INBOUND MARKETING AND BUYER PERSONAS
What does an attention seeking outbound marketing strategy sound like online?
“SEX! SEX! SEX! Now that I have your attention, buy this XYZ stuff that I sell. Oh there is no sex. I just wanted you to look at this.”
Screaming for attention online does not equal getting successful sales or even successful promotion for your brand. You need to understand who your potential leads are, understand their buyer persona, tailor your marketing messages to their needs and earn their attention, and genuine interest.
What your online campaigns says without a buyer persona based targeting?
“I sell awesome stuff. Buy it! I know you may be Googling something else. But guess what, I sell awesome stuff. Read more, buy it! You are going to block this annoying pop-up and hate us forever. Guess what? We don’t care. I sell awesome stuff. Like us! Buy it! Oh you are a man, you don’t even need this shit. Heck, I still sell awesome stuff. Buy it! Buy! Buy! Buyyyy!”
Throwing in your budget on online marketing without understanding the buyer persona of your target audience is like tossing a bottle with an SOS paper inside, from a deserted island. It is a hit or miss strategy.
Knowing who your potential customers are, what their interests are, the websites and blogs that they like visiting, the kind of language and content they like, the time they are most active online, the relevance of your product or service to their needs, their stage of awareness ( Interest, Desire, or Decision stage) etc. can help you in tailoring effective marketing strategies that ties back with their interests and your marketing goals. Understanding your target audience can make your online marketing efforts easier as well. It makes it easier to pick the right keywords for SEO, choose the right campaigns on Google Ad words, optimize the website, and develop effective content. This makes your job of identifying the right marketing channel easy as well. It is all about getting the right message across to the target audience through the right marketing channels. You can use these insights to make your brand not just good, but a rock star online.
SEO AND YOUR WEBSITE:
Just how badly can a crappy website affect your brand ?
“To get anywhere on this website, you need to use this impossible to find link that will take you to another unrelated link. Wait, we are not done yet! Now welcome to this tacky page that leads you nowhere and gives no frigging clue about where you are or what you are looking at. Some of the fonts and background colours are a little ‘artistic’. You can read it if you squint enough though. And this psychedelic gif? Hypnotizing, right? Now watch this lame video we made. No, you can’t stop, skip or end it. Just watch!
Oh some of the images are just there for the sake of it, you know. And sorry that page doesn’t exist. This page looks like crap on your smartphone? Try again? You have all the time & free internet data in the world .Where else would you rather be, than right here, right now with us?
Bad grammar? Oh ,bitch, please! Come on. Who hasn’t made a few typo errors? The rest of the site is awesome. Complicated jargon? We added that to make ourselves look smarter. We don’t care if you understand the product. Now focus on the good. Focus on our brand, the stuff we sell. You never heard of us before? That’s ok. Just listen to our website. Yeah! We are awesome. We are pretty cool. Get it? Now hunt for those social like buttons and tell everyone you love us because we love you too! :)”
The way you optimize your website both on page and off page greatly determines the success of your online marketing strategy.
On page optimization decides how your website looks like to potential leads. Think of it like a store, the first impression made here decides how people will perceive your brand. Just like a nice store, a nice website should be neat, and simple. Ensuring that your site is easy to navigate, is user friendly, has no broken links, loads fast and properly on different browsers and devices. It will look more attractive with content that helps people know what your product or service is. Don’t be afraid to dumb it down in a simple way. The simpler it is the more appealing it is for people to just visit and explore. Adding in the right keywords on the web page, in the meta descriptions and URLs makes it easier for the right people to find you easily online.
Off page optimization strategies includes getting your site on directory list and back links from other credible websites. The more credibility you build, the better your Google page rank will be. This means better chances of being found on the first page of Google’s search results. Creating action oriented, attractive and well-placed landing pages with the right call-to-actions can aid lead generation and conversions.
CONTENT AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
How soon can boring content put off your audience?
“Read our exhaustive 5,000 words sponsored blog about the wonderful world of termites where we talk on and on about termites. Hate termites. Nobody likes them. It is way too long. We don’t care. So where were we? Termites!”
Creating useful, engaging content attracts visitors and improves the credibility of your website and brand. Don’t be boring. Don’t be a complicated douche bag. Make lives easier for people and they will love you for it.
People have very little tolerance and patience for stuff that does not interest them or makes them feel confused. Know what your buyer persona is interested in to develop your content strategy. What kind of topics would they want to see? Are they more active on Facebook or on YouTube? Keep it simple, useful and share worthy. Choose the right medium and experiment with different content strategies based on your target‘s buyer persona to see what clicks, and what sucks. Keep blog titles short and catchy so that the entire thing comes in Google search results. You can also include links to related articles in your website. Don’t try to push your product or service bluntly in the face. That’s kind of a big turn off. Put out useful content, encourage people who visit the page to explore and share. You want to toss in a hint of your brand subtly like a sprinkle of pepper. Don’t over do it by talking like a nosy salesman. You don’t want them to snort, sneeze and be terrified of landing on a page that says “BUY NOW, credit card details here!”
A good social media strategy based on your target audience can help drive more traffic to your website and build brand awareness. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and Tumblr can help you build a stronger online presence for your brand. You can have direct conversations with potential leads, engage in trending discussions and keep up to date with the latest happenings around you. Bonus point, you can even get your fans to create content for you. Do include links to your website, with keyword driven descriptions to further optimize the official social profiles. Allocate budget for promoting your pages or Ads on the social media platforms based on what is working best for you. Experiment with a small budget on all channels where your audience is active. Find out which channel is bringing in the maximum ROI. Find out what are the best times for posting and promoting ads on the different social media channels.
Also, be polite. Be nice. Be careful. Don’t post things you might regret later. Words spread like wildfire. Choose your words & conversations carefully.
What robotic auto generated promotional emails sounds like?
“Ooh you landed on our page and hit our call to action buttons. Congratulations! Here is a tight slap of auto-generated spam. Spam, spam and more SPAM! 🙂 There, hope you feel special. Now go tell everyone!”
Whatever you do, don’t penalize leads who subscribe with pointless spam. Don’t pretend to care and dump tons of robotic promotional mails. Unless your blog or update is really good, don’t keep sending mailers for the same. People will unsubscribe or treat all your future communication as spam. Bug only those who seek to be bugged with things they want to be bugged with. In short, mail only relevant useful content that fits their buyer persona. Additionally don’t be a robot. Send personalized mails that’s clear and compelling.
ALIGNING YOUR MARKETING & SALES GOALS
How your organization sounds like when different teams sell different ideas?
“Oh, we work as a team, all right! That marketing guy has his nice images and fancy marketing stuff that we use for promotion. The sales guy will actually tell you about the real stuff. We are a tight knit team, you know. We have pizza together on Fridays, went boating last weekend. You know team spirit. Unity and shit. You can see our Facebook page.”
Ensuring that your marketing and sales team are on the same page will improve the number of successful conversions and build your brand’s credibility. It is not enough to work under the same roof. When the sales process is tailored to the buyer personas just like the marketing strategy, the whole experience leads to more customer satisfaction. More are the chances of sales and happy customers who will promote your brand in future.
What your brand tells customers when you stop caring after sales?
“Ah a customer. Wow that’s great! So nice of you for the exchange of money for our stuff. That’s it! We are pretty much done here, and we’ll definitely remember you, hound you again for our next sales target! Enjoy the stuff, Byeeee!”
You have earned their attention, build a rapport and made the sales. Now don’t treat them like shit. People will remember the experience. And they will never forget a bad one. Delight your customers with great service and customer experience. Keep all communication personalized, educate them about relevant offers and discounts. Happy customers will stay loyal and help you promote your brand.
Every brand needs a unique marketing strategy that will help attain both its short term and long term marketing goals. Some strategies fail, others rock! And while you figure out the one that works for your brand, here‘s a quote to reflect upon.