The power of Online Marketing
You have probably heard this a lot that showing your work in today’s world is much easier with the existence of internet and social media. You make something, you put it on your website and social media sites and you will get instant feedback, love, and support from your followers. The big challenge in the days of technology is not, not having enough tools to show your artwork, it is how you want to show your work to the right audience at the right time and make money. We all get so much support from friends and family online but most of the time they are not the ones who would pay for our artwork.
We have to make sure we are getting the same attention from the ones who are actually interested in our product and services. But how do we find them? How can we stand out in the online world with so much noise and competition?
Here is an interesting truth. Although people use internet to show their works there are few people who do their online marketing right. There are few people who take care of their online presence and take right actions to be the winner. It is never too late to start taking care of your online presence. And once you start it you will see the results. You will position yourself high enough for your right target market to see you and actually pay you for your craft.
Online Marketing refers to actions you take to show your business online to the right customers and boosts your business to a higher and more professional level. Online Marketing helps you live everyday doing what you love.
Here are few recent statistics from Hubspot that shows why you should take action and start your Online Marketing Today!
61% of global Internet users research products online.
44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine.
YouTube has become the 2nd Largest Search Engine – bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask & AOL combined.
50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.
60% of all organic clicks go to the organic top 3 search results.
Daily Pinterest users have increased by more than 145% since the beginning of 2012.
A call-to-action pin description sees an 80% increase in engagement.
The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased by 75%
Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing.
So what do these mean?
When you see 61% of people search online to find what they need you instantly know that you should put your product online. If you are offering services you have to mention your services online to be found by them.
When you hear Youtube has become the 2nd largest Search Engine, you instantly should think of the ways you can make videos and be present on youtube as well. There are many ways you can make videos. It can be you talking about your products or services or it can be series of images showing something. Keep in mind that videos are great to make connection with your audience. They work best when you start educating people through your videos. You want them to trust you first. Stay away from selling. When you start talking about selling your products or services you will lose your viewers. You want to genuinely help and educate your audience to keep them and gain their trust. Once they decide to buy they will come to you. You just need to keep posting to make sure they think of you as an authority and expert in your field.
60% of all organic clicks go to the top 3 results. This should make you think how you can make yourself visible on the first page of search engines. You have to answer a simple question. Am I the most relevant result for that specific search query? Being on the first page takes time. It takes time because you have to prove search engines such as google that you are expert in what you are claiming and you have authority and you can help those that are searching for that specific product or service. Google wants to make sure that users (people that use google to search) would have the best experience. Therefore it generates algorithms every now and then to make sure the result it puts in front of the users are the most relevant and helpful ones. So to make yourself authority and expert it is important to find a unique point about your work and market around that. If you are a Wedding Photographer with a unique service or if you are a Fashion Designer with a unique vision for your designs make sure that your online presence shows and screams that uniqueness. By this you will take yourself out of competition with general terms and you will be found for specific and more targeted search queries.
As an artist and creative person you are capable of thinking creative ways to do your online marketing. We hear a lot from people that artists don’t know how to do business. Business in general, and thinking like a businessman or businesswoman takes hard work and education but being a creative person you can easily come up with solutions to help you with your online presence and you can always get help for the business parts by asking mentors to measure your progress and give you solutions accordingly.
Here I am listing 10 changes you can make today to your online presence with the goal to achieve more sales and money for your business.
Mobile Responsive Website
I am not saying have a website. Having a website is not enough anymore. Google looks at your website first to see if it is mobile responsive in order to show it. Having a Mobile Responsive website is a must have. What is Mobile Responsive? Your website needs to be shown different on desktop monitors and mobile phones because the screen size is different and the way people interact with websites on their phone is different than how they work on desktop. If your website is not mobile responsive and you check it on your phone you will see small text, small images, and you have to scroll right and left to be able to see the whole website. This brings a poor user experience, makes users tired of browsing your site, and they end up leaving your site. Search Engines don’t want to show websites to the users that would result in poor online experience. That’s why your website should change when you look at it on your phone. It re-arranges the content in a way that is easy to read and browse on mobile phones.
There are many solutions for that. You can build your websites using platforms that offer both desktop and mobile websites. In this way you don’t need to make two individual websites. You’ll make the content and it takes care of showing it. One of these platforms is WordPress. WordPress lets you find your desirable theme and look and you can make the changes to the content of the website without the knowledge of code. You can also have online store on your site.
Now that you have your mobile responsive website it is important what you put on your site. Search Engines find you through your content. So if you are a Fashion Designer or a photographer do you think search engines will find you if you put only photos on your site? How can they read and see what your website is about in order to put you in front of their users? So what is the solution? Having the right content on the right places.
Home page is a great place to talk about what you offer and what your business is all about. Make sure your content doesn’t sound like robots. Write it in a way that you would talk to a friend describing your business. Add passion to it and make the connection with the people coming to your site.
Having a short video under 1 min that reviews your business or shows your products or even you talking about your products or services will be a great idea to engage people and make them stay a bit longer on the home page.
If the nature of your business is in photography and you have to put photos in order to show your work make sure that your website has a blog that will be updated on a consistent basis. Your blog communicates with search engines so that they would know what your website is about in order to show it to the users.
Find 10 or 20 keywords related to your work. And use those keywords in your content. Find the keywords that you want to be found for. Let’s say you have a Portrait Photography in Toronto. You take portraits, headshots, and kids photos. Some of your keywords will be portrait, portrait photographer in Toronto, toronto portrait photoshoots, professional headshot photographer, toronto professional headshot, portrait photography studio, photography studio in toronto… and so on.
You have to write blog posts and use these keywords in your content. When people search for toronto photographer search engines look at the content of the sites and they’ll see which is the most relevant to show.
The headlines of your blog posts is the most important factor in making people to click and read more. Definitely take your time to think about eye catching headlines. One useful trick is to look at the magazines. They have spent lots of money to ask experts to write those headlines and they monitor, measure and make improvements. Look what they are doing and how they are writing their headlines and then follow their work. Just change the words to make it relevant to your post.
What does this mean? Well, you will benefit the most when people around your location look for products and services that you are offering. It is more likely that they approach you instead of someone else. How can you be local? How can you rate higher online based on your location?
It is important to create your free Google My Business Page. (www.google.com/business)
Fill the form by adding a unique description, and choosing the right category for your business. Add your phone number. Upload as many photos as you can. Add your business address. This is very important and wherever you enter your business address it has to be consistent. Write your business address somewhere to keep and wherever you want to enter it just copy and paste it. This way you’ll make sure your address is written in the same way everywhere it is being used. Nothing should be different even the minor things that you think doesn’t matter. It has to be exactly the same. Upload cover photo. Get reviews if you can. Having reviews help a lot in decision making. There is higher chance of being selected because of your good reviews rather than someone else even with more experience but lack of reviews.
Add the same address you entered on your Google My Business page to the footer of your website.
Enter your product/service and location in the title of your website.
Make sure to write the name of the city/region in your images title tag.
Use the name of your city/region in the content of your site.
Find authoritative directories and add your business name and website link with the same address you have on your Google My Business page.
Enter your address, or your city/region on your social media profiles.
It is very important to have quality links. Both being linked to or giving links to other websites. This gives you credits and authority. This gives the Search Engines a reason to show your website. Why? Because this proves, you know something and people are interested to read and learn more from you.
Link building is very important. As soon as Google announced that it rates based on links, black hat SEO marketers started posting links everywhere. On bad quality pages, on comments, on irrelevant pages. Soon Google had to think of monitoring the quality of the links. Now posting links just everywhere gives you negative points and bad reputation. You have to make sure that your links are among the good quality ones. You want relevant websites and blogs to link you because your content is relevant to them. You want people to share your links because you are offering something useful to them. There are many blogs and magazines that accept submissions and want guest writers. You can easily contact them with a piece of content and get links to your site. If you are linking to other sites make sure you are giving links to good quality and authoritative sites in your field. No money should be given or taken for links. Search Engines are way smarter than what many people think. There are so many bad habits and practices that can ruin your online marketing reputation. Stay relevant and show your expertise and become authority in your field and you will gain a lot from that.
Social Media Profiles
There is no secret that social media profiles help your business to be in front of more people. My suggestion is that make as many as possible and make regular updates to your social media profiles and measure your progress. Once you have some data to work with, then close the ones that are not working for you. Not all business types would benefit from all social media platforms. Put your energy in the ones that are working and make the best use of them by making relevant and appealing posts. Social media sites are the great opportunity to have your content shared. Make something shareable. Read about viral posts and see how you can take those steps to make something viral.
As I have mentioned earlier in the stats giving from Hubspot “Daily Pinterest users have increased more than 145% since the beginning of 2012” This gives you as an artist an amazing opportunity to master your pinterest marketing. By creating boards, posting your works and linking them to your site, writing relevant description. Posting inspirational images and thinking of the ways to increase the number of your followers. Keep in mind that in today’s world of internet and fake followers, numbers can lie. Don’t measure your success with number of followers. Your job and the thing that pays your bills and puts you in your dream house is not number of your followers. It is the number or your true followers who are interested in you and your products and services. They engage and learn from you. They keep you in mind and are loyal to you.