Getting noticed as a small business with a limited budget is one of the biggest challenges you probably face. My guess is that you need more money and more time. The goal of this newsletter is to provide you with some cheat codes that will save you time and money while making your advertising efforts more effective.
If you are in a business that has many competitors, it is easy to get lost in the crowd. I often hear from businesses like this who simply just want to get noticed. On the other hand, if you are in a business with no competitors, you probably face the difficulty of educating people on what you actually do. Your customers might not even know they need you, or what to search for to find you. Both of these scenarios will be greatly benefited by the activity of defining your WHO.
The first step in being an effective marketer, is to define your WHO. My guess is you have at least a vague idea of your WHO, however, you are probably way too broad on who you would add to that list. The more narrowly you can define this list, the more effectively you can speak to them in their language about things they like.
When I talk about defining your WHO, it is not merely about identity or superficial demographics, it is specific and detailed. It is about understanding what drives your best customer to like and pay for something. Your WHO has an identity and the closer you can get to knowing exactly who they are the better your advertising and messaging will work. It will also determine where you advertise.
Let's say you are one of many mortgage brokers in that profession. You could say your WHO is anyone who has or needs a mortgage. This is way too wide. You could narrow it down to one segment of the population, for example, maybe it’s first time home buyers. Much better, but still not narrow enough.
If you are a veteran and you love working with veterans, maybe your target WHO is active military members who work at a nearby base who are also first time home buyers. Now, you have a specific target that is narrow, and more importantly, who you can speak to authentically. Once you have narrowed this down, do it again, and then, go narrower.
This is easier to do if your audience matches you in some ways. Like-minded people who resonate with your values and ideas. You want to make a community of these people. Seth Godin defines this as your tribe. The closer you are to this group the more your messages will reach and influence them. This becomes even easier by defining your WHY. We will talk about that next week.
I own a RoofMaxx Dealership with my son and we have defined our WHO like this. Men, Age 55+, who own a home and are maintenance-minded. They tend to like classic cars and believe in keeping their home and yard in tip-top shape. They also tend to like sports and politics. This is our primary audience. Our WHO.
Does that mean we don’t have women or younger people calling us? No. We have them too, but our marketing is targeted towards our WHO. We also have a 1972 Chevy that we drive around and use in our advertising. We focus on the benefits of rejuvenating a roof rather than replacing it.
We also put ads in places where our WHO audience spends time. We even enter the truck in car shows with our logo on its door to increase brand awareness in addition to playing advertisements during sporting events.
This is step one. You will hear me repeat this over and over. Once you have defined and narrowed down your “Tribe”, you can start to decipher what would attract that person to listen to you. Use the WHO worksheet to define your WHO. Why would they want to do business with you? That will be next week.
The biggest mistake I see business owners make is starting with What and Where when advertising. They see an advertising source, or a sales person walks into their business and they like what they hear, so they buy advertising. It’s ok to buy advertising, in fact that’s what we sell at Connection Publishing, but you shouldn’t start there!
So where do you start? You must start with WHO! It’s vital to clearly define your primary target audience. Seth Godin calls it your “minimum viable audience”. Most businesses assume their audience is wide and broad when, in fact, they should get way more narrow. Not only are their riches in niches, but the narrower your target, the more effective you can be in speaking to them with your marketing. This is the key.
If you haven’t done this yet, you should start here. We created this form to help you get super-narrow and define your WHO. When you do this first, it will change everything. Instead of a wide net that catches very little, you can cast a stronger, narrow net that catches your best prospect. You do this by speaking to them clearly and concisely.
Determining your WHO is crucial to effective marketing. Defining your potential customer as "everyone" or "anyone who likes _____" is too broad. While everyone might possibly be your customer, hone your messaging to those who are most likely to love you and your product. Lacking a specific definition of your WHO will cost you time, money, and effectiveness. This worksheet will help you determine your WHO.
The Second Step before deciding WHERE to advertise and WHAT to put in your ads, is to define your WHY.
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is WHY people do business with you. It should be short and real; don't claim something you can't back up. It should highlight your strengths, touch on what your customers like about you, and use powerful wording to say it concisely. This is much more than a slogan and much more specific than “We Create High-Quality Products,” which is so vague it means almost nothing. It can also easily be used by a competitor. Your USP needs to be uniquely yours. If you have multiple focuses, you may want to have one USP for each area and one for your company as a whole.
Simon Sinek says to “start with WHY”. I agree with him as long as you have defined your WHO, then yes, start with WHY. One of my favorite whys comes from the Saddleback Leather Company. Their statement is “They’ll fight over it when you’re dead!” They make extremely high-quality leather goods that last beyond a lifetime. Your WHY should be something similar. Something that captures the spirit of what you do and why people love you. Use this worksheet to define your WHY.
If you define these two things, your WHO and your WHY, you have just taken your marketing game to a whole new level! Your messaging and targeting are now much better and more effective. If you need help with this, we are happy to help click here. If you want to do it on your own, find the WHO and WHY worksheets here.
Marketing is all about attention and sometimes getting attention in your local community is challenging. The basic principles of the decision-making process for any prospect are, they must 1st KNOW you, 2nd LIKE you or have a positive opinion of you or your business, and 3rd TRUST that you will do what you say you will do. I put together some ideas for you to be able to get more attention in your local market.
1. Build brand recognition:
Being a local business is sometimes challenging, having a plan and engaging your local market is crucial to your survival. Connection Publishing has established itself as the local marketing experts for Weber County, Davis County, and Box Elder County. We work hard to know about all the tools that can help you get noticed in your community and it is our approach to be trusted advisors not sales people, so that means if there is a solution that would be good for your business but we don't offer it, we will refer you to someone who does. Our goal is to help you get what you need. We are happy to help brainstorm with you so you can find success.
Print advertising may seem old-fashioned in our digital age, but it still has a lot to offer businesses looking to reach their target audience in a local market. Even though we offer both print and digital advertising, print offers a number of advantages over digital advertising. Here are some of them:
At Connection Publishing, we specialize in hyper-local print advertising that reaches readers in Northern Utah. Our magazines offer a trusted and credible platform for businesses to connect with their target audience, and our expert team can help you design and place ads that make an impact. Contact us today to learn more about how print advertising can benefit your business.
Are you struggling to get your content seen by your target audience (WHO)? Do you feel like your content marketing efforts are not delivering the desired results for your business? Do you have a content marketing plan or are you just winging it? This guide will give you the resources you need to make and execute a plan. As always, if you would like assistance with this, our team at Connection Publishing is happy to help. From identifying your target audience to measuring success, we’ve got you covered.
Why you need a content marketing plan?
In today's digital age, content marketing has become a crucial component of any successful marketing strategy. It involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately drive prospects into customers. Search Engines place a lot of importance on good content creation too. They track three things for local businesses. Relevance, are you the right fit for what people are looking for? Prominence, does the content on your website establish you as an up-to-date, professional service or product that delivers what people are looking for? Does your content match the needs of those who search for you? Proximity, does your business clearly do business in the location or near the location of those searching for you?
What does a content marketing plan do for you?
A content marketing plan will help you to define your objectives, identify your target audience, and outline the specific tactics you will use to achieve your goals. Here are the steps we recommend for creating this plan.
Defining your target audience (We call this your WHO, Visit the Marketing Mastery tab above to get the WHO worksheet)
Before you can create effective content, you must know who you are speaking to. This means understanding their demographics, interests, pain points, and buying behavior. By defining your WHO, you can create content that resonates with them and addresses their specific needs.
Defining your WHY is the next step. Some call this a USP or Unique selling Proposition.
Most marketers start with Where instead of clearly defining their WHO and WHY. We highly recommend you get to know your best customer and define not only who they are but why they do business with you. You can use the WHY worksheet to help hone in on your WHY or your USP. Don't skip this step, the best brands in the world know their WHY and integrate it in all of their communication. Get the WHY Worksheet here.
Setting your content marketing goals
What do you want more of as a result of your content marketing efforts? Engagement? Followers? Leads? Phone Calls? Visits? Define it and then use the WHERE Worksheet to decide where you can best get in front of your target.
Decide what is worth your time and what isn’t
Look at your existing content to determine what is working and what is not. What channels are you seeing results with and what channels seem not to work for you. Once you know this you can either abandon a channel or you can change your approach on that channel. By reviewing your website, blog, social media channels, and other marketing materials, you can identify gaps in your content strategy and areas for improvement.
Choosing the right content types and formats
Different content types and formats appeal to different audiences. It is important to understand that each medium needs a different type of messaging. Depending on your target audience and goals, you may choose to create blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, or social media posts. Think of and research your WHO as you determine what efforts will be best.
Creating a content calendar
Plan ahead, decide how often you will publish content, what type of content you will publish and what mediums or platforms you will publish it on. A content calendar helps you to plan and organize your content in advance. It doesn’t need to be complex, in fact sometimes the best options are just a document with each month or week listed with your theme and what content you plan to create for it.
This will enable you to ensure a consistent flow of content that aligns with your marketing goals and meets the needs of your target audience. Your content calendar should include the type of content, format, topic, publication date, and channels.
If you need help getting your plan together, please download a free copy of the Marketing Playbook here.
Making it happen
Now that you have a plan, make it happen. This effort will bring the right people to you so you can do business with them. Create and publish high-quality content that is specifically interesting to your WHO.
Set a schedule and deliver on that schedule. Imagine if you were really into a TV show and then suddenly they didn’t put out a show one week. Maybe they were busy or didn’t like the result of their work. This would cause a lack of trust with their audience. Make sure you stick to your content creation plans.
Check your Work
What does your audience like? What content seems to fall flat? This involves tracking metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, lead generation, and sales conversion rates will give you the data you need to focus your messages on what will work best. When something works, do more of that. It is also important to understand the difference between “engagement” and “results.” People liking your post is great as long as some of those people decide to do business with you. It is better to have low engagement with your ideal customer (WHO) that turns into business.
1. What is content marketing? Content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately drive sales.
2. How do I identify my target audience? Fill out the WHO Worksheet here.
3. How long does it take to see results from a content marketing plan? Businesses can typically start to see results within 3-6 months. It varies but you should think of this as a long term solution to capturing the attention of your ideal customers.
4. How do I measure the success of my content marketing plan? Look at actual results. Not likes or traffic alone, but closed business. Define what success looks like to you. Then decide if your efforts have paid off.