The basics of marketing have, and continue, to change. Today online marketing is the standard. Successful online marketing equates to:
Inbound Marketing = Online Marketing
The antiquated practice of interrupting consumers is outdated and obsolete. Our culture and the boom of digital social practices killed Interruption Marketing. People are just busy. They don’t have time for interruptions. Consumers have turned to subscription-based radio and television, buying out of commercial interruptions.
Statistically, today’s society reads less and watches more. The majority of “readers” now read digital books and newspapers.
Inbound Marketing, or consumer-driven marketing, them coming to you online, is the new norm. For decades the trend has moved toward an online focus, including purchases. Information, services, and products are all available on the web. Consequently, the internet is the place to be.
The focus of this post is to provide an outline to optimize your website from an online marketing standpoint. Create a road map to an online marketing plan with the following guide.
Online Marketing Strategy
Identify your Target
- Small Businesses
- Other Entity
Break down your target more precisely (i.e., Demographic)
- Living Status (homeowners or renters)
- Employment Status (employed, retired, self-employed, unemployed)
- 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?
- 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 the Sale
- During the Sale
- After the Sale
Once you have answers to these questions, you can proceed with more focus. Now, 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.
Above all else, present yourself in a positive manner, whether digitally or in the flesh. Make their visit a memorable experience. Engage those who visit your site or store. Focus on the five senses and stimulate emotion.
When we “feel” welcomed upon arrival and leave with a good “feeling”, we want to come back. As a result, we want to 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
Brick and Mortar
For a brick and mortar experience, think Starbucks! Engage the senses with:
- 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. Ergo, keeping visitors engaged is the secret to successful sales. Although the customer is NOT always right, they are your bread and butter. That is to say, 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.
Future posts will focus on marketing via your website or blog. I will eventually cover how to use various social media platforms as marketing tools.
Check out some past posts for a bit of an SEO education and Free SEO Checklist.
Visit my corporate portfolio and list of services at ChelsiGraphics.com.