Auto Trim Design is a family business that designs and applies promotional signage to vehicles and buildings in the Toronto area. Like many other small businesses, Auto Trim was not generating a lot of sales from its website and other Internet marketing efforts.
Owner Paul Hosie was frustrated by the poor results and turned to BDC’s team of Internet marketing strategists for help. He wanted to develop an online marketing strategy that would set his growing company apart from the competition, attract more sales leads and encourage repeat business.
Tackling the challenge
The first step in devising an online strategy for your small business is to carry out a detailed analysis of your current website, content strategy and social media presence.
In Auto Trim’s case, I worked with the company to assess its online efforts over a 3‑month period. Then, we benchmarked our findings against Auto Trim’s competitors to help determine the best online opportunities.
Looking at the data
It’s important to collect and analyze data on the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts. At Auto Trim, our analysis showed that online visitors weren’t spending enough time on the site and not exploring enough webpages.
To keep people engaged and spending time on your site, it’s critical to ensure your website is both visually interesting and content‑rich.
When we examined Auto Trim’s data, we found the following lacklustre results for September 1, 2012 to March 10, 2013.
On average, visitors spent about 1:25 minutes on the website.
The total number of visitors during the period was 1,185.
The total number of pages viewed by visitors was 3,339.
- On average, visitors using mobile phones spent 24 seconds on the site, accounting for 214 visitors in total, and tablets, roughly 40 seconds, accounting for 26 visitors in total.
In addition, the client’s website, e‑newsletters, social media assets lacked a cohesive sales generation strategy. In fact, these properties didn’t generate a single sales lead during the period.
Developing a strategy
When developing an online marketing strategy, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customers. This means, understanding their needs and desires and addressing them directly from your website’s homepage and other Internet properties.
This is why a content strategy is so important. You want articles, blog posts, videos and other content that provide prospective customers with valuable information such as tips on using your service or product, alerts on new products/services, a feature of the month, etc. The goal is to position yourself as a knowledgeable expert in your field to attract new customers and keep them coming back and advocating for your company with their network.
With our help, Auto Trim found a good web developer and launched a new mobile‑friendly website. We also worked together to develop a detailed email marketing and content strategy. With the help of a professional copywriter, the company created frequent email campaigns that spoke directly to the target audience and included calls‑to‑action that brought readers back to the website.
Increase in the number of leads—On average, the company is receiving two qualified quote requests per week compared with none before the strategy.
Increase in sales—In the month following the launch of the new site, Auto Trim experienced an 82% increase in sales in comparison to the same time the year before. While all this growth can’t be attributed to the online strategy, it has clearly been an important factor in generating sales.
Increased website engagement—After the new site was launched, overall engagement metrics increased with visitors spending, on average, 40% more time and increasing the number of pages viewed by almost 45%.
- Increased mobile engagement—In addition, with the release of the new mobile responsive version of the site, mobile engagement metrics increased by a whopping 182%!
Here are the detailed metrics for the period from September 1, 2013 to March 10, 2014.
On average, people spent about almost 41% more time on the site or roughly 2:00 minutes.
The total number of visitors to the website increased by almost 51% for a total of 1,785 visitors.
The total number of pages that visitors viewed increased by almost 45% for a total of 4,833 pages.
On average, visitors who came to the site using their mobile phone increased their stay by 183% to 1:07 minutes on average. The total number of mobile visitors increased by almost 26% to 269 from 214.
- On average, visitors who came to the site using a tablet increased their stay by 1,430% to 10:03 minutes, on average. The total number of tablet visitors increased by almost 227% to 85 from 26.
In addition, the frequent email marketing program with its clear calls‑to‑action helped drive more traffic to Auto Trim’s website.
We compared email data from October to March 2013/2014 with the same time in the previous year. Auto Trim experienced an increase in the percentage of email recipients visiting the website to an average of 9% (click rate) from a previous average of less than 3%, a whopping 300% increase.
A happy small business
Auto Trim has converted its website into a sales lead generation tool—assisting visitors in the consideration phase of their buying process and continuing to provide them with valuable information after they become customers.
For small businesses, it’s important to assess the overall competitive landscape you’re facing and look at your online data to discover new opportunities to improve and enhance the overall experience for digital visitors.
Then you can take steps to drive relevant traffic to your site and, most importantly, convert visitors into customers.