Any blog post or book you read to gain insight on selling your products or services online will advise you to get into your buyer’s headspace. Gone are the days of selling to the masses, small businesses need to sell to a niche clientéle and cater to their needs. To do this, you need to understand what they want from you.
Small business marketing for the online vs the offline world
Your target audience may be exactly the same for both, but you have to market them differently. Selling your product or service offline means you'll have to take a more direct approach, sort of like a sales pitch - online is a different ball game. You need to appeal to consumers’ needs rather than forcing your product or service on them. Ranting and raving about why everyone needs your product or service is unattractive to an online audience and will surely drive people away, causing a negative effect on your bounce rate
Use tools to help you better understand your online audience
Depending on what tools you have available, it would be beneficial for your small business marketing strategy to make use of Google analytics. With this tool you can get a better understanding of the demographics of your audience which helps you understand what age and gender you're targeting. Find out what interests them. Are they movie lovers, travel buffs or technophiles? This information can help you create content around things your audience love that will keep them interested and keep them on the page.
Talk about your industry and not yourself
When strangers come onto your website, they are looking for solutions to a problem they're facing. If your content doesn't provide a quick, reliable solution visitors will move on. Write blog posts around topics you think your readers would enjoy. Ask your colleagues who deal with your customers on a regular basis what their frequently asked questions are and what they need help with. Information you gather from them can be turned into valuable blog posts. Follow what your competitors are saying, you can easily tell what's working for them and what's not.
Social media monitoring in your small business marketing plan should not be ignored
With a large amount of people logging onto social media on a daily basis, this is the perfect platform from which to better understand what your audience wants. You can, in a way, spy on what your target audience are doing online and what they are saying about your product. Use Twitter analytics to better understand how many impressions your tweets are getting. In other words, how many people viewed each tweet you posted? Figure out what works and what doesn't, making use of Facebook Audience Insights for instance, gives you the opportunity to review your likes and gain a better perspective of who is already interested in your company.
Use imagery to your advantage
Use eye-catching images to attract viewers’ attention and keep them on the page. Quality images should be consistently spread across your website from your home page, contact us page and all blog articles you upload. According to Kissmetrics, "Images not only add life to a website, they also make it convert better. People no longer want to browse a website – they want to experience it." Think of it in perspective to real life, how many people would look at a dumpster as opposed to a beautiful landscape?
Gaining insight into who your viewers are, where they're coming from and what they are doing within your website is a valuable resource for any small business marketing strategy. The information gathered can help you make better decisions for the future, improve your website visits, attract more visitors and ultimately improve your return on investment (ROI).