Cas McCullough, Local, Mentor, Sales and marketing, Website Strategy

Still underestimating the power of your branded website? Read this…

Cas McCullough /

Do you still believe that mainstream advertising will give you the highest return on investment?

 

When was the last time that worked for you?

 

Small businesses traditionally spend thousands on mainstream ad campaigns, but over the past few years there’s been a massive shift happening in the marketing industry and that shift is starting to rock the advertising industry to its core.

 

In a recent study by Nielsen, the three highest ranking ad types trusted by consumers were:

 

  • Recommendations from people they knew: 84%
  • Branded websites: 69%
  • Consumer opinions posted online.

 

I just want to let that sink in for a minute: people trust branded websites more than they trust newspaper articles, mainstream ads and mobile ads.

 

That is a staggering statistic, given the amount of money that people waste on mainstream advertising and even PR.

 

Most marketers know how powerful Word of Mouth is, but they still underestimate the power of their branded websites. In fact, many don’t invest anywhere near as much in their websites as they do on mainstream advertising.

 

Why is this so?

 

Outdated 20th Century marketing techniques are still considered to be the predominant method for most small businesses despite consumer preferences for inbound marketing methods – what we in the marketing world call pull marketing rather than push marketing.

 

However, it is small businesses that have the most to gain by pursuing inbound marketing methods such as social media marketing, email marketing and content marketing.

 

One of the difficulties with inbound marketing is measuring ROI, but new tools are being developed every day that facilitate this. For instance, Facebook enables marketers to place a conversion pixel on their websites to track the effectiveness of their Facebook ads.

 

The future

 

The small business world is only just cottoning on to the power of inbound marketing, and my prediction is that in two years time, small businesses will be investing way more in their websites and content marketing than they are in mainstream advertising.

 

How about you? Do you still view mainstream ads as the ultimate in marketing effectiveness?

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