As a business owner or a marketer for a business you are often tasked with the all important job of being bigger/better/more than the competition. You want the billboard in the best part of town, or you need to focus on having more social media likes, or whatever the marketing push du jour may be. In the digital realm the opportunity to stand out and be memorable is available to everyone. Here are some of the strategies that we use to keep our clients top of mind without breaking the bank.
We have written about this before and we will continue to preach this way of doing business that we believe should be at the top of everyone's list. Honest, transparent and thoughtful communication with your audience. People crave authenticity in the marketplace, they want to know the people that they are doing business with. Give them everything that they are asking for.
Let them be the educated consumer, frame their experience with your business with the information that they need to make the best decision for their business. Being honest works. It generates more traffic for your website, it creates stronger relationships with your consumers and it shortens your sales cycle. There is no reason to avoid the honesty economy and in 2014 we predict that this will be a major trend you see in business.
Answer Their Questions
Get real about your strategy and recognize that it is not all about you. At Hughes & Co. we have written a lot of blog posts, in fact, we do it almost everyday. The one thing that we always refer to when we blog are the questions that we get from customers, the inquiry style keyword searches that refer people to our site and the popularity and conversion rates of the posts we've already published. Here is a break-down of success for us:
Being Honest Generates Leads: 5723 reads (as of Jan 14, 2014) | 14 conversions/leads
Why Social Media Wasn't Enough for Hughes & Co.: 11532 reads (as of Jan 14, 2014) | 2 conversions/leads
Answer the Questions Their Asking: 3241 reads (as of Jan 14, 2014) | 25 conversions/leads
Hughes & Co. Year in Review: 2111 reads (as of Jan 14, 2014) | 0 conversions/leads
So you can see, when we write about ourselves, you read the blog. When we write about things that are actually working for our clients, you read the blog but you also download resources, connect with us to see if we can help your marketing and ultimately help us develop a strong enough business to keep feeding you marketing blogs that will help you develop a strong business. When it is all about us, you read but you don't care that much. Keep that in mind as you develop your blogging/content marketing strategy.
Be Available When Your Prospects Need You
This is one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy. Are you available to your future clients? Do they know how to find you? What we mean is, if you type your industry (not your company name) into Google, where are you showing up? If you are not on page 1, you have some work to do.
One of the biggest myths with optimizing your website for search is that you want to show up for things that are generic search items. Wrong. That is not qualified traffic. For example, if you work in the construction business it is not valuable for you to show up on page one for the word "home construction" on Google. It is however very valuable for you to show up for a search term that is built as follows:
[Location of Business] + [Service Provided] + [Specification]
Example: Niagara Custom Home Construction Company Quotes
This is more valuable because you know where they are located. Traffic to your website from a market that you don't service is not terribly valuable traffic. You know that they are looking for what your company is capable of providing them and you know that they are seeking quotes. They are a qualified prospect.
Example: Used Honda Civic Under $9000 in St Catharines
If you are familiar with our firm, you might guess that this is an actual search term that sent traffic to a client site yesterday. You might even be the searcher! So, this term is telling us that we have a loyal Honda Civic driver that is looking for a new car. There is some brand commitment there, so they are probably aware of what kind of Civic they want and in what condition. They are looking to spend under $9000, so they have a budget already and they are in buying mode. They are looking specifically in St Catharines which we can assume is a local market that they are comfortable buying in.
All of the above are wrapped up in a content marketing strategy that is typically a retainer based model. Read: none of the above is paid advertising, it is paid marketing services. There are all kinds of ways to conserve your dollars and focus on your marketing in a more cost effective way. Focus less on public response to your brand name and more on creating meaningful relationships that generate referral business, on creating a content strategy that will fuel your social media and create loyal readership and on being cognoscente of what your consumers are actually looking for. Connect with us today to get an accurate read of your website vs. the competitors.