Web Presence Buy-In: How to Convince Senior Management

What is web presence?

Does this sound familiar? You’re keen to move your organization into the digital marketing age, but senior management keeps trumpeting “tried and true” “if it ain’t broke..” yadda yadda yadda. It’s like an endless loop of pre-internet, Seinfeld reruns? So how do you get senior management to buy in?

First it’s important to identify why senior management is putting up a digital brick wall?

  1. They don’t understand it.
  2. They are questioning the ROI.
  3. They are from an older generation and stuck in the old way of doing things.

To be fair to the skeptics, yes, it is true that digital marketing technology and trends are fast moving. And it can be intimidating for those who don’t understand it, haven’t seen the ROI and haven’t embraced it personally.

But here’s a newsflash for the C-suite: digital is not a fad. If your company isn’t on top of digital marketing and building its web presence, you are at serious risk of falling behind your competitors, or getting surprised and outflanked by web savvy newcomers.

Prepare to convince senior management to invest in web presence.

Sometimes convincing management is the biggest challenge to your success. Smart managers care more about facts than opinion, so make sure you present your case in terms of the business results that matter most to them, such as lead generation, cost per lead and acquisition, and sales increases.

With that in mind, we’ve set you up for success with this blog post and slide-by-slide compendium. Together, they will arm you to make a compelling case to management for investing strategically in developing your company’s digital assets: its web presence.

The purpose of this blog and presentation (included below) is to help educate your company leaders on the following:

  1. What is Web Presence?
  2. Why is a Web Presence Strategy Important?
  3. Three Key Components of Web Presence Optimization

The goal is to convince senior management that web presence optimization is a critical component of the brand strategy and should be included as a line item in the marketing budget.

1) What is Web Presence?

So, what does this term “web presence” mean, you ask? Web presence is a digital optimized content strategy, search strategy, and social strategy working together as an integrated digital marketing strategy that drives qualified leads and turns your website into a powerful performing sales tool.

More than just your website, your web presence is the sum of your company’s presence online:

  1. Corporate website, microsites and blogs
  2. Visibility and listings in search engines
  3. Wherever your original content can be found online
  4. Wherever anyone is talking about your company, product or service online
  5. Your company’s social media pages/profiles

2) Why is a Web Presence Strategy Important?

A web presence works for you 24 hours a day, helping customers find you, instead of you having to find them. It also helps your company:

  1. Get discovered and outrank your competitors in organic search
  2. Educate the customer and build trust
  3. Position you as thought leaders
  4. Nurture customers through the buying process
  5. Drive leads to your company

Is web presence an investment or expense?

We view web presence much like any other capital asset. It just lives online. It’s a machine that contributes to demand generation and brand equity, providing infinitely measurable results. How well it produces depends on how well engineered it is, how well built, and how well maintained. Any and all of the elements of a web presence can depreciate over time, so they require maintenance and ongoing re-investment.

A buyer’s decision-making process

A recent study showed that “business buyers only contact suppliers directly when 57% of their purchase process is complete.” Over half of the buying process is focused on researching, forming opinions, reading reviews and reducing options before making a final decision.

You have to ask yourself, “Is my expertise, knowledge and industry authority being shared or even portrayed where customers are forming these opinions?” You are the expert, but if you’re not creating content, sharing on your website and engaging on social spaces, no one will know!

A properly executed web presence strategy ensures that your brand appears where your customers are researching online.

3) Three Key Components to Web Presence Optimization

As previously stated, an optimized web presence is an integrated online marketing strategy, which includes: content marketing, search marketing and social media marketing. Through this process you:

  1. Develop your brand as an authority online
  2. Increase your position in search engines, such as Google
  3. Develop a consistent brand image and remain top of mind

But, what are these strategies and how will they make your company money?

a) Content marketing: let’s drive qualified leads

Content marketing is the process of sharing your expertise, ideas and brand story with your customers and prospects through a variety useful formats and relevant online channels.

B2B companies with active blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms.

Digital optimized content marketing works best when linking your understanding of exactly what your prospects and customers need to know, with keywords that drive organic search traffic and generate conversions.

b) Search marketing: let’s get found

Research has shown that 75% of “Googlers” never search past the first page. Think of Google like the new Yellow Pages, you need to be where your customers are looking in order to sell your products. In fact, search marketing is a strategy that offers the greatest return on investment for online marketing because it allows your company to reach your primary target audience and you can measure your return on investment.

Furthermore, 79% of search engine users say they always/frequently click on the natural search results. Therefore, in order to see a return, your company needs to understand what your potential customer is looking for and be there for them.

c) Social media marketing: let’s share and engage

Social media is word of mouth on steroids. Companies often overlook the power of word of mouth. With social media, customers become the spokespeople for your company, bragging about product benefits, engaging with your brand and more.

When using social media, companies can also gather valuable insight on consumer needs, wants and demands, gain a better understanding of your core customer, and determine the pulse of the marketplace – all it costs is your time!

Maybe you have tried social media before, but have you integrated it with the rest of your marketing strategy? 94% [of B2B buyers] said C-suite social media participation enhances brand image. So, take that content strategy, take those blogs promoting your industry authority, and share them through your social spaces. Start that conversation and watch the qualified leads flow in.

It’s all measurable!

Digital marketing is highly measurable, allowing you to easily track your return on investment. Software tools, such as gShift, allow you to track a wide variety of web presence metrics, giving you immediate feedback on your digital marketing efforts and allowing you to be nimble and adaptable. Some of these metrics include:

  1. Conversions – when someone takes an action on your website
  2. Organic search ranking
  3. Costs vs return on investment

That’s the kind of reporting that would knock your boss out of his chair at the end of the quarter!

Ready to establish your web presence?

Let’s start getting found online, driving more qualified leads and seeing a return on our marketing investment.

You might be thinking, “We have been using the same marketing strategy for 20 years and it’s working fine.” We aren’t here to tell you our strategy is better, but we are here to help you tap into new business, develop new channels, and create a long term strategy that continues to work for you over time.

Think of a web presence strategy as a capital investment that works for you 365 days a year. Unlike a normal marketing expense that disappears over time, blogs, newsletters, and websites live forever. Your web presence strategy becomes a long term investment and not a disposable yearly expense.

Where does that leave you?

Your path to online success starts with understanding the latest trends in digital marketing, and the importance of investing in content marketing, search marketing, and social media marketing for your business. The sum of which is a strong web presence that generates qualified leads for your business. Get on board now to stay ahead of your competition.

 

Note: This post also appeared as a guest post on gShift.