Let’s think about marketing a small business. On one hand, it’s a good idea to put yourself into a market where you don’t have as many competitors….that way, from a marketing perspective, you have less work to do in order to be visible to people who want/need your product or service. On the other hand, if you have a business product or service that is applicable to MOST PEOPLE, then you really should put yourself out there for all to see (instead of targeting a specific set of people).
Recently, I created a website for a client who’s services are applicable to anyone in Canada…but their YellowPages expert in marketing and SEO convinced them to target and refine all their SEO efforts to only TWO specific geographical areas of Canada. These two areas represent only 1% of the Canadian population. So they are spending about $1000 a month with YellowPages advertising to show up in front of a VERY small demographic. For their type of business, targeting based on geographic location is not the way to go at all (in my professional opinion); it’s a bad marketing strategy. The client would be WAY better off targeting specific kinds of people instead of targeting people based on where they live. The strategy of targeting specific kinds of people is called building your buyer persona’s.
What are buyer persona’s?
This where you have to know the business inside and out to build a fictitious person who would be your ideal customer/client. Many businesses will have several “ideal clients” who are not the same; hence, they’ll have several buyer persona’s. When you create these buyer persona’s you think about many aspects of the person:
- Male or female
- Where they work
- How much money they make
- What their position is at work
- What their position is at home
- Single, married, dating, etc
- What do they read?
- Where do they eat?
- What influences their decisions? Free thinker, recommendations from friends, researcher, etc.
Once you have some of that figured out you can start to actually target them. Believe it or not, a lot of the answers you put down to the points above can be targeted in one way or another. If you have money in a marketing budget, you can spend it very wisely after knowing exactly who you are targeting. Paying for advertising online is not the same as paying for advertising in the real world. Advertising using Google Adwords can get your ads only showing up on specific websites or for specific searches. Advertising on Facebook is even MORE targeted…you can really target a specific set of people and Facebook will even tell you how many people could see your ad based on the criteria you place for the ad.
Ways of Targeting your Persona’s
1. Spend money on advertising
You can spend money advertising what you do to a targeted set of people. Depending on how broad or narrow your targeted person is can be the delimiting factor for how much money you have to spend. However, recent data that has been posted on the Hubspot statistics page states that typically the click-through ratio of advertisements is only 2%. So, you’re paying to show up in front of your targeted people but only getting 2% to click the link. Depending on how you have your ads setup, you don’t have to pay unless someone actually clicks on the link, but having only 2% of your targeted audience click your link is kind of dismal results.
2. Spend time and money on your website content
You can spend time and money beefing up your website so that your pages show up in regular search results. This is time consuming but can work very well for you if done the right way. Firstly, write evergreen content….this means you write about what you do, how you do it, or why you do it and write it in such a way that the content does not go stale. The more you write about what you do, the better your rank in search results will be. For more on this read my intro to inbound marketing and the subsequent posts. Second, you need to optimize your pages for people first and for search engines second; there’s no point in optimizing your pages for search engines first if they don’t make sense to people or they are not what people are searching for. Make your titles enticing to click, write your content to be easy to read, illustrate your points with great imagery, and become a thought leader in your industry.
It’s important to think about what is good for your business and where your best clients/customers come from. Targeting the right kind of person will bring you better clients and make you more profitable. Take some time to figure out the best marketing strategy for your business and get a second or third opinion before you sign on to an expensive long term contract.
Email me your business website
I’ll take 10 minutes to look at what you have and let you know my opinion on what kind of marketing strategy you should be focusing on. At the very least, I’ll be a second opinion for you.