Finally – Straight Answers to 2 Common Digital Marketing Questions

To effectively gain the attention of any group of online customers, you must know their core needs and the tools they use to find information to address those needs. You then produce content to meet their needs. This will demonstrate that you understand your customers’ problems and have the solutions for them.

The days of competing with just a list of your products or services on a website are gone. Customers’ expectations have changed. They want you (the provider) to demonstrate that you really understand their problems and that you most likely have a solution to solve it.

Picture this example: in the city, there are 20 auto service businesses which all have websites, but there are only two of those providers who went beyond the basics to produce and post helpful information on their website. Their posts address common questions such as:

  1. What is the recommended mileage between oil changes?
  2. How often should brakes be checked to maintain a safe vehicle?
  3. How often should the timing belt be changed?
  4. What should I do when my car’s air conditioning starts to fail?
  5. What type of tires are best suited to my driving conditions?

These two providers made their website more helpful than the others. This sets them apart, and most likely helps them gain the trust of their customers. From that time on, whenever people have questions, they know that these two websites will more likely provide great information to help them make informed decisions.

These days, consumers search for everything and anything on Google prior to contacting a provider. Since voice commands are becoming more popular in finding helpful online information, people tend to educate themselves to some degree before selecting a provider among the choices. So, it naturally follows that to increase your chances of being selected by today’s consumer, you need to step up your marketing strategy with content marketing to establish yourself as a trusted advisor in your trade, not just a provider.

Many small business owners assume that having a website and spending some money to create social media web pages is good enough. They expect customers to rush on over to do business with them. Unfortunately, that’s rarely the case. Today, a website without fresh, relevant, and helpful content posted regularly for your target audience is just a brochure. And brochures can be less than effective. Instead, customers expect providers to prove their expertise with helpful content and outstanding customer service with clients’ testimonials.

Here’s the truth: with billions of websites online, your website is not as important as you wish it to be. Our websites are not at the center of the online universe. We often view our sites from a Ptolemaic view instead of from a Galilean view (see 2 images below). Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping has these two good images that illustrate this point well.

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The image on the right depicts the reality of your small business website on the Internet. By positioning your website closer to the center, the more attention you will receive from online visitors. With that in mind, the most effective way to get there is to produce and post the type of content that would gather the interest of your online audience. This will naturally pull your site closer to the center with online viewership. In this way, you are aligning your website effectively so that it revolves around your clients’ most popular content platforms.

In short, if your site provides helpful content which is highly relevant to what your business offers and you promote it intelligently online to get in front of your target audience, people will interact with your content and share it with others. This will create the momentum needed to kickstart the online awareness of your useful content. Gradually, search engines will recognize this and rank your content higher for searchers to see. That will generate more visitors to your site and you will begin to establish yourself as a trusted provider in your industry.

Here are 3 steps to successfully achieving those results (best performed by a reputable web design and marketing company):

  1. Conduct a website audit, then adjust or redesign your website for effective conversion.
  2. Research, then come up with a comprehensive content marketing campaign to drive your ideal audience to your site.
  3. Track, then adjust your content and marketing campaign to improve the engagement statistics with your online audience.

If you follow these 3 steps, you will most likely hear your phone ring and see your door swing open more often than before. I hope you find this article helpful. If you do, please share it on social media with people who you believe will also benefit from it. Thanks!

Phong Nguyen

BA from St. Olaf College
MBA from University of St. Thomas
SEO from "the School of Hard Knocks."

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