How to Find Your Marketing Focus

marketing focus

This show is about discovering which marketing tactics are best for your business. We’re going to walk through all the steps necessary to build the right strategy and share some key questions that will help you find the right marketing focus for your business.

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Read the Full Discussion Below

Glyna: Hi there!

Sarah: Hello. Hello. So today’s show, it’s all about finding your identity, but really, it’s your marketing identity that we’re talking about.

Glyna: Yes.

Sarah: So we’re going to walk through something that’s really important, which is all the necessary steps that you need to have to make sure that you have the right marketing strategy for your business. So we’re going to provide some really helpful key questions that you want to ask first and help you make the right decisions on which areas to focus on with your marketing. So let’s go ahead and get right to it.

Glyna: All right. Welcome to Marketing and a Mic. We are glad to have you here with us! Every week Sarah and I are going to be sharing digital marketing topics with you. We’re talking about trends, do some Q&A talk about reviews, just all kinds of things, but first let’s see where people can find us.

Sarah: Yeah, so every single Friday we go live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and, of course, our podcast, Marketing and a Mic. You can catch the replay on Instagram and don’t forget, you want to subscribe to our YouTube channel, Fusion One Marketing. Why do you want to subscribe? Because there’s a ton of resources to help you with your marketing, and that’s what this is all about. So let’s get to it. There are so many different types of digital marketing tactics out there, so it can be really hard to determine what’s going to benefit your business, what you should be doing, and what shouldn’t be doing. So in our mind, there are some staple marketing tools that are a must, for instance, a website. Then, there are some others that I would say are the icing on the cake, or electives in school that is strongly recommended, but may not be your basics.

Glyna: I love that. Yes, and much of “which of this marketing is really best for you and your business?”, It all comes down to your goals. What are your marketing goals? Let’s not forget, who’s your target audience? Who wants to buy your stuff? We also need to talk about budget and your industry in general. So to help decide what we’re going to do with your marketing, we’re going to walk you step-by-step through a guide to help you determine which types of digital marketing are the best for your business.

Sarah: That’s right. So first, out the gate, you really have to define your marketing plan. So we’re not going to spend a whole lot of time covering the details behind this, but we just want to emphasize that this first step is an absolute must, must, must. So when coming up with your overall marketing plan, position it in this order, which is our recommendation, which is first, what’s my overall marketing strategy?” Then the second is, what’s my digital marketing strategy? Then the third is, what are the digital marketing tactics that I need to be using for my business? So you would be surprised how many businesses skip this step and they just head straight out the gate, guns a-blazing of like, “Sell, sell, sell, do whatever,” and then look at it like it’s throwing spaghetti at the wall and is seeing what sticks. That’s just not a successful tactic. So that’s why it’s important to focus on developing your plan first.

Glyna: Yes, the shotgun approach is not the best approach when it comes to your marketing. You don’t want to be sitting there guessing, “What’s going to work?” So there are all kinds of things that you, your marketing plan should be able to answer. Let’s think about some of the following questions. All right, who do I want to reach? We always preach on this. Who’s your target audience, or ideal prospect? What action do I want to generate? What results are you looking for? Really, you need to know what you want to accomplish. So, what is my competitive advantage? You definitely need to know why does someone wants to do business with you instead of your competition. The next thing you want to think about is, how do I improve my competitive advantage? Provide proof of what you’ve done before.

Sarah: Yeah.

Glyna: So you want to make sure that you can show success that you have done previously and then, how will I create a desire to buy? What is your buyer’s journey? What are they doing when they’re coming to look at your stuff? All of these things are so important to help you get started.

Sarah: So it’s so true. That’s the thing. You’ve got to analyze, like what’s my competitive advantage?. Then if you know it, you’ve got to be able to prove it. I got to be able to show people, “This is why I’m different.”

Glyna: Exactly.

Sarah: So, the second part, once you’ve got those questions nailed down is you really wanted to Analyze Your Target Audience. Oh, boy. So this is so important. So how do you identify your target audience? The first place that you should really look is your existing customer base. So if you’re like, “I don’t even know who my customer is,” well, take a look at your current customers. So some questions and some things you want to analyze, who are they? Where do they buy from? What are their common interests? What are their common characteristics? Which ones are bringing in the most business? Which ones are your competitors targeting? That’s the thing that you’re looking at, what your competitors doing is so, so important. Where are your top competitors at advertising, because if they’ve got some things that are working, you might want to check it out and say, “Hey, there’s some parallels of they’ve got my customers demographics, so what are they doing?”

Glyna: Yeah. It’s like you don’t necessarily have to reinvent the wheel, sometimes-

Sarah: Right.

Glyna: … you just need to see what is working in general for your industry. So some other things that you want to consider is, where do my customers spend their time online? What types of content and topics are interesting to them? Again, you need to really hone in on this. So that helps you decide what form of content do they prefer, and what should I be spending all my time on? So defining that target audience is just going to make it so much easier to figure out what form of marketing that you want to be doing and what’s going to reach them the best. So one of the most important marketing strategies is, basically, to know your audience. I don’t know if we say it over and over and over, but you can’t say it too much.

Sarah: It’s so true. So let’s say, okay, so you’ve established that. I know my target audience. I know their interests. I know where to find them online. I know their buyer’s journey, all that kind of stuff. Our third point is to identify the pain points. So one of the top reasons why a lot of products fail is that the businesses fail to identify the customer’s pain point. You have to make sure that you know exactly what the customer’s need is, and exactly how you can provide that solution, and it has to be something that’s really going to solve a problem that matters to them. I want to give you a quick example. Do you remember Segway’s when they first came out?

Glyna: Yes.

Sarah: There’s a really sad and tragic ending to that. Did you know the creator of that actually fell off a cliff using his own Segway?

Glyna: No, that’s not true.

Sarah: No, I promise you! Google it after this. He created Segway and he died on a Segway going off a cliff, so-

Glyna: Oh, my gosh.

Sarah: It’s a true story. It’s terribly sad, but where the misguidance on this was, we thought segue ways were going to take off and they didn’t. They really didn’t take off. The bottom line was because there really wasn’t a problem, people didn’t mind walking. It wasn’t this big thing of, “I can’t walk anymore. I don’t want to walk anymore. If only there was another way.” So that’s the whole point that we’re trying to make about making sure that you identify the pain points of the customer.

Glyna: Right. If there’s not a pain point, if there’s not something for you to solve, then you’re not really going to get anywhere. So you have to understand what is the problem these people are facing and what solutions can you bring? So this will help you create your content for your marketing and make sure that you are really targeting what you need to be targeting. So think about whether you’re going to use online ads, social media, videos, you need to, again, think about this problem/solution text in your content and it will help you tremendously in connecting with your audience. You need to know how are you going to help them and what really means something to them? It’s not all the same for every single person or every single business.

Sarah: No, you’re exactly right about that. So let’s talk about number four, which is, applying the right marketing tactics. So once you’ve identified the pain points, you know your audience, you know your marketing plan and strategy about your business, then you really want to use that to determine what marketing initiatives are going to work best to accomplish these goals. So first, let’s talk about the basics. Everyone’s budget’s different, and they could be in different phases of their business. So there could be some things that maybe you can incorporate over time, but that being said, some of the basics that we suggest is that very first out the gate, you need to have a Google Business Profile. This is essential. This is a no-brainer, non-negotiable. So the Google Business Profile really allows you to manage your online presence through Google, through the Google platform, and input the most accurate information about your business. So that’s another key thing is to have all your stuff displayed accurately online.

Glyna: Yes, exactly. It’s kind of like a little mini-website on Google.

Sarah: Yeah.

Glyna: But for people that want more information and there’s a lot of people out there, you really need to have a website for your company or for your business. Because we’ve said before, that is really your online headquarters for your business. Your website and the content within it is also what search engines pull from when they’re directing users who are searching for your type of business. So not only is it important to list everything you do there and allow people to investigate and research, but it all also builds credibility and trustworthiness to prospects that you are a legitimate business. “Yes, I am real.” You may be a legitimate business and you know that you are, but it’s not really what you think, it’s what the consumers think and how their first impression is made.

Sarah: Yes. Yes. We talk about that with online proof or social proof, that’s what the users are looking for. So another thing that we think is a staple that’s pretty essential would be social media. So social media, everyone’s using it and your business should be no different. Plus, these are free platforms here that you can be utilizing. You got to manage it, got to put a lot of work into it, so that’s when you might want to start looking at having an agency help you with all of those things. But with all that being said, social media platforms have become so much more robust and that’s what’s really great. They’ve made it easier to connect with customers. They’ve made it easier to sell products. They’ve made it easier to advertise and just build brand awareness. So it’s just this really great platform that’s giving more and more features for businesses to help them. It’s another area that consumers are going to go to verify the legitimacy of your business when you’re checking them out. “Do they even have a social media page?” So that’s why it’s a staple to us.

Glyna: Yes, if the higher price point is what you’re after, in other words, are you selling something that’s a little more pricey than just something really small? You have to have these things in place. So for social media, just make sure that the social media channels you use match your target audience. Again, do we have to say target audience again?

Sarah: Right.

Glyna: And that you’re posting consistent and relevant content to them. Again, you have to use what everybody’s looking for. So here we go. Social media marketing is best for…What’s it best for? Building your brand awareness, once again, audience targeting, building relationships with people who are looking at all of your information. Also, you can sell, we’ve talked about that on other shows, direct sales, and using the social commerce piece of it.

Sarah: Yes. Okay. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, we want to talk about considering additional marketing options. These are ones that we, of course, feel are just as important, but when we talk about what to focus on, these are additional ones that, again, would just add more and more and more. So content marketing, so what the heck is content marketing? First of all, it’s a great way to grow your business and your online presence. So examples of content marketing would be blogs, would be downloadable PDF guides, would be videos would be podcasts, would be interviews, would be so on, and so on. This content is all that stuff that’s in addition that you’re posting up on your website that helps just grow you, yourself, as a brand authority and having all that stuff, and it helps big time with SEO. So let’s get to why you’d want to consider content marketing, and if it aligns with your business goals. So it’s best for building brand authority, increasing brand awareness, boosting website traffic and SEO, lead generation, and educational storytelling. So think about that when you think about your marketing focus.

Glyna: Right, and I know this is a lot and the best thing is to be able to do all of these things, but the reason we’re going through them one by one is that you may have to build on it, depending on what your budget is. So then, the next thing that we would say needs to fall in line is your SEO or your search engine optimization. Now, SEO goes hand-in-hand with content marketing and your website. So all of it works together. SEO is all about your keyword research, what are people looking for? Optimizing all of your pages on your website, link building, and a gazillion other things that we put into the recipe to help people find you organically online. Now, people will search for products and services that are related to you, so you need to have your website content show up as one of those first-page search results when people are looking for you so that you get the business saying your competitor doesn’t.

Sarah: That’s exactly right, and that’s what SEO helps to accomplish. So there are ranking factors that come into it, this is why SEO is one of those things we always talk about it builds equity over a long period of time. It’s just a really good one to incorporate when you can get to that point, but ranking factors or domain authority, mobile usability, on-page SEO, quality content, which we talked about that with the content backlinks and referring to the domains. SEO is really best for all of those things, website traffic, lead generation, building brand authority, direct sales, all those types of things.

Glyna: Yes, and then once you get done with your SEO, if you want to put your marketing on steroids, you might want to look at pay-per-click, or what we call online ads. Now, it’s also called PPC, Pay-per-click, PPC, and online ads it’s just a type of marketing where brands pay for their ads to be positioned in a certain spot, and they’re put in front of your target audience. So with these platforms, you’re going to pay anytime an ad is viewed, clicked. It’s all dependent on what platform you’re on. The purpose of Pay-per-click ads is just to drive traffic to your websites and generate leads for whatever it is you want to sell.

Sarah: Yes. So this would be really suitable, pay-per-click and online ads are a great option for businesses that are looking to increase their reach and brand awareness quickly. So to recap, pay-per-click ads are really best for brand awareness, lead generation, direct sales, and audience targeting.

Glyna: Yes, exactly. All right. The next thing we’re going to talk about is email marketing. Now, people think that email marketing is dead, but it is definitely not, and it has its place in your marketing strategy. So it’s a very effective option for businesses looking to build trust and build that brand with people in a non-invasive manner. They can look at it or not look at it, but it’s inexpensive and it allows you to personalize content and segments based on the characteristics of your prospect list. So, gosh, you could have endless email campaigns, depending on who you’re sending it out to and what you think that they would be interested in. The cool thing about email marketing is we’re huge on this, you can track the performance of your emails and it can help you determine the click-through rate and how you can improve on it if it’s not working.

Sarah: Yes. So, and this is another fairly inexpensive option that helps to just capture leads and get more quality leads. So that’s another benefit to it because when you do do these segment lists, it can help you generate and build these personas and then deliver more quality content. So email marketing, to recap, is best for lead generation, generating a return on investment, relationship building, brand awareness, and then, of course, direct sales if you’re wanting to include that in your email marketing campaign.

Glyna: Yes. All right. Let’s move on to one of the most important things, reputation management. Even if you’re not going to do anything else, this is something you need to be aware of and do the best that you can at managing. So online reviews are a valuable asset. Who doesn’t look at online reviews when they’re making purchases? It really skews somebody’s purchase decision, depending on what your online reviews look like. So whatever your industry, having positive online reviews gives your business, it’s like instant trust and credibility with your potential customers. So we’re more likely to purchase if others around us, even strangers, agree that it’s a good decision. I don’t buy anything without looking at a lot of reviews.

Sarah: Me neither.

Glyna: Yeah. Who does? It’s so important.

Sarah: So, we have our own reputation management system and it’s essentially a review system that helps monitor online reviews to help gather a steady stream of new reviews and improve your overall customer experience. So reputation management, to recap, is really best for building trust with your customers, improving customer satisfaction, improving your online reputation and increasing lead conversions, because the more positive reviews that people see, the more it’s that what you said of building that trust and credibility with potential customers. So that’s a wrap and, hopefully, that helped you determine what areas you can utilize to focus on with your marketing. As always, we’re here, so if you’re still just clueless and don’t know where to start, we’d love to help you. Even if you do know where to start and you just need an agency to help you get your marketing into focus, we will be happy to talk to you. Until next time, we’ll see you.