Most marketing and advertising strategies expose their messages to a much wider audience than would ever buy from you. That’s why 44% of direct mail is never opened and 86% of people skip TV ads.
Of course you can narrow down who sees your marketing messages, and hence save some money, when you can identify where your target audience hangs out. If you have an audience of professionals who read a particular professional journal, you can advertise in that professional journal and save on your advertising costs.
In the digital world you need to look for ways to expose your marketing messages to only your target audience. Many digital advertising techniques spray your messages just as wide as some of the old offline techniques.
It’s best to get found when people are looking for solutions to the problems they have, problems you have a solution for. Today’s buyer starts by doing a Google search, so make sure people can find you there.
To get found by the right people you have to define who the right people are
You need to know who your target audience is and what problems you solve for them before you can ensure you get found by them when they’re ready to buy.
Remember, it’s people who do the searching so you need to define the people and not the company. You will need quite a detailed understanding of these people in order to write content they identify with. You create a document for each member of your target audience and call this a Customer Persona.
We use a worksheet to put these together which includes fields for following:
Their demographic information?
Their job and level of seniority?
What does a day in their life look like?
What are their pain points?
What do you help them solve?
What do they value most?
What are their goals?
Where do they go for information?
What questions would they ask you about your product or service?
What are their most common objections to your product or service?
What experience are they looking for when seeking out your products or services?
How should you describe your solution to this persona?
Which of your products and services is this persona most likely to buy?
The more detailed your personas the better your content will target them.
Of this information the last 5 are going to help you most when you plan the content you will develop for them to find online.
The questions they would ask you about your product or service are the search keywords they’re going to type into the search engines. You must answer their most common objections in your content to convert them to a sale.
Develop a content plan which targets your personas and their search keywords
It takes more than one piece of content to convert someone from a website visitor into a lead and then a customer, and it takes way more than one piece of keyword targeted content to rank well on Google.
Develop a content marketing plan which defines the content needed to get your website ranking well on search engines for the keywords your personas are using, and also defines the content needed to move your personas through their buying process.
To rank well on search engines today for a broad range of search keywords you need to publish lots of content around those keywords. The best way to do this is with a business blog. A business blog is less formal than your static web content and allows you to engage directly with your target persona using language they understand.
Consider this, 82% of companies who blog daily have acquired a customer through their blog.
To progress a person through their buying process needs different types of content. First they’re just doing research and need help understanding their problem. Your blog is a great place to deliver this content. Offer them some more advanced content, an eBook or maybe a white paper, which requires them to complete a form to receive. That way you convert them as a lead and can contact them by email or telephone.
As they understand their problem they need content which helps them understand how they can solve their problem, then they need to know who can provide them with the best solution.
Publish content on your blog for each stage of the buying process so you get found by buyers at different stages and convert them into leads.
Work your leads through their buying process
It can take weeks, months or even years for people to make a buying decision. You need to stay in touch with your leads right through their buying process so they will remember you and buy from you when it comes time for them to buy.
Use lead nurturing to work your registered leads through their buying process.
Lead nurturing is usually a series of emails designed to keep them engaged with the content on your website. Each time a lead takes up a new content offer from your website they move into a new series of lead nurturing emails tailored to the stage or the buying process they’re currently in.
This marketing strategy is called Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing works so well because it taps right into the way people buy today and, when done well, people don’t even know they’re being marketed to.