When it comes to sales, too many companies are acting like it's the 20th century, while behaving like it's the 19th century. They forget that the Internet is now a fundamental part of the modern economy. They forget that their competition is likely employing sites like Google, Bing, YouTube, and Yahoo to take their business to the next level.
"My CEO just doesn't get it," one potential client confided in us. "He thinks you need a huge sales team to find customers and that there’s no connection between Google and landing clients."
There are a lot of companies who say, "Google isn’t for us." The vast majority of these businesses are dead wrong. Convincing the decision makers in these organizations isn't always easy, but it is definitely worth the effort.
Marketing Has Evolved
For other agencies who find themselves in the same position, remind these prospective clients that many people running businesses in the 1990s didn't believe that it was "worth it" to have a website. As the past few decades have shown us, those businesses ended up learning a painful lesson.
Take us as an example: Blue Fountain Media has enjoyed explosive growth relying heavily on clients that have found us through search engines and online marketing. In the digital age, the easiest way for companies to find a service, is to search for it. We use this definitive knowledge about our clients towards our advantage: when they are looking for digital marketing, we make it as easy as possible for them to navigate to our service pages. Having this smooth avenue for brands to reach out to us, allows our sales team to focus on handling incoming leads rather than pursuing potential clients that may not be the right fit for our service offerings.
In other words, people who come to us via Google and other search engines are people who we know are already interested. When people are looking for a website design company they simply type "website design company" into their favorite search engine.
What do they find when they do that search? THIS
How many salespeople would it take to drive that kind of interest to our company? Our top-level placement in search not only brings us qualified traffic and leads, it also initializes us as a company that understands the importance, and potential, of online marketing.
Before the advent of the Internet, the selling process was heavily labor intensive. Your sales team would:
- Identify leads
- Contacts leads
- Follow-up with leads
- And, (hopefully) close the sale.
And at each stage of the process, potential leads were lost: Many potential leads become annoyed with once necessary cold-calls. Moreover some of these calls were made to the right company, but not to the right person. Others were made to the right person, but at the wrong time.
Today, Google and other key search engines streamline the sales process - making it cheaper, immediate, and self-targeting:
- Clients are looking for you – not the other way around
- Clients are looking for your specific products and services NOW
- Clients will get in contact with the companies that jump out at them – the ones that show up high on the first page of search results
The goal is no longer to attract as many clients as you can. It’s to put yourself in the line of sight so that clients can find you when they need you.
This form of SEM marketing will help any form of business that embraces it:
If you were looking for a New York real estate lawyer, wouldn’t the attorneys who show you what they can offer as soon as you search for them be the most attractive? Similarly, if you were an attorney, wouldn’t you want to maximize your pull on potential clients by making your digital presence speak to your professionality? Harnessing the power of search engine marketing allows you to set yourself as a real player in your industry.
If someone is looking for a specific item of clothing (e.g. a suit), they no longer have to walk through a store to find it. Now, people search for their item, and see all of the stores they can get it from. They can compare prices and styles right from their own homes. If your ecommerce website is near the top of the search results, you maximize how many people are seeing your inventory first. You maximize the amount of potential customers you could be reaching on any given day.
No matter how popular your restaurant is, new customers, especially tourists, need to be able to find your place of business. If you owned a steakhouse in Chicago, wouldn't you want to be seen at or near the top of this page? The amount of competition in your industry can vary by location, and by properly leveraging SEM, you can have your business stand out in the crowd.
Many large companies feel that search engine optimization is not necessary since their brands are so well known. But, online customers can often be impulsive. If they find a slightly different version of what you are offering first, there’s a high likelihood they’ll get attached to that first find. If your company shows up a few spots ahead of your competition, it can make the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity.
Search engine marketing must be a major tool in a company's overall omnichannel digital marketing strategy in the 21st century. From the very beginning, it should be considered an integral part of any successful advertising plan.