This is the fourth marketing tip in a series based on
Marketing Tip 4 – Search Marketing – How To Help Your Prospective Customers Find Your Business
Ask yourself where prospective customers will look to find out more about their problem, potential solutions and possible suppliers.
How can you encourage them to call you and not your competitors?
You’ll find out when you read the rest of the article.
Will Your Prospective Customers Look In The Yellow Pages?
How can you make your advert stand out and encourage a prospect to call you? Your advert is surrounded by all your competitors, all shouting for attention so it has to connect with what your customers want.
Analyse the existing adverts. How big are they? How many are in colour? What information do they include? Which advert appeals to you most.
Now go and take a look at other services that you don’t know every much about and imagine that you were a customer. Try to identify what attracts you to a particular advert. Which do you read or which do you pass over? Which do you read and reject and which would you call? Look for reasons why. Ask your friends to do the same exercise and compare results.
Take notice of whether your competitors are advertising and if possible go back over several years and look at their adverts. If your competitors regularly advertise, then the Yellow Pages looks to be a great source of leads. If they don’t advertise then it’s probably not an opportunity for you. Believe me, businesses will have tried it and if it worked, they would still be advertising.
The two drawbacks about Yellow Pages Advertising are:
- Fewer customers use the Yellow Pages than they used to because there are better places to search and find information.
- There is a long lead time between changes.
Will Prospective Customers Use Local Newspapers To Find Suppliers?
Think about how customers may look at the classified ad section as well as the display advertisements on the news pages.
Tests generally show that regular small adverts are better than the occasional big advert. The unconscious minds of your potential customers will see your advert when they don’t even realise and over time it gradually creates name recognition and familiarity.
Then, when they are looking for your service, they will see your advert and think “I know them and I’ll give them a call.”
Do Your Potential Customers Search The Internet?
Make sure that your website can be found on the front page of the popular word searches. This is quite a complicated area but the basics are simple. Unfortunately too many website designers aren’t interested in helping your website to be discovered.
Be aware that we have evolved our search habits and often turn to the Internet well before we are ready to buy. Helpful information informs and guides us and helps to set buying criteria when we get closer to the decision. Offering helpful and free information reports and email follow-up can help build relationships during this getting ready to buy stage.
Internet searches used to be done on a PC or Mac with a large screen. More recent technology means that many searches are done on tablets and smart-phones which have much smaller screens. Your website needs to be mobile friendly if it’s going to take advantage of searches done away from the desk.
Do Your Prospects Use Social Media To Get Tips And Recommendations From Friends
The growth of social media has out the power in the hands of the customer. Everyone can be a critical and various review and complaint websites gather allegations, some deserved, some fabricated.
People can ask a much wider network of friends for advice through Facebook and Twitter.
I’m not a big fan of social media marketing myself and see it as a way for business owners and employees to waste a great deal of time while playing at working. Some people have great success with it but many don’t. It is fantastic if you have some content that takes off virally.
You Need To Be Seen And Create Action – You Do That Through Your Headlines and Copy
You have two requirements with search based marketing – to attract the attention of your prospects and then to persuade them to contact you.
You attract their attention by using a great headline.
Don’t try to be clever or cryptic. It only take a second to decide whether you will look at something and read it in detail or move along to the next option.
Shout out the main benefit (“Debt problems solved”) or the problem (“Chronic back pain!”).
Your job is to make sure that people in your target market notice the advert in the split second they scan the page and are then tempted to read it because it is relevant to their interests.
Once you have their attention then your copy needs to answer the question “what’s in it for me if I contact you?”
Explain how someone will benefit from buying your product or service and what makes you different or better than your competitors?
Your copy should be written from you to just one person. While many people will read your advert, each person will read it as an individual so writing in this way will read very naturally and as if you are talking directly to the person.
Write about your customer and not just about you. It’s important to build credibility but your prospective customers are first interested in what you can do for them and not how great you are.
Don’t leave it up to your prospective customers to turn features into benefits. You may have great qualifications but what does it mean to a customer? Do you have special skills so that you can do something others can’t or perhaps it means that by buying from you, a customer is making a more reassuring and safer purchase?
Imagine seeing a surgeon for a relatively minor operation. Can you see how much more reassuring it is if the surgeon says that he is the local expert and performs 10 to 15 of these procedures every week and has a 99.8% success rate.
Make it easy for people to contact you.
This is obvious but you will be amazed at how many people get it wrong.
Websites often tuck away contact details like the telephone number, address and email address as if they were deliberately hiding them. [Incidentally, in case you’re wondering, my UK telephone number is in the header, my physical and email addresses are on the About Me page.]
There is no point having a great advert if you are out when people ring and the telephone isn’t answered.
Make sure that you have a manned answering service and that you are available reasonable hours.
Many people won’t leave a message on an answering machine but will if they believe they are talking to your secretary or assistant.
I enjoy travelling and I get frustrated with holiday companies who advertise in the weekend papers but don’t even have an answer-phone service beyond 9 to 5, Monday to Friday. They also drive me crazy if I ring up and they tell me that they will post a brochure to me but it will take three weeks…and then it never arrives. That’s making marketing unnecessarily hard for yourself because potential customers expect past and effective responses.
If you miss the first contact opportunity, you may miss the lead. People are busy and will move on to the next potential supplier and your competitor may have their properly designed their moments of truth for customer contacts.
Follow Up On Your Leads From Search Marketing
Follow up on leads. Don’t leave it up to the potential customer to take the initiative.You won’t know where they will take you so even if something doesn’t look promising, act professionally and you may be referred on.
If you need to find some quick profit, as well as contacting old customers who have stopped buying, you should follow through on your unconverted leads. Some may still be in the market.
I recommend that for every campaign or use of marketing media, you prepare a short, quick marketing plan.
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