Seven Steps to Getting Your Digital Marketing Plan Off the Ground
Grand openings are the birthday cakes of running a laundry business. You’ve worked hard – often struggled – to get your business to the point where it’s finally time to celebrate. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first business or your 12th store. It’s always special.
And, just like cake, there’s really nothing better as a business owner.
However, these days businesses aren’t just the brick-and-mortar operations that we relied on in the past. It doesn’t matter whether you own a laundry, manufacture or sell equipment, or provide a service within the industry – you can’t thrive in today’s business world without a digital presence.
Let’s get to the point. Nothing embodies a digital presence like a website. They’re the ultimate platform for your brand and act as the centerpiece of your efforts to win new business. So when it comes time to open the doors of your laundry, you need to consider how your website will play a part.
Yes, you need to consider your website’s grand opening as well. In simpler terms, you need to think about how you’re going to drive traffic to your newly minted site. Since you’ll be competing against nearly 1.9 billion other sites, this is a do-or-die scenario.
In this article, we’ll briefly look at some of the ways you can give your website the grand opening it truly deserves. If you nail this aspect of getting your laundry business off the ground, your physical grand opening should be a rousing success, and you can ride that momentum well into the future.
1. Start SEO early. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the term marketers use to encapsulate efforts to get to the top rank of Google. Since about 33 percent of all traffic goes to the page that’s ranked at the very top, it’s arguably the most sought-after real estate in the digital world, not to mention incredibly lucrative.
Although SEO usually takes time, one of the best tactics for any business is to get started early. As a business, the last thing you want is to have to rework your site during the early years of your new operation. That’s like fitting a new laundry with old equipment and then deciding to purchase all new machines three months later. Everything will just be wrong.
So, although you may not see the benefits of SEO immediately with your new site, you still need to start early. Getting ahead of the curve will make getting traffic easier as time goes on.
2. Set up your directory information. When consumers look to buy local, they take to Google to find out where they should go. Often, they don’t get much beyond the directory listing that’s now displayed at the top of the search engine results page.
But these results aren’t based on your website. They’re based on a free profile that you can set up called Google My Business. This lets you input your address, business information, and website address. It also enables customers to leave reviews or feedback, which is important for attracting extra attention.
Setting up your online directory is an easy step, which will steer traffic to your website and help customers find your store. You also can use services like Yelp or even Facebook to help drive traffic as well.
3. Start strong with social media. Social media has billions of users and is a useful way to start attracting website visitors and customers. There’s a good chance that you’d promote a physical grand opening on social media, but how often do you push people to your website with it?
If you create blog content or have interesting ideas that will help your customers, create a social media plan that will engage them and keep them interested in your business. This will grow your online audience and start to push more people to your website.
4. Use landing pages. When someone visits your site, it should never be by accident. More importantly, these visitors should always have somewhere to go.
That’s where landing pages come into play. Landing pages are specially designed segments of your site that entice visitors to continue interacting with you and your business. For example, a landing page may offer a coupon in exchange for an email address. If successful, both you and your potential customer get something out of the exchange.
Setting up a landing page you can then share on social media or in your content is a perfect way to grow traffic levels on your website. What’s more, landing pages are infinitely flexible, so you also can use them to help spread awareness of your physical grand opening, upcoming sales, or other special events.
5. Don’t neglect your email list. Once you start getting traffic to your landing pages and receiving email addresses, you need to make sure you’re putting them to good use. Or, if you’ve got an old stack of email addresses lying around, you’re missing out of potential customers that can help grow your business.
Sending out a regular newsletter or sharing an exciting offer via email is the perfect way to stay in touch with your online audience. As long as the information and offers you share are useful and engaging, you’ll be able to drive traffic to your website.
Just make sure you’re not getting “spammy” or talking too much about yourself. After all, you don’t want your audience to unsubscribe or delete your emails.
6. Consider paid ads. If you’ve just created a website for your laundry business, paid advertisements can be a great choice to help build awareness and interest in your brand.
However, paid advertising can be a touchy subject with some business owners. Investing in something you’re unsure of can seem risky, but the reality is much less scary than it’s often made out to be. Yes, you have to pay for the ads, but you’re paying for traffic that’s interested in what you have to offer. That means you’re much more likely to gain new customers.
Paid ads also are incredibly versatile, as you can advertise on social media, search engines, or even other websites. In fact, when you get online advertising right, it’s the most basic way to drive traffic to your site.
7. Just be engaging. Above all, you need to make sure that all of your online efforts are engaging. If you’re too self-promotional or uninteresting, eventually no one will care what you have to say.
The best path is to just be natural. If someone asks a question, answer it. If a complaint comes up, treat it like you would a customer in your store and handle it as quickly as possible. Quality will always trump quantity.
The more you engage, the more traffic you’ll begin to notice on your site. And, in time, that traffic will turn into paying customers. So, post engaging and authentic content. If you can bring in an expert voice or two, do it. If you can find a way to reach into your community, do that as well.
Give It Time
All in all, you need to be willing to give your digital marketing efforts enough time to make an impact. Chances are you don’t expect your grand opening to be your highest grossing day ever. If that were the case, you’d have no reason to try to grow or build your customer base.
The same holds true of digital marketing and your website. Building traffic takes time. You’ll have to improve every aspect of your online presence at some point, just like you would your physical business.
Does your website need a grand opening? Maybe not one with cake and a celebration, but it does deserve its share of your attention. Take the advice above and run with it. You’ll be much better off in the coming years.