Archive | February 2019

Make Sure your Voice is Heard.

silver desk microphone

Photo by Dids on

I have a wonderful surprise for you: My voice!

I recently guested on Andy Curry’s Podcast: “Crazy, Cheap Marketing: Innovative Marketing Tactics For Instant Growth.” and spoke about small business digital marketing including, social media marketing, blogging, community outreach and customer retention.

Andy’s approach to marketing a ‘neighborhood business’ was forged by running his own Hardware store for over 30 years. He offers in- the- trenches, first-hand knowledge of the pitfalls of marketing and the best use of advertising dollars for all businesses.

A few years ago, he started sharing this knowledge online via a web blog, a matching podcast and, more recently, books. He invites marketers, educators, business owners and other specialists to speak about different aspects of marketing that any entrepreneur can do to promote their business better, most of which are ‘crazy cheap’. I heartily recommend signing up for his podcasts and newsletters for free, and gain some expert knowledge on your business’ growth.

Although the main topic of our conversation was about Business blogging, a couple of other points of interest that have come up since the interview’s publication: I had the opportunity to ‘plug’ this blog, and had a link added to the website itself. The result has been the third-best month of readership figures since I began this blog. I also picked up more followers – in fact my total is now almost 30% bigger than it was in December 2018!

I have written before about the ‘waterfall’ effect of good marketing, and the above is a great example of this: More opportunities to talk about your business leads to more interest in your other marketing, which leads to more ‘fans’ that want to learn more. Additionally, people have learned something more about me as a business owner. My Voice is a give-away to my background. Despite spending over 30 years in North America, I never added to my birth dialect, so now I get lots of comments along the lines of: “I never knew you were English!”

This not only shows interest as me as a marketing expert, it also highlights interest in me as an authentic person – something that this blog has constantly highlighted as a ‘must do’ for any small business looking to grow.

Here is the direct link to the Podcast, so enjoy 25 minutes of marketing tips, and I do recommend you listen to some more interviews on the website for great tips on how to expand your digital footprint, turn more prospects in customers and make those customers evangelists for your business to others.

Of course, you can also start searching for opportunities to speak on behalf of your own specialty and business, creating your own waterfall effect of interest, growing both your name and your business!

You haven’t got just One Audience, so why treat them like you do?

segmentation2How do you approach your e-mail inbox every day? What do you save, read, or delete without looking?

Chances are that if you aren’t being enticed by e-mail subject lines, or author’s name, you won’t be opening that e-mail. If that’s true for you, why wouldn’t it be true for your e-mail marketing? If you are not communicating with both Customers and Prospects on an ongoing, successful basis, you aren’t getting through to them. Once you have an automated system in place to keep in touch with the life-blood of your business, don’t take for granted that it will work. You still have to put the work in to ensure that what you are writing is being read.

While you have read a lot about the power of glistening copy that sticks in people’s minds, sometimes the message you are sending out simply isn’t being read. If the gross amount of sales you are making thanks to automated e-mail communication, do not equal the amount you are paying for it, it still isn’t worth it: Start looking closer at your audience, and ensuring that they open that e-mail, at least. How? Segment your audience into handy groups that you can send a more personalized message to – not just by ensuring that it is a personalized e-mail greeting, but that the message itself is more attractive to them, personally. So, how can you achieve the Holy Grail of branding: Mass personalization? By segmenting your audience into different groups based on more direct information that you have about them.

Look at what social media successfully does: It ensures that you, personally, are being addressed.  Social Media platforms have discovered that getting sales messages that align with all of the interests you have noted in the past is the best way for them to sell their client’s goods and services. Perhaps you, in your own way, you can do this too. It is the same with your e-mail opening habits, and all of your customers and prospects. How can you achieve this? Here are five easy points to point you in the right direction:

  1. By Persona. 
What are their professional responsibilities, job description, department, and which demographic they inhabit? Ask yourself what is it in your message that they would feel attracted to?
  2. By historical Buying Patterns and Frequency
. You can actually increase your followers by offering special terms, or offers. You don’t want to make your sales arguments about budget, but perhaps you can do it by size, payment schedule, geographic location? Find out who has bought what and when in the past, and tailor your messages to refer to these past purchases at the time and rate their sales’ history denotes. Any kind of feedback you receive will give you more information on past customers, so what do you want to find out, and how can you tie that in to what and when was purchased before?
  3. By Geography. Get accustomed to finding out what happens where? Every area has different holidays, or perhaps different, predictive weather patterns. Show your customers and prospects that you know them, and offer items especially aimed at them. Of course, this will also take a little extra work, but the rewards will be worth it.
  4. By Industry or Vertical. If you are a B2B seller, what do these contacts want at what times of year? Do they have a purchasing and sales cycle? Do their past purchases, or even growth pattern, conform to a predictive pattern? Similarly with business verticals: Are they buying something small, or huge? You can deliver personalised messages based on their contact data. Get into their conversations just before you know they are buying and when.
  5. By Channel Usage. For those of us branding in a B2C marketplace, HOW do people like to interact with you, mobile, social, or E-mail? At times of the day, week, or year? Once again, you can pre-empt their purchasing patterns with the right message at the right time, to the right people – via the right delivery channel.

The more you learn about your customers, the more successful you will be in ensuring that your message gets through, and the next one will be eagerly awaited. Of course, this kind of detective work is not only fun, you may learn way more about the intricacies of your own product or service array, and how you can get even more focused messages out. It will take some testing, nothing is perfect out of the box, but when you segment your audience and talk directly to them, your marketing will be way more successful.