Why, Who, What and How?

ConfusionWhen I’m talking to clients about their reputation marketing I’m often surprised at how little thought they’ve given to:

  • Why they are doing it – what they want to achieve
  • Who they are trying to reach – their target audience
  • What activities are best suited to the audience
  • How they will use the tools available

If you’re finding your online marketing gets random results, let me invite you to stop DOING and indulge in a little reflective thought (maybe with a nice coffee and a bun or biscuit – caffeine and sugar will ensure your energy levels are up).

Why do you want to market your business?

It might sound like an obvious question, but it’s the detail that counts and many people haven’t got beyond very general goals.  I often start by looking at my RAVE acronym as the basis for why.  Rave stands for:

Reputation: actively promoting your reputation to build a positive image

Authority: becoming the ‘go to’ person for your industry

Visibility: being seen in all the right places so you’re the first person people think of for your skill

Expertise: sharing your knowledge so that you demonstrate that you ‘know your stuff’

This is helpful in getting focused on goals, but unless you know who you are trying to reach it’s academic!

Business group2Who are your target audience?

What does your ideal client look like?  Think of the best client you’ve ever had; a company who loved what you did/do for them and that you loved working for.  That’s a good place to start.  Describe your ideal client in as much detail as possible – type of business, size, number of staff, turnover, location, customer base, etc.

When you have a clear idea of who you want to reach, you’ve taken a huge step towards a really focused marketing campaign.

What do you do to reach these people?

Where do these people congregate?  Are they active on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?  It’s not sensible to be highly visible in a place that your key audience never goes!

When you’ve established which platforms they use you need to find out if they are in an industry group or on a forum related to their expertise?

It’s also useful to find out what they read; certain blogs, industry journals, local publications or business magazines.  If your target audience regularly read something online or offlline, it makes sense to be featured in that publication.

If you know what your target audience looks like, where they hang out, what kind of material they’re interested in and where they are actually looking you’re a long way towards being able to engage with them.

This may seem b******g obvious – but only if you’re already aware of all this and have started thinking it through or are already taking action on it.  If you are still trying to interest ‘anyone who wants what I offer’ in your services or products, this may be quite like rocket science to you!

So – you now know who your audience are, have identified that they are active on one or more platforms and that they are interested in the kind of material that is relevant to their business and specifically around subject X.  Now what?

How do you use the tools effectively?

4SM logosIf you can offer them expert advice around subject X this is easy – write a bank of tips and advice that you can share with them.  Post them on the platform where your target audience is active.  Link your tips to somewhere there’s more information.  Typically this might be a blog that covers a whole group of tips.  Nobody reads every update you post so if they just get one and can then go and read more, that’s going to give them something to remember you better.

Post on your chosen platform(s) daily at different times of day.  For value-based tips you can use one of the online tools to do this (like Hootsuite) so you don’t have to be hovering over your computer all the time.

This is all pretty straightforward, BUT won’t get you talking to people that are your potential clients.  That’s where being active in the right groups, answering questions, offering help in relation to requests for help on Twitter or in forums.  Engagement is essential.

For anyone who has ‘cracked’ Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest (or any of the other social media platforms) this probably all makes sense, but if you’ve got an account, but have no idea how to get the best from it the How will need to include some lessons in how to use the tools available on your chosen platforms.  If that’s where you are at right now take a look at these two websites: www.3andahalfsteps.com and www.stepbystep-onlinemarketing.com.

 

 

Focus on marketing

Online marketing word showerMarketing!  Getting it right is the holy grail for any business – and yet so many people dabble a bit and then wonder why it doesn’t work.  That goes double for online.

The trouble with online marketing is that there are so many opportunities, how can you decide where you should be visible and what will work best?

  • Should you leap on every new social media platform that comes along or stick to the tried and tested?  
  • To blog or not to blog?  And where to blog, if you decide to go for it.
  • What about article marketing?  You may have heard about this, but don’t know how it works.
  • What about email marketing?  What do you say and who to?
  • Do press releases work?
  • Should you be sending newsletters every week, month – or at all?

The worst thing is that there are no right answers.  All these things work – for some people; it depends on their business and the content they create.  If the content is no good, marketing doesn’t work at all and that can apply to something as basic as a Twitter post, let alone a blog, a webpage or an article.

What is marketing anyway?

It’s not what most people think.  True marketing is about identifying a need, creating a product or service that satisfies that need and then ensuring that your target market are aware that the product or service is available.  You need to know lots of things to get marketing on target, but most important you need to know your potential client inside out.

  • Who are they?
  • What are they interested in?
  • What are their problems (particularly the ones your product or service solves)?
  • What is their income, status, lifestyle?

When you know all this your written material will be much better focused.  Not necessarily a sales pitch, but addressing things that are of interest to the people you want to attract.

Then there’s the time issue – how much time have you got available to invest in your marketing?  Monthly, weekly and daily?  If you’re feeling tired even thinking about it, you need a system to get things moving.  The more organised you are, the more consistent your activities will be and the results will follow.  You’re in that ‘fail to plan; plan to fail’ situation – and it doesn’t stop at planning, it must include focus and scheduling to ensure your marketing doesn’t become random.

Start small, work up – test and measure regularly and you’ll soon start to see things happen.

——————————

If you need help join the FREE webinar 3 and a half simple steps to a successful online marketing system.  It’s an hour well spent to give you a structure and process to get started.  

Ten top tips to make your blog go further

10 blog usesYou’ve heard the phrase ‘don’t reinvent the wheel’ – and this applies to what you write just as much as it does to anything else you do.  Trying to do many marketing activities can appear to be very time-consuming.

If you want to create multiple means of engaging with your target audience and potential customers, here are ten top tips to make your blog go further and short-cut the time and effort you need to create many connections in different places and different ways.

1.  Start by writing a blog about one of your key areas of expertise – aim for 300-500 words.

2.  Take 3-7 ‘soundbites’ from your blog and package them as tips for social media – they can be posted to your Twitter, Facebook Page and Linked In account using a management tool such as Hootsuite.  Don’t forget to include a link back to the blog and to save these for use again later.

3.  Send the blog out to your list as a newsletter, add a link back to the online blog with an invitation to comment and you can add your current offers or anything else you want to promote to your list.

4.  Create a PowerPoint presentation with visuals and record the blog and post it to YouTube and Slideshare.

5.  Join AudioBoo and record an audio only version and offer this in the groups and forums you belong to.

6.  When you’ve done a few of these blogs, put 2-3 together as a longer article and post it to the article marketing sites such as ezinearticles.com and on your Google+ account.

7.  Collect a dozen or so blogs and edit them into an ebook with each one as a chapter on a particular subject and suggestions for action at the end of each one.  This can be offered for sale on your website or as a free gift for customers.

8.  Create a 30 minute webinar based on the subject of the blog and invite people as free or paid for guests.  Use GoToMeeting to allow you to share your screen and show people what you’re talking about.  Alternatively you could create a Google+ hangout and invite people to discuss the subject around your blog.

9.  Print the blog as a branded article on good quality paper and send it – in an nice envelope with a handwritten address, to a dozen companies you’d like to work with or to people in your network who might recommend you.

10.  Turn the blog into an infographic (www.visual.ly will help you to do this).

There are more things you could do – but this will be more than enough to get you started.  If you just do 3-4 of these with every blog you’ll soon have an impressive bank of material out there on the internet marketing you whilst you sleep.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close