feeding-and-watering

Feeding and Watering Leads Online

By | content marketing, lead generation, leads online | No Comments

Customers are like plants. They require feeding and watering if they’re going to thrive. Unlike plants, your customers can simply leave if they don’t feel cared for.

Non-profits lose 80% of their donors simply by failing to say “Thank you.” The same goes for your prospects, leads and customers—neglect them and they’ll wither.

We hear so much about offering quality content that just the thought of continuing to give may be overwhelming, but keep in mind that consistent communication doesn’t mean launching a rocket every month. It means communicating your value on clear, consistent basis. There are a lot of ways to do this, and it can be pretty simple, but the key is consistency. Marketing isn’t a one-time victory. It’s a slow, steady race. Whether you’re doing your own marketing or leveraging an agency to do it for you, keep in mind that you’re not going to hit the big time overnight and get to retire from marketing. You’ll be marketing till the day you leave your business, finessing your message and keeping in touch with your prospects and customers alike.

The basic recipe for a successful marketing strategy is to listen to your audience and use what you learn to get in touch and stay in touch. This cycle doesn’t end and consistency is always going to be key. You never stop learning about your customers. There is always more to discover and a better way to meet their needs.

Hiring the right people

Marketing is a full-time job. At some point you’re going to want to look at hiring a marketing team or contracting with an agency. When that time comes, choose wisely. Any established marketer or agency should be able to show you what they’ve done for previous clients and what kind of results they had. Look for concrete metrics they could measure consistently. Nobody’s marketing just for the sake of marketing. The point is always results. If your potential marketing team is great at adding followers on social media, ask how effective their social strategy is at creating new business and growth for the company. Truthfully, anybody can add followers—even if they have to buy them—but not everybody takes the time to listen and respond to the right people in the right way in the right places. You’re not going to grow your business with anything less.

Expect your marketing team to need things from you. Their expertise is creating content to address an audience in an effective voice, so they’re going to need your guidance when it comes to who your customers are and what their concerns are. This kind of synergy is incredibly effective for your marketing efforts. 

generating-leads-and-growth-online

How to Generate Leads and Growth Online 

By | content marketing, lead generation, leads online, Uncategorized | No Comments

Like any activity involving strategy and execution, marketing starts at a high level. You have to be able to look at the big picture and provide leadership for where your marketing is taking you and how.

Your first priority as a marketer is to get in touch with every single person in your demographic. Your second priority is to keep in touch.

This sounds really simple but if you’ve done any marketing at all, you know better. Finding your target demographic takes research, lots of research. Once you know who you’re aiming for, you have to research where they go for their information. Once you’ve figure that out, you have to decide what content you’re going to create, when, how often and where you’re going to put it to attract that demographic. On top of this, every communication needs to be in the voice of your company and reflective of your brand.

Getting In Touch

There is no end to the tools you can use to reach and serve your audience. This is great because it gives you options. It’s also overwhelming—because it gives you options.  As a business owner, you just want to invest your resources into what works.

To start with, who is doing your marketing? Many small business owners are used to doing everything themselves. But are you wired for marketing? The best results come from having the right people in the right roles. Even if you’ve passed on the marketing responsibilities, you still have to have the right people in the right roles. If you’re relying on your sales people to do the marketing, make the sale and keep the customer happy, that’s still too much diversity for one role. The skills involved in marketing and sales are completely different. So let your salespeople sell and get marketers to market.

Staying in Touch

Having the right automation tools will make a huge difference in your marketing. If someoe comes to your site and fills out a form, that expect an instant response as well as content catering to their interests. That’s simply not possible unless you’re using automation software.

Even a small company can do an extraordinary amount of content marketing with the right software. And while your software is doing the marketing work for you, your marketing team can focus on creating the next campaign, targeting specific segments of your audience while the software continues to serve and shuffle your leads through the sales funnel.

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Giving Before Receiving

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Inbound content marketing is all about giving long before you receive. Giving helpful content, referrals, resources—this is all part of marketing. So is listening, understanding and then—and only then—helping in a way appropriate to the individual and their situation.

These are the same skills great salespeople use, because great salespeople know they need to diagnose the underlying problem, not the symptoms. Your marketing is the same. You need to know what your audience needs and address those needs in a manner that will attract and inform your leads online.

Business owners sometimes get distracted by the short-term win. Likes on Facebook, Twitter followers and signups for your mailing list are great, but remember they’re not the end game. Focusing on tactics can get dangerous when you start chasing likes and views instead of increased business.

Keep your eyes on the prize. If you gain five new followers this month and each one fits the profile of your perfect customer, that’s a bigger win than attracting more, but unqualified, leads.

Participate

When you join an online community to get and give referrals and leads, show up. Participate in the community and be involved so you can get to know the people, hear their concerns and meet them where they need it. As you participate, they’ll get to know you, your products, your services and your ability to deliver.

LinkedIn in a great business resource and, for many businesses, a worthwhile place to spend your time. Not only can you connect with people, post helpful content and build relationships, you can find out a little bit more about people before you meet them face to face. This will not only prepare you for your meeting, it will help the person you’re meeting with to feel seen. Wouldn’t you be impressed walking into a meeting with someone who was already aware of your business, challenges and potential answers?

Listen

According to Dr. Frumi Rachel Barr of Scaling 4 Growth, brevity is more than the soul of wit.

“Sometimes people talk too much, and they really have to be careful that they don’t ruin their own brand by having an opportunity to stand up and introduce themselves and then going on and on and on. Be very clear about who you are, what you’re looking for and what differentiates you.”

People like to fill the space and keep talking. This can be due to nervousness, fear of missing out on something important or even just a fear of silence. Relax. Practicing will keep you from missing the important points and listening will do far more for growing your business than a meandering talk about yourself.

The Big Picture

Marketing is a long game. It’s slow when you start and it’s painstaking to run each campaign, analyze, regroup and launch a new campaign based on what you learned. But it pays off over the long run. Remember, by plodding onward with quality content, you’re building a backlog that’s going to continue giving you good returns for years to come.