Reviving Digital Marketing

Tough Love Tips for Reviving Your Dysfunctional Digital Marketing

If there's one thing that I've learned in spending 12 years helping more than 500 business master marketing, it's that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Despite what so-called gurus and experts might have entrepreneurs believe, each circumstance demands unique situational awareness: Regardless whether they're working from scratch or following some premade methodology, marketers have to be constantly on their toes.

Fortunately, outreach doesn't have to be a blind venture into the unwelcoming darkness. Learning from other people's mistakes can make oversights easier to avoid. Why not use some of these tough-love concepts to make wiser marketing choices?

Amateur Marketing Almost Always Falls Short

Feel like a thrifty business champion for getting a relative or friend to build a free web portal? Think it's easy to master Google AdWords with no SEO training? DIY digital marketing never functions the way business owners anticipate, and the small amount of cash they save is rarely worth the longterm revenue potential they sacrifice.

Companies work with digital marketing professionals for a good reason: No matter how clear a business owner's executive vision seems, it takes well-designed, secure, functional sites and brand experiences to convince customers to transact. Companies that settle for anything less suffer because they appear less professional. Tools like AdWords and Google Analytics may be powerful indeed, but when misused, they waste money.

Why not save everyone time by doing things the right way from the start? Although it can be tempting to conserve limited resources as much as humanly possible, smarter marketing expenditures are always more justified than merely trying ideas until something sticks.

Bad Marketers Ignore Their Audience's Preferences

One of the biggest marketing mistakes that business owners make is assuming they fully understand their target users. Even if they have lots of data, experience or intuition to back up their assertions, these leaders commit the fatal sin of not playing to the audience, and this makes it way harder to get the message out.

How do competent advertisers accommodate their adoring public? These tips might help:

  • Research the audience before each campaign to discover common desires and pain points. When using Facebook, Google and other outreach tools, address individual audience segments with thoughtful, keyword-based content that addresses their unique needs.
  • Use UTM codes, which are little bits of extra text tacked onto the end of URLs, to track how people engage with content online. UTM codes can reveal which sites visitors came from, which advertising campaigns and keyword terms they followed, or which kinds of marketing media they responded to, such as social platforms and blogs.
  • Cater to people's device preferences. A prospective customer might engage with a site using their laptop or PC before switching to mobile and eventually wandering back to their computer's browser. Make it easy for them to transition freely by designing a site that offers a uniform cross-platform experience.

The Best Marketing Campaigns Create Interesting Content

Long gone are the dark days of marketing initiatives that succeeded solely on the strength of banner ads and blaring popups. No matter how expertly companies place their keywords on a page or target their social media ads, they can't win without content that makes web users want to engage with their brands.

Fortunately, there's no shortage of ways to make outreach content attention-worthy. A company that sells a cool tech product, for example, might publish a series of blogs that go behind the scenes to explain the inner workings of their devices. Firms that want to make waves on social media might post about topics related to their niches and use clever tie-ins to lead people back to their brands. Discover what consumers have already expressed interest in, and respond with well-crafted marketing materials that scratch their collective itch for knowledge.

Marketers Who Talk At People Instead of Conversing With Them Usually Don't Get Heard

People are more likely to ignore advertisers that shout at, steamroll or talk down to them. Good consumer relationships are a two-way street, so open up a dialogue instead of standing on a soapbox to yell at whoever happens to be within earshot.

It's also way simpler to keep people focused on the message when it's packaged in an intriguing story instead of another boring old ad. Whether this takes the form of an ongoing article series or a cross-platform campaign involving alternate reality games and social media influencers, crafting a tale that takes people on a journey is always a worthwhile pursuit.

Marketing Content Shouldn't Outshine the Main Event

High-impact digital marketing is great, but when the websites that it promotes don't live up to expectations, brands inevitably suffer. Companies that want to attract attention from users must first ensure that they're ready to handle it. In other words, website upgrades, SEO audits and redesigns should all be accounted for in the marketing budget.

Don't think a new site is necessary? Remember that competition is fierce in the digital arena. Companies that want to rise to the top need sites that imbue viewers with a certain level of confidence. Don't skimp on aesthetics, functionality or third-party integrations.

Effective Targeting Doesn't Happen By Itself

Marketing campaigns can be overachievers, and this isn't necessarily a good thing. Ads that only resonate with people who aren't in the demographic, for instance, usually don't generate a positive return on investment, or ROI, regardless whether they produce additional views. Even if an ad is highly visible, it does no good if viewers don't care about what it's selling.

Focus on marketing content that connects with the most relevant audiences. For instance, when creating an AdWords campaign, business advertisers should use negative keywords to filter out searches that don't match their target users.

Marketing Campaigns Rarely Come Out Perfect on the First Try

Feeling confused about why a particular campaign isn't living up to its potential? Outreach, like most other business projects, demands continuous improvement.

Marketers who want their efforts to be fruitful never stop working to refine them. For instance, advertisers can use Google Ads' Quality Score ratings to get a good idea of how their campaign keywords perform. Facebook's relevance scoring offers similar information. Audiences are fickle, so it's vital to take advantage of all available feedback.

Marketers That Track ROI Waste Less and Profit More

From a business perspective, return on investment is probably the most reliable indicator of a campaign's success. No matter how viral a marketing video goes or how many page hits a social media post gets, ads need to produce sufficient revenue to sustain themselves as well as turn a profit. If they don't do both, then refine them soon or ditch them.

Getting the Ball Rolling in Real Life

Recognizing that it's time for a marketing shakeup is just the beginning. Serious firms take it further by putting these principles into action with the help of an expert.

What makes a good marketing agency partner?

People's experiences with different marketing agencies vary widely. Nonetheless, there are a few common factors worth thinking about while judging the options:

  • All good marketing is founded on market understanding. For small businesses, this often means getting to know the neighborhood or locale where most clients originate. When picking agencies, it's always a good sign if they have real-world storefronts or physical presences in the target region.
  • Applicable experience trumps all else. Agencies must have proven portfolios of their prior work. In addition to checking out pictures of the ad campaigns and business sites built by each prospect, always take the live versions for a spin. Test out how they function, look and feel to get a more intimate understanding of the agency's work.
  • Ratings aren't everything, but they do mean something. Whether they involve SEO audits, social media integrations or rebranding campaigns, digital marketing projects require time, effort and strong business relationships to evolve healthily. Agencies that accommodate different business models and genuinely care about providing a good client experience are a lot easier to work with. Those with the greatest number of 5-star reviews are generally safer bets.

Did these tips help bring successful marketing philosophies into clearer focus? Subscribe for more insightful pointers that could make it easier to reach audiences.


facebook-advertising

Using Facebook to Advertise Your Business? You May Be Doing it Wrong

There are many ways to market your business online, one of the most common methods being social media. When it comes to social media platforms, Facebook is one of the largest platforms. However, there are a lot of business owners doing everything they can think of on Facebook to market their business but often see no positive return on investment.

There could be plenty of factors to consider when it comes to marketing with Facebook. Often times, a business owner might believe that all he has to do is post an update to his page and make periodic "boosts". This is a common mistake for people who are new to marketing their business on Facebook.

Our recommendation is this; Only "boost" posts when you don't have time to create an ad. This is where the Facebook Ad Manager comes in.

Understanding the Facebook Ad Manager Platform

As mentioned before, most business owners feel that "boosting" their posts is an effective way to advertise on Facebook. However, having a full understanding of the Facebook Ad Manager will allow you to create a highly targeted and highly effective Facebook ad campaign.

Ads Manager is your starting point for running ads on Facebook, Instagram or the Audience Network. It's an all-in-one tool for creating ads, managing when and where they'll run, and tracking how well your campaigns are performing.

One of the biggest advantages of advertising on Facebook is that you can advertise on any budget. This is very useful for people who are a little tight on money while trying to start their own business. However, it is not just the cost-effectiveness of advertising but also the methods of gathering information and targeting that make advertising on Facebook so effective for business owners. Facebook helps you find the best types of people to advertise to so that you can achieve very high conversion rates.

4 Reasons Why You Should Set Up a Facebook Ad Account

1. The Power of the Facebook Pixel

The Facebook pixel is one of the tools that can prove to be beneficial to your marketing on social media. The pixel is code provided by Facebook that you place on your website. It helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads based on collected data, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to qualified leads - people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.

2. Create Lookalike Audiences

This is one helpful tool for conversions. The Facebook Pixel is very helpful with this. Lookalike audiences are used by taking a look at the customers that are already visiting your site and gathering information such as likes, demographics, and other traits in order to help you find similar people. This can make it easier for you to expand your reach and gain new customers.

3. Create Custom Audiences

This is slightly similar to Lookalike Audiences. Basically, you look at your current set of customers and build an audience based on your customers. Simply take your current customer email list and upload it to Facebook so that it can use the data for targeting. Once you have created your Custom Audience list, you can develop and target your ads to this group of customers you have built. For those of you that may have small audiences, one of the things you can do is test different aspects of your marketing in order to find the methods people respond to the most.

4. Custom Conversions

With Custom Conversions, you can track events on your site without having to change the Facebook Pixel code. This feature enables you to track your conversions and perform optimization techniques without having to add new code to your site. You are also replacing conversion data on the pages you have set up. In order for this to be effective, you already have to have the Facebook pixel embedded on your page.

In Summary

If you're running a business of any size, you are probably not going to have time to handle all of your own marketing. Fortunately, there are digital marketing agencies that are available for you to get in touch with. We know of one you might want to consider :)

 

There’s a lot of information here to consider but help is available if needed. Business owners with any questions or who need help on any part of their quest to build a powerful social presence can contact our team at Coastline Marketing Group. We offer a wide range of digital marketing solutions that can help position your business for success.


website-design-salinas-monterey

3 Things You MUST Consider Before Building Your New Website

For the last couple of decades, you've been told that you must have a website for your business both to improve your bottom line and to build a brand.

Still, recent studies show that as many as 46% of all small businesses in the U.S. don't have a website. When asked why they didn't have a site for their business, one common explanation given was that they had developed a website at one time but had received little to no benefit from it.

Developing a website is easier than ever today with the wealth of online tools, content management systems, and web development agencies available. But blindly developing a website for your business isn't likely to result in a successful online presence.

Blindly developing a website for your business is like sitting down at a piano to play, and for most of us, wondering why you can't play as well as Mozart.

A quality website that helps build a brand, maintains a low bounce rate and achieves a strong conversion rate will do much to enhance your bottom line. Such a website, however, isn't tossed together quickly using a free, commercial drag and drop utility. A quality website requires careful planning and consideration before it ever goes live.

How do Websites Benefit Small Business?

The internet is where the consumers are. Small businesses remain open without all of the overhead costs of traditional business. Additionally, giving the ability to market products and services to a global audience. The internet is an invaluable tool for the business owner who learns to use it wisely.

Statistics show that there are currently over 4 billion internet users worldwide. The average American internet user is online an average of 24 hours per week. That's a lot of people connected to the internet who just might be looking for products or services that you offer. And each year sees an increase in the amount of global ecommerce spending.

So once you decide to develop a website, or try again, where do you start?

What 3 Things Must Be Considered Before Building a Website?

Before getting started on the work of developing a website, there are 3 things a business owner must do.

1. Decide on a Strategy

The first question you should ask is what is the objective of your proposed website? Will it be a store where customers can buy your products and you ship to them? If we're dealing in digital goods, perhaps your store will be set up so downloadable digital files are available after purchase. Perhaps you offer a service or information online and you require a website that will allow customers to sign up for a paid subscription to receive your information or services on an ongoing basis.

You must be very clear in understanding the role the website will serve for you and it can serve more than one. A website done well can be your online presence 24/7 to the world, providing information and a way to contact you with any questions. It will also serve a primary purpose whether as an online store, an information site, or subscription service. You just need to be very clear in defining its primary function.

Once you've determined what purpose the site will serve, you need to determine what action you would like for your visitors to take on it. You definitely want them to find and purchase your products and services. If you can also provide fresh, relevant content of value to your audience, your site can be a source of information and an authority within your area of interest. You likely want them to sign up for your newsletter, fill out a form to contact you, or use social media functions on your website to share your content.

2. Focus On The Message:

Your message is a crucial part of developing a website. It's important to know and understand what your message is and how to best present it to the world.

Humans are social creatures of habit. In communication either personal or written, you tend to examine the speaker in a given conversation and you subconsciously try to determine what their intentions are. Are they trustworthy? Are they similar to you?

There is a foreground message you offer. If you sell pool cues and you write a blog about the top 10 pool cue brands, then the 10 brands listed are an example of your foreground message.

There is also a background message which is the "reading between the lines" portion of what you're saying to your audience. What is your audience looking for? They are trying to discern what type of people you are or what type of business or organization you have. The background message is incredibly important because if there are any doubts about you, your business, or your intentions, the visitor will immediately leave your website.

Considerations

You should make time to consider the impression you want to make and what you'd like for your audience to take away from visiting your site. You need to consider the message you want to convey carefully and develop your website around that. Once that's established, You need to ensure all of your communications carry that message.

Some questions you might want to ask:

  • What are your values?
  • What words could be used to describe your business? (Dependable, efficient, energetic, friendly, insightful, responsible, and more.)
  • Which type of people are in the audience you want?
  • What needs does your business serve for this audience?
  • Which problems do you intend to solve for your audience?
  • What do you think your audiences expects from your business?
  • How can your business best connect with the audience you want?

3. What's Your Marketing Strategy?

When it comes to talking about online marketing strategies and search engine optimization (SEO), many would rather not have that conversation. Isn't it enough to build a website with a clearly defined objective and a solid message for your intended audience?

No.

Just having a website, even if it's an incredible website, isn't enough. The audience you want has to be able to find it. The best way for them to find any product or service online is through the search engines.

SEO is a set of techniques used to improve your chances of being found within the search engines when users go to find a product or service you offer. It goes hand in hand with content marketing, social marketing, and email marketing, all effective ways of building an audience and your bottom line.

Many business owners throw their hands up at this point for many reasons. They don't understand what SEO is and expect immediate results when they try it. For that reason, they don't think they have time to be on social media platforms 24/7 to drum up business. They may know a little about how email marketing basically works but not all of the details.

Business owners should understand that marketing strategies are the key to successful online business and they include the following.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is all about increasing your business website's visibility on the search engines. It includes a number of components from creative to technical in building awareness of your site on Google, Bing, and more. Yes, it requires knowing what the search engines expect from your website from readability to structure. Yet in making the website easier to use and understand for the search engines, you're doing the same thing for potential visitors.

The more traffic you receive, the greater the number of conversions. It should be understood that SEO techniques don't work overnight but over a period of time. When it's done correctly, it's absolutely worth any invested time and resources.

Mobile Marketing

More than half of all search engine queries are made on mobile devices and that number is only expected to increase. With more than half of your intended audience on mobile devices, it then becomes vital to ensure your planned website will be formatted for mobile devices.

Often called "responsive website design", mobile optimization means your website looks good and functions well across all devices. Being optimized for mobile is also crucial to your SEO efforts. As of Google's July 2018 update, they switched from rewarding websites optimized for mobile with better rankings to penalizing any site that's not optimized for such. Since Google is the largest search engine on the internet, mobile optimization becomes even more crucial.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the consistent use of fresh, relevant content of value to your intended audience. It's the online creation and sharing of content like blogs, social media posts, video, and more that offers value to your audience without being an advertisement.

Using our pool cue website example, you might offer a blog on your website. Include articles about proper care and storage of cues, pool techniques, troubleshooting, and more. The idea is to offer content that stimulates an interest.  All the while, without being too obvious that you want them to buy them from you.

The content used for this type of marketing gives them a reason to return to your website even if they don't always intend to buy something with each visit. The search engines love such content. This technique allows you to build a reputation as an authority in your given area of interest.

Social Media Marketing

While it's not the overnight success tool some claim, social media marketing has great potential in cultivating an audience on social media. Content is also important here. If you employ content marketing, you already have what you need.  It can be modified to suit the individual platform. There's a learning curve here in understanding each venue and its rules. The great opportunity to increase your brand visibility, reputation, and traffic will be more than worth the time spent.

Email Marketing

Many think of email marketing as old marketing news but it's a very effective and inexpensive method to use. You collect subscribers from your website and social media platforms.  You use them to send simple mailings to remind people about your website and what it has to offer. It's an invaluable tool to use if you have a sale or special offer. You want to quickly inform your targets.

In Conclusion

Unless there's a compelling reason why you don't need more business, developing a website is vital for your business. Your website represents you online and it's important to present the best site you possibly can.

There's a lot of information here to consider but help is available if needed. Business owners with any questions or who need help on any part of their quest to build a powerful website can contact our team at Coastline Marketing Group. We offer a wide range of digital marketing solutions that can help position your business for success.

 

phil fisk digital marketing consultant

Article by Phil Fisk
CEO Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.
SCORE Monterey Bay Chapter Chair


Facebook Ads Home Services to Marketplace: Competing with Angie's List and Amazon Home Services

NOTE: This is slowly being rolled out across the U.S., it may or may not be available in your area at the moment, but be prepared!

In 2016, Facebook launched its Marketplace that gave its users the opportunity to add personal items that they are offering for sale. Facebook Marketplace also enabled them to look for products that they want to buy. The year before that, Facebook opened its Facebook Groups to its users for buying and selling of items. Just recently, the social media network added home services to this platform effectively encroaching on the category of Angie’s List.

The social media giant will now use Facebook Marketplace for its home services section. It has already collected the necessary data through its collaboration with Home Advisor, Handy and Porch. Through these partnerships, Facebook will be able to access thousands of home service professionals. It will provide its users enough information about these home services including their ratings, location and customer reviews.

You Need A Facebook Business Page

So, if you have a Facebook business page, and you want to increase your revenues, you need to adapt it to the new home services of Facebook Marketplace. When your friends and clients are looking for a certain home service professional, they can use your Facebook business page to ask for a quote directly using this tool while they stay on your page. But they need to adequately describe the job that they want to be done in detail. This would make it easy for the home service professionals to respond correctly. You, as the home service professional, will be able to contact the client through your Facebook Messenger.

This Is A Challenge To Amazon Home Services, Angie’s List and Craigslist

In launching home services in its Marketplace, Facebook is practically putting up a challenge to the established players in this category. Amazon Home Services, Angie’s List and Craigslist have been mining this field for years. For instance, Amazon Home Services have been offering house cleaning services, yard work, and so forth. Angie’s List has been a popular go-to website for people who are also looking for home services such as home repairs and related jobs. And so is Craigslist.

Now, Facebook Marketplace home services will allow your friends and clients to search for professional services that are validated by people who have already used those services in their locality. Choosing the right home service professional is very important. Unfortunately, people learn their lessons the hard way.

The Best Referral Network (Platform)

What usually happens is that every time they need a home repair service, people that they know are ready to give their recommendations as to the right person that can do the job. But as it usually turns out, they are not informed that that person is their brother or their nephew. There will be no problem if that brother or nephew is really adept at the job. But more often than not, the job they perform is not up to par since they are not really home service professionals.

Performing home service jobs require a certain degree of professionalism. This is not just referring to the actual work that needs to be done, but in the way the worker relates with the homeowner. A home service professional needs to have the necessary skills to get the job done in ways that would make the homeowner happy. It the worker lacks the necessary job and relationship skills, instead of solving the problem he might even make it worse.

This is the rationale for Facebook Marketplace including home services in its listings. It will lower the odds of hiring non-professionals to do house repairs. Facebook has included honest reviews of every home service professional on its list. Your friends and clients can read those reviews to ascertain if the professional that they are hiring will do the job as they are expected to.

Additional Resources:
[Facebook] List Your Professional Home Services on Marketplace

HomeAdvisor

Handy

Porch

Article Written by:
Phil Fisk
Digital Marketing Consultant
Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.


attract-high-quality-clients-1-1024x536

How To Attract A High-Quality Client

attract-high-quality-clients-1

Attracting targeted clients who need your expertise and are willing to pay a premium for your services is often the most significant challenge associated with running a business.

There are hundreds of marketing channels available, so most business owners try to throw money at every approach in a desperate attempt to keep the lights on.

To make matters worse, most of the traditional marketing channels that are easily accessible, such as newspaper or billboard advertising, tend to attract clients who are difficult to work with and eager to put you in a bidding war with competitors.

In today's world, the key to attracting the most profitable clients is to develop a strong market position online so that prospective buyers perceive your business as a MARKET LEADER.

Case Study: Market Positioning for a Contractor Business

Let me start with a quick case study. A contractor once came to me with a plan to focus on residential projects. He had formerly worked on commercial projects, and hired my agency, Coastline Marketing Group, to position him as an expert in the residential market.

We started by defining the demographics of his ideal client, and then tailored his website to the needs of his target customers. The messaging was updated to encourage readers to take action, and content was developed, including videos and blog posts, to demonstrate his expertise with the help of professional photographs and videos.

Once the contractor's digital presence was built to perfection, we began driving leads to free offerings with the help of social media ads. In the contractor's case, we used a "free checklist" to get the best results. The checklist answered common questions that homeowners have, and it positioned the client as an expert in his field. Within just six months, the contractor was enjoying the highest volume of inbound leads in the history of his business.

Most importantly, the results that the client realized were sustainable. The client also enjoyed additional revenue in the long run since clients could easily refer his business by telling other people to search for his content online. The contractor's business was transformed with the help of effective market positioning, and any business can realize the same results with a tailored approach.

What Is Market Positioning?

With a decade of experience in digital marketing, my agency has proven through over 500 projects that market positioning is the key to success in the Internet age. 94 percent of clients research a business online before making a purchase, and this rate is even higher among the sophisticated buyers who are willing and able to pay for qualified expertise.

To achieve success, it is critical for businesses to establish a prominent digital presence that demonstrates competency, credibility, and social proof.

Prospective clients who compare providers are substantially more willing to do business with your company when your digital presence seems to prove your ability to render exceptional services. With the help of social media and testimonials, you can offer prospective customers proof that your business has achieved success in previous projects.

Content posted on third-party sources online, such as news websites or industry blogs, can also give your business a credibility boost. Customers who discover the high-quality information you publish online will enter the buying process as warm leads eager to make a purchase and willing to pay a premium for the same results you have achieved in the past.

How Market Positioning Gets Results

My agency gets results with market positioning by developing a custom digital marketing strategy for each client. Most businesses do best by building their digital presence around their website, but the most successful cases I have witnessed relied on a highly customized website.

Professional images, targeted service pages, and content that establishes credibility are critical elements for achieving results with a business website. An exceptional website positions a business to stand out against the vast majority of competitors who have either a poor digital presence or no digital presence at all.

Next, I generally focus on getting information about a business on third-party websites, such as social media platforms, industry blogs, and even YouTube. I also encourage businesses to add additional value by providing inexpensive or free offerings, such as webinars or books, that attract targeted clients while proving expertise.

Once a digital presence has been established, the final step is to promote the business online using a data-driven approach that primarily relies on paid social media ads.

My clients who establish a strong digital presence and utilize a targeted approach to advertising enjoy a sustainable stream of high-quality clients and long-term growth through referrals.

Channels for Market Positioning

It is critical to recognize that there is no single digital marketing channel that works best for all businesses. The mix of channels utilized by my most successful clients has varied widely. Some businesses do best by getting featured in national industry blogs while other businesses may need to rely on local sources.

The most desirable mix of social media channels also varies depending on the nature of the customers a business seeks to attract. In business-to-business selling environments, information-rich social media channels, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, tend to yield the best results. Facebook is profitable in most cases due to its size, and the platform's paid advertising tools enable precise targeting.

To discover the ideal way to position a business for success, I work closely with my clients to understand their unique approach to adding value and the nature of their customer base.

Content Marketing

The cornerstone of success in digital marketing is leveraging a content strategy to attract customers searching for information online. You can use search engine optimization to rank for keywords that imply interest in making a purchase and a willingness to pay a premium for your services.

Content marketing boosts the credibility of your business when you get your content featured in leading blogs and credible industry websites. Most importantly, content marketing can increase inbound traffic when readers follow links to your website and search engines rank your website higher on results pages.

Some businesses can realize success by doing content marketing on their own website, but most situations require a mix of both on-site content and off-site content to achieve the most effective results.

Video Marketing

In recent years, I have seen many businesses realize a high return on investment by incorporating a video campaign into their marketing strategy. Producing videos has become inexpensive due to widespread smartphone use and rapid advancements in camera technology.

Businesses can capitalize on recent technology trends by producing high-quality videos to promote their products and services.

Customers who search for solutions on YouTube will find their way to the videos that a business posts, and they will often reach out to content producers to purchase a solution to their problems.

Additionally, prospective customers who find their way to other online channels used by your business, such as your website or social media accounts, will develop an improved perception of your brand and offerings when they see you demonstrating how you add value in high-quality videos.

Webinars and Workshops

You can use webinars and workshops to attract and nurture new leads. People will attend your webinars to learn from your expertise, and many of them will be prospective buyers looking to purchase a solution that you can provide. Webinars can also be used as part of an existing campaign to generate more interest among new leads that enter your purchasing funnel.

Overall, I have found webinars and workshops to be one of the most effective channels available for attracting high-paying clients in the contemporary world.

Website Messaging

Your digital marketing campaign will struggle to get results unless you have an excellent website. Although a majority of businesses still have no online presence, the market leaders in your industry are sure to have at least an acceptable website to advertise their services.

Positioning yourself as a market leader will require you to build a great website to show the world what you have to offer. For businesses that are willing to invest in a multi-channel digital marketing strategy, I have found putting money into in a high-quality website to yield an extraordinary return on investment.

Offline Marketing

Most selling situations require business owners and sales representatives to meet with clients on a personal basis. Digital marketing starts relationships with clients off on the right foot, but the personal relationships you develop with clients yield the most lasting results. You can also leverage your digital presence to increase your success with prospective buyers who you meet offline, such as at trade shows or at industry group meetings.

Prospective buyers who get your business card are substantially more likely to give you a call when they can verify your credibility and expertise online after meeting you.

Social Media Advertising

Businesses that establish a strong market position through their digital presence get maximum value from investing in an online ad campaign. Prospective buyers who enter your purchasing funnel through social media ads can be nurtured into high-quality leads when your digital presence can prove your capabilities and credibility. I often see clients realize substantial success by directing social media ads to free offerings, such as webinars, books, or training courses.

I can determine the specific social media ad campaign that will work best for your business by working with you personally to understand what your buyers need.

If you'd like to learn more about how to position your business for success, send me a quick message here.

A little about me – I help professional service providers attract high quality leads through market positioning and guiding them through my 5 step process; Determining Market Position, Defining their Audience, Fine Tuning their Message, Building out their Content Marketing Strategy and of course, Driving High Quality Traffic.

 

digital marketing consultant phil fisk

 

Phil Fisk
Digital Marketing Consultant
Agency Owner
CoastlineMarketingGroup.com

Contact Me

 

 

 


5-step-guide-market-positioning

How to Stand Out From Your Competition: My 5-Step Guide to Market Positioning

It can be difficult to know where you're going, when you're not sure where you are. - I just made this up, but I'm sure someone, somewhere said it much better.

5-step-guide-market-positioning

 

My point is, there is a simple way to determine where you're currently positioned in the marketplace, but few of us [business owners] have ever taken the time to figure this out. The great thing is, it only takes five minutes to do this and the knowledge it brings can help you determine your marketing message, audience, content strategy and much more!

Why is understanding your positioning important?

If you're in a competitive industry, it can be difficult to stand out. When there are many options for your customers to choose from, they will often go with the lowest price option. If you find that you are competing on price, then you NEED to find a way to "position" yourself as the local authority at what you do. People will generally pay a premium price to work with a pro.

Why I wrote this

I own a digital marketing agency. Chances are, you receive 5-20 calls a week from other marketing agencies wanting to sell you a website or "increase your rankings in Google". My industry is filled with so much noise, it's become nearly impossible to stand out. Because I am aware of this, I have taken steps to make sure that I differentiate my agency from my competition. The steps you are about to learn are THE EXACT STEPS I have used to effectively set my agency apart from the competition.

The steps you are about to learn are the same 5 steps I have used to help many local businesses, including my own, position themselves in their marketplace as an authority at what they do. If you follow the plan I have outlined below and remain committed to your vision, you will position yourself in such a way that will allow you to separate yourself from your competition.

Step 1: Determine Your Current Market Position

Let's start off with a very simple way of determining your current market position, from your customers point of view.

  1. On a scale from 0 to 10, 10 being "high priced", how would your customers rate your businesses pricing?
  2. On a scale from 0 to 10, 10 being "premium quality", how would your customers rate the quality of your businesses product or service.

Keep these numbers in mind.

Plot Your Position

Below is what's called a Positioning Map. Using this map, find the rating for each dimension you determined above and place a dot where those two numbers intersect on the graph. Remember, this position reflects how your customers view the quality and pricing of your product or service.

positioning-map

  • download printable map here.

Now, once you've marked your current position, it's time to rate your competition. Using the same rating system above, plot each of your competitors positions on this same map.

It's very likely that you have landed somewhere in the top right quadrant, correct? If you've landed in the bottom left, you may be going after a high volume of customers, which is perfectly fine if that's your business model. Let's don't even discuss top left and bottom right, hopefully you didn't land there?!?! For this example, I'll assume that you've landed in the top right quadrant.

After plotting your competitors place on the map, look to see where you are in relation to them. How close are they on the graph in relation to your business? Too close might mean that you aren't doing enough to differentiate yourself from your competition. You are likely competing on price with that competitor.

Do you see a wide open gap somewhere within this same quadrant that isn't being served? Should you consider filling that gap? or are you happy with your current position?

This is where you need to make one of two choices;

  1. You can choose to keep your current position, this is perfectly fine if this is your comfort zone.
  2. Or, you can find a wide open place on this graph and move yourself to that position. This might mean you need to raise your prices, improve the quality of your product or service, offer a new and unique product or service, etc.

The point is, you don't have to stay where you are at now. You can choose NOW to decide where you want your position to be.

One thing to note here - Most businesses typically assume that EVERYONE knows their current position (pricing and quality), but chances are, even your current customers may not know how you're different from your competitors. This is why the following 4 steps are essential to creating awareness and solidifying your position in your market.

Step 2: Define Your Audience

Now that you're aware of your market position, it's time to find who your audience is. (Learn the importance of creating buyer personas here.)

What is their age, gender, income,...?

Getting the most from your marketing effort requires you to know and define your audience. You need a clear picture of their age, income level and location so that you can create a message that connects with them in a way that will get their attention. Also, knowing the income of your target audience lets you decide on the right price for your products and services.

You want to get a decent payout for the things you sell, but you also need to set a price that falls within the budget of your prospects. If you don't know who your target audience is, it's time for some market research. You can do free consultations to learn as much as possible about the people who plan to buy from you. You can also give incentives to those who take online polls.

Where do they hang out?

There are a wide range of places your target audience could be "hanging out". Everywhere from the water cooler at work, social media platforms, business organizations, and so on. It's also important to consider where they get their information, such as TV, newspapers, magazine publications, social media and so on.

Knowing where they hang out and gather information will give you a good idea on where to direct your marketing and advertising efforts.

What are their pain points?

Chances are, you're in the business of solving problems. Understanding exactly what problems you solve and effectively conveying that message in your marketing, will greatly increase your chances of success.

Now, condense your target audience into an average age and appearance. If you would like to take this tip even further, download a stock image of a person who is the perfect match for your customer persona. Give this persona a name and speak directly to this "person" every time you create an ad or piece of marketing content.

Step 3: Fine-Tune Your Message

Are you aware of how your website's messaging is perceived by your audience? Your messaging can make or break the effectiveness of your website.

Make the customer the hero.

If you are like most people in the world of digital marketing, you could feel tempted to paint yourself as the hero when you create webpages or release content. That is a mistake you don't want to make if you care about the future of your business. Instead of caring about you and your business, your prospects care about themselves and what you can do for them.

Instead of listing your accolades or mission statement front and center on your website, let them know how your services can improve their life or solve their problem. After all, that's really the ONLY reason they're visiting your website.

List the benefits of your product or service.

With everything you publish online, ask yourself if it speaks to your customers' pain points and highlights the benefits they can get after taking action. It's essential you remember to keep your customers in mind at all times.

Ask yourself if the content on your website or blog helps them solve their problems or adds value to their lives. If it does not do those things, your effort will be in vain.

Why should a prospect choose you?

Be sure to clarify why a prospect should choose you over your competitor. Giving value to your prospects is the No. 1 way to gain traction in a crowded market, and you will notice the difference in no time.

Step 4: Position Yourself As The Authority

You know your position. You've defined your audience. You've fine-tuned your messaging. Now, let's set you apart from your competition.

Blogs.

Begin by creating a blog and promising yourself that you will submit new posts on a regular basis. Looking at the image of your customer persona, speak directly to your audience with each piece of content you publish.

Not sure what to write about? Try this - Write down the top 5 question your customers are always asking. Those 5 questions have just become the titles of your next 5 blogs. Do your best to thoroughly explain your answer to each of those questions. Now, post them to your website blog section.

How to promote your blogs - Of course we hope that your blog shows up in search engine queries. But one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your blogs is through social media. In fact, it's likely you found this blog through a social media ad.

By posting a constant stream of blogs through social media, you are essentially branding yourself, or your business, as an authority.

Newsletters.

Creating a newsletter and inviting your followers to sign up is another step in the right direction. Let your subscribers send you their questions and comments to get an idea of what to write.

Don't forget to use your newsletters to drive your subscribers to your latest blog as well.

Workshops & Webinars.

The ULTIMATE way to prove yourself as an authority on a topic is to give free workshops or webinars. Workshops and webinars have proven highly effective for my own agency. I personally feel workshops are more effective as they allow your audience to get to know you on a personal level. This can greatly increase the chances they will do business with you.

Step 5: Get The Word Out

Once you have the other elements in place, you are ready to drive traffic to the content you have created. You don't want to send just anyone to your content; you must send targeted traffic if you would like to notice a positive change in your bottom line.

Paid Advertising.

Paid search is a good place from which to start. Promoting your content with Google's pay-per-click platform is a wise move along the correct path, but don't forget about Facebook, Twitter and the other social platforms.

Social Media Marketing.

The best thing about social media is that you can target your ads to people based on their age, spending habits, interests and more. If you have trouble choosing the right audience, you can target your ads to people who have shown interest in your competitors.

Search Engine Optimization.

No traffic-generation plan is complete without search engine optimization. Keyword research, content generation and backlink building are what will make you succeed with SEO.

Final Thoughts

Positioning yourself as an authority in your industry requires a dedicated, determined effort. Knowing your audience and what they need is half the battle, but you must also create content that highlights the main benefits your prospects can enjoy after they buy from you. If you release content that does not highlight the benefits or offer some value to your followers, you are wasting your time.

On the other hand, content that showcases the top factors that make you stand out from the crowd will boost your business to where you want it. Sending tons of targeted traffic to your website lets you enjoy the rewards of your effort. As long as you make a sincere attempt to reach your short- and long-term goals and take corrective action along the way, you won't have trouble achieving results of which anyone would be proud.

A little about me - I help professional service providers attract high quality leads through market positioning and guiding them through my 5 step process; Determining Market Position, Defining their Audience, Fine Tuning their Message, Building out their Content Marketing Strategy and of course, Driving High Quality Traffic.

 

digital marketing consultant phil fiskPhil Fisk
Digital Marketing Consultant
P. Fisk Consulting
Agency Owner
CoastlineMarketingGroup.com

 

 


5-best-lead-magnet-ideas-for-service-based-business

5 Best Lead Magnet Ideas for B2C Service Based Businesses

5-best-lead-magnet-ideas-for-service-based-business

 

It is no secret that leads are the heart of any business. It is common knowledge that better lead magnets generate more customers. I have proven methods for business owners seeking to “up their game.” Without quality leads, it is impossible for a business to successfully compete. The good news is that I have the information you need so you never have to worry about leads again.

Before moving forward, I need to know what your customer is searching for and what is driving them to do research and ultimately buy. What type of information does a prospective customer want? What problem is that customer trying to solve? These are the questions you must answer for your customer.

Research is key before moving forward. I know that not everyone automatically knows what their customer wants. Fortunately, I know how to find out. Two proven ways I use to understand what a customer wants is through online surveys and tools similar to BuzzSumo.com that accumulate information from social media about customer likes and dislikes. Once I have the information I need to design a targeted lead magnet, then I am well on my way to creating the best lead magnet to get the best bang for my buck.

While different target customers respond to different lead magnets, a few of my favorite and most successful strategies are listed below. Demographics do play a role in determining which lead magnets works best. A younger customer may prefer videos over guides. Other people prefer a more personal, hands-on approach and like the idea of a free consultation. Customers vary. That is why it is important to use a variety of methods to attract as many leads as possible.

1. eBooks and Guides

One of my all-time favorite ways to capture leads is to offer an eBook to prospective customers. It’s all about value. The book doesn’t need to be long. Considering that there is so much good free information on the internet, I always take extra care to provide a power-packed eBook that has much more usable and specific information than they can find online. One recommended angle to work is to promise a lower cost or a time savings if they use your information. These are two very valuable benefits that everyone is seeking.

2. Infographics

Consumers love easy to read infographics charts and numbers so they can easily understand complicated concepts they need to know. The likelihood of a sentence being read increases with numbers. Pie charts and other graphic pages deliver.

3. How to Videos

The great success of YouTube proves how powerful How-To Videos can be. People all learn differently. Some respond much better to video than the written word. If you accept the fact that you need different tools in your marketing toolbox to attract more people, then I highly recommend you include videos as one of those tools.

4. Free Consultation

There is no substitute for human contact in some cases. Many people value the opportunity to have a discussion. While videos and eBooks have their place as assets in any marketing campaign, consumers like to be able to ask questions. Particularly in coaching scenarios or when selling an expensive product or service, I have noticed that customers increasingly want to talk to someone to get the information they need to make an informed decision.

5. Webinar/Workshop

There is a reason webinars and workshops have been around for a long time. They provide an excellent platform for the give-and-take of a classroom setting where is it easier to learn. A good instructor can make all the difference in how well students comprehend material. The added ability students have to interact with the instructor and their peers makes a webinar or workshop the perfect forum for building trust and getting high-quality leads.

Conclusion

As a seasoned marketer with years of experience, I know how important good lead magnets are for the success of a business. The five mentoned above represent some of the best ways to attract the high-quality leads you need to meet your revenue objectives. If you aren’t receiving a 5 percent opt-in rate or higher, then you need to carefully evaluate the lead magnets you’re using, because they aren’t working as well as they should.

Testing may be necessary to determine why your results aren’t better. Remember to check your headlines first since they can make a significant impact on your results. I recommend that you constantly monitor results and take action anytime you dip below that 5 percent opt-in rate. I know there is no reason to accept marginal results when a simple “fix” can get your lead magnets performing at the expected level.

 

Phil Fisk - CEO/Digital Marketing Consultant - Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.

 


website-into-lead-generating-machine

How To Turn Your Website Into A Lead Generation Machine

website-into-lead-generating-machine

 

Running a business can be a rewarding experience for many entrepreneurs. However, it can be difficult to build a customer base. The following guide provides simple tips and tricks for turning your website into a lead generating machine.

When utilizing your website to market your business, there are several different ways to improve conversion rates. When a visitor accesses your website, it's important to make sure that every page of the site pushes users towards either purchasing an item, signing up for a service, requesting a quote or even signing up for a mailing list. However, it's important to balance high conversion rates against the accessibility of a website. If you try too hard to generate leads, customers may be turned off by the design of your site. For example, some websites use javascript to create an alert prompt when an individual attempts to browse away from a website. This can be an effective way to increase your conversion rates, but can sometimes be a little annoying for the user.

Obviously techniques like this are on the extreme end of the spectrum, but reasonable lead generation techniques are a great way to increase sales and boost customer mailing lists.

Your Call To Action

When users visit your website, it's important to have a call to action as a button or other visual indicator on the screen. This call to action should provide a simple, seamless way for users to purchase your product or service. The homepage of a website should have a large call to action button, but it's also important to have a smaller call to action on all other pages for a website. A fixed menu bar at the top or bottom of the screen with a call to action is a great way to ensure that website visitors have instant access to your website's shopping cart system.

It's also important to ask customers for as little information as possible during the checkout process. If a checkout form is relatively long, it will increase the odds that a customer will simply give up after a few minutes. For example, some checkout systems will ask users to provide their email address, phone, address, interests, and several other pieces of information that may not be relevant on first contact. These types of inefficiencies can be a hassle for website visitors and can detract from your website.

Give Something of Value

Fortunately, there are a variety of incentives that can help you increase your mailing list numbers. One of the best ways is by offering a lead magnet such as a free product or a coupon to people who sign up for a mailing list. To receive the product or coupon, an individual has to enter their email address in a form provided on your website.

There are a variety of free products you could offer to potential mailing list signups. These include ebooks, instructional videos, access to a free podcast, and more. Since digital goods don't have any costs associated with their distribution, they can be a great incentive for website owners.

Most important of all, it's essential to test your website on a regular basis. Many website design tools, like Wordpress, offer A/B testing. This allows you to serve website visitors different versions of your website.

If you find it too complicated to build an effective landing page using your Wordpress website, you can consider using a third party platform such as Clickfunnels and Leadpages. These platforms make it relatively easy to create landing pages with their template options.

Play it Safe

If you're looking to gain contacts for a mailing list, it's important to make sure that you have a call to action that provides immediate value to the user. Most website visitors won't be willing to provide their email address to a website if they don't get anything in return. In addition, if you send marketing emails to contacts without their permission, your email messages may be marked as spam by the recipients. If this happens, mail servers may begin to reject any emails that come from your domain. In extreme cases, your entire domain may be blacklisted by major email exchanges. This will mean that essentially all outgoing emails from your domain will be blocked.

Summary

This is very important - The businesses that are thriving today, are those that have learned to create, build and nurture relationships online.

Generating the leads may be the easy part. What to do with them after you have them is an entirely different story. Make sure you keep in touch with your new contacts. A monthly newsletter can sometimes do the trick. It's not uncommon that a lead you generate today becomes a customer tomorrow. It's also not uncommon that a lead you generate today will become a customer a year from now.

The point is, keep your funnel full. Keep your lead generating machine "always on". In the end, you will position yourself or your business as the leader in your industry.

 

Phil Fisk - CEO/Digital Marketing Consultant - Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.

 


How I Increased My Agency's Revenue by Double Digits

This can work for ANY business!

Marketing is done for one reason and one reason only: to increase revenue. Often, people try to say that it isn’t their goal. Their goal is to become more visible or get their features in front of more people. However, these are just stepping stones in order to increase revenue.

If you are like me, you have seen more than your fair share of digital marketing gurus on Facebook and entirely too many websites claiming to have the “secret formula” to making more money.

I’ll save you a lot of time and money. I’ve bought into the claims, signed up for webinars, the free trials, and everything else. The claims are ridiculous and the subscription fees are insanely high. I've spent a lot of money to learn this lesson but I've finally learned it.

In 2017, I was able to increase my agencies revenue by 15%. This is considerable, especially when double digit growth after the first 5 years in business can be very challenging. At the end of 2016, I decided I wasn’t going to waste any more money on the gurus and the secret formulas. I wanted to keep my process simple and focus on engaging with my customers.

Now, I’m going to share my exact marketing strategy, which involved using a lead generation sales funnel. It started at the beginning of 2017 and my revenue increased by 15% over 2016.

These are six components that I followed throughout the year.

1. Send Out the Right Message

Have you ever given any real consideration to the message you are sending people when they get to your website? I heard a podcast by Donald Miller on storybrand.com. It changed the way I look at messaging. Donald pointed out that many businesses make themselves out to be the hero. Essentially, this means that the website talks about all of the great things that the company can do, including their accolades, their family history, and everything else. This means that the website is talking about everything that the website visitors don’t care about.

I didn’t want to be one of these businesses. I wanted to make sure that the message on my website was that I cared about my visitors. Donald Miller talked about clarifying the message and making sure the customer is the hero of the story. There are some great videos on www.storybrand.com to show you how the hero is portrayed.

I took Donald’s advice. I changed the messaging on my site to focus more on the pain points of the average website visitor. As a result, people began to engage with my agency more. They asked more questions, called in because they “liked what we were saying” and began filling out the forms on the website with greater frequency.

2. Create a Website That Converts

Websites are only as effective as you build them to be. Too many business owners have grown complacent in their website expectations. It’s so much more than a pretty place for visitors to learn about your business.

If you spent a lot of money on your website, you need it to be more than just a pretty URL. If it’s just sitting there, looking pretty, you got ripped off! Your website should be your 24/7 salesperson. Website visitors should be encouraged to take action. Leads and calls should be coming in every day from your website.

I’m just as guilty of making the same mistake as everyone else: we don’t tell website visitors what to do. If a website visitor has no idea what to do on your website within five seconds of arriving, they won’t take any action at all. This means that you have a decision to make: what do you want them to do?

The moment that a website visitor arrives on your site, you need to make it clear as to what they should do. A call to action should be located in several places on your website. Register, sign up for a webinar, schedule an appointment, request a quote…the options are entirely yours based on what you have going on.

In 2016, I had a single button at the top of my website that said “Request Quote.” In 2017, I changed it to “Request a Proposal” and placed it in several areas around my website. Suddenly, I was receiving 3 to 5 leads per week in comparison to 1 to 2 leads per month the prior year.

 

<<< Start generating quality leads now! Download my free guide "Put Your Lead Generation on Autopilot" >>

3. Use a Call Back Feature

Leads are often forgotten. Business owners get so busy with the day-to-day operations that they forget to follow up on the leads. In the middle of 2017, I signed up for a service known as Callpage. A “call back” widget sits as a button on my website, in fact you may see that phone button in the bottom right of your screen now. Website visitors enter their phone number and click on the button. They then receive a phone call from my company within 28 seconds.

Why use a callback feature instead of asking people to call? I don’t know why it works, but it does. I think it has a lot to do with people wanting the company to call them instead of the other way around. The monthly subscription is currently at $59 per month and for me, it is money well spent. I have found that more people will use the simple widget as opposed to picking up their phone and calling me.

4. Use Automated Emails

It’s important to communicate with your customers via email. It is what allows you to maintain constant communication with customers so that you can achieve their repeat business. If you don’t maintain contact, customers could easily stray towards the competition. Sending out email blasts is easier than ever when you create automated emails. MailChimp, for me, is great because it’s free up to 1,000 subscribers.

There are full templates to make it easy to drag and drop photos and text boxes. You can then type in a message, enter a promotion, and send it out to everyone at once. The templates also allow you to keep a consistent look from month-to-month. Perhaps the best part is that I can see how many people opened the email and clicked on the various links inside of the email for the month.

I also take advantage of the automation

The forms on my website are tied to MailChimp. If someone fills out a form, their contact information goes to my subscriber list. Depending on what they specifically sign up for, MailChimp will send them out an email thanking them and providing some additional information. This is a great opportunity for me to explain more about my agency and how we can help them grow their business. It maintains engagement, which is exactly what I need.

5. Focus on Search Engine Optimization

SEO or search engine optimization is what helps get the higher ranking in the search engine result pages. You want to be on the first page so that you will gain more traffic to your website. For my agency, we have approximately 75% of our traffic as organic. It comes directly from the search engines. We have focused on SEO over the years and it has paid off well for us.

Search engine optimization is ongoing. Competition is fierce for the top position and algorithms are always changing. This means that we need to constantly work on our keyword density, keyword research, and placing backlinks.

Our competition is constantly trying to outrank coastline marketing in the search engines, which means that we can never stop with our own search engine optimization tactics.

moz.com beginners guide

If you’re in a competitive industry, I guarantee your competition is utilizing SEO campaigns. Moz.com is a great website to check out so that you can learn about implementing your own SEO. If you don’t have 20 hours a week to commit to doing your own SEO, explore our own SEO services page to see if we can help.

6. Utilize Reputation Management

Reputation management is simple: would you choose to work with the business that has a two-star rating or a five-star rating? Those stars are a sales tactic for you. They’re extremely valuable and yet many small businesses neglect them on a regular basis.

As a business owner, I have learned that it’s imperative to take a proactive approach when it comes to getting more reviews. Especially in a B2B business, it’s hard, but not impossible. Over the years, I have probably asked 300 clients to leave a review and have just finally achieved 48 reviews online. It’s not as many as I would like, but if I never asked, I would probably have much less.

Customers have expectations. When you meet those expectations, you simply avoid getting a bad review. If you approach this a little differently, you could over-deliver on expectations. The outcome is a truly satisfied customer who would be more likely to give you a five-star rating. When you over-deliver, you also shouldn’t be shy about asking for reviews.

I take advantage of a reputation management platform, too, which allows me to monitor everything being said about my agency on the Internet. This includes social media, reviews, and articles. It makes it easier for our agency to maintain a strong, positive online reputation. The major search engines use reputation in their algorithms to determine ranking on the result pages, so it’s going to help you in other ways, too.

Summary

These six components have worked very well for me and I don’t intend on changing them up anytime soon. It is all designed to provide a more positive user experience. I want to help website visitors understand what they need to do and I want to make sure that I’m interacting with them appropriately. There are some incredible tools available that have made it easier to get the job done, too.

If you are interested in having a system put together for your business, please schedule a free consultation with me here. Our agency can tailor a system to work specifically for your industry and your business. By the end of the year, you could be experiencing two-digit growth numbers over the prior year just like I was able to achieve.

Happy Marketing!

digital-marketing-consultant-salinas-montereyPhil Fisk
CEO/Digital Marketing Consultant
phil@teamcmg.com
831-759-2273


7-steps-defining-target-market

7 Steps to Defining Your Target Market

7-steps-defining-target-market

 

The most effective way to ensure that your company stays at the forefront of its industry is to ensure you are tapped into the correct target audience. Defining your target market is no easy task that requires money, time, and a significant amount of effort for companies, both small and large. With the right tools, however, every business can find their niche audience.

Targeting Your Audience

Too often, businesses make the mistake of only targeting people that are interested in their business. However, this is hardly an effective way to intentionally reach a specific audience. To really help you understand how to define your target market, you need to explore seven tips commonly used in the business world.

1. Identify Your Customer Base

The first step in defining your target market is to understand what interests your current customers and identifying why they continue to support your company. As you review the numbers, you must be sure to pay attention to what type of customers generate the most business and what products and services they gravitate towards. This will help you understand how to better cater to your current customers as well as how to reach out to others like them.

2. Know Your Competition

You must make the time to thoroughly analyze your competition. While it may be distracting to spend too much time focusing on the competitors, it is important to know who else is competing for your business. Which companies are stealing customers away from you and why? Asking and answering this and similar questions will help you pinpoint where and how you should be reaching out to your audience.

3. Review Products and Services

As you look for ways to reach your target audience, it is incredibly important to review your business' products and services. In order to understand how to entice new customers, it is imperative that you know all the ins and outs of the services that you are offering. That means knowing what you're selling as well as knowing what the customer expects to receive. Similarly, you must understand what occurs in the aftermath of a customer's purchase from your company. Are they happy with the product? Are they displeased with the customer service? Knowing where your company currently stands with its products and services will help you determine how to better market yourself to potential customers. This will allow you to easily figure out the types of people that would most benefit from your business.

4. Identify the Demographics of Potential Customers

This step in your marketing process requires you to reach out to your community and new customers. By thinking about varying factors like location, gender, education level, income level, age, marital status, ethnic background, and the like, you will be able to better identify the types of customers that may be more inclined to do business with your company.

5. Target Potential Demographics

In order to understand which demographics are more likely to turn to your company, we should use polls, trials, samples and other methods of market research. This will help you effectively determine whether or not your company is the best match for your chosen demographic,

6. Analyze the Psychographics

The psychographics of a potential consumer include the values, attitudes, personalities, hobbies, interest,s behavior and lifestyle of the person. This will allow you to determine when and how a potential customer uses your service or product, as well as which method of marketing is most effective on a person by person basis.

7. Make a Decision

All of the research in the world will be of no help if you can't figure out how to use it. The last step in finding your target audience is making a decision on who you will reach out to. With the best data and analyses, you will be able to comfortably choose the correct demographic to market to. As you work on making a decision you must be sure that your audience can afford your company's products and services. Additionally, you must determine if there is a need for your company among the chosen demographic as well as enough diversity among your products and services that the target audience doesn't lose interest.

There is no secret formula to identifying a target audience. By following these seven steps, you will be able to use your resources to make the right decision. Keep in mind that you can always reach out to multiple markets, but you must make sure you do so after conducting the right research and spending time analyzing whether or not your company is the right fit for a chosen audience.

 

Phil Fisk - CEO/Digital Marketing Consultant - Coastline Marketing Group, Inc.