If your business is struggling to make sales because your target audience isn’t biting, you’re not alone. 92% of customers are indifferent towards the majority of companies and brands, heck, they wouldn’t even notice if they disappeared.
My intention isn’t to scare you, but to present the ground reality.
Do you know how many brand messages the average customer sees in a day?
Take a guess.
It’s not 500, 1,000 or even 2,000.
10,000! The average customer is exposed to 10,000 messages every day. The human mind cannot absorb so much stimulus, and so naturally, out of those, only a handful of brands end up getting the customer’s attention and thus, their business.
Yours is only one message out of thousands that bombards your target audience daily. And that’s a huge problem to be confronted by; in all this noise, how do YOU get YOUR message noticed, let alone convince your target audience to care about your brand or your product enough to make a purchase?
You may think that if you put in enough effort towards sending them carefully-crafted meaningful messages with value-backed promises, you’d get noticed in the sea of noise. But then again, the unfortunate truth is that fewer than ⅓ of customers think brand communication is honest.
ARRRGGGHH.. Frustrating, isn’t it?
So, what can you do? How is it that some of those 10,000 messages get results, but yours doesn’t?
It’s because some companies found a way to connect with their audience and make them care enough about the product that they made a purchase.
In that case, what are those companies doing right, and how can you do it better?
Marketing and customer engagement has drastically changed in the last ten years. And if you want customers to consider your brand, you have a tall order to fill. It’s no longer enough to deliver exceptional quality, service, innovation, with reasonable prices. Your audience also wants a company that can deliver on a promise to make their lives better.
Customers are discerning about who they buy from - especially in the current economic climate. Believe it or not, customers’ seemingly random purchase behavior is actually backed by some reasoning, and in most cases, it’s emotive in nature. Until you learn how to appeal to that side of them, you won’t be able to make them care about your product. You need to get to know them, not just as consumers, but as people. And you need to present your brand as someone they can trust.
Through this ebook, you will learn the best practices for creating compelling brand messages, pinpointing your audience’s most pressing need, and understanding them - ultimately leading to more purchases.
You CAN be one of the 10,000 messages that compel your audience to buy from you, and you CAN get customers to notice you. You’re already on your way to joining the elite 8% club of brands that customers care about, just by reading this ebook.
Do you know why 42% of small businesses fail?
It’s because the market doesn’t need their product.
Did that make you pause for a second?
You might have an audience. But they’ll never become your customers if they already have what you’re selling. You can be doing everything right, but it wouldn’t matter if there’s no demand for your product, if it provides no value.
To grow your business, you need to understand your audience’s most pressing needs. It’s easier said than done. You will struggle as you try to uncover this.
And you won’t be alone; most business owners do. That’s why 20% of new businesses fail within two years, 45% during the first five, and 65% during the first 10. Only 25% make it to the 15 year mark.
The 25% of businesses that make it, have an energetic, stand-out brand presence - and their audience cares.
If you wonder why you can’t do this, it’s because you don’t solve their problems.
Your first step is investigating the market. Don’t just guess what their primary need is - it will only make you look unreliable.
Instead, look for an opening in the market - then step in and present them with a solution.
But if you don’t know what the current need is, you can’t approach your audience with your messaging, let alone spark any meaningful engagement.
So how do you learn what your audience needs?
Start by asking them directly about what they like or don’t like about your company and its products or services. This is beneficial because it lets you capitalize on what you’re doing right, change what you’re doing wrong, and recognize trends in customer behavior that you can incorporate into your future messaging.
But, the problem with this is that it only gives you insight into what you’ve already done, not what you need to do. You don’t base the customers’ needs on what you’re selling - you base your offer on their needs.
So if you do this, also ask how you can satisfy what they want.
There’s a difference between filling a need in the market and pushing your product or service. And it’s a lot easier to satisfy a need instead of creating an illusory one and convincing people that they should spend money on it.
That’s step one; figuring out the need. Let’s assume that you have.
You stumble across the next hurdle: Market Saturation. Unless you’re willing to find a new niche, it’s something you need to learn how to overcome.
The problem is not that you and a dozen competitors have the same product or services. The problem is that to your audience; you are all the same.
You have to go out of your way to be different. Offer top-tier customer service. Look at what your competition does and do it better. And most of all, show your audience you care about them - not just their business.
It’s not enough to be different for the sake of being different. You have to do it in a way that gives your audience extraordinary value and hands them the solution they’ve been waiting and willing to pay money for.
Solve their most significant pain points in a way that other brands haven’t, and they’ll come back for more.
“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them” - Steve Jobs
Here’s the thing about asking your audience about their needs: You’re not going to get the whole picture about what they really want or need from you. You need to probe a little further and ask “Why?” to every answer they give you. That is how you will be able to dig deeper and uncover their latent need.
A latent need is a one that other products and services in the market aren’t meeting. It’s something that could solve your customers’ problems, but doesn’t - because it’s not available.
You can meet this need by making your audience aware of its absence. And what better way to do that than by offering something that makes their lives easier with something they can easily purchase?
We’ve found that by looking at these six categories, you can identify a latent need.
Technology is one of the driving forces behind new innovations in the market. Because it has a knack for continuously finding ways of making consumers’ lives easier.
Consider Blockbuster. Movie rental businesses were massively popular because people could rent movies at a fraction of the cost of buying a new one. It made entertainment more accessible and more convenient because it cost less.
But streaming services found a way to expand that accessibility and improve convenience by eliminating the need to leave the house and offering a monthly subscription that was cheaper than the cost of rentals and late fees.
Streaming services, mobile banking, online retailers, and workplace messaging services like Slack all have one thing in common: They let users perform tasks no matter where they are. Look for hiccups in accessibility for other products and services in your industry.
Discover what the need of the hour is going to be six months down the line and plan for it now. Customers’ needs change, but their desire for convenience doesn’t.
Once you identify the latent need, the next step is finding your window of opportunity; the sweet spot of hitting the market when it needs the product the most, but not too early when your product isn’t ready.
If you don’t hit that sweet spot, your audience won’t receive it well.
For example, if the technology is ahead of its time, consumers may still prefer existing features. Or, current technological barriers could make producing the product impossible. Alternatively, you may have a stellar idea in theory, but its cost makes it financially impractical.
Once you’ve figured out the timing, you need to find a way to flood the market with your product. Get the word out to as many people from your target audience as you can and fast!
You will need to use a mix of paid and organic methods to deliver your message. Using both these methods can help deliver your message to your customers, wherever they are.
With organic marketing, you’ll focus on social media, word of mouth, content marketing, and search engine optimization. With paid, you might end up shelling out money for your campaigns, but it puts you directly in the line of sight of your ideal customer. It allows you to shout out your name and message wherever they may be: browsing on social media, reading some article on a niche website or searching for a product similar to yours.
Depending on how much budget and time you have to spend, a mix of these marketing methods is the way for you to introduce yourself and your product to your audience.
If you aren’t familiarizing yourself with your customers, you increase your chance of failure by 14%.
As a small business owner, knowing your product or service is just as crucial as knowing who you’re selling to. When it comes down to it, half of your time should be spent familiarizing yourself with your target customers, and the rest in gratifying their needs.
Bad marketing plays a role in this failure rate as well. If you want to succeed, you need to tailor your strategy around your perfect customer.
But how do you do that?
Start by testing your theories and assumptions of them and assessing what others have already learned about them - including your competitors. Organize qualitative surveys on a large and small scale, study how they interact with other brands’ products and services, or implement social listening software.
However, the most effective way to find out who your dream customer is, is by creating a buyer persona.
Buyer personas are paramount to your success. They are imaginary, generic versions of your perfect customer that can give your business a clear image of the specific consumer you want to buy your product.
And they are crucial on an even deeper level - they humanize your audience so you can relate to them better, making it easier to solve their problems and generate valuable content. Buyer personas are the backbone of every lead generation and retention strategy - from the content you publish, new products and services you offer, or every newsletters you send.
They give you a bird’s eye view of the interactions your audience makes with your company and the steps they take that lead them closer or further away from making a purchase.
This is all great, you’re probably thinking, but how do I start?
Look for patterns in how specific prospects or consumers discover and interact with your content. Use form fields on your website to collect useful data. Assess your sales team’s observations on leads they frequently engage with. Interview your audience and leads and gather information about their thoughts and opinions about your brand and product.
Interviews are an essential part of getting accurate, raw data to make a persona. When you make a move on creating a persona, their feedback will help you answer questions like, what would lead your customers to want to buy? What does their buying process look like? How can you get your brand in front of them in a way that they would take notice?
Your audience’s feedback is integral to your success. You cannot understate the importance of opening a channel of genuine communication with your customers. So meet them where they are the most comfortable - whether in-person, over the phone, or online.
When you talk to your audience, ask them about your prices, their user experience, or ways you can add more value. Genuinely listen to them and incorporate their feedback into your business plan and product.
All of the data you collect helps you discover your dream buyer and create personas that give you more insight into your customer’s intent.
Relevant, highly appealing messages - from you.
You can use the information you’ve collected to tweak a marketing message or CTA and drive interest.
For example, a pet supply company creates a marketing campaign directed at pet owners to sell more dog toys. But if ads for dog toys appear to people who don’t own a dog, those messages won’t be relevant - if anything, they might mark them as spam.
With buyer personas, you will know every detail of the customer you want to sell to and can use this information to design marketing campaigns with the exact parameters set for audience demographics. You can then create the perfect ad for dog owners based on their pet’s size, breed, age, or any other factors and be rest assured that your ad is being displayed to exactly who you want to target.
You can appeal to new customers with the knowledge you’ve acquired while creating a buyer persona, but you can also use this information to retarget consumers who have already purchased from you.
Customer retention is critical, and using a retargeting campaign at every touchpoint can be the deciding factor in them making another purchase from you. You have the date to appeal to them in a way that they will respond to. Use it to your advantage.
So, you know what needs you need to fill in the market, and specifically what your audience needs. You got acquainted with them with buyer personas. So now what?
You build tailor-made content for your customers.
But not just any content. Compelling, high-quality, value-packed content.
You might think this is easy - after all, how hard could it be to publish a blog once a week or share a photo on social media?
You’re right; it is easy ... to create so-so, generic, uninspired content.
But if you do that, your audience will never care about your business or your product, no matter how good you think it is.
Remember, consumers see about 10,000 brand messages a day. And all of that content gets filtered through and forgotten in the blink of an eye. If you want something that stands out to customers and makes them pause just long enough to get them thinking about you, you need to invest time, effort, resources, and know-how.
But you’re trying to run a business - you’re already managing your team, customers, and everything in between. How can you find time to invest any more of yourself into creating exceptional content?
You might not like the idea of investing much time in creating content. Maybe writing isn’t your forte or even your skillset. And the demand for high-quality content that gets your audience engaged can make content creation feel even more like a burden.
But it’s a necessity.
Think about this: Small businesses that build content designed for their customer have a conversion rate that’s six times higher than those that don’t.
You will not get that stellar conversion rate if your content is mediocre. That’s why, as you develop a content strategy for your business, you must assess where it can improve your customers’ experiences, value, profitability, and systems.
By looking at what your audiences’ goals and needs are, you can personalize your content to help them meet those goals.
So what is content creation?
It’s a marketing method that focuses on creating and sharing valuable and relevant content to engage and retain a specific audience to eventually sell a product or service to them.
It’s a strategy you should prepare to use for the long haul because by zeroing in on your dream customer and consistently delivering personalized content, you can develop a long-lasting relationship with them.
Even if they haven’t purchased from you, content can foster brand loyalty with your audience, so when the time comes to make a purchase decision, they’ll turn to you, rather than another brand.
If you constantly find yourself asking how you can get your audience to care about you, content marketing is your answer, because it shows them that you care about them.
You will need to set goals. Your strategy should lay out both your business and your customers’ needs and how the content you create delivers across both.
An excellent way to start setting goals is by asking why you’re making it in the first place.
Of course, you want to grow your business and get your audience excited about you. But the other goal of content marketing is promoting awareness about your brand, improving engagement, and creating loyal brand followers - because that’s how you get people to buy your product in the first place.
Admit it - there’s plenty of brand messages you’ve seen that you couldn’t care less about. You’ve rolled your eyes at more than one commercial, or even wondered to yourself, “who cares about that?”
If you don’t want that to happen with the content you create, you need to give your audience a reason to care about it. You can tell them all day long why you’re the better choice, but at the end of the day, if you’re only talking about yourself and not the customer, you’re going to end up with the same “who cares?” reaction.
So how do you do that?
You focus on them, what they want, what their pain points are, and anything else that tells them that you understand what they’re dealing with. Your content is a chance to create a world for your audience - but it’s still theirs, and it should be all about what they can achieve or what their biggest challenge currently is.
Why does this matter?
Because it locks their attention. Remember - everything about your business is about the customer. And if you want them to care about you, you need to care about them.
Relevant content gets your audience reading, or watching, or headed to your website for more information. At the center of it all is the fact that they like what you’re giving them, and they want more of it.
If you’re telling yourself you can’t possibly produce quality content - let alone high-quality content - because you can’t do this or that, there’s good news.
The types of content formats you can publish are endless, thanks to free online tools, social media, and the internet. We’ve simplified things for you to bring you a list of formats that would be banging:
People love free things, and content is no exception. Creating intrigue and interest with free or next-to-free content has been a cornerstone of marketing for decades.
What goes around comes around, and if you consistently generate free, value-filled (read: useful) content for your dream customer, it will pay off in the form of higher engagement, word-of-mouth advertising, and of course, future purchases.
You might know what your audience’s pain points are, but if your messaging doesn’t communicate the positioning of who you are and how your product works, the value will be lost. So if you still feel unconfident about making original content yourself, or don’t have the time to dedicate to it, consider hiring someone to do it for you.
You’re beginning to see how just having an audience doesn't guarantee that you’ll make sales, or that they will be interested in what you have to offer. Customers are the core of your business - they know it, and they want you to treat them as such.
But even though the purpose of content is growing your business, you’re mistaken if you think that’s enough to make them buy from you.
If you really want to make your audience care, why not initiate a dialogue with them?
You call your phone company to sort out an issue that requires talking to a real person. The automated message greets you and tells you to select your reason for calling. But none of the reasons apply to you - you know you need to talk to an operator.
But you don’t have the choice, so you pick a selection that is closest to your issue - another automated message. You try to request someone to talk to, but there’s still no option. You spend many long minutes cycling through touchpad options until at long last - a person answers the line.
You can tell that even though you’re probably the 1,000th customer they’ve helped, they genuinely care about helping you. By the time you get off the phone, you could hug the customer service agent for helping you resolve your problem. And even though you were so frustrated with your phone company, the service you received from the agent convinced you to stick with the company a little while longer.
Just like that agent, you need to develop an emotional connection with your audience.
But how do you do that?
By humanizing yourself. Your audience wants to interact with something real too - not just another business.
And it can be as simple as introducing yourself in an email - and not many businesses get this right. As a result, the email looks like an automated message with no personality. And what does the customer do with it? Delete. And then forget.
Instead, try these methods and never send another impersonal email again:
Introduce yourself through an email, direct message on social media, an online shoutout, or any other way by including a short, personal message just for them.
Use pictures of your team for social media and forums, not just your company logo. It's a much better way for your customers to connect with you and they will guaranteed respond better to a human face.
Add bios on your company blog, so your audience gets to know you, and you can start developing that connection.
Establish a brand ambassador as the face of your company in online communities.
And remember - You always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Being direct ensures that you’re covering your bases, and getting to your prospects before your competition does.
Leads are leads because they have a degree of enthusiasm for you. Don’t be afraid to ask them to make a purchase decision or take some sort of action - they might say no, but you can always retarget them in later campaigns.
This tactic is called direct response, and you need to make it a part of your next marketing strategy.
Direct response copy makes something happen now. Its goal is using targeted messages to your audience that spur them into action - whether it’s making a purchase, sharing your content, or reading your email.
But how does it work?
Direct response has several key features that motivate action: It’s trackable, measurable, targeted, offers something specific, lays out defined benefits for the customer, has a prominent CTA, and of course - is hyper-personalized.
Think about e-commerce ads you see on Facebook. How many say “Buy This” or “Shop Now”? Those are basic - but typical direct response models.
You would be surprised how many would agree to buy something from you just because you asked and put it out there.
Another great way to start a dialogue with your audience is by showing them the light at the end of the tunnel.
Your customers like getting a return on investment just as much as you do. So give them that opportunity by reminding them that your offering does just that. It will encourage them to keep engaging with you for the eventual payoff.
Emails are an excellent platform for reminding your audience about that payoff - as well as a solid way to nurture leads on their own.
Think you’re too busy to worry about continually sending emails?
There’s a solution for that - automated email marketing.
Automated email marketing keeps you in touch with your audience as well as new leads so you can develop that connection and move them along the sales process.
Setting up an automated email campaign using tools like ActiveCampaign places all new leads from your website into a database so you can easily culture relationships with those who aren’t ready to make a decision, but still appreciate your value.
But wait, there’s more - in an email nurture campaign, messages are sent based on your lead’s behavior.
Which means they receive timely, targeted information that guides them closer to making a purchase.
And since it’s automated, you don’t have to worry about a thing.
As your prospect continues to receive your emails, they’ll receive pertinent information guiding them to find the right product.
Email campaigns are essential because the more your audience hears from you, the more they’ll be inclined to buy from you.
Only about 3% of people are actually ready to buy "right now.” And hundreds, if not thousands, of other brands are shouting their offers to this slim 3% and trying to pull the hard sale.
You want to be a part of this market too, but it’s highly competitive. Not to mention - once you break down that 3% between you and your competition, there's not much left over for you.
Do you want to know the real secret to growing your leads, sales, and customers?
Instead of focusing on that 3%, focus on giving your customers something of value before asking them to purchase.
If you want to stand out then shake things up and give your audience something your competitors have never given them.
Offer free eBooks and case studies that they can use for their professional development. Or, instead of a hard sell on your landing page, offer something of value in exchange for their contact information.
And you don’t need to target the 3% for this. You can send your messages to the remaining 97% so that you build brand awareness, give them time to fall in love with you because you’re adding value to them now, and not asking for anything in return. They might not be ready to buy right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t convert them and get them to choose YOU when they are ready to make a purchase.
This is what they call trust.
If you want your customers to trust you, one of the fastest ways to build it is by showcasing what other customers have to say about you.
And testimonials are just the powerful motivator that will do this for you. They’re the perfect way to show how others benefit from your offer - without you having to brag about it. They also boost your reputation as an expert and authority in your industry.
74% of consumers say that word-of-mouth is the primary driver in their purchasing decision. But for some reason, only 33% of businesses focus on getting testimonials and reviews.
People are social creatures, and they look at others to decide the best course of action. Glowing reviews are a great sign of customer service - and now you know how important that is.
We all want to feel important, and that need is magnified in our customers.
Imagine how it feels knowing that you have an audience that’s as passionate about your company as you are.
When you don’t have to worry about making sales, you have more time to focus on your next goal. With the right strategy, your audience will grow along with your company - and your bottom line.
You learned what it takes to spark that flame. Now your next step is putting it all together with a fool-proof marketing plan. If that still seems a tad daunting to you, we’re happy to help in whatever capacity.
With a free strategy session with WebSuitable, you can turn your unenthused audience into an enthusiastic and loyal following.
You’ll get the tips, tricks, and tools to do more than make your audience care - get them enthusiastic about your brand and what you have to offer.
Only a few sessions are available, so reach out to us before they’re gone!
Not sure how digital marketing fits into your overall business strategy? Want to learn more about the services best suited for your specific animal hospital? Book a free, no-obligation strategy session to visit with one of our Digital Marketing Specialists!Get Started