Though it is always important that you always understand your target market, digital marketing and an online presence have reinforced the requirement that you really need to understand the problem you solve for potential customers as well know exactly who your prospects are, otherwise you will not receive your return on your investment in the digital world. You really have to understand how your potential customers will find you as well as understand how to attract the prospects you want to your business. So it is important that you plan your digital marketing strategy with that thought in mind.
It is going to be even more important online for smaller businesses, to get access to their market. With print advertising, most small businesses had to rely on someone else to develop an advertisement for them and possibly write the content. Today with Content Management Systems and everyone having access to Social Media, and Paid Online Advertising, it is very easy for businesses to do a lot of work online themselves, but is important before you start that you learn how to make it work for your business. Though access is easier, it can end up costing you business and more money then you need to spend if digital marketing is not implemented correctly for your business.
The first place to start is by defining your keywords and keyword phrases to use throughout your digital marketing strategy. As a business owner, you and your key staff should sit down and make a list of 20-30 keywords and phrases that you believe your potential customers might use when they search online. It is key to put yourself in your prospect's shoes of what their problem is that they need solved by your product or service. Because we know our products and services and business so well, we sometimes don't stop to think how someone else might search versus ourselves and what we think prospects will search on sometimes is completely wrong. I experienced this myself in the first year of my business an my first online presence. I started asking clients when they called what they searched to find me and were not what I thought at all they would be. Once I changed them to what clients were searching for, my traffic significantly increased, and my phone started ringing a lot more.
After you have your list of keywords and phrases, you might want to type them into Google and find out what shows up. If you are just starting online, most likely your company will not, but you would expect your competition to show up. To help, you can also look at what your competition is using. For most websites, you can right click "view source" and look for the meta tag keywords near the top of the code to find out what your competition is using. This will help you start.
Using the Google Adword keyword tool can help you come up with related search terms as well as help you to understand if your keyword list of words and phrases are actually searched with any frequency. You might believe that prospects will type in a keyword phrase to find your business, but if only 300 people in your local country search the keyword phrase you chose a month and if you high competition, the chances of getting traffic on that keyword phrase are very low. You need to focus on keyword phrases that have a high number of searches and low to medium competition.
Having the wrong keywords will affect the traffic and bounce rate on your website and social media sites. It will also affect the effectiveness and return on investment of your online marketing campaigns. By not understanding how prospects will search can end up costing you customers as well as costing you time and money .
After keywords, content is the most important focus. You need to be sure that you are developing content that is targeted at what your prospects are interested in. Content should not just be about your business. It should be educational and provide value to the reader. There is nothing worse than going to a website or social media site and all that it contains are constant infomercials about their products, services or their business. Content online is to remain relevant and up to date. You want to provide content that shows your business understands the market and the industry as well as customer needs. It is up to you to educate your prospects and customers and by doing so you are showing what you know over your competition which could just have static website that lists their features.
To find relevant content for your social media, you need to follow people in your industry, related fields, and even those that might be selling similar services and products, but who you do not compete with directly. You also need to develop your own content as well to show your expertise as well as a business. Frequency and quality of content is very important in helping to not only get visitors or followers, but is important in keeping them coming back. In most cases, most prospects do not either fill in a form or call the first time they visit, they come and browse to see if what you provide is relevant to what they are looking for and will do their research and then come back.
Whether you are utilizing Google Adword campaigns, Social Media advertising, or banner advertisements, the goal is to bring traffic back to either your website , social media site, or a landing page and create a conversion. For this reason, it is very important that you have a Call to Action that is targeted at at your potential customers to do something, whether that be download a document and fill in their contact information, like your Facebook page, or provide a discount that makes them make a buying decision now.
If your advertisement is not targeted appropriately, you can end up spending a lot of money on Online Advertising with no return on your investment. Not only did you not make a conversion, but you brought the wrong prospect to one of your online mediums which will give you a high bounce rate, because they will leave as soon as they get there what is being offered does not correspond appropriately to the ad.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Because search engine optimization is used to help you be found online, it is important that your sites are optimized appropriately. There would be nothing worse than spending months to optimize your website to show up on page one of search engines, just to find out that the search terms are so infrequently typed in that you didn't increase your traffic.
Understanding your prospects and customers is important whether you are using digital marketing or not, but once you are online, it plays even a bigger role. You are no longer a local store that someone in the neighborhood is walking by, you are on the internet with access to a larger potential prospect pool and it is up to you to develop your digital marketing so that prospects that you did not have access to before can find you. This is even more important if you are selling products online on your site. As you put together the mediums you plan to use online, spend the time as a business thinking about who your all your targeted prospects are based on what you offer and what problem you solve. Then spend time thinking what they will type in to find you, what is important for them to know and what kind of information they need to make a decision, and are you providing the right calls to action to help them make their decision.
RK Fischer & Associates