The world of online marketing is changing. While social media and search engines like Google were once the primary ways to draw in customers, today they are only two of the many avenues through which people can discover your product or service.
This is significant because it means you now have the ability to reach people where they are rather than having to rely on them to come to you. In other words, you can gain direct access to your target audience regardless of whether they are in your local area or the other side of the globe.
With Google and other search engines dominating the way people discover brands and products, much of the focus in digital marketing is now on attracting these “quality” customers rather than just driving traffic to a website. This is where the importance of focusing on online branding and marketing, rather than just digital marketing, comes into play.
1. Build a Solid Brand
People have a tendency to rush into brand building, often using popular catchphrases or slogans as a quick way to establish an identity. While this may seem appealing, choosing this approach can hinder your efforts later on when you need to retain customers.
To put it simply, if you want to attract the right audience to your brand, build a brand that is recognizable by people in your target audience. When it comes to marketing your online business, you have to start by identifying your target audience and developing a brand that they will recognize.
This might mean setting up multiple blogs to cover different topics, using different voices and images to draw the reader in, or creating compelling offers and deals that are tailored to appeal to your ideal customer.
2. Identify Traditional Market Segments and Customize Your Approach
Once you have a solid base of prospective customers, you can begin exploring the various channels and platforms through which you can reach them. This is where traditional market segments and customer personas come in.
If you want to market your travel agency to both business and leisure travelers, for example, you can use online marketing to reach out to customers on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, or you can create a blog post about the best ways to make the most of a short visit to Amsterdam.
From there, you can segment your target audience according to their needs. For instance, if you notice that certain blogs reach more men than women, you can tailor your marketing efforts to speak to men or women separately.
Or, if you want to target parents, you can create a separate email list of parents and children, who you can then tailor your offers and deals to appeal to.
3. Create Relevant Content That Builds On Existing Relationships
Now that you have a clear view of your target audience and you know which platforms they are using, you can begin creating content that is relevant and useful to them. This is where your existing relationships with potential customers come into play.
For example, if you are a dentist and you notice that your target audience spends a lot of time on social media sites such as Instagram, you can create content that is entertaining or useful to them there.
If they are traveling enthusiasts, you can create an Instagram account that is dedicated to helping them make the most of their trips. Or, if you notice that a lot of your audience is on Pinterest, you can create content that is relevant and compelling there, such as an infographic about the best places to find unique gifts for travelers.
When it comes to marketing, many businesses make the mistake of just sticking to what they know. But by taking the time to understand their target audience’s needs, wants, and quirks, they can create relevant content that will bring them more customers.