One of the pain points we run into frequently with clients is that they know they should be using online marketing, but they aren’t sure where to start.

That challenge is what makes marketing so much fun. You see, it’s different than sales, in that it’s not necessarily about getting someone to buy something. Marketing is more about getting the chance to know your customers and finding what it is that connects with them.

Why Your Audience Matters

Sometimes, when we ask business owners who they are marketing to, they say everyone. While everyone may want a particular product or service, realistically, no business ever sells to everyone. Sure, everyone drinks water, so maybe you could market bottled water to everyone. However, what about the people who can’t afford bottled water or those who are against all of the packagings they use? It may be a favorite product, but it’s never for everyone.

Building a Relationship

When it comes to marketing to your ideal audience, it isn’t necessarily about your end game of making the sale. It’s about building a relationship and knowing who those people are. If you know a lot of information about their wants, then you can create content that will resonate with them. The interest they take in your brand should eventually turn into sales.

Put Your Customer First

Think about what your customers want to know. What questions do they ask? What do they often talk about with you? What things do you mostly find that you’re helping them with? If your customers already have frequently asked questions or problems they are trying to solve, then providing them answers online is a simple way share content they will likely relate to and engage with.

If you sell products, posting information about those is OK, but do it tastefully.

How To Do It

Show Them Your True Self

One of my favorite places to start turning potential customers into loyal brand advocates is to get into the fun, behind-the-scenes parts of a business. These are the moments that we’re able to capture from our clients and share – the snapshots in the day of a life of a business. They aren’t always glamorous or professionally staged. In fact, most of the time, they are photos taken in the moment. But these are the things that help customers to see who you are. It’s these moments that help to share the story of a brand.

Let Your Customer Service Shine

Part of putting your customers first includes going above and beyond with your customer service. How many people will pay more money for a good or service because the company behind it has excellent customer service? Whether you demonstrate your customer service over the phone to people or through your online marketing efforts, it’s an important piece to keep your ongoing marketing efforts on-point.

Give Them What They Want

If your customers respond well to mailers, send mailers. If you have an audience which is mostly on Snapchat, then provide material for them to engage with there. If you’re trying to create marketing content but it’s being distributed on the wrong channels, it won’t be useful. Know where your customers are and provide value to them in your messaging. Giving customers what they want will make it feel less like trying to get a sale and more like trying to build a relationship.  

Don’t Be Afraid of Free

When dealing with business, “free” is the nasty f-word no one wants to utter. But you often can’t get customers to trust you and be loyal to your brand entirely on sales alone. Sometimes you have to give customers something more. This blog, for instance, is a way we use to get potential clients to trust us.

Have you ever been sucked into the free samples at Costco? Yep. We all have. And then we buy more food. What about that free test drive you take before you buy the car? Heck, even your dentist gives you a goodie bag of free samples of toothbrushes and toothpaste to make you feel extra special before you leave.

In marketing, free isn’t bad, as long as you have an end-game in place to build customer loyalty.

Test to Make Sure It’s Working

Of course, marketing isn’t all about putting messages out and hoping something sticks. In fact, a lot of marketing involves analyzing data, testing concepts, along with a little failing, and then trying again.

Once in a while, you get those ideas that are brilliant, because they resonate with your brand and your audience. But getting to those ideas often takes work, planning, and carefully thought out execution. Don’t be afraid to fail sometimes and get back up to try again.

More than anything if you want to market in a way that will speak to your customers, think more about them and less about you. Give them a brand they will want to be a part of and can interact with and you will see the return in their engagement and in your increased sales.

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