You’re fully aware that your business needs a website that’s beautiful, functional, and supported by a well-thought-out Internet marketing plan. But why? What is its real purpose?
The answer to that question is almost always “to generate sales or leads.” As obvious as that might seem, however, it’s a detail many business owners and marketers tend to overlook. They get so wrapped up in the latest trends around SEO, social media, or video marketing that they forget their websites exist mainly to help them bring in new customers.
The irony is that, even with so many new websites being launched, and more time, money, and energy being poured into Internet marketing than ever before, many companies just aren’t getting the return they were hoping for. They are getting plenty of traffic, and feel like they are generating “buzz,” but the leads and sales never seem to arrive.
If you’ve found yourself in that situation—or just want to be sure you can avoid it—then we might just have the answers you’re looking for. In this short report, we’re going to share our proven three-step online customer acquisition plan. It’s your blueprint for identifying your most important prospects, attracting them to your website, and then turning them into customers.
If that sounds like something your business could use, let’s get started with the first piece of the puzzle…
Step #1: Building Your Brand
While many web design clients like to focus on layouts, images, and content, the fact of the matter is that these details are often afterthoughts when it comes to putting together the most profitable websites. That’s not to say that they don’t matter, just that the creative decisions tend to take care of themselves when a business has a strong brand and messaging plan in place.
Conversely, if you don’t know what your brand is all about, then it’s going to be very hard to convey a unique selling proposition to your prospects in a compelling way. You won’t have a core message to fall back on, so they won’t be impressed with your marketing points.
For all the supposed complexity of branding in the digital age, however, finding and connecting with your core audience doesn’t have to be all that complicated. You just have to know the main elements and follow a few important steps.
What’s Your Story?
At the heart of your branding efforts lies the story of your business. It should explain where you come from, what you do differently than your competitors, and why you might be a better fit for certain types of buyers. It might be heavy on history and specifics, or focus on the passion you have for your field. It could even highlight things like precision, value, and durability.
It doesn’t necessarily matter what kind of story your business has, so long as it has one and that the story you tell makes sense to the buyers you want to attract. In other words, it’s all about the telling, and not as much about the specific facts or circumstances.
Think carefully about the narrative that explains where your company comes from and where it’s headed. Be able to convey it to customers in a way that’s easy to understand and emotionally engaging. That might be tougher than simply listing names, dates, and locations, but it’s also going to give you a lot more to work with when you’re shaping your business’s brand and personality.
Connecting with Your Core Audience
A good marketing plan is almost like a successful romance. It’s not just about one party or the other. Instead, it’s the way the two sides come together that makes the magic.
In this case, that means figuring out how you can explain your company’s story and personality to someone who was looking for a new product, service, or vendor. It’s about using terms they feel comfortable with, and ensuring you can touch on the emotional hot buttons that make them decide to favor one buying choice over another.
It goes without saying that you have to know your customers before you can find these types of insights. You need to know where they come from demographically (in terms of age, budget, buying motivators, and so on), but also what they love and hate about businesses in your industry.
Take the time to do a little bit of intensive research and get to know not only your customers, but the small percentage of them who are likely to buy from you again and again. The better you understand them, the easier will be for you to give them exactly what they want.
Developing a Voice and Marketing Philosophy
Of course, it’s one thing to know about your market and another thing to be able to reach the men and women in it in an affordable and efficient way. We are going to get to specific tactics in the next step, but for the moment we want you to think about the big picture.
What will your overall Internet marketing strategy look like? Are you willing to spend money to get in touch with the buyers you really want to find your website, or are you counting on creative messaging and word-of-mouth to bring them in?
Perhaps you want to blend the two ideas together. That’s certainly a good approach, but you’ll still need to give some thought to the tone you want to project. Will your company communicate in a fun, offbeat way, or with the kind of precision and clarity that can be misunderstood?
Many clients tend to think that these are questions to be answered at the marketing campaign level, but the fact of the matter is that they should be consistent within your brand from one communication to the next. If you know yourself and your place in the industry, you can convey those notions to customers more easily.
Next article – Step #2: Attracting Buyers to Your Website