Hello everyone and welcome to our presentation on how to maximize the impact of your digital marketing. My name is Matt Yerkes and I’m the founder of Cultivate, and we’re a nonprofit that provides grassroots help to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. So we’re experienced small business owners that have implemented digital marketing for our own companies in hundreds of other businesses. We serve hundreds of members across Ohio, we include over 1000 small businesses and our training events each year, and we provide hundreds of advising consultations each year.
Global Google Stats
I’m gonna start off with some interesting stats from Google. First of all, 92% of all searches are on Google. So that’s not very surprising for many of us, but what might be surprising is that 63% of searches on Google are done over mobile instead of your desktop. And what I think is even a more compelling and interesting statistic is that 91% of all website pages have zero organic traffic from Google, so they just don’t get any traction at all from being on Google.
Local Google Stat Data
Let’s bring this down to a more local level for the locally owned small businesses that we serve at cultivate. 78% of local mobile searches result in an in-store purchase. 29% of Google users search for a local business at least once a week. 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information, and 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business.
I Don’t Get Customer From My Website
Conclusion: Time & Money on Digital Marketing is NOT well Spent
Every month, we talked to dozens of small businesses. And we hear this all the time. I just don’t get customers from my website and their conclusion is that the time and money spent on digital marketing is just not well spent. We know we hear that our website doesn’t bring us any leads, you know, I’ve done some ads or some boosts and they didn’t bring me any leads. You know, we’ve tried doing lots of posts on our social media accounts and that just didn’t really result in anything. Well, we’ve tried some SEO with some vendors, but the results were just too slow and expensive. Yet still, even though there are all these reasons why businesses don’t focus on their digital marketing. They know that there’s still an opportunity based on those local stats that I just hit on earlier.
I Would Contend That Your Digital Marketing Will Be Ineffective If You Have Not Performed a Thorough Strategy & Implementation FIRST
I would contend that your digital marketing will be ineffective if you have not performed a thorough strategy and implementation first before you really start going down the road of working on your digital marketing.
Maximizing the Impact of Your Digital Marketing
We know that for locally owned businesses, your digital marketing is important. So that’s why we’ve put this presentation together, maximizing the impact of your digital marketing. This is the best opportunity that you have as a locally owned small business to attract customers. Early seen that 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business. So we’re going to lead you through this process on how to develop a digital marketing strategy and eventually implement that strategy. But just as important. Through this process, you’re going to gain a better understanding of your customers a better understanding of your competitors. You’re going to understand the organic opportunity that can potentially save you 1000s of dollars in advertising by showing up in the organic results on search. If you are running ads, you’re going to have improved ad performance and better lead results. And most importantly, you’re going to be able to meet more customers. Not only are you going to get more customers, but you’ll have the right customers, those customers that you can really focus on that bring the most profitability to your business that are the ones that are the easiest and best fit for your company.
Maximize the Impact of Your Digital Marketing Scope
This is the slide that we use to really explain the scope of what is involved to maximize the impact of your digital marketing. So for each of these seven steps, we’re going to go through them briefly in this presentation. But you can see what these different items would cost if you were to work with an experienced professional digital marketing vendor or if you’re gonna try and do these things yourself, I have an estimated time for completion for the scope of each of these steps. So we’re going to go through the blueprint, how to pick your location and communities, how to develop your foundation profile, how to develop content packs, how to configure all these elements on your site, how to actually place these in all the different platforms where you need to be, and then finally what the content implementation looks like on an ongoing monthly basis.
The Promise of Google
Our WORDS are important for customers & Google to understand what we do
Before we get into the details of the digital marketing strategy, I want to take a step back and just think for a moment with you about what is the promise of Google. So all of us use Google mostly every day, over 90% of searches are done on Google. So what is it that they promise? What is it that they do well, that keeps us coming back and using your searching? Well, Google’s promise is that when you use their search engine, they are going to show you the most relevant, best quality web pages on the internet that are related to that term that you just put into their search engine. And they do a really good job of that. So as we go through this presentation, I want you to think about what their promise is, but I also want you to think about the words that our customers use, the words that Google uses for Google to understand what we do. Those are important. Our words are important for our customers and for Google. So we’re going to have a lot of emphasis in this presentation and choose our words carefully.
Our Customers’ Words Are Important
Customers’ words are important, and as a result, we must align the words on our website. Our Google business profile and our social media have to align with the words that we use in all those places. With the wording that our customers use.
Just Using Our Customers’ Words
Just using our customer’s words, is not enough to convince Google that your site has the best and most relevant content on the internet for that particular search term. There’s just no tricking Google. The answer is to create unique quality, substantive content, what we call customer-first content. So the information is the content that you’re creating in your Google business profile on your social media, and most importantly on your website. Is the customer first? So you’re writing this content to provide an excellent and thorough explanation to your customers of these products and services that you can provide. So there’s no tricking Google, the solution is to create customer-first content.
Maximize the Impact of Your Digital Marketing Process
So this is another illustration of our process to maximize the impact of your digital marketing. So we’re going to go through each of these seven sections, fairly briefly in this presentation, beginning with the blueprint, which is the biggest and most important part of this process.
BluePrint: What Are The Words Customers Use On Google
Google Business Profile: 4-9 Categories each with 2-10 Service
As we develop the blueprint for our digital marketing strategy. We’re going to take a look at the categories and services that are most important to our customers. So we’re going to go through a process in this blueprint of figuring out what are the words that our customers use on Google. So most of us have already set up a Google business profile. If you haven’t, and you have a location, it’s easy to do. But with your Google business profile, you’re able to choose a primary category for your business to be organized under but you can also choose several additional categories. So there’s a process we’re going to go through to identify all those different categories which we can have our business listed under in our Google Business Profile. This is going to help us to show up and Google search results. We can also for every one of those categories. We can choose a handful of services that are best represented under those categories. So there are some tools that we’re gonna be able to use to do this but ultimately, we’re trying to begin that process to understand the words that our customers use.
Customer & Competitor Research
To begin, we’re going to look at all the different categories that Google offers for us to list our business under. So they have a list of over 4000 categories that might be appropriate for our business. So for sure, we’re going to be able to find a single primary category, but more than likely, you’re going to be able to find a handful of other categories. And the process for this is somewhat tedious, but it’s well worth it. Simply go down through this list of categories. And pick the ones that you think are appropriate for you. As you go through those. Do a search on Google to see which ones of those your competitors are also showing up under. If your competitor shows up under that category, then more than likely you’re going to want to be listed under that as well.
Keywords & Keyword Groups
Your Top 50 Keywords
Once we understand the categories and some of the key services that we want to list ourselves under, we’re going to go through a process to research and filter and eventually and pick from a list of 1000s of keyword terms that our customers and our competitors are using on Google. So this is an illustration of how we’re eventually going to use this information to write detailed and thorough business descriptions and have images that really align with those keywords as well.
I’d like to mention that we have an e-learning lesson that goes through a step-by-step video on just how to go through this process, the research filter, and finally handpick those top 50 keywords that are most important for your business. Those are going to be essential. So if you’re a Cultivate member, we have a complete e-learning platform and dozens of business training videos. And I’m going to give some information at the end of this presentation where you can request access to those videos.
Competition Spends Thousands
One of the tools that we’re going to use to better understand these keywords and pick up the top 50 keywords which our business needs to appear under is going to be a feature that Google offers in their ad platform. They have a tool called the keyword planner, where we can see all of the different keyword terms that are appropriate for our business. We can see how many people a month actually search on those types of keyword terms, we can see how much our competitors are paying every time somebody clicks on a Google ad that is tied to one of those keyword terms. So in this example, for private office space, we can see an example of an ad that a company has in Columbus, Ohio for private office space. There are 5000 people a month nationwide who are searching that term. And on average, the high bid is $20 A click every time someone sees that ad year over year, the number of searches has gone up 900% on that term. private office space. So we’re going to go through this process not because at this point we’re going to create any kind of ads but because we want to understand what are those best, most valuable keyword terms. Through that process? We’re going to understand the words that our competitors are using.
They might be spending 1000s of dollars a month or a year on those particular fewer terms. It’s also going to help us by understanding what terms they’re bidding on. It’s going to help us understand the words that have a customer purchase intent. So some of these words like private office space, it might be that they’re spending $20 A click on that word because people are looking at that to rent a private office. So it makes sense for them to spend quite a bit of money on an ad or focus on the keyword term for that phrase, versus just the word office in general. That might not necessarily indicate customer purchasing intank. And the other things that we’re going to learn from this is if we go through our website and we develop great content around this term, private office space, and we show up in the organic search results. Every time someone clicks on a link to our page through the unpaid organic results. It’s like we’ve earned we’ve saved this $20 that our competitors are spending to get that same visitor from that keyword term in their ads. So we’re creating 1000s of dollars of value for our business as we go through this work and the reward is going to be to bring organic visitors to our site. If we do decide to create ads on Google or other places, when we have pages on our site that are relevant and themed and thorough about that particular search term, our ads are going to perform better and there are a number of reasons for that. So there’s a huge reward for our business if we take the time to understand the words that our customers are using on Google.
Location/Community: Where Are My Customers Concentrated
Targeted Locations & Google Business Profiles
The next step once we’ve developed our Blueprint is to decide what are the communities and what are locations we want to target for our business. So we were going to step back and take a look at where are my customers concentrated. If we’re trying to show up in results for your business near me for the local search results, we have to step back and take a look at where our customers are concentrated.
If we have a brick-and-mortar business, maybe it’s a retail shop or a restaurant, or an insurance company, you know some kind of business that’s rooted in a brick-and-mortar building. We don’t have a lot of flexibility in terms of where we pick our location other than where we have brick-and-mortar facilities. But you may want to use this information just to start determining second or third locations that your business might want to open. So this is an example of something that you’ve all probably seen where your business will show up for the locations on Google using your Google business profile. They’ll show up in the map results. And once you verify and validate your listing, they’re going to send you a postcard with a code to verify that you are in fact located at that business address.
If you’re not a brick-and-mortar business, or you are a service-based business in particular, you have an enormous growth potential to reach customers in the Columbus market. So most of the people that are watching this video are in it being in the Central Ohio area. That’s where most of the members are that we serve while you’re in a rural area that is outside of Columbus. But your business can very easily handle hundreds of customers from the Columbus market and most of those that are watching this are from a suburb or a rural location. Columbus represents a 20 to 50 times larger target market for your business.
There are just so many more businesses and people that live in Columbus. So if you’re a contractor, or you provide home services, or maybe you’re a creative business, you’re a web designer, or social media consultant or a graphic designer, or you’re a coach or consultant or an advisor or you provide financial advising or business coaching or you’re a life coach. There are so many kinds of service-based businesses that could really have hundreds and hundreds of customers just from the Columbus market.
Again, we meet with a lot of businesses that meet that work from their home. And they’re like you know what I’m virtual you know, I can work anywhere, I don’t need an office. And that may be true. However, if you don’t have a business location, you’re not going to show up as well in search results.
So part of our process is to help people route their business to these targeted communities that represent the best opportunity for their business. So we would advise you to have a business address and access to a meeting room in Columbus. So there are services that we might be able to help you with to do that, or one of our partner co-working spaces might be able to help you to do that with so one of the plans that we have, which I’ll touch on at the end of this presentation is a $200 a month plan where we help businesses create a Columbus sales office. You might not go there very much except for appointments. But what this does is it puts your business near me, you know near the Columbus market.
Foundation Profile – What would you say to a customer in one sentence
Unique Value Proposition – What You Offer & Why Buy From You
The third step in the process is to develop your foundation profile. So we have a worksheet that you can use in a lesson that you can watch on our e-learning platform to do this, the core of your foundation profile is to develop your unique value proposition. And in simplest terms, I like to just explain this is the elevator pitch that you’re going to use in every marketing message that you have and you’re going to be telling people what you offer and why buy from you.
This is the fundamental question that you have to answer for every customer. You know, they might say I already buy your service from somebody else. You know, you’re making a phone call and they’re thinking why should I even take your call? You know, what does this do for me? There are many competitors selling the exact same thing as you. So we have to think through and carefully word this unique value proposition.
Again, we have a complete video on how to develop your unique value proposition in our e-learning platform. But I like this format. So there are lots of different formats that we go through in the video. Like a guy named Steve Blank developed this format that says we help x y by z. And I just really liked that structure. I think it’s simple. And this is the example we help parents to spend more quality time with their kids by providing parent-friendly play areas. So when you read that you understand what this company offers and why buy from you and it creates almost an emotional connection because I want to spend more quality time with my kids.
Call to Action
The next step in developing our foundation profile is to develop our call to action. So we’re going to experiment with a call to action, to keep trying different things until we can figure out what works the best and what helps us to deliver the customers at the lowest possible cost. But at its simplest, your call to action is the first step that you can offer to engage a customer to begin a trust-building process. So we really look at all sales, all business development. It’s a trust-building process. And for most of our customers, begin this with a search on Google to solve a problem. So from that very first time, they may find us in a search result until they come to our website. And then maybe there are some personal selling processes, we need to have a call to action. It really just puts people on that very first step in this trust-building process.
Content Packs: Create Version with Customer Wording
Location, Product, Service Specific Variations
In the fourth step, we’ll talk about our content packs, so content packs are purely our word for developing all these different variations of your customer wording that you’re going to need for all the different places where you use this messaging that describes your products and services. In some places like on your website, you’re going to have room for hundreds and hundreds of words, while in other places like your Google business profile, you might have to condense some of these service descriptions down to just a few 100 characters. So through this process, we’re going to develop these content packs for the dozens of products and services that your business might offer. We’re going to create the size and length variations for various user requirements. You’re going to tailor these for the locations and the products and services and you’re going to incorporate all that customer wording that we learned in our blueprint.
Site Configuration: Use Knowledge & Content On Website FIRST
Impossible without a CMS. WordPress with DIVI is optimal
Once we’ve developed our content packs we’re ready to move on to configuring this content, first on our own website. So we’re going to take all that knowledge and content that we’ve learned through these processes, and we’re going to put this information on our website first. This is the first place we want this to appear. So first of all, I just want to say that this is almost impossible to do without some type of content management system for your website. We highly recommend WordPress and a theme that we like called Divi.
So if that’s something that you need help with, I’ll have some information about that at the end of this presentation. But most people are using some type of content management system. There are just a lot more of the best practices that we’re going to steer you on that can be done more easily in WordPress. So what we’re talking about on per site configuration is configuring the website menu, the navigation for your site using the customer wording and your page names and your page titles, and creating categories for blog posts or articles. And those blog post categories can have their own descriptions, you create tags with some of these customers’ customer wording. You’re gonna be able to develop anchor links within your site. There’s metadata that helps search engines, not necessarily always improve your search results. But it’s going to Google and other search engines might use some of that metadata to explain what that page is all about. You can configure sitemaps and there are two very important Google integrations that we would like to see everybody have on their site.
The first is Google Search Console. And the second is Google Analytics. So most people are familiar with Google Analytics. This is going to tell you everything that’s happened sort of after the fact how many visitors came to your site, where they came from, and what kind of device they were using. All that kind of great business Intel. But Search Console is just as important in my opinion. Search Console is where we can configure the sitemap for our website and tell Google where every page search console will tell us every single search phrase in Google where one of our web pages appears what webpage that is that does appear in that search phrase, how many times a month it has become visible. It’s what we call an impression. And how many people clicked on that to come through to our website, and what position that is in the Google search result. So that is amazing information. That we have to have. If we’re developing and implementing a blueprint to maximize the impact of our digital marketing.
As we’re going through developing or rebuilding and remaking pages on our website, there’s anatomy for these pages that we’d really like to see you follow. So first of all, we’re creating this customer-first content that is unique. It’s quality content, and it’s substantive. So you’re building pages or posts for your website that are at least 300 words long, maybe 500 to 1000 words long and there’s a structure that is first and foremost helpful to the visitors to your website.
But it also can help Google to understand what this page is all about. So there’s a structure where we’re going to use some of this customer wording, these targeted keyword phrases, we’re going to use those in page titles, or page names, or menu names. In the paragraphs of text that we’re writing about, we’re going to organize paragraphs with different subheadings. So someone could browse down through that page, and kind of readjust the stuff that’s most interesting to them. But the tags for some of those subheadings will also help Google to understand what this page is about. We will have images on this page that are named in a way that is themed to the purpose of this page. And we might have a sidebar with some menus or content or links to related pieces of information for this page.
Platform Placement: Google Business Profile & Social Platforms
Google Business Profile
At the beginning of this presentation, we explored these different categories where we can have our business can appear in our group, our Google profile. And we looked at all the different services and eventually through the content packs we developed thorough descriptions of these different services that are using the customer wording that we want to use for these descriptions. So you can go through and configure all of these in your Google business profile. And that’s going to help Google and your customers better understand what you do. And help you get better results in showing up.
Once you have your Google business profile set up and thoroughly configured, then move on to configuring that same information or variations of that information in all the other social media platforms that are important for your business. These could be the big social media platforms, but these could also be different business directories that are important for your company.
Key Platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Alignable)
Once you have your Google business profile, set up and thoroughly configured, then move on to configuring that same information, while variations with that information in all the other social media platforms that are important for your business. These could be the big social media platforms, but these could also be different business directories that are important for your company.
Content Implementation: Monthly Plan
Page & Posts
Once we’ve gone through all those six steps to really set up and implement a thorough digital marketing plan, with all of our content and all these platforms, starting with our website and our Google business profile, and other social media platforms now we need to move on to developing a content calendar and create some type of consistent schedule for creating posts and sharing out information about our business so we can be seen and grow our audience. So in our Google business profile, there are three great types of content that you can post.
You can create sort of these, what’s new, or update posts that relate to your business. You could create an offer, or you can also create an event. So we believe that you should have a mix of these every week or every month for your Google business profile. Most likely these are links to specific pages on your website where you have more thorough information about that post. And you can also share those same types of posts on your social media. But all of that is coming back to your website where you have more thorough information. You also are showing your unique value proposition and your call to action. So that when someone comes to that page, through all this work that you do, and post, they know what to do to engage your business.
Once we understand the words that our customers are using, specifically on Google, we can then be prepared to begin to use ads, so ads provide that instant kick for your business that gives you the control to focus on just what locations and communities you’re trying to target where your customers are concentrated. You have the opportunity to include your value proposition and your call to action in some type of offer. So there are two different ad platforms that Google provides. There’s a very detailed, comprehensive and somewhat complicated, and sophisticated ad platform. But they also have an Express ad platform that you can do right from your Google business profile page and create some simple ads that don’t cost a lot of money. They’re just really focused on your community.
As you’re creating these posts each month, it can be difficult to really plan out what you want to create at what point in time and then format that information for the different social media platforms, and then go to all those platforms and share it. So there are some great tools that you can use that cost a small fee that can help you to expedite that process. But even tools like Facebook have functions that will let you schedule some of these posts. So you can just kind of pile up a couple of these things and drip them out over the course of a week or the month.
Conversion Forms & Tracking
We’re a big believer that anything that you’re doing for your marketing, especially your digital marketing is not worth doing unless you are going to track the results. So that is the beauty of digital marketing is to really understand if what you are doing is moving the needle for your business. So all of these different platforms have different types of reports and analytics that can show you the results of what is happening.
I like this tool called Dash Disk that we use and can help some of our members to use to bring all that information together in one place. So your Google Search Console, your Google Analytics, your Google business profile, all of your social media, your MailChimp, your ads, all that information comes into one form a one-page report that you can see every month and track the progress to see if what you’re doing is moving the needle. And with this information, you know, it’s important that we adapt and react, you know as to which of our content is getting some traction in what areas we need to focus on better.
Ultimately, our purpose for maximizing the impact of your digital marketing isn’t just to see a report with everything trending up to the right. What we’re trying to do is create a situation that allows you to meet more customers. So at the end of the day, if all these things that you’re doing aren’t creating these opportunities, we really need to take a step back at what we’re doing in our digital marketing strategy, and how we need to do it differently.
Maximize the Impact Of Your Digital Marketing
I want to wrap this up by going through four ways that you can get involved with cultivating and accessing all the different resources and support that we offer. Some of these are free and some of these have a cost tied to them because it costs us money to provide. The first thing that I want to do though is inviting you to take our free discovery assessment.
When you take the discovery assessment, we’re going to get you connected to as many of the free resources that we have to offer. We’re going to also put you on our invite list so you’re aware of future presentations and training that we are developing and networking opportunities. You’re going to be able to request course access to get access to all those learning presentations that I mentioned in this presentation. And finally, our discovery assessment is going to help us to understand some of the other needs that you have. And we’re going to be able to make some vendor introductions to other businesses that are in our cultivate network that might be able to help you with those services.
The second thing is we offer workshops that we’ll be doing in the months to come. So these workshops are $200. They’re in person with their hands on and they’re two hours long. And what we do in these workshops is go through the seven-step plan to create and implement your digital marketing. So this is very intensive, where our team will be meeting with you and a few other people and we’re offering those in our Columbus area locations.
Some businesses, as I talked about earlier, that are service-based businesses that have a concentration of customers in the Columbus area might benefit by having a sales office. So we have sales office plans that begin at $200 a month. Again, the purpose of that sales office isn’t necessary to have a nine to five presence, you know in that location. It’s to create a real place though, where you can root yourself in that community. You have a professional business address, you can meet customers or employees, or colleagues at these locations. So we offer that as a service in the Columbus Ohio area at multiple locations. And there are some great co-working spaces where you’re going to accomplish something very similar. If you’re one of our residents that has one of these sales office plans. We also are going to give you unlimited workshop passes to attend those $200 in-person workshops that I’d have done a second ago.
Cultivate Pro Membership $200/mo PRO
The last opportunity that I want to explain is, a cultivate pro membership. Cultivate pro membership is also $200 a month. But what we have found is that many of the small businesses that we work with don’t have a website platform that can really help them to accomplish all of these best practices that we’re recommending as part of your digital marketing strategy. So with this $200 month pro membership, first of all, we’re going to work with you to develop that complete digital marketing plan. We’re gonna give you also unlimited workshop passes. We can work together on developing that plan. But once we have that plan, we will set up and host a WordPress site with you and the set of tools that we have put together for your WordPress site are very easy to use. We’re going to make it easy for you to make great-looking quality substantive pages. So we tell people if you can do a post on Facebook with words and a picture, we can show you how to make great-looking pages that are really giving us all the principles that I’ve covered in his presentation. There’s actually no setup cost for that website. So for many of the small businesses that are in a stage where they’re looking at building a new website ever anyway, or they don’t yet have a website and need a professional website. This is an opportunity to potentially save 1000s of dollars and more importantly, that website is going to really be built with that complete digital marketing strategy in mind.