The new year brings new perspective and the drive to tackle goals that seemed just out of reach last year. Now we’re three weeks into 2019, the shine of the Times Square disco ball has started to fade, that brownie is looking really good and we remember why we put off chasing those stretch goals: they’re complicated, time consuming, and it’s hard to know where to start.
Marketing is more complicated than ever. The evolution of our digital world has made it simultaneously the easiest and most difficult time to reach customers. So, how can local businesses make sense of the digital landscape to reach customers in an efficient and impactful way?
Every few months, we'll share tips that breakdown these complicated concepts and help you make it happen. First, we’re going back to the basics.
Know your customers.
We’re not telling you to stalk anyone, but in 2019 knowing who your customers are is only half the battle. As the digital world grows, it’s even more important to know where to find them (digitally). To start, take a moment to define your audience formally, on paper — we promise you will reference it consistently when planning your marketing efforts. You should include any details you have about your customers’ lifestyle, hobbies, and media consumption. There are tons of ways to map your customers media consumption patterns, but there are a couple of super easy ways to get started. There are many sources that develop yearly reports on social demographics by channel, one easily-digestible example, is the Pew Research Center’s 2018 Social Media Use Report. Another helpful tool to understand your customers behavior and intent is Google Trends which can show you search behavior dating back several years to help you uncover customer search patterns, where they are from and if there are key phrases that people use surrounding your product, which is the perfect segway into our next point.
Optimize your website.
The patterns you uncover with google trends won’t matter if your website isn’t being pulled into Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for customer queries. In every relationship, there’s a flower and a gardener. Your website is the flower. You have to give it all the goods to increase your traffic, so you can eat the veggies, i.e. grow your business. Design is important, but the content on your site will determine if you rank on SERPs or not. You can get started by identifying your key products or offerings, researching how people search for what you’re selling, then finally, optimizing the content on your pages to prioritize key phrases that are important to you and your customers.
Last, but not least. Build your organic social presence.
Your social presence is basically your website 2.0, your content needs to be equally as optimized for SEO and consistent with your website, but in order to build your social following, you need to be part of conversations that matter to your target customers. Using and monitoring hashtags that your customers use are key on most social platforms, as well as maintaining a regular posting cadence, and creating content that feels native to the platform. For example, your Twitter following won’t care that you took a beautiful photo of your product “just because”, but if that photo was featured on Boston.com because your business is being recognized, that may grab their attention. Your Instagram following loves to see those stylized photos, because it’s beautiful, and that’s what they will expect to see.
By focusing on these fundamental building blocks, you can strengthen the foundation of your marketing efforts and save money by reaching the right people for free.
Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and inspiration, or contact us for a one-on-one consultation!