It’s kinda obvious and cliche to say that if you want to achieve great things for your business, you need to know what those “great things” look like in your ideal world. And shape a clear set of goals and objectives around that picture!
Knowing what you want your brand to be – and just as importantly, who your customers are, have always been the things to maintain a sharp focus on!
It is true that you want to achieve success in any business, to reduce frustration & guesswork, you need to have a clear understanding of what IS in keeping with your goals, so you know what isn’t – when ideas are presented to you.
Knowing who your customers are and what they want from you is crucial.
If you know how you can best serve your customers, you will spend your time, and much more importantly THEIR time wisely.
Problems a lot of online marketers are concerned about:
- They don’t have a clear idea of what their brand stands for, and maintain a clear, consistent message to demonstrate that.
- They don’t feel they are delivering what the market wants and needs
- They don’t have enough visitors to their website.
- They don’t have enough customers.
- They have poor quality visitors who don’t convert.
- They don’t know who their “Bob” (customer) is and what Bob really wants.
- They have low conversion from visitors to sales.
- They are sending people to the wrong part of their website.
They are Wanting To:
- Increase traffic.
- Increase the quality of visitors to their website.
- Send people to the right content.
- Learn who their “Bob” is and how to satisfy Bob better.
- Use a funnel to grow trust and answer questions.
But they want to do this without having to:
- Spend more money and time (in fact you can usually spend less of both).
- Wait for organic traffic to grow which takes time.
So how do you do this?
- What do you want to improve in your marketing strategy?
- Do you want more quality traffic?
- If so, what do you define as quality traffic?
- We will be covering the importance of the difference between browsers, shoppers and buyers in lesson 3.
- Do you want to increase your conversion rate on your website so more people who visit buy?
- Do you want to increase sales from visitors or leads?
Do you want to improve customer retention or the amount people spend on site?
Download the worksheet as above to complete your lesson 1 questions. Download Lesson 1 Worksheet (PDF)
With every activity, post or tweet, it’s important to ensure you are contributing to multiple objectives at the same time, and automating many of your activities as well.
This worksheet can give you some ideas for setting some interim goals for your business.
As you progress through your research, the opportunities you start to see and therefore your list of goals and objectives will expand.
In order to start, let’s break your goals down into tangible chunks.
Goals need to be specific. Simply wanting to increase your sales, or get more website visitors is not enough. You need to pick some numbers. No one is going to be holding you to these – this is just an opportunity to pick an ideal number.
Let’s say your website traffic is 1000 visits per day, and you are converting 1% of your traffic to sales. You are selling items for $100. That’s $100 worth of sales for every 1000 people that arrive at your website right? Or $100 per day.
So let’s say you want to increase your sales from $100 per day to $1000 per day.
You can achieve this by multiplying your traffic, your onsite conversion rates or both. These are both great objectives to aim for.
You will also lift the quality of your visitors by the quality – or more to the point, the relevance of your content to the type of visitors you want to bring to your website.
It makes sense that if you attract more qualified visitors to your website, and do a really good job of satisfying them when they get there, then you’ll be achieving both objectives.
So pick your goals based on what you want to achieve as an end goal in terms of sales, then we can work backwards via a specific set of reverse-engineered steps to get there.
Decide how you want your brand to be perceived.
First impressions count, but so do ongoing interactions when it comes to building trust and relationships with your potential buyers.
How do you want your business to be perceived? What would you want your customers to say about you and your brand?
What image or message do you want to convey to your audience? For example, Toms Shoes came up with and is known for their “One for One’ shoe scheme which meant for every TOMS sold, a child in need would be also be donated a pair.
“In 2006, American traveler Blake Mycoskie met children in an Argentine village and noticed they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS, a company that matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One. In addition to the alpargata-inspired Classics, TOMS offers a variety of footwear styles for men, women and kids.”
What is your story? Do you have one?
Do you want to be known for quality, service, quirkiness, reliability, is it value for money or something else?
If you don’t yet have this concept clear on your mind, then we can take you through the process of deciding what you want that to be.
The reason for this is because when you craft your marketing campaigns, you are going to be teaching both Google and your audiences to recognize not just your brand name, but also what values or story your brand is associated with.
Google’s semantic search algorithms will also be learning what your brand name is associated with by who your brand interacts with, and what context you relate to your audience. All of that means semantic data to Google – they use that data to show your content to the people who are MOST likely to benefit from your content. And ultimately your products and services!
Type in “I have a dream” into Google search and you’ll see a whole lot of results about Martin Luther King. Type in “cell for sale” and Google may assume you mean Cell Phone. It could also mean human body cell, solar cell, or battery cell.
If you as a searcher had previously shown interest in “photovoltaic cells” or been searching for solar power systems, then Google is more likely to show you solar power cells assuming that’s what you are asking about because that’s what you’ve been interested in before.
I don’t need to tell you that search engine algorithms, Google’s in particular, are very complex. The people that create algorithms that improve search results based on what the consumer wants. Search engines and now social media algorithms are intelligent, they learn and associate interests with their users more and more over time.
That is why “Google or Facebook algorithm updates” cause havoc for people and brands that haven’t stayed as relevant as they should with their content.
So – the thing to remember is: When you create content, around your brand, you are also creating associations. Your job is to teach search engines and other platforms that YOUR content is the MOST relevant to people who can most benefit from your content, products, and services.
Content that fits these criteria, (constructed in a useful user-friendly and search engine readable manner), is likely to rank better everywhere, not just in search results.
So think about how you can create a sense of authority associated with your brand. How do you want your brand to be perceived? What associations do you want to create with your brand?
Who is your Bob? Bob is otherwise known as your future customers.
Think of your market, your audience as a persona. Let’s call your audience Bob or Bobby. Who is your Bob? In the next lesson, we are going to be getting to know YOUR Bob so you can deliver awesome content to him/her.
The better you know your Bob, the better you will be at finding Bobs (quality visitors/interested audiences) and the better you will be at serving and converting them on your website.
Educating and informing people (Bob) about the features and benefits of your businesses, products or services.
Helping your audience (your Bob) solve a problem or make life easier in some way, then associating your brand, content, products, and services is the way to build relationships with your audience.
That doesn’t have to be in an in your face way. In fact, the more time you dedicate to delivering value to these people, in many ways, the easier it is to demonstrate your products and services to them without having to “sell” them.
In essence, the more helpful you are, and the more time you spend demonstrating value, the more trust, and familiarity you are starting off within your relationship with your potential customer.
So what questions can you answer for your Bob? How can you help your audience, and in doing so build a relationship with them. Online marketing is a trust-building exercise, not a sales pitch.
Since the early days of search engines and Google, in particular, incoming links have always been one of the most important factors in achieving top rankings in Google.
The age of links, quality of links, and the number of links to your website are still vital to your long-term online success, despite what other marketers may tell you.
Determining how many links you want to achieve to your website and who you want to obtain links from can help you to define what type of link-worthy content you can create on your website. Content that is not only useful to your potential customers but also content other “authority” websites will want to link to and share.
This may sound all very obvious and familiar, but it’s also all too easy to forget when we are busy trying to keep up with so many of the marketing trends being touted as the current or next best thing.
The wiring of the human brain is pretty much the same as it was before internet existed when it comes to making buying decisions.
None of us want to make a poor purchasing decision.
So it’s our job as marketers to help our customers feel safe, secure and smart when choosing to pay for a product or service.
When they can’t touch, feel and see what they are buying they need a lot more reassurance that they are making a good decision.
Sometimes this means showing other people like them have chosen to take that chance with you and won!
Filling up your sales funnel with quality prospective leads.
Knowing who your audience is and what they want is also key to deciding what type of content you need to create for them to feed on. Preparing your content around the intent and interest of your audience is part of the process of pre-conditioning them to buy.
Spending time and money on the right activities that bring quality visitors makes sense. So does choosing to spend time and money on bringing visitors to your website who are the most likely to become customers. But you can also use social media to attract organic ranking benefits in the form of links and association with authority “influencers” in your industry.
Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.
Link building through influencers is something you need to keep in mind as a marketer creating content.
You can also learn through paid and organic social media, what content you can add to your website that can rank organically in Google, and attract FREE ongoing traffic.
What do YOUR audience most value as far as information or education go, around the items or services you sell?
Build a customer list of people to stay in touch with and sell to.
If you have people coming to your website, and you have given them content that has provided tremendous value, they are more likely to want to come back for more right?
This is where you can give them an easy way to stay connected by inviting them to join a newsletter, follow you on social media or entice them to download something.
What could you offer that offers value to a list of potential customers? Downloads, instructions, how to’s, lists and checklists, videos, size charts etc?
Connect more directly with your audience or customers and provide support.
How can you message people on Facebook, or use your other current resources to connect with customers? How do they currently ask you questions, and how do you answer them?
Could you do this in a public way that shows prospective customers how you help your customers make good choices & decisions.
You may also want to think about some of your personal goals when working on your marketing strategies such as:
- Eliminating annoying tasks.
- Eliminating time vampires and becoming more productive (more on these later in the course).
- Improving efficiencies.
- Being in control and knowing exactly what to do next.
- Having more time off to enjoy life.
- Being creative with online activities and testing new things (without risk).
- Implementing tracking and improvement into every activity to grow your business in a systematic measurable way.
- Making more profit while spending less to do it.
These are just a few examples of how we start to form a broad picture of what content you could create for your audiences. You will be going into greater detail, researching your audience and uncovering opportunities to create awesome content.
Some questions to answer:
- How many more visitors you want – give a number or percentage?
- How much do you want to increase your conversion rate by?
- How much do you want to lower your website bounce rate by?
- How many quality followers you want as an audience, (we will help to define what a quality audience is)?
- How many links do you want to aim for (we will tell you how and why in a later lesson)?
- Would you like to improve your perceived customer support?
What other goals would you like to achieve? Personal and business?
Download the worksheet as above to complete your lesson 1 questions. Download Lesson 1 Worksheet (PDF)