linear way – with online tactics falling somewhere in line – it’s essential that you change this view entirely. Today’s business owner must build a marketing strategy with the online engagement at the center. Only then can the small business create the strong foundation that will carry the company’s marketing efforts into the next decade.

 Step 5: Operate a Lead Generation Trio >>