Posts Tagged ‘Target Audience’
Techniques in marketing are changing vigorously. A concern with many marketing-strategy producers is choosing an efficient and successful plan to market to your specific audience. Customers have high expectations with regards to services and products as well as the level of importance most place on their individual buying experiences. Most of the U.S population has in many ways evolved their shopping habits from face-to-face shopping to online shopping. Many search for means of knowledge online as well. Consumers want their buying experience to be knowledgeable, reliable, quick and most importantly for you as the provider, easy. One of the easiest ways to extend your information to existing or future customers is by E-mail. Many businesses use some form of E-mail marketing strategy, but the question is, are they using it in the most advanced way they possibly can. Here are a few tips that may help you advance your E-mail Marketing strategy.
Target Audience: If your email doesn’t resonate with your audience, you probably will not see many results from it. Pay attention to your data, it will tell you whether or not your targeted audience connects with what they have read. See if you can segment your audience to deliver various types of information depending on their individual preferences.
Follow Your Landing Page: Where does your email lead readers? Test various types of landing pages that reinforce your email’s appearance and content. Make sure it not only benefits you but also benefits the reader.
Call-to-Action: Create a sense of urgency and help your viewers do what you want them to do, which is more than likely to take some sort of action. Give them a reason to get involved. Do not merely include a link that says “Click here” or “Download here.” Instead, test calls-to-action that give users a reason to comply.
Make Sure It Makes The Inbox: Marketers should monitor deliverability to ensure that the message is getting through to their consumers. Start by checking the spam score, this will aid in avoiding spam traps and spam words.
Watch your numbers: Check the results of your campaign daily, especially before scheduling the next campaign. Opening clicks and conversions can help you become more knowledgeable of time between an email being sent and the email being opened.
For daily social-media marketing tips, visit our Facebook page here
Sometimes all it takes is a simple reminder. After all, it’s easy to forget the basics and fundamentals of anything once you get going. So being reminded of the seemingly small details can often make the difference between success and failure. When it comes to social media, the ever-expanding list of apps, plugins, widgets, websites, and platforms can confound even the savviest online observer. But, at its root, social media is about communication and community. In other words, before you get overwhelmed by the bells and whistles, spend some time getting back to basics.
With that in mind, we collected another list of simple do’s and don’ts for social-media success …
Don’t Be Too Self-Promotional: There will be a temptation to overload your pages with flattering facts about your business and services. But social media isn’t for advertising. It’s for socializing. Your social-media profiles should be a place where you share info and updates that are professionally relevant and of interest to clients and potential clients. Don’t overdo the self-promotional posts.
Do Join Groups: Sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, offer the ability to join groups formed around interests, industries, communities, etc. In other words, joining a group means meeting like minded individuals and sharing thoughts, views, and ideas. It’s a good way of finding your target audience, making new connections, and learning something along the way.
Don’t Confuse The Personal and The Professional: This one seems easy enough. After all, if you’ve registered a social-media account under the name of your business, you already know that isn’t the place for posting vacation pictures. Right? Well, if not, consider your social-media profiles and blogs an extension of your business website. Keep it professional and save the personal tidbits for a profile your clients can’t see.
Do Like, Recommend, Follow, And Fan: If you want to make connections quickly, initiate. Take some time and leave positive feedback on the pages of people and businesses you’ve interacted with in the past. Chances are, if you make the effort to say something nice about someone, they’ll return the favor.
Don’t Ignore Your Contacts: When you’ve made an effort to get people to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else, you have to follow through. If you don’t, you’ll lose the connections you have. This means, you have to be responsive when someone comments on a post or sends you a message. It means you have to log in regularly and share interesting info with your contacts. It means, you have to be social, interactive, and available.
Do Think It Through: Most importantly, you have to give some thought to anything you post online. It’s easy to forget that you’re publishing something on the Internet under your business name and, once it’s up, there’s no telling who will find it or where it’ll appear. Make sure whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it in a way that properly represents your business and enhances your professional presentation.
On the Internet, content is currency. Having a website, blog, or social-media profiles without content is like having a car without wheels. You’ve got the foundation but you don’t have the means to make it go. Successfully marketing your business online means you have to, not only be part of the conversation, you have to start some yourself. You have to stay active and continually engaged. The Internet values quantity over quality and, if you have both, you’re golden.
Here are some things to think about …
Types of Content: The mistake a lot of people make is feeling like their content has to always directly relate to their business. It doesn’t. Your content has to appeal to your target audience but doesn’t have to have a direct link to the services you provide. For example, if you were selling skin-care products to teenagers, you wouldn’t have to fill your Facebook fan page with posts only about teenage skin and ways to keep it healthy. You could use anything that might appeal to teenagers. Posting about issues and topics interesting to teens would be more effective than posting only about skin. After all, teenagers may want clear skin but they likely aren’t interested in reading article after article about it. Mix it up and keep it interesting.
Ways to Use It: Content is a general word. What does it mean exactly? Well, it means anything you share anywhere you share it. It can be blog posts, tweets, Facebook updates, or emails. It’s not about where, it’s about what. In other words, once you’ve created some content, think about the most appropriate ways to use it. Twitter, for example, has a very specific format. You can’t tweet a paragraph, so quick updates, links, and photos are perfect. But a blog post may also work well as an email blast. If you’ve got something to share on your blog and you’d like to share it with your email list, you’re going to boost the number of people who see it. And numbers, after all, mean more opportunities for business.
How To Think About It: Here’s the trick. Stop thinking of your Internet properties as having to compete against everything else on the Internet. If you’re in real-estate, you don’t have to worry about your real-estate blog competing with the top sources of industry news and information on the web. You’re never going to surpass the number of people looking at the top news sources and industry sites. You’re never going to become CNN. You’re goal isn’t to have the number one site on the web. You’re goal is to have the number one site among your clients and customers. If you’re sharing your content with the people you’re hoping to do business with, it doesn’t matter how many hits you receive. If you have one visitor to your blog and they end up your client, you’re an Internet success.
- Photo by C!../Flickr
Sharing is a big part of a successful social-media campaign. You’ve got to share and be shared to gather followers, fans, and friends online. But, for a lot of people, curiosity about social media is overwhelmed by a sense of dread over having to come up with content, posts, updates, and tweets on a regular basis.
Here are some ways to ideas, hints, and tips on what and where to share …
You’re A Curator: First things first, you don’t have to have anything interesting to say. The Internet is a vast resource and no one person can absorb all the information that’s available online. Which is to say, if you’ve come across anything in the news or anything that would be of interest to a potential client, share a link on your Twitter page. It’s a great way of informing and keeping in touch with existing customers and potential business. And it relieves you of the necessity of always having to come up with something to say off the top of your head. A curator is in charge of choosing the art that hangs on a museum’s walls, not creating it. Think of yourself as a curator and share the most interesting and relevant news that relates to your target audience.
You’re An Expert: Now, you may not think of yourself as an expert. Few people do. However, if you’ve spent any time in your current business, chances are you know more than the people paying you for your services. Otherwise, they’d do it themselves. That means, at the very least, you can add insights, context, and explanation to any information you’ve tweeted. If, for example, you tweet a link to an article related to your industry, add another tweet with some background or explanation. Give your Twitter followers some of your insight and expertise and they just may end up as your customers and clients
You’re A Media Mogul: Most importantly, share your content between your social-media sites. If you’re setting up a Twitter page, there are many ways to import blog posts and such to your Twitter feed. There are also easy-to-use apps and tools that will export your tweets to your Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, or blog. In other words, think of each of your individual pages as part of one whole. Spread your content around and make sure it’s getting out and circulating among all your connections and contacts across the Internet. The more you share, the more visible you are. The more visible you are, the more likely you are to turn online contacts into real-world clients.
Change can be challenging for some and totally paralyzing for others. It’s among the reasons so many dismiss the benefits of taking their business online. It’s easier to retreat than it is to keep up with the ever-evolving nature of the Internet and its boundless opportunities. There is, however, a simpler way of thinking of things and we offer a few of them below
Content is Conversation: Content is key when marketing your business online. But what is content? Well, instead of trying to break down the ins-and-outs of “content marketing,” imagine you’re having a conversation with a potential client. What types of things would you want to share with them? Maybe some news, a hot tip, a new deal? That’s your content. Blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates needn’t be perfectly composed, crafty, clever, or even that creative. The only thing they need to be is relevant to the types of people you’d like to turn into customers.
Social Media is a Satellite: Think of your social-media profiles or blog as a satellite office. It’s your website away from home. It’s like an easily customized billboard that you have complete control over. Sure, it won’t replace your business website but it will become a place where you can communicate and connect with potential partners and future customers. Keep ‘em professional and relevant to your target audience and they’ll become a vital part of how you do business and how you reach new business.
The Internet is Everywhere: Increasingly, people are accessing the Internet wherever they go and whenever they want. And with the popularity of products like the iPhone and iPad, the ease with which people can access the Internet will only increase. That means, if you plan to stay in business for another five or 10 years, you’ll likely end up using the Internet in some way to promote and market your services. Starting now just means you’ll be better positioned to take advantage of future opportunities as the Internet becomes more and more integrated with everyday life.
Trying to figure out the algorithm Google uses to rank web pages in search-engine results would take a degree in mathematics and a minor in computer science. And even then, you may be at a loss. That means, search-engine optimization will forever remain a mystery to any of us outside the bowels of Google’s headquarters. Still, you don’t have to be schooled in calculus and computer programming to know that the more popular and regularly updated a web page, the more easily it’ll be found in search-engine results.
Here are a few simple tips to improving your web presence without hiring a mathematician …
Content & Keywords: You can find plenty of articles online explaining how to optimize your web properties through the use of keywords. Simply put, if you have a blog and use the phrase “ice cream stand” in every sentence in every blog post you put up on the web, then you’ll be more likely to be found when someone searches for ice cream stands on Google or Bing. But creating content around keywords will likely leave your blog posts sounding as though English was your second language. However, if your business is running an ice cream stand and you’re blogging about your industry, then you’ll naturally be including all the right keywords. Which is another way of saying, regular content relevant to your profession or industry will naturally include all the appropriate keywords. That means, creating content regularly and focusing on a target audience is the simplest way to ensure that you show up in the right searches online.
Plugins: If you’re using WordPress, there are plenty of plugins available that promise to increase your search-engine rankings. These plugins, including All in One SEO Pack, WordPress SEO by Yoast, and SEO Smart Links, will require some input and knowledge on your end but can help automatically tag your pages and posts to increase the likelihood that you’re found in the searches you’d prefer. Unfortunately, if you’re already creating regular content and are active online, it’ll be hard to determine whether the plugin or your manual efforts are responsible for any noticeable results. Still, having a look through the available online tools can’t hurt and may help you achieve the results you desire.
Social-Media: Having social-media pages devoted to your business can also help you show up in search-engine results. But, in order to capitalize on the positive effects social-media can have in getting you found by the right people, you’ll have to make sure your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages are properly set up. For example, though you may be tempted to get creative with your page names, the most effective way to be found in search-engine results is to be straightforward. Use your business name or the closest thing to it and also fill in the most essential parts of your fan pages and profiles. The more relevant information you share online, the more you’ll be found in relevant search-engine results.
If you opened a retail store and had a flood of customers coming through your door everyday but never buying anything, you wouldn’t call that success. Sure, you would have succeeded in getting people to visit but, if your visitors do nothing but look, you wouldn’t be able to afford your rent, employees, or merchandise. Which means, you would be out of business just as quickly as you got into it. Social-media marketing works the same way. Converting visitors into customers takes effort and some organization. Concentrating on quantity over quality can leave you with an impressive stat sheet but no new leads.
Here are some tips on organizing your efforts and making the most of your online properties …
The Operations Center: Maybe you feel like blogs are yesterday’s news and you’d prefer to skip a step and take your online efforts directly to Facebook or Twitter. Don’t. A blog gives you much more control over how and what your customers see. Facebook, for example, is continually changing and evolving. You have no control over the next update and how that may affect your ability to share your content with potential customers, clients, and partners. Set up a blog and use that as your central hub. From there you can send your posts to whatever other online properties you use for business. In short, start with the blog and share from there. You’ll have more control and an easier time organizing your info and where it’s shared.
Use Your Base: Maintaining a blog takes effort. If nothing else, it requires regular content. That can be a challenge. So much so that getting your blog in front of your target audience can be a secondary concern. Turning your latest post into a lead generator can be tricky but building an audience may be easier than it seems. For one, you can use existing and past clients to generate an audience that’s focused and familiar. How, you may ask, would having past customers reading your blog help build your business? Well it will boost awareness and readership, in addition to providing all important word-of-mouth. After all, a past customer who’s already familiar with you and work will be more willing to pass along your info to family, friends, and colleagues.
Merge and Integrate: Too often, professionals set themselves up with social-media sites and blogs but don’t take the time to link them together or to their business website. Using RSS feeds or any available plugins and widgets online makes it easier than ever to incorporate your blog into your business site, your Facebook fan page, and your Twitter feed. If the purpose of keeping a business blog is to build business, then your main objective should be getting people to visit any or all of your online properties. Driving traffic back to your business website is key. Make sure you’re making it easy for visitors to find you before complaining that your online marketing efforts are a waste of time and effort.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
There’s a difference between being popular and being profitable. And the difference is money. In other words, if you’re launching a social-media campaign for your business, you’re likely not in it to make new friends. You’re in it to generate leads and convert them into business. Here are some ideas to help increase the effectiveness of your social-media efforts …
Play it Cool: Even though you’re on Facebook for business, it’s still primarily a social tool. That means, you can’t come on too strong. In order to grab attention, you’ll have to create some content and make it interesting. And, more importantly, make it interesting to your target audience. If you hope to generate quality leads through social media, whether you’re using a blog, Facebook, or Twitter, you have to first build trust – and an audience – and the only way to do that is to offer something for nothing. If you’re posting quality information about your region or industry, you’re establishing yourself as a knowledgeable source and forming positive associations among visitors to your pages and profiles.
Be Discreet: You don’t want to fill up your blog or social-media profiles with solicitations and blatant advertisements for your services. You can, however, use areas around the margins to create an ad for your business. For example, if you’re keeping a blog, take an area typically reserved for ads and widgets to create a call to action. It doesn’t need to be sophisticated. At first, just having something on the page is better than nothing. Experiment. Write up a short description of your specialties with a link to your website. Having a few well-placed reminders of who you are and what you do will give visitors an opportunity to further explore your business online and raise the possibility of converting them into clients.
Be Available: Social media is about creating dialogue. So, in addition to keeping your page updated regularly and offering content that will interest and attract visitors, use your social-media presence to find and contact potential business in your area. If you have a Twitter page, for example, search for keywords related to your industry, then limit the search to your region and answer anyone in your area who’s posted questions related to your line of work or expertise.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
Advertising is about grabbing attention. It’s the reason fashion ads feature so little clothing, which – when you think about it – doesn’t make all that much sense. But a photo of fully dressed models won’t grab nearly as much attention as bare skin. The same is true on the Internet – though no one’s suggesting you resort to nudity.
Branding yourself online, whether it’s through a blog, a Facebook business page, or a Twitter account, is about grabbing online attention and getting people to take notice of your page … and then your business. Very few television ads spend that 30 seconds explaining their business credentials. More likely, there’s 28 seconds of a talking monkey and two seconds explaining who the ad is for and how you can buy their product. Which is a way of saying, social-media marketing is no different than any other kind of marketing. You’ll need to grab your target audience’s attention before you’ll see any benefits.
Here are a few ideas to remember …
The What: Okay, you’ll need some content on your pages to keep people interested but that’s not to say your business info and credentials aren’t necessary. Once you’ve registered for a page or profile, fill out all the provided places for your bio, websites, past experience, and whatever else is offered. The more you fill in, the easier it will be for people to find you. This information will provide the keywords through which people will find you in searches and such. It’ll also make it simple for interested visitors to learn about your business and find ways to contact you.
The How: So that’s not the difficult part. After all, anyone with a couple hours can set themselves up with an online profile and fill in their business information. If that’s all it took to bring in new business through social-media marketing, we’d all be on yachts in the South Pacific. Sadly, in order to keep visitors, build word-of-mouth, and brand your business, you’ll have to consistently offer content on your pages, profiles, or blog. And, unlike television or radio ads, you can’t schedule when people will look at your page. Which means, the more you update, the more reason they’ll have to visit. The more visitors, the more potential business. Finding a pace and type of content that suits you and appeals to your clients will take time. Don’t get discouraged. Also, be sure to interact with your audience whenever you can. If someone leaves you a comment, respond. The more available you seem, the more trust you’ll earn.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
Doing something well requires practice. And practice requires patience. After all, it’s going to take a while to get good at whatever it is and, in the meantime, you’ll have to grow accustomed to the feeling of failure. The same goes for starting a social-media campaign. There’s no reason to expect you’ll have more fans than Oprah within a week of setting up your first account. Take your time and don’t get discouraged.
To help you get started, here are a few common mistakes to avoid …
Keeping Quiet: It’s easy to fall into the trap of only promoting your social network while you’re online. But driving traffic to your sites means getting the word out. Even offline. If you’re keeping a blog, talk about it as much as possible. Ask clients to visit. Ask your friends to visit. Mention it in meetings and at industry events and anywhere else you’re in contact with potential readers that fit your target audience.
Doing Too Much: Once you’ve got yourself registered on your social network of choice, it’s tempting to start following and friending every page, profile, and person you come across. And, while it is a good idea to connect with industry and community contacts, clients, and potential referral partners, building your network requires some focus. If you find yourself following 500 people on Twitter and the majority of them are your favorite actors, actresses, singers, and athletes, you’re likely not going to see any benefit to your business. You’re also never going to be able to locate your actual contacts through the mess of tweets filling your inbox.
Giving Up: There as many cliches about practice making perfect as there are reasons to keep with it. Sure, at first, it’s a struggle to find the time or the content or the purpose behind your social-media efforts. But with a bit of focus, and a commitment to engaging and interacting with your online network, the benefits will come. Don’t fill out your profile, let it sit for a month, and then proclaim the Internet a waste of your marketing efforts. If at first you don’t succeed …
More tips from The Ibis Network here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
LinkedIn claims to register a new member every second. Which means, in the few minutes it’ll take to set up a profile on the popular social-networking site, there will be hundreds of new prospective partners, customers, clients, and connections available to you. In other words, if you’re looking to take your business online or just looking for another opportunity to meet people and market your services, LinkedIn offers plenty of professionals and potential business to the social-media minded mortgage or real-estate professional.
Here are some tips to building a more productive profile …
Write a Summary: Writing a short professional bio will not only help visitors to your page learn more about you, your business, and your services, it’ll help visitors find your page to begin with. In other words, make sure to use the terms you’d hope people would use to find you. If you’re in the mortgage industry, say so. If you’re in Atlanta, add that. But, if you write about how much you love the outdoors, don’t be surprised when you’re contacted about fishing gear. Keep it professional and focus on your target audience.
Have a Goal: Decide what it is you want to accomplish with your LinkedIn profile and focus your efforts on that. Connecting with former co-workers and friends is fine but it won’t generate any interest in your business. If you logged on to meet other professionals in your industry or community, then search for and join relevant regional and industry-related groups to make more productive connections and generate potential business down the road. Remember, though, it’s about communication.
Use Applications: LinkedIn offers a number of applications that allow you to share everything from your Amazon.com reading list to your most recent blog posts. They’ll fill out your profile and can help drive traffic to your other pages, blogs, and websites.
Be Strategic: Once you’ve set up a page and joined some groups, develop some content, discussion topics, or questions to share. Then think strategically about how, where, and when to post it. You don’t, for example, want to post your content on Christmas morning, or on the weekends for that matter. Posting the right topic to the right group at a time when there’s likely to be more traffic and interest will make the difference between being ignored and being active in your community or industry.
For more LinkedIn tips from The Ibis Network, click here.
The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
Chances are, you’ve heard all about the benefits of keeping a business blog. You likely wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t looking to start a blog or build upon an already existing blog. So let’s get right to it. Here are a few tips, thoughts, and ideas that should help you attract readers, and potential business, to your blog …
Think of Your Blog as Your Own TV Station: Like radio and television before it, the Internet is a means of communication. But unlike TV and radio, the Internet allows for equal and inexpensive access. Which means, setting up a blog allows you to broadcast your services, knowledge, and expertise to a larger audience than you ever could through traditional advertising, and at little to no cost. Keep it interesting, though. A radio station that only ran commercials wouldn’t attract much of an audience. Write for your target audience and offer quality content on a consistent basis.
Keep It Short: Coming up with content on a regular basis can be a struggle. Luckily, online readers tend to have shorter attention spans. After all, as quickly as they clicked on your site, they can click on another. That means, you don’t have to write 10,000 words per post. Posting short, easily digested information will encourage your viewers to spend more time reading your blog.
Syndicate Your Content: Once you’ve started producing content, spread it around. One of the many benefits of using social media for business is how easy it is to multiply your views by posting your content on multiple sites. Twitter and Facebook, for example, make it very easy to automate the process and quickly expand your influence online.
For more business blogging tips from The Ibis Network, click here and here.
Josh Millar / The Ibis Network / www.theibisnetwork.com
To learn more about the Ibis Network’s Professional Networking Suite for Realtors and Mortgage Professionals which features these valuable marketing tools:
* Your own Real-Estate or Mortgage blog updated daily with original content
* Monthly e-newsletter ready to send to your contact list
* Social Media set-up on the 8 major networking sites
* Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your business website
If you’d like a free Real-Estate blog designed for you… no strings attached – click here: http://theibisnetwork.wordpress.com/want-your-own-real-estate-blog-for-free/
If you’d like a free Mortgage blog designed for you… no strings attached – click here: http://theibisnetwork.wordpress.com/want-your-own-mortgage-blog-for-free/