How to Reach Your Target Customers More Effectively

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Reach Your Target Customers|How to Reach Your Target Customers More EffectivelyWhen your business is looking to get off the ground and start making sales, it’s essential to think about your target customers and how you’re going to reach them. It’s certainly one of the most difficult tasks you’ll face and there’s no easy way to do it. But there is a wide range of techniques you can make use of and take advantage of when you want to reach the right people. Learn more about that below.

Start with the Process of Defining Your Target Audience

First of all, you’re going to need to define your target audience. It’s impossible to appeal to the right people when you don’t even really know who the right people are. You should try to make sure that you choose an audience that you know is going to be interested in what you’re offering, and you can carry out market research and use focus groups to get a better idea of this.

Consider Direct Mail and Email

A really traditional yet still effective way of marketing to people is to hit them directly with direct mail. This works because it puts something directly and physically in front of your target customers, and it means they can’t really ignore what you’re presenting to them. Email marketing is also something that’s really effective and should be considered.

Use Referral Marketing Techniques

Referral marketing is one of the best techniques to make use of when you’re looking to target specific groups of customers more effectively. Referrals work well because they’re provided by people already in your target market. For example, if you’re looking to target women aged between 35 and 45, the chances are that a customer fitting that profile will refer someone they know that’s also in that same demographic.

Work with Relevant Influencers

If there are particular influencers that you know have an impact on your target audience and that they have a great respect and fondness for, you should reach out to them. See if they might be interested in working with you to promote your product. This kind of paid promotion is much more authentic and direct than simply putting an advert in front of people, so give it a try.

Make Use of Targeted Ads

It might also be a good idea to use targeted adverts to promote your business and the products or services it’s trying to sell. These are more effective than other kinds of ads because they target specific people in particular demographics, and that’s what you want to when you’re trying to connect with a clearly defined target audience. Facebook ads are particular good for their targeting capabilities.

If you’ve struggled to reach the right people so far or you simply want to get off to the right start with a new business, these tips and ideas should help you to reach people effectively and appeal to them directly, so be sure to make the most of them going forward from here.

Fun and Lucrative: 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Podcast

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Podcast|Fun and Lucrative: 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a PodcastThanks to the development of new and innovative technologies, it is easier than ever before to create, manage, and advertise any business; however, new challenges are introduced daily. With this in mind, many wonder how business owners can establish their authority in their particular niche and gain new customers. How will people find the product or service they want when there is so much information “out there?”

An answer to this is with podcasts. Podcasts are a new and popular option for businesses to go where their potential customers are and win their attention and patronage while providing service to the community and establishing their brand. Some of the reasons that making a podcast with the help of experts like Blubrry Podcasting is such a good idea for modern businesses can be found below.

1. Share Expertise

A business owner along with their business has something unique to offer the world. It could be knowledge about frugal living or even a team of comedians -; there are people out there who want to know what you have to say. They are out there looking for it and waiting for it.

A business owner should think about all the resources they have at their disposal and the things they may have taken for granted. These are the things that can be shared to help others. What is a business owner able to give back to help contribute to the conversation that is going on? Building thought leadership and authority within the business realm is the best way to reach the top in any field. Podcasts offer businesses another way to build brand awareness and this should be something any business owner uses.

2. Build the Brand

Building a brand is about much more than just picking a web design, logo, and motto. When someone is searching online, they will find an array of companies offering identical products or services. How can they tell which is best? A podcast can help a business owner set themselves apart from the crowd. It will also help customers see that the business owner truly cares and knows what they are doing, which will build trust.

3. Gain and Retain Customers

All businesses must be able to gain and retain customers. Keep in mind, keeping a current customer costs less than getting a new one. By providing quality information on a regular basis, a person can keep customers coming back. This is key to retention and ongoing business success.

4. Networking Benefits

Podcasts are the ideal medium for interviews. While solo shows are great, any conversation can help make it more engaging. Many successful podcasts have guests from a related field that can provide valuable content for people listening.

5. Save Money and Time

Podcasts are extremely affordable compared to other forms of advertising. This means it is something that anyone can afford to do, even startup companies with a limited marketing budget.

Creating a Podcast

Remember, before starting a podcast, a business owner needs to make sure they have something of significance to talk about. This will help ensure people are actually interested in what is being said. take some time to think of a direction for the podcase to achieve the best possible results for the marketing method.

How to validate your blog post ideas

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Blog Post Ideas|How to validate your blog post ideasThe cold, hard truth in the world of writing is that no matter how well you research a topic, and no matter how much passion you pour into content creation, a piece can (and will) still fall flat if there was never enough interest in the topic to start off with.

There’s nothing quite as disheartening as spending hours upon hours writing a blog post (the average one takes roughly 3 and a half hours from start to finish), only to find that it was never going to drive traffic due to minimal search volume.

Fortunately, there are data-driven ways you can validate your blog ideas before you dive into the creation process.

Take stock of these simple steps and work them into your blogging process. You’ll soon find your content marketing is performing far better than you imagined possible thanks to spending these few extra moments on validation.

Use Google to Assess The Competition

One of the most powerful tools at your disposal for validating a blog post idea is actually one of the most common: Google.

By searching your proposed topic or title, Google can give you a strong indication on whether or not you have any chance or ranking with that title and therefore whether writing content on that topic will drive traffic to your site in the long term.

Before you write a post on a given title, put that title into Google and see what comes on the first page.

Google gives preference to bigger sites with more traffic and a stronger presence on the internet generally. Therefore if you see the first page of Google dominated by the websites of big companies and global news sites, you should narrow down the topic that you are writing about.

Ideally, when you search your proposed title in Google you want to see posts on the front page of companies your own size or smaller. Having social media and forum pages on the first page of Google also confirms that you have a good chance of ranking your post, even if your website is still small.

Ask your current audience what topics are of interest to them

Another way to gauge interest in a potential blog topic is to ask your existing customers whether they care about the topic in question.

After all, the whole point of a blog is to engage with your current audience and encourage new leads to interact with your brand; what better way to find out what your customers want to hear about than to simply ask them?

There are a couple of simple ways to do this: if you have an active social media following, you can create an easy Yes/No poll asking whether or not your audience would be interested in reading about a specific topic—Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are ideal venues for this sort of outreach.

If you’re lost in the ideation process and could use some direction, send out an email blast giving your audience the opportunity to call out the topics they’d most like to hear about. You’d be surprised by how many of your followers will respond with ideas they’ve been itching to learn more about.

Another effective, yet easily overlooked way to choose blog topics with the help of your customers is to simply jot down the most common questions you receive on a daily basis and use them as inspiration for future posts.

Use forums to find “low competition questions”

Forum sites like Quora and Reddit can help with validating a blog topic idea because the presence of conversations around your topic both indicate a level of interest in that topic, as well as a lack of answers on the internet on that topic.

This latter point is particularly important. People often ask questions on forums when they have Googled a question but not found a satisfactory answer. Therefore if you see a question being asked regularly on forum sites, it is well worth seeing what comes up when you Google it.

If you feel that you can answer the question better than what is currently on the first page of Google, and that question is being regularly asked in forums then you have an excellent chance of creating a post on that topic which will bring in traffic (and leads) for years to come.

Take Note of Fruitless Searches

It’s important for every content creator to always stay vigilant for topic opportunities; that way, you won’t be found wanting when it comes time to choose a topic to write about.

One of the best ways to validate a topic is through personal experience—if you’ve searched and searched for information on a specific subject to no avail, that’s a great indication that there are others just like you looking for the same thing. There therefore may be an opportunity to fill there.

Make it a habit to write down every time you research a topic but come up dissatisfied with your results; you’d be surprised how quickly you amass a list of blog topics just waiting to be created.

The best thing about this method of validating a topic is that all of the work is done for you prior to the actual creation process since your list is already on hand, and it takes the pain out of ideation since these are all topics you’re already interested in.

In the world of modern marketing content is king, but it’s worthless without proper validation; gather data through these simple processes, and you’ll soon find that your blog posts are earning you better engagement and higher traffic than ever before.

Five Low-Budget Marketing Channels for Startups

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |Low-Budgeting Marketing Channels|Five Low-Budget Marketing Channels for StartupsStartups face several challenges, especially during the first 5 years of the launch and none of the challenges is as precarious as struggling to remain cash positive. Operating under tight budgets makes it almost impossible for startup owners to set aside a marketing budget.

Often, the marketing gets the axe because startups are caught in a dire financial balancing act. Within the tight operating budget, they have to pay rent and employees, purchase raw materials and take care of the huge overhead costs. But, the absence of proper advertising and marketing strategy in place results in about 42% of startup businesses failing within the first 4 years.

In this post, you will learn that there’s no need to spend a fortune to effectively market your startup. You just have to choose the right marketing channels for your startup to get maximum output. Below are 5 affordable marketing strategies that will bring unbelievable consistency and visibility to your startup.

1. SMS Marketing

Initially, startups avoid SMS marketing thinking that it would annoy customers. But, studies suggest that SMS messages have an open rate of 98% and an average of 30% act on the massage. This high response rate should take care of any concern that you had regarding ROI.

Moreover, you can send messages to 1,000 people at the same time and at a fraction of the cost that other marketing channels would cost you like, TV, radio or even print.

Best practices to achieve success with SMS marketing:

  • Stick to 160 characters – In the world of SMS marketing, 160 is an important number. If your message goes over 160 characters, mobile networks will slice your message right down to the middle. Some networks even refuse to deliver messages that go over the character limit.
  • Timing is everything – Choosing the right time to send an SMS can make all the difference. For instance, restaurants send messages regarding offers two or three times a day at a time when people would be thinking about what to eat. So, you have to time your messages to reach your audience when they are making a buying decision.
  • Place a call-to-action (CTA) – CTA is a part of all marketing strategy and SMS marketing is no different. Here, your CTA should be in the form of phone number or a web address (URL).

2. Social Media Marketing

Statistics show that over 2.4 billion people use social media. So, it is important that this channel is incorporated into your startup’s marketing plan. As the presence of your business grows on social networking sites, more people will come to know of it and recognize your brand name. Moreover, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media networks, allow businesses to pay for exposure and traffic.

For example, Facebook Ads lets business owners create ads that appear in the news feeds of users or in the Facebook website’s right column.

Best practices to achieve success with social media marketing:

  • Create an account – Sign up on your preferred social media platform/s by creating an account, and complete your social media pages and profiles with company information, images and logo.
  • Attention-grabbing posts – Regularly post useful and engaging content to keep your audience hooked. The posts can be related to your products/services or it can be about the latest happenings around the world. A healthy mix is desired since nobody in the world of social media likes a bragger.
  • Join groups – Join niche-related groups to organically reach more people and choose the right target audience.
  • Stay connected – Be responsive and make sure to reply to every comment and message.

3. Email Marketing

Statistics show that 99% of consumers check emails every day and 73% of millennials prefer business communications, via emails. This makes email marketing one of the most low-budget and effective marketing strategies that claim a high ROI. As long as you have an organically curated email list and a steady, yet non-invasive stream of email blasts, you will see a significant return.

Best practices to achieve success with email marketing:

  • Attractive subject lines – The email open rates increase significantly when catchy, engaging and personalized subject lines are used.
  • Readable, well-formatted email body – The email should be written in simple, easy-to-read language and the content must be broken into small paragraphs with bullets and subheads. You need to focus the content on the benefits of your products/services and how it helps consumers.
  • Keep email subscribers engaged – Share 2 or 3 useful and valuable emails per week to keep your email subscribers engaged. But, avoid sending too many emails.

4. Content Marketing

Content marketing requires little investment, but gives incredible returns. This form of marketing has myriad approaches and you shouldn’t limit yourself. For a start, you can create a blog section in your company website to share with the world whatever your startup company is up to. You can share product/service details, information about new launches and so on. Use the blog section as to both entertain and educate your audience. Then, graduate to other forms of content like, videos, images, infographics and more.

Best practices to achieve success with content marketing:

  • Craft original blogs or articles – Do not resort to plagiarism or your website will be penalized by Google. Invest in the creation of interesting, informative and unique articles and blogs.
  • Create engaging videos – You can substitute your blogs or articles with images and even videos. Alternatively, you can just create videos to share company news. The videos can be posted on your website, social media accounts, YouTube and so on.
  • Include shareable links – Regardless of what content you are posting, make sure that they all have shareable links. You would want your audience to share the content so that your brand awareness spreads far and wide.

5. Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing or SEM is known to fetch instant results. Advertise your startup business on search engines and get more exposure, as well as, sales. Paid search allows businesses to get laser-targeted traffic from Google and other popular search engines. Bing Ads and Google Ads are two of the most popular paid search networks, and they both feature keyword targeting with a CPC (cost-per-click) model. You can create custom ads using either of these platforms and your ads will appear above the organic search results in the SERPs.

This is how ads appear on Google:

Best practices to achieve success with SEM:

  • Keyword research – Paid search is a highly-targeted form of marketing. This is why you need to invest in keyword research. Only the right keywords will make your ad visible to the right audience.
  • Enticing landing page – When a user clicks on your ad, he/she will be directed toward a landing page. If this page isn’t interesting enough or doesn’t offer much information, the user will bounce right off the landing page and go to a competitor website. So, create an alluring landing page and have clear-cut calls-to-action.
  • Set a bid cap – You do not want Google or Bing overcharging you. Since running ads are based on the CPC model, you need to set a budget limit and a bid cap. Once this limit is reached, the search engine will notify you.

The takeaway here?

When you find yourself struggling with your startup’s budget, do not resort to cutting marketing out of the equation. Find innovative ways to build brand recognition that don’t need a lot of upfront investment. Once your brand name is established and you have a steady stream of revenue, you will have the freedom to invest in more expensive strategies.

The Social Network: 5 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Social Media Manager (Now!)

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article |The Social Network |The Social Network: Why You Need a Social Media ManagerWe all know how important digital marketing is especially when it comes to social media. In fact, there are 3.81 billion social media users around the globe so each business is sure to find its target audience on social media.

Yet, as a business owner, it can sometimes become difficult to balance the task of creating content, engaging with followers, and just keeping up with social media in general.

This is where the job of a social media manager comes in to help manage the social network for your company.

Keep reading for our guide on the five reasons why you should hire a social media manager right away.

1. Brand Awareness

When you look into hiring social media managers you have the ability to find someone that can help bring more awareness to your brand through social media. As we mentioned before, there are tons of people already on social media so you will be sure to find your target audience there.

You need to find a social media manager with fresh and creative ideas that will bring brand awareness to your company. When you sit down to talk with potential social media managers you will want to find someone that believes in your company’s values and can show that through social media.

2. Save You Time

If you’re currently the one managing your social media, then you already know how time-consuming it can be. Hiring a social media manager for your social network can totally give you more time to move onto other things that you need to get done.

You can eliminate any thoughts or worry about your business’s social media accounts. Instead, put all of that energy towards different projects that pertain to your company. You will find that you’re getting a lot more done throughout your day.

3. Customer Interactions

Another great thing that social media managers will do is interact with customers on social media. There is a list of social networks that your social media manager will be in charge of for your company and each one will have tons of customers trying to contact you.

Your social media manager can help to answer any questions or concerns that customers have in a timely manner. This will help you out greatly and your customers will definitely appreciate this. Building a good relationship with your customers is important and your social media manager can help.

4. Generate New Customers

Besides keeping up with your current customers, a social media manager can also help you gain new customers! By creating content and keeping up with your social media your social media manager can help attract new followers.

These new followers will potentially be interested in your products and services and want to shop with you. It requires time and research to determine which types of content your target audience will be attracted to which is why you should hire a social media manager for this role.

5. Expand Your Team

One of the best reasons to hire a social media manager is because you can add a new friendly face to your team. Your social media manager is another person with thoughts and opinions to help drive your team in the right direction.

They can help come up with good campaigns to get your business’s name and products out there. Social media is an awesome place to market and they’ll be able to come up with awesome ideas to reach your target audience which makes them an awesome member to have on your team.

Managing the Social Network

Depending on your company, the social network could be a vast and complex place. You might have tons of different social media platforms that you want to keep up with which is why a social media manager can take over and help to strengthen your image online.

Make sure to check out our website for more tips and tricks to help your business!