The Biggest Change Coming to Digital Marketing in the Next Two Years
Here are the main takeaways from my conversation with Kent Lewis on the “More 2 Know” podcast.
So are you a small or mid-sized business? Is it challenging to generate the number of leads you need, especially to grow your business at the rate that you'd like to be growing your business quicker, easier, and more predictable? With this proven system, turbocharge your lead generation and dominate your local market.
Are you a small or mid-sized business?
Do you operate in a local market or have multiple locations in different cities?
Is it challenging to generate the amount of leads you need to grow your business at the rate you'd like to grow your business quicker, easier and more predictably?
We at IMA, have the answers you are looking for. In this post we cover 5 Small Business Marketing Secrets for Small Businesses:
Everybody and their grandmother likes to use overused phrases such as “family-owned business,” “outstanding quality,” “reputation for quality,” not to mention “everybody and their grandmother.” The problem is that these are all tired phrases that don't mean that much.
Everyone claims to have “great customer service.” We’re not aware of anyone who claims “lousy customer service.”
So instead of making the same claims everyone else does, the way you separate yourself from your competition is to speak to your customer's pain points and what you can do to solve their problems.
To illustrate, let's take a look at some plumbing websites. Looking at these options, how do you decide which plumber to use as opposed to any other? (note; these plumbing companies were chosen randomly from top Google results for various cities)
Notice anything similar? Their pitches are all basically the same. Good customer service, family-friendly, blah, blah.
Excuse us if we’re not flush with excitement.
So if you’re a plumber, how do you make your business stand out from your competition? Not by saying the same things they do.
It's incredibly important to talk to the needs of your customers. Not about how great you are or how long you've been in business, but what you can do for them and why they should choose you.
How are you going to solve the pain that they have? Tell them how you will solve it in a unique way.
And you will dominate.
The first thing people are going to look at is the headline. If only because it is set in a bigger type. It’s what draws your eye, it’s what gets your attention. And what the headline says is going to determine whether anyone is going to be interested enough to keep reading. And eventually fill out the contact form.
Make the headline about the customer. DO NOT MAKE IT ABOUT YOU.
Make a bold promise with the emphasis on the BENEFIT to the customer.
So, instead of something like:
Plumbing Problems? We Can Help
Well, of course you can help. That’s your business right. Every plumber can help with plumbing problems.
Plumbing Services 100% Guaranteed. On-Time Appointments. No Hidden Charges.
What kind of complaints do you often hear about any kind of service (we’re not just picking on plumbers here). That maybe they don’t arrive promptly and you have to wait around for them, that they charge more than they quoted, that after they leave there’s still a problem.
The headline above might tend to make you think that you might be the exception that proves the rule.
By making the headline about the customer and the customer pain points, you stand out from your competitors. If you do that, you'll gain far more customers than your competition, who clearly are all saying the same thing.
But how do you know for sure what the pain points of your customers actually are? Guessing is one way, but it’s not a good way. What you need is an—ahem— digital marketing agency that can turbocharge your lead generation and dominate your local market. But, before getting into that a bit more, let’s look at another key secret to generating leads.
When people come to your website, the very least you want them to do before they leave is provide their email. Entice them with something like “10 percent off any service” or information guide designed for your audience or something that makes them feel it’s worth the couple of seconds it takes to enter their email address. The key is to provide real value here, not fluff.
This is how you build your prospect list, Prospects are not previous customers. Building a prospect list allows you to get leads on demand when you need them. By simply sending an email that costs you only pennies on the dollar.
These emails are not all going to offer a discount on a product or service. Your competition does that. You want to offer them something valuable that they don’t necessarily have to pay for.
Examples include a how-to guide, webinar or a video that addresses a customer pain point. Content that is actually useful to your potential customers
People get on the Internet to get information. They go to your website to get information. Not just to find out if you are family-owned or that you provide good customer service. Which, as you know, everyone and their grandmother does.
They go to your website to learn how to solve their problems or address their needs. And how you can do that for them.
Here’s an example. This appliance showroom created a learning center consisting of buying guides, checklists videos, and product finders. There are something like 40 pages of content. Detailed content.
This took a lot of time and work. And money. But here’s how it pays off.
These deep dive guides that are full of super relevant information for customers who are considering purchasing appliances. These guides remove the pain and confusion customers face when they’re about to drop $30K on appliances for their home.
And what is the price of entry to view this appliance guide? An email and a zip code. The zip code tells you if the prospect is local or not. Throw out the ones that aren't.
This kind of simple opt-in page is incredibly successful and powerful. This is the way you build a prospect list and build an audience. In fact, using only this type of content, the appliance showroom grew yearly revenues from $30 million to $120 million.
You have a list of emails already that are your past customers. Don’t ignore them. Emailing previous customers is another form of lead generation. Again, the point is to build trust that you have the expertise they can learn from. An occasional promotional offer is fine, but the majority, at least 75%, must be educational.
Reaching your customers by teaching them something, and for no cost, earns their loyalty.
Let's say you're a plumber and someone is standing in three inches of water. Is this person going to search for the closest plumber to them, or the plumber with the Google ad, or the plumber that’s been sharing helpful tips for free the past year?
Everyone and their grandmother knows the answer to this question.
Email campaigns are very inexpensive to run, relatively easy to manage with programs like Campaign Monitor, and get results. (And if you’re not getting results, you can analyze why your open rates are low and shift your segmentation strategy.)
Another secret to lead generation is to continually add new content. For one thing, the Google gods do not rank websites highly that stay static over time. Sites that continually update are sites get better search rankings, and thus are more likely to attract more prospects.
The easiest and best way to do this is to write blog posts. Not just for the sake of writing blog posts so that Google knows you are updating. If prospects land on your site and they aren’t actually interested in your content, they won’t be prospects for very long.
Imagine if you're researching something and you come across this post, would it be beneficial to you? Well, if you just read that sentence, the answer is probably yes, if only because you’ve read this far. That’s because it was written by a professional writer who knows how to weave keywords into interesting content that is at least 1500 words long (because that’s what Google is looking for) and addresses a customer pain point.
Poorly written blogs with only a few hundred words do nothing for you. Nothing. Good content, right length, right keywords can drive tons of free traffic. Take a look at the SEO (search engine optimization) traffic performance of one of our clients when they started doing new blog posts over a six month period.
All that organic traffic upswing is free traffic. If you were using paid search with Google ads, you'd have to spend about $25,000 a month to get the same results.
You’re not a writer? You don’t know anything about SEO (search engine optimization). We can help with that. At a lower cost than paying for paid search. But more about that later.
Speaking of Google ads, they can be a good investment. But they are a “bottom of the funnel” tactic. Facebook is a better way to get your brand out there and get leads. Who doesn’t use Facebook, these days? You can use it to help your potential customers understand why they need you. And Google ads can still be part of your digital marketing funnel. Not just the only part of it.
If you’re not familiar with a digital marketing funnel, take a look at the diagram below:
Most people start at the bottom, demand generation. What that means is, I have a problem. I go on Google and search how to solve that problem. I click on an ad that somebody has put in front of me. And maybe I buy what the ad is selling.
Unfortunately only about 3% of people are in that kind of “buy now” mode. Which isn’t much of an audience.
What you need to do instead is start talking to people higher up in the funnel, people that are in research mode. They're not buying today, but they might be buying tomorrow. Also, you need to talk to fence sitters who are aware that they have a problem. They're not going to buy today or tomorrow, but they might be buying in three to six months.
And you can even talk to people who are blissfully ignorant. They don't even know they have a problem yet, but at least they're in your target market and they can be made aware.
Even so, you still aren’t addressing 100% of your potential customers.
The key to how you can do this is where Facebook comes in, running a top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel campaign. Each targeting different parts of the user journey so that you can educate people and move them through from don’t know much, now i know more, now I know enough to convert to buyer mode. Knowing that when they have this issue, you are the only one that can solve it for them correctly.
It's relatively simple, but it does take some work to do. It brings your lead generation to an entirely different level where you're not just depending on somebody to have a problem or have a need in the moment to try to find you. And without solely competing in the bloody waters of Google ads against all your competitors.
...you’re not a digital marketer. You’re a small business owner and you’re very good at your business. You could probably learn all this stuff we just discussed, but do you have the time, do you have the energy with all you have to do, could you maybe hire an employee to do it, but do you have the budget to hire a dedicated marketing person?
Probably not. But you also can’t afford not to do these things. Because if your competition is doing it, you’re losing business. Guaranteed.
To learn more about what we’ve explained here (see we practice what we preach about lead generation because, well, it works), get your free 100% FREE No-Obligation 30 Minute Strategy Session.
We’re happy to show you how our proven growth system helps your business thrive in your local market.
Here are the main takeaways from my conversation with Kent Lewis on the “More 2 Know” podcast.
Today we're talking about brand terms within Google ads, and why it's important to spend money on those terms. This is something that comes up a lot with our clients so we thought it was time for a blog post.Why do clients bring this up so often?