This weeks post is all about FINDING AND COMMUNICATING SUCCESSFULLY WITH YOUR TARGET MARKET!!
Small business marketing is not about expensive branding campaigns - you can't afford that. Instead, you'll be wanting lazer like, efficient focus on your target market and you need to be talking their language! This is how to start or refine your approach:
1. Define your target market - who is your ideal customer?
If you are visual draw them, or write a list if not, who are they?? M, F, a parent, single, a teen, wealthy or not, where do they live, where do they hang out, what do they enjoy doing?
2. Put yourself in their shoes:
Now add to your drawing or list. What are their problems, what issues will they be facing, what makes life easier for them, what motivates them, what likely makes them happy, what do they want to avoid? What will they likely be responsive / unresponsive to?
3. RESEARCH to guide and refine your marketing approach!
Use your page of insights to do some targeted online research.
For example, if your target market is a time poor parent with two kids who need to keep them entertained over the holidays, they would Google something like "what's on for kids Wollongong school holidays' - so Google it - see what comes up!
Use these research and insights you've created / discovered:
- Who is serving up the top organic results (so not the paid ones at top of page, the listings below them)- check out if you can you advertise with them? Or offer to write them an insightful article / blog?
- What language or key phrases are in the top results pages? Make sure you replicate some of them in your own Facebook page, website or content as they will help your business and product / proposition get found online over time.
- Use language that identifies with your target markets problems, or creates the solutions they need. For example if you are a natural health provider or dietician / nutritionist - people have a problem before they seek you out - make sure you are quickly answering why your experience and approach can offer solutions - give them HOPE in all your content and communications!
- You being found by your target market as they are seeking you is the most ideal outcome. Building up your website to climb up the Google results pages is a long term project and often needs SEO ('search engine optimisation' specific expertise) BUT - can you short cut by listing in the pages and place that Google does rank on page one? Consider the cost of this versus the return you need to make it viable, for example if it's $199 for a year, how many customers would this need to bring you in to drive you a profit from this investment?
- Research for community or target market Facebook groups that may allows you to post about your business - or even better start your own group (or at least a Facebook page) and create an audience and make it niche to you! You will need to share you expertise e.g if you are a local yoga teacher create a group called 'Yoga in <insert name of area>' - share your advise and tips in the form of videos or pictures and posts to create engagement, then every so often post about what classes you have available.
- Be proud of how the unique YOU and your experience is reflected in your business. Niche is GREAT in marketing, it helps differentiate you and when you use the language specific to your expertise it also helps you be found!
- Always include a 'call to action' when communicating to your target market - that is where you invite them to make contact with you e.g ' Please call or email me to find out more and ask any questions'
Jenny Henderson is the owner and manager of Parents Guide Illawarra - www.parents-guide.com.au and loves helping small business grow! Feel free to get in contact (see that call to action!!) firstname.lastname@example.org or 0405062325.
If your target market is parents, consider listing your business on Parents Guide for just $129 a year, the site gets around 20,000 hits a month and is incredibly well ranked on Google searches - oh whoop for cost effective targeted marketing :)