Episode 45 of Landscape Digital Show reveals how to simplify your 2017 marketing for growth by getting an audience strategy that includes content marketing.
Did you know that 80% of consumers searching for a product or service are using the Internet to support their decision? Ask yourself about your own behaviors. Most of us will even not go to a new restaurant without checking it out online.
Not only that, we now purchase products and services online that we previously would have only purchased in person. And the reason for this is nowadays the risk of doing so is removed.
There’s more. But the point is marketing is getting complicated.
And that is why you should make 2017 the year to simplify your strategy for attracting and growing your audience so that you can grow your business with the tactics that consumers have come to expect and will be most likely to respond to.
Take Ownership of Your Audience
You have to be the business your audience can count on — no matter what. This means not ignoring digital marketing like so many of your competitors.
Clearly, the solution is to have a digital presence that as a minimum includes a modern website that is regularly updated and used to communicate with and grow your audience. The emphasis here is ownership. Your business needs a home base that gives it 100% control.
That website must include a fresh source of regularly updated information that educates, informs and inspires a targeted audience. The information must be relevant to and searchable by people looking for the solutions your business provides.
Once you attract your audience you need some means for building your list of subscribers so that you can send them regular updates and interact with them.
While you can do this with social media, there is no ownership unless you drive that traffic to your website. This is one reason why Facebook advertising has become so popular for retargeting traffic to owned business websites.
Find Your Distinctive Marketing Voice
According to Ann Handley, author of Everybody Writes, “Don’t get hung up on whether something’s been said before – just say it better.”
She says, “Voice (like story) is another one of those literary terms that can sound abstract and high-minded in a business context. But the concept is pretty straightforward: your brand voice is simply an expression of your company’s personality and point of view.”
Who is your audience and the audience they care about? Your words will show them your understanding, but your style – how you use those words – will make you and your business distinctive and memorable.
This is why business owners need to be intimately involved in the creation of their marketing content. At the very least, be a raw source and do not allow those that clean it up to take out the essence of who you are and why you are passionate about this industry and serving your customers.
That’s your voice. It’s your unique take on this.
Get Better at Investing in Your Audience
Marketing in 2017 promises to be many things, including the breakout year for artificial intelligence and virtual reality marketing. So, don’t look the other way if you get a chance to learn more about them.
But all of this is nothing if there is not a valid strategy behind it. And that strategy must involve attracting an audience that your business can serve by investing in solutions for them.
Naturally, your landscaping and lawn care services are solutions. But these days buyers need assurances before they will step up to make a purchase. We’ve just talked about one of them, and that’s speaking to your audience with an authentic and humanizing voice.
That voice is hopefully the beginning of a relationship. To nurture that relationship you need a strategy that includes content marketing. This is the practice of investing in the creation of solutions – that are free – and predominantly digital so that they can be readily shared online and from one friend to another.
These solutions are an investment in your relationship with the customers you have and those that you want to attract. We used to think of this as answering questions and otherwise educating consumers.
And while that’s still true, content marketing is evolving into committed problem solving, something that skilled sales professionals have trained themselves to do. This is why I think of content marketing to be more like relationship selling than marketing.
Salespeople naturally gravitate toward helping the customers they know they can help and nicely saying goodbye to the others. They know their customers and intuitively know if their solutions are right for them. And when they are that excitement gets transferred to the buyer that is right for them.
This is what your content marketing needs to do. It’s not promoting but guiding the buyer by showing them first with marketing content that your business has solutions that will solve their problems. It doesn’t matter if that’s a greener, weed-free lawn or an amazing landscape environment.
Whatever it has to be sold first. And today that selling starts with marketing content that is online where buyers are looking for it.
- Learn more about finding your brand voice by checking out Everybody Writes, by Ann Handley
- Never miss an episode. Subscribe to Landscape Digital Show on iTunes.
- And if you are on Facebook, please like the Landscape Digital Institute page. I’ll greatly appreciate that!
Call to Action
The call to action for this episode is to do exactly what the title suggests: Simplify your marketing for growth.
To accomplish that you may have to rethink it to be more solution-based and audience-focused. In other words, you need a marketing strategy that includes content marketing