A lot of people feel intimidated by online marketing.
I hear it all the time – I don’t understand the internet or what I need to do with my website to get more leads.
I’d like to show you that online marketing is no different to any other form of marketing, in that, you begin by
- talking to an audience you can serve,
- understand their need,
- build a relationship with that audience and
- then help that audience use your service or product for their benefit.
So what’s the with the title and marketing?
I’d like to tell you a little story. When I go to the store to buy a pair of jeans, I’m looking for something that looks good. They also need to be a really comfortable fit – not pinch around the midriff, not scrunch up behind the knees when I sit and stand. They need be easy to wash without fading and not need ironing. Some people buy jeans and ignore all the functional aspects, all they are concerned about is “does this make my bum look big?”
If they are happy that it doesn’t (which by the way, these people seldom are!), then they’ll put up with pinching around the midriff, the need to iron the jeans and a whole raft of other inconveniences.
Websites are a bit like jeans – most people focus on how they look and not on how they perform! And the business is prepared to sacrifice the function, for an attractive bum!
“A Website is a Business Tool, not an Art Project”
– Kronda Adair, Websites that Work
Most business websites show poor returns because they don’t speak to the right clients or attract enough clients.
As we all know, a website is one of the most powerful marketing tools for any business, but the sad truth is that 90% of websites just don’t market. Sure, they might look nice and usually they’ve cost you heaps to set up in both time and money, but they are NOT bringing in new leads, new customers and most importantly, the cash that is so essential for your business survival.
This is what happens on small business websites that don’t have an effective way of building relationships with their website visitors.
And this happens because most people forget that a website is a business tool, not an art project. Of course it needs to look nice, but it also needs to bring in new leads, new customers and most importantly, cash into the business.
Of course marketing your business effectively online is about much more than just having a website. There is more to consider – if you want those jeans to perform their function.
So what do you do?
Firstly, you need your target audience to find your website / information.
Which brings me to the Great SEO Myth!
One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “what can I do to quickly get to No 1 on Google?”. And when I answer, people are usually disappointed – they want a shortcut or a magic bullet and they want a guarantee to get to No 1 on Google.
There is NO Easy Button!
You’ve probably gotten emails that say something like “we noticed, that you are not ranking number one on Google. Please contact us and we can make sure that you rank number one on Google.”
Have you ever gotten an email telling you that a relative you’ve never heard of has passed away and that you are the sole beneficiary of a $600 million dollar estate? Well, when you get emails promising to get you to No 1 on Google, treat them with the same level of scepticism!
First, nobody can guarantee you a no 1 ranking on Google – even Google say they can’t! Second, no 1 for WHAT????
I could probably rank my website no 1 for the World Tiddlywinks Championship, but what good does that do my business?
And thirdly, your desired result is not to be number 1 on Google, it is to get more customers and make more money!
There is NO Easy Button!
If you want to be found, then give people something to find!
Education and Information Marketing
The key to building relationships online, where you don’t have direct personal contact with your visitors, is to ALWAYS deliver exceptional value.
Without a doubt education is the best way to deliver exceptional value and build those online relationships, regardless of what products or services you have. Provide education with information marketing (often aka content marketing)
When people are looking for the products or services you provide, they find content or information. The more valuable the information, the more likely they are to engage further with you.
Per dollar spent, content marketing generates approximately three times as many leads as conventional marketing.
The beauty of content marketing is that once you’ve created the content, you own it. So, while you might not reap the benefits immediately, you’re building a repository of high quality, persona-driven content that will boost your SEO and continue to attract visitors and convert leads long after publishing. You can also repurpose any of your own content, turning a series of blog posts into an eBook or tweeting little snippets of older content, to further extend its shelf life.
Business-to-business companies with a blog generate 67 percent more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms. Consistency is key – we do need to post content consistently. At least once a week.
Most people fail at content marketing because they:
- don’t understand their audience and therefore don’t speak TO them
- are not strategic
- are not consistent
- don’t track results towards a defined outcome
To change this, here are the key questions to answer:
- Who is the target audience?
- What do they need?
- What can you help them with in relation to that need?
- What do you want them to do when they see your information?
- How will you serve them?
The main purpose of information marketing is providing exceptionally useful information to your target audience and being as helpful as you possibly can, without any immediate expectation of something in return. Here are some key considerations in providing that value:
- Communicating with your target audience in a way that is effective and engaging is vital – even to the point of conjuring the smell and taste of freshly baked bread (listen to the InnovaBuzz Podcast Episode 68!).
- Getting to know your target audience is really important and one very effective way to do that is constructing audience or ideal customer profiles.
- The difference between your audience’s status before they have the information you provide, and their status after they have that information determines the value of that information. To be exceptionally valuable, that information has to dramatically improve their status.
It’s not about how big your bum looks in that website, but about the results! It’s really about your marketing.
Marketing is fundamentally quite simple – deliver
- the right message
- to the right audience
- at the right time
- in the right place
- engage with them
- start to build a relationship and
- provide exceptionally valuable information to them until they are ready to make a purchase from you.
Knowing your ideal client really well, lets you craft that message and deliver it in the right places, time and in a way that you emotionally connect with them and deliver value.
Get to know your ideal client at a much deeper level, so you can engage effectively with them and deliver the value they are seeking, by completing this ideal client exercise: