When was the last time you looked up a service you needed in a phone book? It’s probably been quite a while. The internet is the go-to source most people use when searching for and researching products and services.
In fact, almost 90% turn to internet searches first. That includes office coffee services (OCS). A strong online presence is necessary, to say the least. If you can’t be found where prospects are going to find information about your product or service, you will struggle to survive in the digital age.
Many operators understand this and are reaping the benefits. Others, however, seem reluctant to get on board, citing such reasons as:
It’s too much work…
I don’t know how…
We’re doing just fine…
These reasons are only excuses to avoid what is likely to have a tremendous impact on your business. There are plenty of agencies that can help and free online sources to teach you how.
If you’re ready to seriously consider marketing your OCS business online, here are five strategies you’ll need to focus on to maximize your ROI.
Think of your website as a digital version of a brick-and-mortar store. If you were to open a physical location that sold your products, you’d likely go to great lengths to ensure the store was nicely designed, clean, and inviting. A website is no different.
Today’s shoppers expect great digital experiences, including online ordering. If your website is difficult to navigate or isn’t clear on what your company can provide and how, prospects will leave. Keep these core elements in mind:
- A goal for what you want primary visitors to do
- Make it easy to navigate and find the right information
- Ensure it’s optimized for mobile
You don’t need to have an enormous budget for an effective website. Ultimately, simplicity and clarity are what matter most.
2. Search Engine Opitimization (SEO)
Ok, so you spent all this time and some money on creating a new website. What now?
Online marketing is an ongoing effort. You want to make sure your beautiful new website can be found.
That’s where SEO comes in.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website and its pages to be found in search results when people search for things on Google, Bing, Safari, and other search engines. If you can’t be found then you can’t grow your business!
Putting together a sound SEO strategy takes some time and patience. Just because you put some keywords on your website doesn’t mean it’ll rank high in a Google search. Here are five elements that factor into an effective SEO strategy:
- Keywords and topics
- Build pages around those keywords
- Optimize for on-page SEO
- Generate backlinks
- Continuously improve/update
3. Content Strategy
Content marketing is a relatively new channel businesses use to promote themselves. It consists of a variety of mediums–blogs, videos, whitepapers, case studies, newsletters–that are used to help generate interest in a company or brand.
You might not think people want to hear from your business, or care to hear what you have to say. But what’s unique about producing content is that it can help build credibility and trust with your target audience, two factors that are immensely important for closing deals.
In his book, The Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes discusses what he calls “education-based marketing.” This approach can work beautifully. For example, your blog can consist of articles that educate your target audience on topics related to their work.
Notice we said their work. Content, and marketing in general, isn’t necessarily about you or what you’re trying to sell. It’s about providing information your ideal customer finds useful, informative, or even entertaining.
Here’s a great example of what a content strategy for a coffee delivery service might look like. (link to Andy Crestodina blog post?)
4. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Do a Google search on just about anything and right up top, front and center, will be ads. At the time of this writing, there will be a small icon next to the result that reads “Ad”. Companies use this strategy for several reasons:
- Brand awareness
- Drive leads
- Repeat sales
An effective PPC strategy can play nicely into your business goals. It’s a quick way to gain awareness and drive leads.
5. Social Media
Almost three-quarters of Americans use social media, according to Pew.
It’s a great way to develop and maintain relationships with current customers as well as reaching those who might not have heard of you.
The key, like everything above, is to have a strategy. You can’t expect big results from throwing things up and seeing what sticks.
After that, researching which platforms make sense for your business…
Once you know which platforms you’ll use, develop a calendar with a schedule of when you’ll post.
Where do you begin?
All of this can be a lot to take in. The most important factor is to start with your customers. Understanding who they are, their buying habits, and their interests will inform everything you do with your online marketing strategy. While it can seem overwhelming, you don’t need to do it all at once. It’s not a sprint. A consistent and well-organized approach is what will get you the results you want.
Online Resources For Further Reading:
Social Media: Hootsuite
Web Design & Content: Orbit Media Studios
Inbound Marketing: HubSpot