Your small- to medium-sized business needs an online presence. But how do you bridge the gap between an “Open” sign on your brick-and-mortar business and a comprehensive digital footprint?
Here at Sync, we get a lot of questions from SMBs about how to advance their online efforts. They ask what they can do better, how they can improve ROI, and what resources they should be investing in continually. It’s really a multi-faceted question, so we thought it best to launch a series on “How to Get Your SMB Online.”
We’re starting with Part 1:
Identifying Your Target Market
Before your business picks a website theme and outlines a digital marketing plan, you’ve got to know who you’re marking to. All too many SMBs say their market is “everyone!” – it’s optimistic, but not a helpful outlook for your business long term. To see real success online for your business, you’ve got to be (very) specific about your target market and speak to that audience directly.
The first step in identifying your SMB’s target market is to avoid getting overwhelmed with the size of your market. For example, it’s easy to say that “women” are your intended customers. In a perfect world, yes! You’d sell your services to all women. In the real world, your qualified leads are coming from more specific sources: all women who stay at home with kids, or women who’ve recently moved into your metro area from another state. Remember, online marketing is about quality, not quantity.
One of the easiest ways to identify your SMB’s target is to focus on your differentiators. Are you the only business of your kind that offers overnight shipping, or that touts a money-back guarantee? When you find out where you’re different from your competitors, you can start segmenting by the kind of audience looking for that difference. Now, instead of focusing on all stay-at-home moms, you’re focused on stay at home moms with disposable income but time-management constraints.
Another way to choose a target market is to figure out where there’s a gap in the market and angle your business into it. Are your competitors leaving one segment woefully underrepresented? It’s easier to own a new market than to rise up in an existing one, so if you see an opportunity for “low-hanging fruit,” take it. And make sure you’re focusing on the actual buyer, not just the end-user. It doesn’t do any good to target your marketing to an audience if they won’t be the ones actually making the purchase.
Once you’ve identified your target market, likely with the help of an experienced team of digital marketers who can set up focus groups, look at analytics, and spot trends in your current marketing efforts, it’s time to work on your message. Creating detailed Buyer Personas is a smart next-step in the market identification process, and one worth getting right.
Now that we’ve talked about finding your target market online, it’s time to dive into Part 2:
Optimizing Your Website
Feeling overwhelmed? Synchronicity knows the steps to getting your SMB online backwards and forwards. Give us a call to talk shop.