Where do you spend the bulk of your time on social media? I’m sure your answer depends on why you’re there. Let’s face it, social media can be a huge time waster and if we’re not careful, we can quickly lose track of whether or not we’re achieving our social media goals. (You are tracking your social media goals right?) So, which social networking sites should you be on? Well, if one of the ways that you define your target customer is by gender, you may want to take a quick look at this infographic:
Knowing who your customer is and how your product or service meets their needs is absolutely critical to being successful in any business. (There’s really no way to get around this.) You need a focused marketing strategy and you cannot do this unless you know who your niche target customer is. Blogging is a great way to drive traffic to your website and to engage your current and potential customers. So, how do you find new topics to write about that will make your readers come back for more?
Stalking is a pretty strong word to use here but it’s not a bad idea to get on someone’s radar screen. All of us have stumbled upon someone who is making an impact online. Maybe they have a healthy number of quality followers. Perhaps their tweets are retweeted so much it makes you envious. Wouldn’t you just love to get on their radar screen?
This week someone left a comment about wanting to add a blog to an ecommerce site. He recognized that it would be a great way to help drive traffic to his website but he didn’t know what to blog about. His perception was that “it is so hard to build a blog for niche ecommerce sites.”
I was recently approached by a gentleman who was interested in having a website built for him. As we started our initial consultation, I commented that his domain name was somewhat generic for the product that he was building the site for. Upon further discovery, I learned that the site name was intended to cover a broad market that he had long term plans of reaching. One of his goals was to segment his market by the different ways people like to learn. He had no idea how to accomplish this. (Which is why he had come to me in the first place.) So, what did we plan?
Ok… you’ve “opened the virtual doors” to your business/blog by telling your friends, family and anyone else who would listen. So what now? (Maybe you’re seeing flashbacks of Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams”… “if you build it, he will come”.) As reality sets in, and you’re not seeing an increase in the number of visitors (or commenters) or more importantly you’re not seeing the results that you’re looking for (sales, email addresses, attention…), you may start asking yourself what next? Well, there are lots of things you can do like using the Google Webmaster tools, submitting your URL to directories, commenting on blogs and optimizing for search engines but…
Let’s just get back to the basics here…
Anyone who has tried to build a business knows how important it is to build awareness. If your customers don’t know you’re out there, how are they ever going to buy from you? So, how do you build awareness? Advertising is one way but you can also network. If you’re a business with a local customer base, you may already belong to a Chamber of Commerce or a networking group like BNI (Business Network International). So, what’s the equivalent of a Chamber of Commerce or BNI on the Internet?
“Don’t try to be all things to all people.” – I’m sure that’s a recommendation that you’ve heard before. It’s good advice. If you are trying to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of customers, you may end up being so generic that you’re not meeting the specific needs of any one target group. Focusing on (and thoroughly understanding) a specific niche target market enables you to develop an effective marketing message that will resonate with your target customer.
There are basically two ways to make money selling a product or service. You can either sell it cheaper than your competition or you can differentiate your business by offering something of value to your customers. If there is no difference in your product or service, people almost always base their buying decision on price. (No one wants to have to compete on price.)
In part 1 of this series, I recommended that before you or your website designer begin designing your website, you understand who your target customer is. What type of a website will appeal to them? Should your site have a fun and creative feel or should it look trustworthy and serious? Are you working with an existing brand that you need to integrate your website into or do you have free creative license to design it completely from scratch? Whether you’re building your own site, working with a designer or you simply want to understand what constitutes good design for a website, here are some basic tips: