When it comes to online marketing, I know it can be an overwhelming feeling for how much it needs to be done and for you not to procrastinate, we’ll share the top ways to generate customers using online marketing.
Many small businesses do not have a brand. Of course, they have a website and a log. But they do not express a message. They don’t stand for anything.
As an example; what do you think of when you hear the word “Volvo”? Safety?.
Many companies are started and built by people who have a dream and a vision – and with money, family and friends who risk believing in an idea of solving problems and making life easier for others.
The easiest to copy from other companies is products and services. Therefore, it is surprising that so few companies use just the personality – the reason why they exist and why they do what they do as a way to differentiate themselves.
If you have not set aside a budget to hire a brand strategist, you can run a simple brand-building exercise.
It goes something like this:
1. Think about why you started the company
If you are the founder – answer the question of why you started the company, what you are proud of as you have succeeded and what you like about being your own entrepreneur.
2. Talk to your customers
Talk to your customers and ask what they like about your business (or don’t like). What made them choose your company over their competitors? And continue to develop the relationship with your customers – understand your customer’s business by asking the customer what their challenge is.
When you hear your customers talk about your business, you get outside and in perspective. In other words, you are looking at your business with the same eyes as your customers. And that’s a perspective you want to use when building your brand.
3. Competitive Analysis
Write down your top five to ten competitors. Take a look at their website and ask yourself; What can I do better than them? What am I doing that is good that they are not doing? How do they talk about their company?
Watch how they use social media. What you want to pay attention to is the type of content they share (if they even do). Do they have people who engage with their content? Do people comment on their posts? What kind of people are they and what do they say?
The reason for conducting a competitive analysis is to gain a better understanding of what your competitors are doing. The last thing you want to do is copy them, but your goal is to learn from them and use their flaws as your strengths. And it will give you arguments as to why a customer should choose you ahead of your industry colleagues.
4. Compile and develop your brand
When you are done with the work for your origin story, have a better understanding of your competitors and the feeling the customers have about your company, it is time to start developing your brand.
From your work, think about what stood out the most. Use it to talk about how what and why you do what you do in a way that your competitors do not – and most importantly, try to do it better.
That’s how you manage to position yourself with something that is impossible to copy. Your story. Your values. The feeling YOUR customers have about your company. And it is genuine.
Congratulations. Now you have created a message around your brand for how you want to be perceived. That is the art of building a brand.
Review your content and language on your site
How often do you visit your own website? How often do you navigate and test the experience on your site?
A person who owns and runs a restaurant constantly tastes the food from their own menu ensures that the kitchen is top-notch, that the toilet is fresh and that customers get a good experience when they visit the restaurant.
Don’t make the mistake of not reviewing your own site. It can be such a simple (but important) thing as testing whether the contact forms work. Give yourself time to continuously use your website from the customer perspective. This is important because it is usually the first interaction a customer has with your company.
Talk as your customers talk
Because you have done the branding exercise, you have a confident message and a better understanding of your customers. Now it’s time to review the content of your site.
And avoid using professional language and writing in a way that people outside your industry understand.
If your business is not a unique case that only lives on good references, you want to avoid the fact that your website is an inept seller. To avoid that, the first step is to use a language your target audience uses.
It’s easy for us to get stuck in our own bubble and forget that our customers don’t use the same language as us.
In fact, in the end, you do not decide what is best for your customers, they do it themselves. But since you have talked to your customers and used the language – and the feeling they have about your business, that is exactly what you have succeeded with.
Not only is language important for your customers to understand you, but it is also the search terms people type in the search box for you to be found on Google. Use a language that your customers can understand and increase your organic traffic.
Develop an overall marketing strategy
Alright. What have we achieved?
You have a website that reflects your brand and differentiates you from your competitors. What you have in front of you now is an untapped potential to be found and start generating leads.
But this is what many small businesses think is overwhelming because there is so much to do. And no one ever says you DON’T have to do everything just because it works.
That’s why I want to tell you it’s OK. You don’t have to do everything. In fact, I advise you not to.
Instead, focus on what you think will give you the highest ROI.
And how do you decide?
Let’s go through a selection of what you can do to make it easier for you to choose what to spend your time on.
A keyword-optimized site
With over a billion websites, optimizing your website can be futile. But I recommend you invest time (and money) for a keyword-optimized site and here’s why.
Search engines are the single largest source of all traffic on the web.
When people search for something online, they first use a search engine. New customers do not know your URL and will not write it in the browser. Therefore, to be found, you are dependent on search engines indexing your site and delivering it as a search result.
And if your site is not optimized for search engines, you will lose valuable traffic. When your potential customers do a search, they are looking for something specific, such as your services. And when you rank high, you have motivated buyers on your site.
As it is said. Content is king. And because the main purpose of search engines is to deliver content that is relevant and of the highest quality, that’s exactly what you want to do.
With 95% of all content on the internet that is, in fact, worthless (my experience), you can see very good ROI by spending time creating content that is ten times better than your competitors.
But to create content that outperforms your competitors, you at least want a basic strategy and consider the following:
Plan: What goals do you have with your content? What value do you intend to contribute?
Personas and shopping trips: Who should you create content for? Future talents you hope to recruit to your business or to attract potential customers to your site?
Regardless of who you create content for, you are best off using buyer personas. If the goal is to attract potential customers, it will be most effective and accurate if you take into account the inbound marketing buying process.
Your story: You have already come a long way. Use your story to communicate in a distinctive way. Provide perspectives based on your experiences and do so in a way that communicates who you are as a person. Then you will attract (and deserve) the customers you want.
Channel: Where are your customers? After you press the publish button, you want your potential customers to access your value-creating content. What forums are they on? Which LinkedIn or Facebook groups are they members of? What hashtags do they use on Twitter?
Think about these terms and when you know, reach out with your content in these channels.
You can advertise through search engines or social media and it can be very effective if done correctly. The downside is that it can cost more than it tastes if done wrong.
The mistake many people make is that they use paid advertising without having a process to convert visitors to leads and leads to customers.
You should never send traffic from your ads, no matter what it is, directly to your homepage. The website or home page (whatever we call them) contains far too much information and all possible directions a visitor can take.
And the risk is far too great that they miss performing the action you most hope for. There is simply no focus. Therefore, you want to send the traffic from your ad to a landing page that converts and only aims at one thing – the goal you have with your ad campaign.
A landing page more or less determines how successful your ad campaign will be. A good landing page = good ROI. A bad one and you have burned money. Then it is more fun to buy fireworks you light in the middle of bright dan.
Social media is an effective way to drive traffic to your website and build on your brand. But if you don’t already have a lot of content like articles, ebooks, guides, white papers, etc. social media works as an update channel.
The best effect from social media comes when you run marketing campaigns to drive traffic to an offer you have and that you send to a landing page.
And just as you don’t have to carry out all the marketing strategies available, you also don’t need to be visible on all social platforms. Choose a maximum of three platforms that align with where you think your customers are.
If you are in need of new customers quickly, email marketing is probably not what you are going to spend your time on. Email marketing is suitable for maintaining the relationship with existing customers and building on your brand.
If that is your goal, be consistent and email your list of value-creating content.
As an example, once a week I get a summary (automatically) sent to me for how much my son has used the computer and what it has been used for. This is of value to me and I read the compilation every time.
No matter what you send out, whether it is content that you have created yourself or if you want to tip about other people’s content, you want it to be of value to your list.
The point is that you should think about how you deserve someone’s attention by being value-creating.
Invest your time to optimize your site for local SEO if you run a local business.
Start by registering your business with Google My Business. Then you should do a complete review of your site to see how well you position your company for the local connection it has.
Set aside time to go through forums. Register on relevant forums where your customers can be. Foretagande.se is a good forum for the owner and CEO of small companies.
Put a recurring reminder in your calendar where you take ten minutes to read and respond to posts every other day, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Make sure you are visible and create value by sharing the knowledge you have. And where it’s sensible and relevant, share content you or someone else has created.
With 30 minutes a week you can create relationships that lead to more business and in order for you to see ROI on your time, one or two businesses in one year should suffice.
It is my experience that many small businesses usually try to sell their services instead of the actual value and benefit to their customers. This is usually reflected in the content of their websites and in all interactions they have.
Often they do not know the real needs or pain points of their potential customers, which means that a link is not created to come up with how they can help.
There is a lot to do to promote a company (no matter what size), and it can feel overwhelming for small business owners, as you usually have multiple roles at the company. But if you take it step by step it becomes manageable.
Once you find out what makes your business different and “unique”, communicate it out and think about the needs of your potential customers.
Now is the time to get started on what you have learned, and not procrastinate. Decide on a plan. Build your brand. Talk like your customers. Create content. And share it with the world.
And remember. People do not buy services. People buy a solution to a problem.