Your business has finally gone online, and it is time to wrap up your online presence to engage your current and new potential customers, but with a brand-new blank slate, where is it best to begin with cultivating an online presence that is meaningful and drives sales?
These steps will walk you through the best way to create and maintain a bustling online presence.
Set Your Business Goals
Setting your goals clearly before diving too deep into the water of online content marketing is critical. This will help you measure your success.
For example, you run a local emergency locksmith company. The first question to focus on here is: “What will my client feel as a result of the service I provide?”
The goals will come about as a result. For instance, you may want customers to feel relieved, taken care of, valued, and safe in a time that can be highly emotional and stressful.
You may also want to ensure that customers feel comfortable sharing their experiences and referring friends and loved ones to your company.
Set Your Online Goals
Now that you have established your personal goals and recognize how your clients would like to feel, it is time to ask what you hope to get out of the online exchange and experience.
Here are some questions to consider:
● Do I want to inform my customers?
● Influence them?
● Educate them?
● Entertain them?
The answers to these questions can help drive the content you ultimately decide to create and post. For example, an emergency locksmith will want to focus on largely informing and influencing the customer.
Taking into consideration these two factors will help drive the content you create and publish.
For informing customers, you may want to consider posting rates for your services, personal information about you or employees (are you a family-owned business? local?), and what customers can expect from an emergency locksmith visit with your company.
This ties hand-in-hand with the influential component. As a small business owner, the likelihood is that your influence will be for customers to use your service or recommend it to friends.
What do I want customers to do?
Now that you have this narrowed down, the next step comes with what you would like visitors to your website to do with the information you have provided.
Consider your focus. Would you like visitors to:
● Subscribe to a newsletter
● Download an eBook or report
● Request more information
● Make a purchase
As previously mentioned, the focus for the site here is to inform and influence customers. Likely this would come down to making a purchase or requesting more information.
This is where the goal-setting comes into play. For example, “As a result of posting my rates, we will influence 10 customers to make a purchase with our services rather than our competitor’s.” Personalization and integrity are key in transforming these visits to sales. This is where the buyer’s journey comes into play.
Each time a customer begins the journey to purchase, they begin in the “Awareness Stage”, which means they are aware there is a need to be fulfilled and are doing initial research to frame their problem.
Following this is the “Consideration Stage”, where a customer is committed to understanding and approaching all the methods and opportunities for solving their problem. This is where the comparison between companies may occur, and your online content reveals the superiority of your company over others.
Finally, customers reach the “Decision Stage” and work toward a final decision. With the right targeted content, your company may be the one the customer lands on.
When setting these goals, it is important to keep them “SMART” – Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Oriented. (For example, how many customers do you want to convert in two months? How will you know if your web traffic has increased?)
These explicit goals can then be tracked and measured, and the efficacy of your online content will soar so long as it is aligned with your goal.
It is important to filter each new piece of potential online content through the lens of these questions:
- Do I know my “why” for my business? Is it clear and focused?
- Do I know the “what” I am trying to achieve?
- Do I know the connection between the “why” and “what”?
With these three components aligned, your content will be strategic, targeted, and exactly what you need to compete in the online marketplace.