Digital Marketing for Skeptics
Yes, I’m a skeptic. What else?
Welcome to Lesson #6. We started discussing some ways to be more focused with marketing and outreach in Lesson 5. Let’s continue that discussion here.
Listen to Lesson 6
One Thing to do Right Now – Take 5 Minutes
Take your five minutes to do some brainstorming.
First on content – what content do you already have that you can re-use in new locations? Maybe past blog posts, press releases or FAQs? What are some common questions your prospective customers ask?
Next on outreach – where can you go to find prospective customers – online or off? For now, just jot down some ideas – associations, trade shows, networking events, discussion boards and so forth. Then later you can dig into this in more detail with some online searching.
Finally on news – where do you get your business news now? Can you think of any additional resources for information that you could use? Jot down some ideas that you can explore in more detail later.
You can listen to Lesson 6 by clicking the play button to the left of the audio player here, or read the content below.
Things to think about from Lesson #6:
- What information can you share with prospective customers that will help them see you as knowledgeable in your field?
- What do your existing customers frequently ask about?
- What groups, associations, or journals do your customers belong to or subscribe to? Are there ways you can insert yourself as a volunteer? Or can you answer questions or comment on posts in a way that helps you stand out without selling?
- Where do you get information on your target market industry news?
- What changes to a potential customer industry or individual business might be a signal that they are in the market to buy?
Digital Marketing for Skeptics
Lesson 6 – Yes, I’m a skeptic. What else?
Hi there, and welcome to “Yes I’m a skeptic.” This is the sixth lesson in the series, so hopefully you have already listened to the first five.
As always, I am Kelly Berry, your resident skeptic.
In Lesson #5, I started sharing my Six Tips from a Digital Marketing Skeptic.
Tip #1 was to be sure that your website is customer friendly, so that potential customers get the information they need from you once they find you.
Tip #2 was to be sure you can very clearly define each of your target markets, so that you can use the right language on your website and so that you understand how big that market is, and where your target customers are located.
Now let’s move on to Tip #3 through 5.
Tip #3 is to become a source of valuable information for your customers.
Before I go into detail, I want you to think about your existing customers. I would imagine that your most loyal customers have come to count on you to advise them when they are making purchase decisions. You have become a valued resource for them and that helps cement your relationship with them.
So how can you establish a similar relationship with new customers? You want them to start to trust you and to turn to you to get information that affects their business. If you don’t already have a way to connect with them in person, then let them get to know you through your online content.
Whether you are reaching out directly to one company or preparing a blog or other online content, being informed about any news that could affect your business and your customers’ businesses is beneficial.
If you are able to stay informed on the news in your industry and share that information with prospective customers, they will come to see you as an authority in your field and will be more likely to want to do business with you.
So how do you find these relevant news stories when you already don’t have time to manage your sales & marketing the way you’d like to? Take advantage of existing news sources:
- Trade journals
- Email newsletters
- Online news sites
- Any other sources of business news that you already access,
Then set aside regular time to share the news in a variety of places:
- On social media
- Inserted into an email newsletter that you send to your customers
- On your website
Seek out ways to be a spokesperson for your industry locally. Build up FAQs on your website that help your target customers with any issues that are connected at all to your product or service.
There are all sorts of apps and tools out there to help you find relevant news stories to share, and being a source of news is a great way to establish yourself as a trusted authority in your industry.
You can create content – or curate news content – to help attract customers to you through email newsletters or blog posts – but you can also go online to find customers where they are and ‘listen’ to what they are saying to better understand what drives them – which is our next tip.
Tip #4 – find customers where they are
For each customer type, spend some time thinking about where to find them. It used to be that you could just go to a trade show to connect with your customers at your booth, or through your white papers or other presentations. The pandemic made in-person trade shows impossible and virtual trade shows became more popular. While there is still value in trade shows, don’t neglect other places where your customers might gather.
Think about any in-person or virtual places where groups of your target audience might choose to hang out.
- That could be in a discussion board for an industry association, or a Linked In Group.
- Perhaps they are attending webinars or other virtual events that you could sponsor or run?
- What podcasts do they listen to?
- Who do they follow on Twitter?
How can you position yourself to be online and hear the conversations of your potential customers?
I don’t mean in a creepy stalker kind of way. I mean more like you are actively involved in reading and liking and commenting and sharing on social media or in discussion boards – so that your potential customers find you there and perhaps also determine that you are an authority figure they can trust as in Tip #3.
So rather than throwing money at Google ads, and hoping that prospective customers will find you, start to think about where these prospects already are, and join them. There are all sorts of groups and discussion boards and email newsletters to choose from, and tools to help you find where your customers are hanging out. Take advantage of what you can find and start visiting these online hangouts.
Tip #5 – figure out when your customers are ready to buy
Let’s face it – for B2B sales, most companies are inclined to stick with their existing vendor unless something big happens. Certainly, a pandemic was a “something big” that caused many companies to re-examine their supplier and vendor relationships. Changes in the economy can do that as well.
But another reason a company might be open to trying a new vendor or supplier is because a change is occurring in their own business. It’s important to pay attention to what’s going on with your target customers.
- Are they building a new facility?
- Bringing on a new executive to their C-Suite?
- Running into trouble with a shortage that you can address?
This is where tips 3 through 5 are all interconnected. If you are following news sources that are relevant to your customer industry (tip #3), then you’ll have a better idea when things are happening that could make a particular customer or customers in a particular industry more likely to make a purchase from a new vendor or supplier.
And if you are finding online places where your target customers are hanging out (tip #4), then you might be hearing stories about issues they are having that could put you in the position to work with them. Maybe they are posting on a discussion board about a Chinese supplier that can’t get the parts they need in time. Or lamenting that they are having trouble training their new hires. Seek out the comments and conversations that connect to your product or service and use these channels as a method of direct outreach.
There may be a lot of businesses out there that could become your potential customer. But your goal is to find the ones that are ready to buy right now and get in front of them.
Spending some time seeking out and sharing information relevant to your customers – and then also connecting with them where they are already hanging out – is the best way to better understand your market and which customers are most likely to buy.
In our final lesson, I’ll share the last tip with you and wrap up this audio course on digital marketing tips from a skeptic. See you there!