Digital marketing can make the difference between success and failure for Central Florida businesses.
Over the last few years, more people have become comfortable doing research and making buying decisions online. What was once unthinkable – like buying a house without ever setting foot in it – is now commonplace. No matter who your ideal customers are, they are online more than ever before.
As a service-based Central Florida business, you need to be at the forefront of this trend.
It’s no longer enough to just have a website: It needs to be your “digital first impression.”
That means answering the key questions that help establish trust:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Who you do it for
- Why your way is better
But most of your first-time visitors aren’t ready to do business with you. They may not be ready to buy from anyone. Instead, they are interested in information. They’re trying to answer questions or resolve problems of their own. Your website needs to be a resource that helps them get there.
Then, and only then, will they consider you over the competition.
Understood this way, digital marketing makes a lot more sense. With nearly two billion websites online, “If you build it, they will come” no longer applies. Instead, your digital marketing must tap a need your audience already has, planting the seed for a relationship when they are finally ready to buy.
Choose any one digital marketing tactic, do it right, and you have the potential to make an impact. But Central Florida businesses that want to achieve incredible returns from digital marketing need to go a step further: Do the right things in the right order, and make it consistent over time.
If you want to win the Grand Prix, it’s not enough to have the best engine, the best chassis, or the best tires. You need to have all of these components and everything else that brings your F1 racer together into a coherent whole. (It doesn’t hurt if you also have a world-class pit crew to support your progress.)
Unfortunately, lots of Central Florida business owners have had poor experiences with digital marketing. So often, they dive into social media with gusto – pouring hours into it – only to see no results weeks or months later. Concluding they’ve been burned, they leave digital marketing’s immense potential behind.
They might have been doing the right things, but they didn’t have the blueprint needed to see how it all fits together. In a situation like that, digital marketing success remains totally unpredictable. You might have a good day here and there, but you’re not sure why. Results feel as fickle as the weather.
So, let’s start taking the mystery out of the digital marketing world.
There are three fundamentals you need to have in place if you want to raise your online visibility, get more traffic, and convert more of that traffic into sales. Yes, there are other techniques out there, but most Central Florida businesses can’t build a repeatable, reliable marketing strategy from them.
(Yes, that includes social media – it comes in later, once you’ve checked off the basics.)
Let’s dive in and see what a marketing approach capable of world-class performance looks like.
1. Search Engine Optimization: The Wheels
Search engine optimization – SEO to its friends – might be the most misunderstood thing in all of digital marketing. On one hand, you have people who believe SEO has never existed. On the other, you have a vocal contingent that believes SEO is real, but you can’t do anything to make it work in your favor.
On the third hand (!) you have self-proclaimed digital marketing experts who never miss a chance to shout “SEO is dead!” every time something changes at Google. Things at Google change … a lot … but SEO is still here. It is the cornerstone of making your website more visible to your ideal customers.
A good working definition of SEO is the science of making your website more visible in search.
What really confuses people about SEO is how many different aspects there are. They don’t see how it all fits together, so they don’t believe it can. To clear away the fog, let’s look at the three big pieces that make up search engine optimization:
- Technical: Creating a terrific user experience with a fast, mobile-friendly, useful website
- On-Page: Making sure your website clearly communicates what your business is about
- Off-Page: Promoting your website, getting engagement and links from other websites
All three aspects of SEO are connected in one big way: They demonstrate your website is helpful and valuable to your audience. Some aspects of SEO are counterintuitive at first because you’re not simply communicating with people, but also with the AI algorithms that make search engines work.
For all the talk about how smart Google is, it doesn’t “understand” your website.
It doesn’t “read” a single word, and it doesn’t “like” or dislike anything.
All an algorithm can do is parse the words on your pages and make associations between what you’ve written and what people are searching for. If there’s a close enough match, you can show up in searches relevant to your business. If there’s not, you can’t. It’s as simple as that.
That’s why communicating that relevance is task #1 when it comes to digital marketing as a whole.
Doing it comes in two phases:
a. Understanding Your Audience
Every piece of marketing collateral, online and off, is written for someone. It has to speak to the pains, worries, questions, and problems that drive that person. If it doesn’t, it won’t work – especially when the time comes to lay down money in the hopes of getting a solution.
So, before a single byte is changed anywhere on your website, it’s important to document what you know about your ideal customer. One goal of our initial meeting with you is to understand who your customers are, what you know about them, and how you serve their needs.
Often, this phase results in a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a concrete representation of the person your marketing is aimed toward. The persona includes all of your knowledge and assumptions about that person – from their likes and dislikes to their educational background, work history, favorite movies, and most trusted brands.
When you’re developing a digital marketing strategy alongside your team, the buyer persona gives you a place to start. As your “North Star,” you know you’re going in the wrong direction if something in your campaign just wouldn’t appeal to your buyer.
Once buyers are defined, you can dig deeper into what they’re really looking for.
b. Knowing What They’re Searching For
Your website needs to deliver value for your buyers, even before they become customers. That happens through helpful, informative online content. But not just any content will do. It needs to be aligned with the exact phrases your future customers are searching for.
Time to start reading minds? Not quite.
A Central Florida marketing agency like New York Ave takes the guesswork out with specialized keyword research tools. A keyword is the exact word or phrase users search for. From your content down to the deepest structure of your website, everything needs to reflect those keywords.
But keywords aren’t topics. Some are close – “best racing drone 2022” is a keyword you could write a whole e-book on. But what about keywords like “braces for kids” or simply “orthodontist near me”? To create valuable content, you need to get into your buyers’ heads; what do they mean by that search?
At New York Ave, we do all the detective work for you, finding keywords that represent hundreds or thousands of potential website visitors in your area each month. We can provide you with an entire editorial calendar of the best topics to write at the best times – and we can even write them for you.
Because creating that valuable content visitors can put to use right away is the next step.
2. Digital Content Marketing: The Chassis
The most successful Central Florida businesses in 2022 are the ones that embrace their new role as digital publishers. Before making a decision, customers will look at your competitors – the brand that succeeds in anticipating and meeting their need for information is the one that finally gets the sale.
The more content you have, the more visitors will find their way to your website. Each search related to your business is a new opportunity to make that crucial first connection. It happens by making sure each and every piece of digital content has a reason to exist – to solve a problem or answer a question.
Blog posts are the most basic form of digital content. To grow your website, it’s essential to decide on an attainable goal and publish blogs on a regular basis. With a DeLand marketing agency by your side, you’ll never run out of topics to compose content about – as new topics get popular, they’ll be on your radar.
But digital content isn’t limited to text. Not by a long shot.
About 85% of all Americans now own a smartphone, and many of them have high-speed internet at their fingertips wherever they go. This has created an explosion of video content. Customers of all ages agree that video is convenient, compelling, and much more memorable than text.
At New York Ave, we encourage clients to raise their text blogs to the next level with video:
- A blog with video is more likely to show up near the top of search results than one without
- Readers are more likely to take your suggested action if you have a video than if you don’t
- Video makes your website seem more trustworthy, even to those who don’t watch the video
We call what we do video storytelling because it helps you craft the narrative around your brand and show people, right before their eyes, how you can make their lives better. Video makes a connection, person to person, before you even meet someone – we can’t recommend it any more highly.
No matter whether you go with text, video, or a combination, it’s vital to be consistent.
Your digital marketing team can help you determine which searches can bring more relevant traffic to your website. Then, it’s all about keeping your ear to the ground and creating new content that speaks to the emerging needs of your audience. That comes in two big forms:
- Evergreen Content: This content has broad appeal and the facts behind it will rarely change
- Topical Content: This “newsworthy” content deals with what’s hot and current right now
For instance, if you’re a dentist, information on common procedures and conditions makes up evergreen content. Others have written on the topic before, but your take is uniquely relevant to Central Florida. And it gives you a slice of the search traffic that can translate into real, life-long customers.
By contrast, topical content is what’s new and exciting. As a dentist, you might want to tell people all the latest about treatments that might someday regrow damaged tooth enamel. This is the kind of content people love to share on social media, and it makes especially good use of video.
Once you’re used to this mix of content, research suggests more is better in the world of blogging.
Publishing three blog posts a week is much more likely to elevate your traffic than publishing just one. But there’s a caveat: Quality trumps quantity. Longer posts have an outsized impact, and content your visitors actually use will bring them back no matter how the search engines rate that content.
One reason Central Florida businesses see success when they use a marketing agency is because they can make sure their blogging is all signal, no noise. One of the most famous SEO commentators in the world, Neil Patel, says he actually regrets publishing nearly 5,000 blog posts in part because the top 50 popular posts make up the majority of the traffic on his entire website. This is a common pattern.
Instead of writing 5,000 posts no one will read, we can help you identify and promote that future top 50.
3. Email Marketing: The Engine
No matter what industry you’re in, most people aren’t ready to buy from you the instant they meet you. They might be window shopping, weeks or months away from any decision. How can you make a lasting connection so they remember you when the time finally comes to buy?
The answer is email marketing.
Email marketing functions differently from any other form of digital marketing. It extends relationships in time so that, even if you don’t make a sale today, you’ll be in pole position to do it when the moment is right for your customer. After all, they won’t spend a single dollar before they’re ready.
But when they are, you can be there. This simple fact can supercharge your business.
Email marketing is known as the marketing technique with the best return on investment: About $36 for every dollar spent. It costs almost nothing to start. Once your campaign is up and running, it can operate seamlessly in the background for months, fulfilling all kinds of important functions:
- On-boarding new subscribers so they know who you are, what to do, and where to begin
- Informing those who are on the fence so they see the value and expertise you can offer
- Reigniting past customers who stop interacting with you, enticing them to come back
The bigger your email marketing list becomes, the more potent it is. The power to send out a limited-time special offer and get a response from 1%, 3%, or even 5% of your subscribers takes your schedule from empty to full – so you’ll never be stuck in the slow lane due to seasonal cycles.
New York Ave is the Central Florida marketing agency that gets your brand racing fit. We’ll work with you to build a marketing strategy that moves you toward your goals faster. Contact us to learn more.