The Norman Transcript

November 9, 2013

Internet marketing now affordable for small businesses

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — An amazing number of small businesses still do not have websites, have websites that are barely functional or have websites that are not mobile-friendly.

Enter entrepreneur and techie dude extraordinaire, Mateo Baisden, owner-operator of Cloud Agency, 1800 North Interstate Drive, Suite 100 in Norman. The Cloud Agency provides internet marketing and website maintenance for small and medium businesses for an affordable monthly fee rather than demanding a large upfront fee.

“When a small business is looking at marketing online, traditionally they have had to invest a large flat fee to have a website built,” Baisden said. “The company builds the site, wishes them luck and is on their way. It’s sink or swim.”

With more people shopping online or checking out items on their smart phones, it’s more important than ever to have an online presence and for that site to be readable and usable via phone.

“We offer website management instead,” he said. “We build it and manage it for a monthly fee.”

Along with the importance of a business website, the secondary and growing market is mobile visitors to the website. More and more people are browsing on their phones and tablets. Baisden said a great website should be mobile-friendly. That means it needs to be responsive, sizing to fit the visitor’s screen size and work well with touch. It should also be quick loading. Mobile visitors won’t wait around for your site to load, and they are connecting through a slower network.

The Cloud Agency can help.

“Typically a business will start with website management. We’ll build the website and take care of hosting and content updates — they don’t have to learn any technology,” he said. “The next step is to add the mobile management. We’ll make sure the website is mobile friendly.”

Baisden and his team will adapt and improve each website as they work with the individual businesses. Cloud offers very affordable base services including website and mobile management. The services can grow as the business grows.

“It’s gotten complicated enough a typical business owner can’t learn it, and they can’t keep up with this technology anymore. It’s just advancing way too fast. It’s not a part-time endeavor anymore.”

But while the online business universe has become more complicated, it has also become more crucial to business success.

“In most industries, it’s the primary way to get new customers,” he said.

For businesses who want to go beyond the basics, Cloud Agency can help businesses do proactive marketing.

“The next thing you want to do is use the website visitors to build an email list,” he said.

Cloud can also help businesses do search marketing and content marketing.

“The key is every month, we’re there learning and getting better at marketing the business based on the results from last month,” he said. “Small businesses can’t staff a marketing department internally. We’re able to help with that.”

For nearly a decade, Baisden did business the old way, setting up websites as a subcontractor.

“We did the technical work for this but we didn’t do any direct client work,” he said.

A native Oklahoman who attended Moore schools, Baisden went to Minneapolis to attend college and stayed. While living in Minneapolis, he started Cloud Web Team which subcontracted technical website design and development.

Baisden’s wife is also from Oklahoma and when they started thinking about starting a family, they decided to move back home to the Sooner state.

“We could work from anywhere. Our work force was remote at that time,” he said. “When I looked at the economy here and the cost of living here, that didn’t hurt either. It’s almost like getting a raise to move back here.”

The couple moved back to Oklahoma in 2008.

“For a few years I just kept subcontracting with agencies,” Baisden said.

Baisden also noticed that many businesses were not online in Oklahoma and had not fully explored what the internet can do for businesses. Having enjoyed working with customers, he wanted to return to the interaction and the strategy of marketing businesses.

“The chance to work with business owners directly again was pretty appealing,” he said.

Cloud Agency was born in 2012, but most of that first year has been spent in planning.

“We’re basically still launching,” he said. “At this point I’m just beginning to market it and get the word out.”

Cloud Web Team, the subcontractor, was located first in Oklahoma City and then for two years in Moore before settling in Norman.

Baisden and his wife moved to Norman to be closer to an acreage they have southeast of town. Oklahoma offers the land that Baisden and his wife want for their children growing up, while Norman offers the talent — developers and designers interested in developing and copywriting the things needed for clients. Talent is available through remote employees but that’s not Baisden’s first choice.

“If I can get that talent right out of college or even as interns while they’re still in college, I prefer that,” he said.

Businesses interested in checking out the Cloud agency can check out their services online at cloudOKC.com, call 405-217-0550 or email mateo@cloudOKC.com.

Joy Hampton

366-3544

jhampton@

normantranscript.com

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