6 Ways To Personalize Your Marketing, Bob (Kidding!)

6 Ways To Personalize Your Marketing, Bob (Kidding!)

One of the things that modern consumers want from digital marketing is personalization, as long as it’s done right (see the title above for an example of how NOT to do it).   This can be overwhelming at times, especially for small business owners who believe they don’t have the resources needed to personalize. In reality, technology has made it easy for businesses of all sizes and types to personalize their marketing strategy.   The following are some of the simplest and most effective methods that small businesses can use to personalize their digital marketing: 1. Gather Data   The first step to personalizing your digital marketing is to gather as much data about your customers as you can. You will use this to segment your audience and help with the personalization. The more data you have, the better.   While getting clients to fill out a survey is a convenient way to gather data, your clients likely won’t want to. You can offer them an incentive to do so or ask for bits and pieces of information over time. 2. Use Buyer Personas   Once you have enough data, take some time to create buyer personas. These are representations of your typical target audience. They should include information like gender, age, other demographics, goals, and why they want your product.   Create as many buyer personas as you need to fully represent your audience. For example, if you are a small business selling jewelry, two buyer personas maybe someone who buys the jewelry for themselves and someone who buys it for someone else.   As you create your...
Where Are YOUR Customers : How to Identify Your Audience and Find Them Online

Where Are YOUR Customers : How to Identify Your Audience and Find Them Online

We’ve all had the experience of looking for something and not being able to find it. It’s frustrating and time consuming and can feel like a pointless exercise if we’re forced to keep at it for long. For a business owner, there’s nothing more frustrating than knowing there’s an audience for your product or service and not knowing who they are – or where to find them. In this article, I’ll break down the process to help you first identify and then locate your audience, so you can fine-tune your marketing and get the leads you need. Identifying Your Audience We can look to social media for some guidance in how to identify an audience. If you have an existing customer base, you can begin by analyzing it using two categories of information: demographics and psychographics. From there, you can use information about the problems your product or service solves to narrow your search. Demographics Demographics are easy, so let’s start there. Demographics are facts about your customers (and your target audience) that can help you identify them. They include: Age Gender Geographical location Education level Income level Marital status Employment/industry Having basic information about who your customers are can help you identify the right target audience for your services or products. Psychographics Psychographics illustrate your target audience’s interests and preferences. For example, if you run a gym, some interests to consider might include the following. Health Fitness Weight loss Running You could also consider pop culture interests. If you own a clothing boutique, you might target people who watch fashion shows such as Project Runway or Say Yes...
The 7 Best Free SEO Tools for Small Business

The 7 Best Free SEO Tools for Small Business

As a small business owner, you probably know the value of SEO for getting more website traffic that you can convert to customers. So maybe you started with a little research, figuring you’d like to DIY your digital marketing efforts for a while and see what you can learn.   You checked out a few of the “big names” in SEO, and were immediately overwhelmed by the sheer volume of features that each site promised. Then you looked at the pricing and — no thank you!   Fortunately, there is a wide variety of free resources available, from Google’s own tools to third-party extensions that run right on your browser. Here are 7 of the best free SEO tools that you can use for keyword research, backlink tracking, and more. #1 Google Analytics Diving into Google Analytics can become a full-time job. But busy small business owners can benefit from this free tool, without becoming Analytics experts.   Once you have your website synced up to your Analytics account, you’ll be able to access data like users, sessions, bounce rate, and session duration. By tracking this information, you can see how your site content is performing over time.   You’ll also be able to see how you get your traffic — through social media, referrals from other sites, direct traffic, or organic search. You’ll get helpful data about what time of day your users are on your site — helpful for planning launches or desktop push notifications. You can even see what type of device your users are using. Maybe your site gets more mobile traffic than you thought,...
4 Professional Development Resources for You and Your Team

4 Professional Development Resources for You and Your Team

In a perfect world, every business owner would have an unlimited budget that would buy them access to the top talent they needed.   In reality, budget constraints mean that often, small business owners and their employees have to be versatile and knowledgeable in a number of areas. The CEO may be running the marketing department. HR and bookkeeping could be one person’s purview. The sales manager may be asked to throw a staff-appreciation party.   Even in organizations where roles are more narrowly defined, there is always more to learn. New technology, methodologies, and better understanding of human psychology change the way we run businesses all the time.   In our hyper-connected world, there’s no need to shell out for a pricey degree to continue learning. Instead, there are many affordable (or free!) resources available to you and your team, if you just know where to find them.   Here are four professional development tools you can use to increase your skills so you can better serve your clients and customers. #1 MOOCs If you or your team members need to learn more about a certain topic, MOOCs (massive open online courses) are a great resource. Platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and edX offer classes from reputable universities in wide-ranging topics from supply chain management to FinTech to B2B sales. These courses range in cost from free to a couple hundred dollars.   A few more online course providers to check out: Harvard Open Courses LinkedIn Learning HubSpot Academy   If you’re looking for more comprehensive training for your team, many of these platforms also offer enterprise solutions. For...
Google Local Service Ads Explained

Google Local Service Ads Explained

You want to connect with local customers who are in the market for the services you provide. You’ve probably spent some time optimizing your website. You may have paid for Google Ads. But if you’re not focusing on Google Local Service Ads, you’re missing out on the most highly qualified leads around. What is a Google Local Service Ad? Why should you care? Keep reading to learn more. What Are Google Local Service Ads? We talk to a lot of small business owners and a lot of them don’t know about Google Local Service Ads – so let’s start with the basics. Google Local Service Ads are ads that appear at the top of Google’s search engine results page when someone searches for a local service.   If you know anything at all about digital marketing, you know that having an ad for your business appear right at the top of the Google SERP is a huge advantage. Google Local Service Ads aren’t available to everybody. You need to earn a spot there based on your ratings and that’s because Google guarantees the services of the companies whose ads are displayed. Components of a Google Local Service Ad The first thing you should notice about Google Local Service Ads is that they highlight reviews by displaying your average rating and the number of reviews available for prospective customers to read. Considering that nearly 9 out of 10 consumers rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions, it’s impossible to put a dollar value on having a high review rating displayed at the top of the SERP. When a prospective...
5 Tips for Landing Featured Snippets on Google Search

5 Tips for Landing Featured Snippets on Google Search

The goal of any legitimate SEO strategy is to funnel more traffic to your website. But instead of seeking to rank high on the first page of Google Search’s results (which is important in its own right), today I’m going to go over X tips for landing features snippets on Google Search.   A featured snippet is that first box that pops up in a Google Search just above the ranked results. It provides information or answers a question that users commonly ask. This answer could be a picture, video, list, or text explanation that is relevant to a question or topic that the user has typed into the Google Search bar. Essentially, Google searches for the best, most relevant answer and places it in this coveted spot. Technically, if you land a featured snippet, you’re in position 0 because it pops up ahead of position 1, which is the top of the ranked results. What a place to be! Is It Really Possible To Get Featured? Even though there’s no guarantee that your page will be used for a featured snippet, there are some specific steps you can take to optimize your pages and increase your chances. And there’s even better news. It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small, new or established… anyone can land a featured snippet with a little bit of focused work. Tips for Landing a Featured Snippet #1 Review Your Website Content Take a look at your website content with an eye for how you may or may not be helping visitors when they peruse your pages. Do you provide answers...