If you build it [and your online presence] they will come
Digital marketing for small businesses has never been more important.
Why? Because the online marketplace remains relatively unaffected by the happenings of the real world. COVID-19 has shown us how those operating in the digital space can survive, if not thrive, during difficult times, including a worldwide pandemic.
Digital marketing provides a range of opportunities, especially for smaller businesses with a tight budget. In fact, any digital marketing strategy can be scaled, depending on the budget size.
As a digital marketing lead generator in my chosen field of cosmetic and plastic surgeons, I have seen the benefits of developing a sound digital marketing strategy.
Let’s have a look at some of the ways businesses can get the most out of the online space, and why it is vital that they do.
That’s where the customers are
The biggest reason why all of this is important is simply the fact that your potential customers are online.
As of February 2019, pre-COVID, 80.8% of people in Australia were shopping online.
Projections for 2021 indicate that e-commerce will only become more popular, with 85.2% of the population set to shop online.
In raw numbers, this is 22 million Australians.
It would be near-insane if you were to ignore that many shoppers, wouldn’t it?
Consumers are online a lot, be it social media, search engines or watching videos for entertainment. If you want to reach more potential customers, no matter who your business is designed to cater to, you’ll want to be positioned where the traffic is.
Being seen in the large, competitive pool
It’s all well and good for me to say you need to be competing in the space, but we need to acknowledge the competition is tough.
Everyone wants to be on the first page of a Google search, but there are only so many spots available.
On average, moving up one spot in the search results increases your click-through rate by 30.8%.
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A minimum of 75% of consumer clicks goes to the first page of search results.
Your business needs an online presence in your local market, a Google My Business listing, and the right optimisation to ensure the company can be found online, or on Google Maps.
This is premium real estate on page one of the Google search results, where you can showcase your past customer experience through review ratings.
This helps to build trust with your potential customers.
The three key marketing questions you need to answer
The famous saying ‘if you build it, they will come’ is something too many people in business take a little too literally.
Many business owners think that if they build the best product or service, the world will just find it.
The truth is, waiting for people to come to you is not a strategy.
A strategy is understanding exactly who your dream target customer is, discovering where they’re hanging out, and throwing out hooks that will grab their attention to pull them into your sales funnels.
How do you accomplish that? It doesn’t have to be a big secret.
There are three main foundational questions that you need to be able to answer to better accelerate your business’ marketing efforts.
- Who is your dream customer?
- Where are they hanging out?
- What hook can you use to draw them to your business?
When you have the perfect vision of who your dream customer or client is, it becomes easy to find out where they are congregating. If you don’t have clarity on who that person is, it can be really hard to find them.
By going back to marketing fundamentals and answering these questions, you will strengthen your marketing efforts making it easier to deal with potential uncertain markets.
The dream 100 method
When you have the perfect vision of whom your dream client is based on the questions above, it becomes easy to find out where they are congregating.
This is where the concept of the ‘dream 100’ comes to play. This is the idea of identifying the top 100 tribes that your target audience are already active members of.
You need to find a way to infiltrate these tribes then display your targeted message to the tribe members.
And then this will take our ideal buyers from ‘I’ve never heard of this company’ to ‘what is this company I keep hearing about?’
This helps to build awareness of your brand, and grow your audience.
A business with a loyal following is automatically future-proofed to a degree.
The goal of this exercise is to find out where your dream customers are hiding online. It could be:
- Particular Facebook groups;
- Instagram channels;
- Lifestyle websites;
- On Google with particular keywords; or
- Influencer channels that have the same audience as yours.
In order to find out where your ideal dream customers are congregating online, here are some questions worth asking.
- What topics of discussion do they find interesting?
- What are the top websites that my dream customers visit?
- What forums or message boards do they participate in?
- What magazines do they flip through?
- What Facebook groups are they a part of?
- Who are the influencers that they follow on Facebook and Instagram?
- What are the email newsletters that they are subscribed to?
- What blogs do they read?
- What channels are they following on YouTube?
- What keywords are they using in Google or YouTube searches to find information?
Answering these questions will help you identify where your dream customer personas are residing. Once you know where they’re congregating online, it’s easy to put your targeted messages and hooks in front of them to pull them into your sales funnels.
By doing this exercise, you’ll be able to reach your targeted audience directly through the relationship that you have created with the owner of these tribes, producing a much more effective return on investment than simple mass media targeting.
When done right, harnessing the power of social influencers, affiliate and referral partners can drive incredible awareness of your expertise in your niche, increasing engagement and customer enquiries. The key here is finding the people and referrals that your profiled typical customer follows and trusts.
All of this makes for a great ROI
A sound digital marketing strategy can provide a good return on your investment. It is easily scalable, so you can start small and grow once you know in greater detail who you’re trying to attract.
The possibilities are endless, and as we progress, more people will be online, looking at the things they need, especially in uncertain times.
By being a part of this, you safeguard your business while increasing your reach of potential customers.
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