Keep it Simple to Help Your Small Business Marketing Efforts
A friend of mine send me an email with a link to the graphic you see below. It’s titled “A Post-Click Marketing Heuristic” and it was created by SearchEngineLand to illustrate what happens after a visitor clicks on a link and lands on your website.
They might arrive via the search engines, an advertisement, or a referral from someone else.
My friend commented, “It’s no wonder I can’t get anything done.” I agree. While this diagram might depict what’s possible, it’s like trying to draw a picture of the entire Universe. I can’t imagine any company, even the largest companies, following this diagram to the letter.
Any small business would get lost within a week if they attempted to follow this chart, so I’ll see if I can simplify it a bit.
The Small Business Post-Click Marketing
Here’s the diagram:
As you ponder this and try to make sense out of it, here’s what it’s really trying to say (in my opinion):
1 To Whom Are You Selling, and Why?
Any business needs to understand their target market and to split that market into “segments.” Best Buy understood this when they bought Magnolia, a high-end home theater company. Their sales people have become adept at steering the high-end customers to the Magnolia shop.
Segmentation is equally important for small businesses. A client who sells natural herbal remedies had all the products on one website, but that tended to confuse buyers. Instead, they are now separating the products and creating one website per product. They’ll still have the single website with all the products, but potential customers will be funneled through the focused websites according to individual needs.
Once you’ve segmented your market by need, you need to understand their needs in much more detail. I speak of this often in other articles on the Business WordSmiths website. It’s what I refer to as your “Content Messaging,” and it’s perhaps the most critical component of your segmentation efforts.
Content Messaging answers the question, “Why would they want or need your product or service?”
Is it to live longer or avoid costly and dangerous pharmaceuticals? Is it, as with another client who consults in the Oil & Gas industry, to relieve them of the hassle, worry, and financial ramifications of making mistakes?
As you look at the first section in the above diagram, that’s all you’re doing: identifying your target market and defining WHY they might want what you have to offer.
2 Persuading Them That You’re “For Them”
The second box looks incredibly complex, but it needn’t be. Whether you’re face to face with a potential buyer or wooing them online, the principles are the same. You’re developing a relationship in which they come to trust that you can solve their problem or meet their need.
In the online world, we do this through what we call “Content.” Content may simply be the web pages on your site that explain your offerings. Done well, this may be all you need.
Or, content can consist of a wide variety of other media, including helpful articles, instructional videos, or free training seminars or webinars (online video seminars).
You’re giving them a taste of what’s in store if they purchase your product or services. It’s your “demo” that proves beyond a shadow of doubt that you can meet their needs or solve their problems. Generally speaking, the more advanced or higher priced your service or product is, the more “proof” you need to provide in various content formats.
For example, a $5,000 product or service will need to woo the prospect for a longer time period and offer more up-front value before they ever purchase the product. A $29 product on the other hand, can offer simple proof in a few paragraphs or satisfy any skepticism with a good guarantee and success story or two.
3 Converting Trust Into a Sale
The third box in the diagram is all about “conversion” – converting the prospect into a customer. The diagram is saying that you need to do two things:
- Get them to act. You need a clear “call to action” on every web page and every article or video you create. You want them to buy, call you, download your free report, or do SOMETHING in which they raise their hands and say that they would like your help.
- Continuously engage with them. The sole purpose of complex “CRM” (Customer Relationship Management) systems is to keep your customers engaged and buying from you. Whether it’s through a steady stream of emails, free webinars, or update notices, the idea is to stay in touch. We’re basically lazy, so if we see something we like from someone we trust, we’d rather buy it now than take the time to look for other options.
If you want to help your small business marketing efforts then don’t get bogged down in complexities. Keep it simple. Figure out who’s going to buy and why. Give them reasons to trust, respect, and like you. Then, close the deal and stay in touch.
Now… get out there and sell something. And, be sure to call me if you get stuck or need a little help any point along your road to riches.