Digital Marketing for Skeptics
Yes, I’m a skeptic. What next?
Welcome to Lesson #5. Are you now feeling as skeptical as I am? So how can you find your future customers – or have them find you – when it feels like the odds are stacked against you?
Listen to Lesson 5
One Thing to do Right Now – Take 5 Minutes
Think about your top customers – the ones you’d like to find more of. Now describe some key characteristics of these customers on a sheet of paper. Consider things like the industry they are in, the size of the company, the location, public vs private, key decision makers and so forth. What problem are you solving for them? NOW, in the remaining time, take a look at your website from the perspective of that customer. Does your website share the information your customer is looking for? Be sure to download the Customer Friendly Website Tips at the bottom of this page.
You can listen to Lesson 5 by clicking the play button to the left of the audio player here, or read the content below. Check out the Website Tips at the bottom of the page as well.
Things to think about from Lesson #5:
- Can you describe each of your target market customer types in some detail?
- How well do you understand your customers, what problems you’re solving for them and what drives their purchase decision?
- Who makes the purchase decision and who is the end user of your product or service?
- Can you track down any data about your customer characteristics or any lists of potential customers?
Digital Marketing for Skeptics
Lesson 5 – Yes, I’m a skeptic. What next?
Hi there, and welcome to “Yes I’m a skeptic.” This is the fifth lesson in the series, so hopefully you have already listened to the first four.
As always, I am Kelly Berry, your resident skeptic.
Have I worn you down yet? Are you now questioning the time and money that you’ve been spending online to attract customers? Or congratulating yourself for staying away from all of that?
The fact of the matter is, you can’t avoid online marketing anymore. Remember, we established that in the first lesson. But it has become increasingly harder for small businesses to attract attention online, and it certainly feels like the cards are stacked against us, both by Big Tech like Google and Amazon and Apple – and also by big businesses with their big budgets for advertising.
So what’s a small business to do?
Well, first of all, I do NOT recommend that you focus off-line alone. Even businesses that have seen nearly all of their past sales come from in-person connections, sales calls, networking and trade shows are going to need to exist online in the future.
But the key is to develop an online presence strategically and in a way that is budget conscious. Remember, I’m not trying to sell you any help with keywords and Google Ads or ways to increase your backlinks or professional website design services. I am not a digital marketing specialist, but a small business owner who works alongside lots of digital marketing specialists.
So what DO I recommend that might help your small business?
I have six different recommendations for you. These suggestions will still involve an investment of your time – and maybe your money if you decide to delegate the tasks – but hopefully they will help you feel more confident that your online presence is attracting the right customers and sending the right messages to your ideal customers.
We’ll cover the first two here, and then the rest in the next two lessons.
Tip #1 – A Customer Friendly Website
So, let’s start with Tip #1. Make sure your existing website is customer friendly to YOUR target customers.
Take a look at your current website from the perspective of your customers.
- Is the messaging more about your customer? Or is it more about your business?
- Do you focus on solutions for your customers? Or do you focus on how impressive your company is?
- Will they be able to relate to and understand your messaging and the vocabulary you use on your website?
- How easy is it for them to find contact information? (That should be on every page)
- When you discuss your actual product or service, does your website share examples of uses that are specific by customer or industry type? You want to be sure that your customers can see and understand how your product or service solves their problems, by sharing examples they can relate to.
- Does your website share some case studies or examples that are specific by customer type?
- Do you have testimonials from your customers? Buyers who don’t know you yet are going to want to see some kind of social proof that you are a valuable supplier to your customers. The more testimonials the better.
I have put together some tips based on my recommended minimum website components, based on my experience working with hundreds of small businesses across the country. Be sure to check out that examples below to see if your website is up to par. Bear in mind that these tips are what your CUSTOMER is looking for – which is very different than what GOOGLE or your search engine is looking for.
Tip #2 – Research and Prepare Detailed Target Market Descriptions
My first tip was to be sure that the messaging on your website is specific by customer type. If that is the case, then it pays to be able to describe your ideal customer using some distinguishing characteristics. For example:
- Industry code (or NAICS code)
- Business location
- Business size
- Business type – is it a franchise? Publicly held with multiple locations? Private business with one location?
The more you learn about your ideal customer the better you can focus your online messaging to them directly.
Make sure that you can very clearly explain each of your target market customer types.
- What is important to them?
- How big are the businesses?
- How do they make a purchase decision?
- Take a look at the websites of some sample target customers – what kinds of words do they use to describe their customers?
- How do they communicate online, whether through social media or on their website?
Do you have a sense for how many businesses you are going after in a given industry or in a specific geographic location? Can you track down data to help support that – and to give you an idea where these businesses are located and how many meet your criteria? Do a little market research to be able to get a clear handle on the different customer types you are going after. This can ultimately help you both with content creation on your website and with keywords and ads to use to draw them to your website.
Once you’ve done some of that digging, join me for Lesson 6, where we’ll cover the next two tips from a digital marketing skeptic.
Be sure to check out these website tips! Let’s take a look at a Pizza Shop promoting itself using some of the DON’Ts for small B2B business websites. See if they stand out to you more so using this B2C example. Just click on the link above to access the PDF.