What does it take to build a strong digital foundation?
From signing up for social media to experimenting with online advertising, business owners are inundated with advice about what they “need” to establish or grow their online presence.
Those channels are useful, sure. But they’re not foundational.
A foundation is a framework. The rock where a digital house is built. Without careful planning, your structure, or all of your marketing efforts, falls apart.
Building a strong digital foundation is unavoidable if you want to succeed online. You already know that a sales funnel sits at the very core of a great marketing strategy, but what other components are needed?
Below we’ll breakdown 3 more must-have systems for a smart digital foundation.
With technology as prevalent as it is in our daily lives, It’s hard to imagine that any small business could go without a company site. Even so, according to small business lender, Fundera, only 64% of small businesses have one.
Think of your digital foundation as a funnel…
Creating & maintaining a business website is located towards the top of the funnel. A good company website:
- Generates organic traffic through SEO optimization.
- Establishes authority with blog content, infographics, and videos.
- Communicates offers/services by providing clear CTAs.
Your business website is your hub
A company website is a digital storefront of sorts designed specifically to entice visitors and introduce them to your brand. It can only do that though if it’s been optimized. Here are a few elements of a great website…
- Delightful Design: Regardless of how well optimized a website is, if it’s not visually pleasing, and more importantly, in-line with the brand it represents, it’ll fall flat for prospective customers.
- Informative Content: Website content should be relevant, timely, and, above all things, needs to add value to anyone visiting a site.
- The homepage should clearly state what a business is and does, right off the bat.
- The about page expands on these points & humanizes the staff behind the brand.
- The service or product pages on the website should be well-outlined & easy to navigate.
- And the blog, of course, needs to establish the business as a leader in its respective industry.
- SEO Optimized: Don’t neglect the tech! Brand websites should be optimized for SEO by crafting keyword-rich content for on-page SEO & prioritizing mobile responsiveness & site speed. The work behind the scenes is just as important as UX design.
- Strong Calls to Action: Adding a few well placed CTAs can guide visitors browsing your website to any desired action you choose. These actions can be anything from newsletter signups to social follows but ultimately, they should lead towards well…leads.
Automated emails can boost revenue by as much as 320%.
After optimizing your website for visitors, you need a way to capture them & turn them into leads. That’s where email automation comes in.
Email automation, not to be confused with standard email marketing, is a system designed to reach subscribers with the right message, at the right time. The benefits of automation are endless. With the right email workflows a business can:
- Offer value in-line with subscriber needs.
- Nurture relationships with prospective customers.
- Promote your products or services to warm leads.
- And most importantly, improve customer retention rates.
After all, you can see 60-70% more conversion success selling to an existing customer as opposed to 5-20% success selling to a new one.
For an example of an email sequence, take a look at our blog, 5 Secrets to Building Your Sales Funnel Foundation. In it, we outline a welcome workflow created to push prospects further down your funnel.
Remember, email automation should complement current marketing efforts, not work against them. That’s why it’s important to start with the website first. Once you get clarity on your brand & its messaging, crafting sales content around it becomes much easier.
Sales CRM Processes
Speaking of sales…the final piece of the puzzle is a sales CRM.
A CRM (customer relationship management) system is a software or program that allows a business to manage any and all interactions with their customers.
Generating traffic to a website and capturing leads can prove futile if there’s no way to maintain those relationships. With the right system, your entire sales process can be streamlined.
We talk a lot about sales & marketing alignment and that’s not possible with a solid CRM in place. Ask yourself:
- What does your pipeline of new business look like?
- How are customers and prospective customers interacting with your content?
- Who manages communication with customers? And how frequently?
All those questions are answered with a sales CRM.
Beware of Shiny Object Syndrome
There’s something you need to look out for as you begin to build your foundation: shiny object syndrome.
Shiny Object Syndrome is a disease of distraction. Essentially, it’s chasing after the many new marketing trends and trying to implement them before a foundation is in place.
Social media, paid advertising, text marketing, and chatbots are all Social media, paid advertising, text marketing, and chatbots are all examples of “shiny objects” that although useful in and of themselves, don’t mean much without a strong foundation behind them.
Imagine going viral on social media without a website to steer new followers to. Think about crafting a funnel & investing in advertising without a sales CRM in place. Even if you managed to attract prospects, if there’s no foundation, nurturing & closing leads will be next to impossible.
Once your foundation is solid, you can begin to build on what you already have.
Build Your Foundation with Smart Girl
Need help? Contact us. We can craft a strategy to solidify your digital foundation & automate your business processes. At Smart Girl Digital, we can provide you with the guidance necessary to establish & grow your online presence. Get started by scheduling a free discovery call today!