Finding your target audience. When I was growing up, advertising was so much different than it is now. You saw commercials on TV, in the newspaper, or on a billboard. You saw the same commercials repeatedly from the same few companies. One of my favorites was the “tricks are for kids” commercial with the cartoon rabbit.
Now you see advertising everywhere you go. On your phone, on the videos you watch, on every website you visit. Marketing is everywhere! According to an article by Forbes, it’s estimated that Americans are exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 ads every day. So how do you set yourself up for success and cut through all the noise?
With the rise of online marketing over the last few decades, there is now a head-spinning variety of methods to add to traditional offline approaches you can use to put your offer in front of your target market.
Here are some of today’s key marketing channels both online and off.
Social media is a great place to conduct market research, build relationships with your audience, and promote your products and services. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give you a wealth of information about the people who buy products like yours. You can get to know them and introduce them to your brand. Although people don’t generally buy directly on social media, it has become an increasingly important step in the buying process. Pinterest is one of my favorite social media platforms around. I think of Pinterest as what would happen if Google and Instagram had a baby.
Offer helpful advice and share your knowledge with readers by publishing articles about your topics. You can find offline publishing opportunities but the quickest way to get your work widely read is to publish online. You can start your own site or blog, or for even better results, find websites or blogsites, like Medium.com, that publish articles. Get your work out there to reach a new audience. If you need some help getting your blog off the ground, check out this free build your blog bootcamp to help you get up and running.
I’ve heard some business owners say, “email is dead”, but I don’t believe that email is going anywhere anytime soon. Done right building your email list can be one of the most significant assets in monetizing your business, in addition to helping to get your brand out there. Start an email list and offer helpful content to your subscribers. Email is still the most intimate marketing channel on earth. Create a freebie offer in exchange for people signing up for your list and set up an opt-in page to capture names and addresses. You can promote products and services through your email messages, but most of the content should be informational and helpful, not promotional.
Search Engine Optimization
You’ll still get a great deal of leads through search engines, so make sure that all of your websites are search engine friendly. Choose some good keywords and use them naturally throughout your text. Make sure your site is easy to navigate and try to build some backlinks into your site from related sites. As we are a more on-the-go society, it is crucial that your website I mobile friendly as that is how most readers are going to view your site. According to Statista, nearly 50% of users access the internet on a mobile device worldwide. I can imagine that number is only going to go up.
Attend trade shows, conferences, seminars and local events. Hold a booth and give a presentation if possible where you introduce your topic. Just like your content marketing, give your target audience some information they can use and then tell them that you have more to offer.
Make sure you have professional business cards to hand out to people you meet offline. Your business card should be eye-catching and include not only your contact information, but a short blurb describing the unique value your business offers.
Networking is essential to growing a business and you should never miss an opportunity to meet someone and tell them what you do.
The Basics of Marketing
Remember that the concept of marketing is actually quite simple – just find your audience and put your offer in front of them. Choose the marketing channels where you can most easily and effectively reach your target .market