Intro myself. Thank host & audience. Invite questions.
So let’s begin by looking at why it is important to focus on online marketing? Buyers are looking for you; Buyers are doing their due dilegence And it’s all happening online. Without putting too fine a point on it , the Internet has changed the dynamics of the business world, necessitating a change from “old marketing” techniques to “new marketing” techniques The emergence of sites like Google, Yahoo, social media, YouTube, have changed how we research and ultimately purchase products and services. I’m assuming you are aware at least on some level of this paradigm shift or you wouldn’t be here.
So, In looking at your online marketing, what do you need to know? What are your goals? Having a website isn’t going to do a damn thing for your marketing unless you know where you’re going with it? You’re not going to get into your car and drive with out having a destination are you? Same thing with spending the time and money on your website and social media etc. So we’ll take a look at how to set goals and how they might look as part of an online marketing strategy. You need to know who you’re talking to? Who’s your audience? Who are your customers? Who is looking to find out more about you online? We’ll take a look at assessing your target audience and determining who you’re talking to. You also need to know what your message is. This is where a lot of businesses are going to fail. This is where they start talking about “we can do this, we can do that…” They talk AT their audience instead of talking with them or engaging them. We’ll take a look at how to do this more effectively. And once you know what you want to say, you’ll of course want to find the most effective platforms on which to say it. Despite popular opinion, all channels are not right for all businesses. We’ll take a look at how to decide if a channel is right for you.
I got a call recently from a guy who, I swear to you, said he wanted to get a website to “get people off his back about getting a website”. This is an example of a non-goal! You want to think through what your website can and should be doing for your business You should have an end goal in mind An attorney may want to increase calls leading to more engagements A wine store may want a full ecommerce site – or maybe they looking for an more dynamic marketing tool to drive business to their brick and mortar store.
Creating Awareness How are you using your website and social media channels to let people know about your business? One of my very favorite FB campaigns was for BistroRollin in White Plains. They created a GREAT campaign and engaged a LOT of people who didn’t previously know about them. They created a lot of awareness and no doubt created for themselves a deep pool of interested prospects. Even for people who maybe didn’t enter the contest…
So once you know what you want to have happen, you want to identify your audience. It’s sort of Business Development 101; know who you want to work with and know who you DON’T want to work with. This means you need to be really clear about who you’re targeting, This is where you begin to focus on who you’re best customers are; and start to segment this group so you can target your message Here’s a great example of TARGETED messaging. Right on the home page we see EXACTLY who Regus’s audience is: Small Businesses, Start Ups, Small & Medium Businesses and Corporations Not only do they clearly identify their target audience, they make it uber easy for members of their target groups to get to relevant content. You want to do the same thing. Figure out who your target market is and then break that pool down into segments . Each segment is looking for information relevant to them; they will be motivated by different factors which makes sense when you think about it; they have different needs, different pain points. Which brings us back to our clearly defined goals; how do we incent these various segments to move from our Potential Audience pool to our Interested Prospect pool and ultimately to our Customer pool? These narrowly defined segments make it easier to focus our message on our audience.
A common problem a lot of small business owners have is crafting a clear, concise message. How many times have you gone to a networking event and met someone for the first time…you ask them what they do and they launch into a laundry list of all the things that they do? I was at a networking event recently and met a guy who owns a catering facility. When asked about his business he told me about birthday parties, and bar and bat mitvahs, and communions and the ladies nights and the comedy nights and the corporate events that they do. So rather than a succinct message about the facility you are regaled with a laundry list of events and menu options. You walk away having absolutely no idea what the hell they do because they “do it all”; there’s nothing they can’t handle. Here’s a great example of messaging done right. It is so clear what they do – and I don’t even know what the hell Sales Compensation is all about, but I know these folks can make it easy! Figure out your core message – what is it that you do in 15 seconds or less – and THAT’s where you start. Has anyone done this already? Does anyone want to share their pitch?
I’m going to share with you the worst kept secret in marketing; you can’t do it all. Here’s the next worst kept secret; you don’t need to. So figure out where your “best” customers are and focus your marketing energy there. This will take some leg work; you’ll need to do some research to find where your target audience is hanging out, and then hang out there too. Look for groups on Facebook, search for hashtags on Twitter, join groups on LinkedIn Each of these channels have their own personalities and attract certain types of members. So let’s take a look at some of the major SM channels you’re likely already dabbling in…
Bottom line? It’s about connecting to your customers in a way that THEY are comfortable with. There are just too many ways for your prospects to filter out anything but the messages they want; so a) make sure your message is relevant and something they want to receive and b) share it in a way that they are comfortable with. Don’t sell! This is probably the most important point This is marketing NOT sales, use it to reinforce your brand and your reputation You can let folks know what’s going on with you, but don’t expect them to pick up the phone to order Pushyness is a real turn off in this arena
Let’s get in to the where a bit. We’ll start with Facebook. You can upload photos, links, status updates, etc. People will comment and can “like” your status or comment.
People will “follow” you to see your status updates; Status updates must be 140 characters or less, you can use a URL shortener to add links. Tweetdeck will allow you to upload images as well and will automatically shorten a long URL for you You have little privacy here People do not need to follow you to see your tweets You cannot keep someone from following you
These are some of the tools you can use to manage your SM accounts The let you keep track of what’s going on in your “feeds” all in one place and let you post to multiple accounts at once. They all have different features and various pros and cons so tool around in a few and see what you like.
Adding More Caffeine To Your Online Marketing Essential Elements of Online Marketing Success for Small Business
Why Is It Important To Focus On Online Marketing? 66% of consumers responding to an offline advertisement visited the web site of the company advertised or a search engine to learn more, while only 14% called a phone number from the advertisement, the survey says. Source: Jupiter Research, 2009 According to research firm Marketing Sherpa, 80% of business decision-makers who made a recent purchase said they found the product vendor. While just 20% said the product vendor found them. Source: Marketing Sherpa, 2009