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Make These 3 Lists to Guide Your Online Marketing

guide to online marketing

Recently I spoke at a series of Dream Local Digital seminars hosted by our valued partners El Mundo in Boston then HomeBase Digital in Connecticut. We had dozens of small business and non-profit leaders come to learn about online marketing, and I shared information on the five things they needed to know about their websites, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media management and advertising. One of the areas that seemed to resonate well and stimulate a lot of terrific conversation was the area in which I worked them through the three lists they need to make to guide their online marketing. Here they are:

1. What keywords and phrases do you hope people use when they use search engines to answer questions about services and products you sell?

Once you have this list, go look at your website. Does it contain any of these keywords and phrases? It should. Often. Your content on your site and blog are key indicators of how well your site will perform on search engines. Make sure that these keywords and phrases are in your customers’ language, not yours as a business leader. For example, Dream Local Digital first website talked a lot about us as a resource for “social media management,” which is relevant to my peers in the industry, but the average business owner is using search terms like “How do I make money on Facebook?” or “Instagram for businesses.”

2. What objections do people have about your business? What feedback and questions do your sales and customer service teams hear over and over?

This is often where golden nuggets can be found. What is it that stops someone from working with you? Is it price? Competition? Convenience? What questions do your customer service teams answer over and over? These are terrific signposts to what kind of content will work well on your site and in your social media posts. Make sure your headline is the question you think people will type into Google, and answer it for them. For example, Horch Roofing often answers questions about price, value, and — from women – safety and professionalism of having Horch Roofing crews in the home. If you visit Horch Roofing’s YouTube channel, you will see we’ve created three videos with well-known people in the community addressing why they chose Horch Roofing for value, quality and safety and professionalism.

3. What do you wish everyone knew about your business? If a media company were to write a story about you, what would the headline be? What would the story cover?

This is your chance to wave your magic wand and make sure more people know about your business and what makes you great. It’s also a chance for you to showcase your expertise and thought leadership. Share with your audiences what you know in terms of how it can help them, especially with strong photographs and video to accompany it. Make sure your posts are at least 250 words so they can be properly crawled by Google and improve your relevancy score (and ultimately your search engine ranking). Don’t be afraid to have fun here. For example, we saw through interactions that many of the customers of Drum Center of Portsmouth wanted to see what the owner, Shane, and his team thought of drums – their personal reviews. At first, Shane started doing individual videos showing his take on a new drum, cymbal or piece of equipment. They took off, and his YouTube channel surpassed 7 million views. Now several members of his team create videos, and they include product reviews and also the popular “Walkthrough Wednesday” that allows their many online customers to see what’s new in the retail store.

Once you get these lists together, they guide you in the kinds of content you should be creating on your blog and website, the kinds of posts you should be doing on social media, the kinds of topics to cover in your email marketing.

Building the right mix matters: Map out your marketing calendar at least 90 days at a time and create a mix of the kinds of content that you find on your lists — promotional content (what sales or events you are having, what your products or services are, etc.) with a clear call to action; your customer’s story (testimonials, photos, their perspective, how do you help people); your story (your team, why you do what you do, your business); and finally mixing in curated third- party content that will resonate with your audience. Remember, all content needs to be accompanied by images and/or video, so if you have limited resources, know that is your most important job, and you can find other teams like Dream Local Digital to help you pull the rest together.

We can help! If you need any help with your online marketing, be sure to subscribe to our blog, watch for our free monthly webinars, or call us for help. We’ve helped thousands of businesses nationwide grow through online marketing support, and we’d love to work with you! Use our online contact form, and we’ll get back to you quickly.

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