Cultivating an audience online may seem simple. You identify your target market, create valuable content, and continue to promote that content through various digital channels. But, the truth is that the simplicity can be lost due to the nuance of getting it done. So, today we're going to dive into some of that nuance.
Are you an attorney, accountant, doctor, dentist, architect, engineer, or other professional services provider that is concerned about attracting more customers for your business? If you are, then we feel you. In fact, a recent study just said that 72% of professional business owners said that it's one of their biggest challenges. And that is before the world went haywire on account of a virus. In an era where online presence is prevalent, it is becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the noise of your competitors. It is also understandable that as a professional services provider you might have a hard time marketing your business. After all, your expertise is your master skill, not marketing. That's why you should leave marketing to the experts.
Strategies To Attract Online Customers
Marketing is a game of strategy, like chess. You have your King (your business) and the Queen (those at the helm of your business). And just like the Queen manages the chess board, you analyze, run, defend, and even study your competition to win the game. Remember, every move counts. The reality is that a single move may make or break your business in an instant. So, what are the strategies that you should do to win at the game of marketing?
1. Identify Your Unique Selling Points (USP)
First and foremost, you have to understand why you're the best among the rest. Why should clients choose you? What value could they get if they become your clients? To answer those questions, you need to identify your unique selling points. Determine the special ways you could add value for your prospects. Offer products or services that they're raving about is one way. The most important thing, however, is to provide the help that you believe is beneficial for them and not just beneficial for you.
To effectively get a handle on your USPs follow these steps:
- Start by listing all of the features and benefits of your products or services;
- Identify your target audience; and
- Answer the "so what?" question until you distinguish the best answer.
Our architectural firm is the best in L.A. – So, what?
We design the most complicated projects. - So, what?
Best Answer: Our architectural firm doesn't just design great buildings; we bring to life what matters to you, in the safest and most cost efficient way possible.
2. Talk Like Your Target Market
It's a rule of thumb in marketing that you should have a specific target market because when you talk to everyone, you speak to no one. Another rule is to speak the way your client speaks, which means that to attract target audiences, you need to be one of them. And you should know how to talk directly with them. In that way, they'll draw their attention to your business brand, listen to you, and trust you because they see you as a service provider who understands their pains.
Tip: A headline is the first thing that a person sees before they read further. It increases your conversion rate up to 40% when you add emotions within your headline. Adding emotions to your topline message makes your content more viral, shareable, and valuable to attract more people, especially your target market.
3. Long Form and Valuable Content
Google loves content-rich sites. If Google loves it, the higher traffic you'll get. And with higher traffic, you increase your conversion rate incredibly. Based on a recent study, long-form content has the potential to convert 30% more than short-form content.
While it’s common sense that long-form content requires more words, words alone won’t make it valuable content?
Step 1: There are three types of valuable content: educational, entertainment, or inspirational. Choose which type of valuable content you would like to offer. You can also have a semi education and semi entertainment or semi inspirational for your content. It doesn’t have to be all or none.
Step 2: Make it relatable to your target audience by choosing the right keywords. Then, use a keyword research tool such as the Google keyword planner to see the volume of these keywords searched per month.
Step 3: Now that you have the keywords, it's time to formulate a good topic that you can talk about to draw the attention of your audience. You may insert those keywords in the headline, body of the content, product copy, website copy, etc.
Step 4: Test, test, test … The only way to know if it's valuable for your target audience is to see the results. If it gets high traffic then it's good, if it's not then maybe you could try tweaking your headline or change your keywords to get better results. However, low traffic could also be your distribution channels so that needs to be evaluated as well.
4. Show Off Your Expertise
Did you know that 95% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase? That's why social proof, online reviews, and testimonials are so essential. Encourage your existing clients to write reviews for you. And create a case study that shows excellent results that you've done with different people. With that, you'll be able to attract online customers, and they'll start to believe in your business and you.
- Good reviews: Encouraging a satisfied client to write good reviews may seem a bit of a tall ask. Consider giving incentives and discounts so that they'll be happy to provide you with excellent feedback.
- Bad reviews: While good reviews are great, there are instances that people aren't satisfied. The best thing to handle bad reviews is to respond to them as soon as possible and provide remedies to ease their dissatisfaction.
5. Social Media Reach
While increasing your online presence creates a sure way to cultivate awareness taking strangers and turning them into an audience, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be on all social media platforms. You just have to identify where your target audience is and be present there. It is as simple as that, but how do you stand out and expand your reach?
There are a myriad of ways to stand out and expand social media reach. But, the most effective one is to determine the algorithm of a social media platform. For example, on LinkedIn, the algorithm of that platform gives weight on personal connections over ads and promotions. This means that what appears on your target audience’s LinkedIn news feeds are the posts and content of the people they've interacted with through comments, likes, and shares. It also includes the hashtags that have interested your audience in the past.
Tip: To improve social media reach, you should apply the 80/20 balance, which is 80% useful content and 20% brand promotions.
6. Customer Outreach
Customer outreach is about enhancing the relationship between you and your clients. The best way to retain them is not by upselling or giving discounts. It's about reaching them through constant communication. And you have communication through email, calls, social media content, or even chatting with them in real time. If it's your client's birthday, send an email extending your birthday wishes, or if it’s a holiday send holiday cards and messages. Customer outreach is simple. It's about letting them know that you are there for them. And your company is not just a business, but a partner that is ready to assist them with their needs and help them achieve their goals.
Tip: Nothing beats word of mouth marketing. In fact, 84% of consumers all over the world trust recommendations from friends and loved ones. So, treat your clients well and you’ll be rewarded.
Attracting more online customers is not impossible. If you use the right strategy and the right channel at the right time, you will surely have an increase in site traffic and cultivate strangers into an audience in no time.
If you are overwhelmed by how you increase customers online for your business, click here to see if you qualify for a Vimagery Strategy Session. Together, we can help shortcut your efforts to cultivate, convert, and close new clients in the weeks and months ahead.