The basics of marketing have, and continue, to change. Today’s method equates to Inbound Marketing = Online Marketing.
Interruption Marketing practices that were used for years to reach consumers have quickly become outdated and obsolete with the busying culture and boom of digital social practices. Society reads less and watches more. The majority of “readers” now read digitally, books and newspapers. People are busy. They don’t have time for interruptions. The trend has turned to more subscription-based radio and television, buying out of commercial interruptions.
Inbound Marketing, consumer driven marketing, them coming to you (online), is the new norm. For years the trend has swung more and more toward an online focus, including purchasing. More and more information, services and products are available on the web. The internet is the place to be.
In my next few posts I plan to focus on marketing via your website or blog. I will include information pertaining to using various social media platforms as marketing tools, then move into a bit of an SEO education.
The focus for this article will be an outline to use to optimize your website from an online marketing standpoint. Fill in the blanks to create a road map to use in focusing your website and begin to create an online marketing plan.
Identify your Target
- Small Businesses
- Other Entity
Break down your target more precisely (i.e., Demographic)
- living status (home owners or renters)
- employment status
- mobility or disability
- health concerns
What problem are you solving for your target?
What are their goals?
What are their needs?
What are their wants?
Where are my clients online?
Categorize your business.
- High Quality Coffee: not JUST coffee.
- Fresh Mexican Burritos: not just Mexican food.
What do you offer that will bring your target to you?
- What value do you bring to your target?
- How do you make their life easier?
- How will you help them reach their goals?
How do you stand out from your competition?
- Who are your competitors?
- What makes you different?
- – highlight differences
- Why should they choose you?
- What are your own shortcomings?
- How will you strengthen or eliminate your weaknesses?
What is your customer’s view of you?
- before a sale
- during the sale
- after the sale
Once you have answers to these questions, you can proceed with more focus. Direct your blog posts or web content at your specific target. Communicate your specific value to their lives or business. Indicate how you rise above the competition, without ever tearing down your competition. In simple terms, tell your target audience how you can help them reach the goal they’ve sought you out to fulfill.
Always present yourself in a positive manner, whether digitally or in the flesh. Engage those who visit your site or store. Focus on the five senses and stimulate emotion. Make their visit a positive, memorable experience. When we “feel” welcomed upon arrival and leave with a good “feeling”, we want to come back and most often share the experience with friends and family. Word of mouth is still the best advertisement.
Inbound Marketing = Online Marketing
For an online experience the available senses are limited.
- Make the web visit personal (friendly)
- Anticipate needs (why are they here)
- Be proactive
- – Give quick response to inquiries before, during AND after a sale
- – Ask for testimonials and referrals. Even one survey question is helpful.
- Engage their senses when possible.
- – Use professional, or at least excellent, photography
- – scan your photos for distractions before use
- – Don’t overwhelm your visitors with color or stark contrast
- – Be consistent with the flow of your site
- – Depending upon your target, soft music statistically comforts
For a brick and mortar experience, think Starbucks!
Again, engage the senses. Use:
- products to touch
In a nutshell, your goal is to welcome your customer in a way that gives them a “good feeling” they will remember. Keeping them engaged is the secret to successful sales. Although the customer is NOT always right, they are your bread and butter. They are the reason that you have a business. Focus on them. Serve them. Always remember, they choose to sign, or cancel, your paycheck. Keeping your market pleased with your goods and services is where your treasure lies.
My company website is ChelsiGraphics.com.