After 3 decades as a professional marketer, serial entrepreneur and business consultant Steven Ludwig shares his best practices for small business marketing for owners, managers, and marketers with limited time, money, and expertise.
Steven started his professional marketing career in broadcasting in the early ‘90s in Chicago after attending Valparaiso University. After a brief stint at an advertising agency specializing in entertainment and sports marketing where he worked with radio and television stations, movie theatre companies, record labels, musicians, and professional sports teams, he moved to Nashville to form The Marketing Group with his long-time business partner, Jim Wood.
Having worked with some of the largest brands in the world, in 2010 he returned to local marketing primarily out of an interest and excitement for working with small business owners to build stronger companies. That desire comes out of early days in radio, where he worked closely with everything from car dealerships to restaurants, insurance and real estate agents, banks, home services companies, and specialty retailers of all kinds.
Over the past decade, he has been on the bleeding edge of digital marketing technology, constantly seeking to understand complex strategies employed by giant corporations and then translate those capabilities into tactics small businesses can execute at a local level.
Today, in addition to other business ventures with his wife and other long-time business partners, he still lives outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee and currently serves as Executive Chairman of EmpowerLocal, a digital marketing company building a nationwide network of digital, hyperlocal news and lifestyle publishers to provide efficient advertising opportunities for local, regional, and national brands.
Part of the Digital Basics Services from Source Local Media
The Minimum Every Business Should Be Doing On-Line
You need your business to be found when potential customers are looking for your products or services. So we created Digital Basics Lite as a one-time set-up that provides the basic foundation any business needs to create a healthy, lead-generating digital footprint. There’s no point doing much outbound advertising until you’re prepared to smoothly funnel new leads into your business.
Without getting too technical, Digital Basics Lite sets up and connects the critical products from Google and other on-line platforms, gets them talking to each other in ways that make them most effective, and gives you the ability to track and report what’s happening. It looks a lot like this:
Digital Basics Lite is Affordable & Makes Immediate Impact
You’ll notice a difference almost immediately.
Better Data. Activating Google Analytics, a free product from Google, gives you total visibility of the traffic on your website. How many people are coming? How do they get there? What do they look at when they visit? And you can track outcomes like phone calls, form fills, and other actions that create actionable leads. You’ll have better visibility of what’s happening at your website, and how it’s helping grow your business.
Less Search Friction. When Google knows you, it’ll show you. And you’d be shocked how many times we find that customers have spent big money on a website that never got registered with Google. Yikes! It’s easy to fix, though. By registering your website with all the major search engines, they know you, trust that what they know is accurate, and (as a result) they show you more; a LOT more. Customers see an average of 300-1,100% increase in the number of search results in which they get shown.
Higher On-Line “Credit Score.” Almost every on-line platform, from Google to Microsoft to Apple and even Yelp! keeps a relevancy score, which is kind of an on-line credit score. The higher your score, the more likely you are to be shown or prioritized when potential customers are looking for companies like yours. Digital Basics Lite gets your credit score in shape, and provides a solid foundation to keep building it up as you go.
Since most of these platforms generate regular reporting, you’ll be able to see things improve right away. And where you have baseline data already, you can watch it improve.
How To Get Digital Basics Lite Free
We normally charge $1,500 for Digital Basics Lite, and it’s well worth the price. But it’s often one of the ways we invest in new clients long before they ever invest in us. We’ll GIVE you Digital Basics Lite if you’ll just watch our on-line workshop, 3 Reasons Advertising Fails & How To Avoid Them.
Why? Because we’ve found that our best, most successful customers are armed with the free advice we share in the workshop. A more educated customer is a better customer. We believe that, and we’re so sure about it – we put our money where our mouth is…
This creates great value for your business. This can be done on your own, but it’s time-consuming and often confusing. We do this every day, all day, so we can do it in far less time. You’ll own all the accounts and work product, and it’s yours to do whatever you want once we’re done.
It may sound too good to be true, but here’s why we do this:
We learn a LOT about what makes your business tick during this process;
You see proof that we’re who we say we are – before you’ve spent a dime;
It has made for stronger, more long-lasting relationships with new customers.
We see it as an investment in building the kind of trust it takes to be successful in a “we tried it and it didn’t work” world. No one wastes time or money, and if you decide not to work with us long-term at least you’ve got a firm foundation on which you can build, no matter what.