Do I really have to be every where?

Slide02 The short answer is, “No.” No, you don’t have to be “every where.” You only have to be in the places you’re most likely to find the majority of your customers.

There is a common perception among those who are new to the game of online business, and specifically online marketing, that creates this pressure of needing to have every type of social media account out there. Because isn’t that what everyone else is doing?

Again, No. Unless you can afford to have a team of online marketers and customer service reps to manage each of those accounts and keep the conversation going… it’s not a realistic expectation of yourself to maintain that same level of engagement.

Where should I start?

You know your business better than anyone else. You know your product (or service) and who it’s intended for. It’s that knowledge of “who it’s intended for” is what you need to focus on. Even if what you offer spreads over several demographics, there’s going to be one main one that stands out. Focus on that.

Do you have that person in mind? Do you know what they look like? How old they are?
If you haven’t identified this yet, this is a really good place to start.

Typical demographics look like this:
1. Women, 18 – 30 years, Married, Working
2. Both, 30 – 49 years, Single, Working, San Francisco
3. Men, 60 + years, Retired, Florida

You get the idea. There is a specific group of people you’re trying to reach and market your product and/or services to.

Use Analytics
Even if you have an idea of who you’re targeting, you might be surprised who else might find your website interesting and also be a big customer of yours.

If you’re not already running Google Analytics on your site, I suggest you get going on that. This will be vital for some many things if you expect to see your business grow and see great success.

NOTE: Getting Google Analytics setup isn’t enough when it comes to discovering your demographics. This is a feature that needs to be enabled before Google will capture that sort of information for.
How does Google know the gender and age of people coming to my site? Simple. Google collects this information through different account profiles that indicate such information. And when said user is logged in and browsing the internet, Google will share the demographics information you’re interested in.

Make a survey.
Survey’s are really as effective as you’re able to get a group of people to take it. If you’re lucky enough to have a group of people to reach out to already, be sure to include a series of questions that pertains to the demographic landscape you’re trying to better understand.

This would still be a great option down the road after you’ve created a following to see who’s out there following your brand. This will either validate your assumption of those interested in your business, or open your eyes to who is really interested in your product despite your efforts to target a specific group. targetmarket

How do I reach my audience?

There are several ways a business can reach their target audience. We’ll go through the most popular ones and let you decide what will work best for your business.

Social Media
There are a ton of social media networks out there. Deciding which one to engage one should take into account the demographic you identified earlier. For example, stay-at-home moms between the ages of 18-30 most likely aren’t actively on LinkedIn. Chances are you’re not going to find them Reddit or Stumbledupon either. This target audience has a heavy presence on Facebook because that’s where they share the funny and cute things their kiddos do during the day.

If our demographic were the one we just described, we would put as much focus on Facebook as possible. Skip LinkedIn and any other less than likely place we are not going to find our stay-at-home moms.

For businesses with limited resources (ie. Startups, Solopreneurs, etc), there isn’t enough time in the day to focus on your business and check social media. Creating conversation and maintaining conversation on a single network is more important than bouncing around from Facebook, to Twitter, then Pinterest, LinkedIn, and so on because you said you ‘would be there.’

Don’t spread yourself thin. Make your time count and do a good job of it because anything you do on social media is not for the faint of heart. It’s not a sprint, but a marathon. The return on your investment of time spent building your fan base will pay of years down the road, not next week.

You must be diligent in your efforts.

What about email marketing?

I’m so glad you asked! Email marketing is still one of the most successful forms of online marketing out there. Why? Well, let’s think about some of the basic facts about those who end up on your email list.

1. To start, they already know your business or product. That’s how the came across the option to sign up in the first place. Right?

2. It’s an opt-in list. They have to agree or sign up to be on your list.

3. If they agree to be on the list, they are signaling to you that they like what you’re doing and want to be alerted to any updates you have.

Makes sense doesn’t why email marketing is still very successful despite the pitfalls of email.
You’re targeting a very specific group of people who want to hear from you. Regardless of your demographic. Anyone on that list loves what you have and there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of that.

There are a lot of services and ways to implement email capture on your website. If you use WordPress, there are a lot of plugins out there that help integrate your preferred service.

Popular Email Marketing Companies:
MailChimp (Our favorite)
AWeber
Constant Contact
Mail Poet
Active Campaign

Each of these companies have their own pricing structure based on the amount of volume they will need to handle every time you send an email. They also start to include different features to your account allowing you more automation options for your email campaigns.

Any tips as I get started?

It probably goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway; Whether it’s a social media post or an email, you’re inserting your business into someone’s life. You’re asking them for their attention, time, and most likely… money.

No one wants to get on Facebook or read emails that only ask for the sale. That’s not the point. Those on Facebook like to get caught up in what their family and friends are doing. Pointless emails get trashed before they are even open.

How do you become apart of their lives?
You help them. And let them help you. Every email you send out should have some sort of tip or suggestion or helpful hint that will help them use your product better or take advantage of the full service you offer.

It’s a great way to build trust.

On social media, the goal is to great conversation. You ask questions. Share pictures they can relate to. If you’re going to be in their news feed, let it be something casual and worth reading. A lot of fan pages will not only post content related to the business, but ask their fans what they think about products, or topics, or even for ideas on what they should do next moving forward.
Such engagement starts to build a relation that makes everyone feel like they are apart of something and can make a difference in a business they support.

The biggest struggle and challenge will be finding a reason to be in their inbox and in their newsfeed. They said it was okay… they liked your page and signed up for your newsletter. Don’t abuse it… otherwise they will X you off the list.

Let us know in the comments what struggles you’ve had or what you’ve done that works well to grow your fan base and be every where.