Create a digital marketing strategy to get results (Part 2)

CHICAGO — Dry cleaners, like other small- and medium-sized business owners, have some of the same marketing opportunities available to them that only large corporations had just a few years ago. However, learning how to use these new tools effectively can take longer than many business owners think they have at their disposal.

In a recent webinar, “How to Create a Digital Marketing Strategy That Gets Results,” Donna Botti, owner of Delos, Inc., a Philadelphia-area company specializing in interactive marketing and communications, offered his advice on how to avoid being overwhelmed with choices. His conference was organized by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB).

In Part 1, we looked at the need to focus on knowing your audience and what you want your marketing to accomplish. Today we’ll dive deeper into identifying your ideal customers and how best to connect with them.

Not everyone is ideal

While it’s tempting to cast the widest net to attract the most customers, Botti cautions against this approach.

“Not everyone is your ideal customer,” she says, “and they shouldn’t be your customer. When thinking about who your ideal customer is and what your marketing efforts should focus on, think about the business you want more of. Consider your current clients who you really enjoy working with. Why are they buying from you? »

Botti also warns owners to think beyond the dollars and cents of customer interactions.

“Which one brings you the most rewards?” she asks. “Not only the financial rewards, but also the personal rewards. Let’s face it, some people can make you think, “Financially, it’s OK. We make money. But boy, do I hate dealing with this person. Sometimes it’s easier for us to think about it more from the perspective of who is not your client.

To have this idealized customer in mind, Botti suggests trying to build as complete a picture of them as possible.

“Think about their characteristics. How old are they? Are they mostly male or female? What kind of car do they drive? What are their values? What other brands do they like? Get to know what interests them and talk about it directly.

Once an owner has that ideal customer in mind, it becomes easier to see the world from their perspective. Botti suggests asking three questions to guide marketing efforts:

  • How do you solve their problems? — Determine what your company specifically offers to your ideal customers.
  • What are their goals and aspirations? — Your customers come to you for a reason; determine what that reason is.
  • What are their challenges and weaknesses? – “When you can articulate some of these things,” Botti says, “you’re going to have a message that resonates with them. You want the audience to be like, ‘Oh wait, that’s me! I should know more. ‘”

Sometimes the ideal customer doesn’t consciously achieve what they want, but good marketing can light their way. Botti gives the example of life insurance.

“I don’t really want to buy life insurance,” she says. “What I really want is the safety and security of my family. Sometimes you have to get into the more emotional component of what someone is really looking for deep inside you at the end of the day, not just the actual deal you are going to get.

Develop the right message

With those questions answered, it’s time to create a message for your digital marketing that will resonate with your ideal customers, says Botti. There are three essential elements to consider when crafting an effective message:

  • The hook – These are the title and subtitle, or subject line, of your message. “You want people to stop scrolling and look at what you’re offering,” says Botti.
  • The story or the value — “This is where you tell an interesting and compelling story about how you can provide the transformation they’re looking for, or the valuable information they’re looking for,” Botti says. “It can be small, short segments. You’re not writing an epic journey here.
  • The offer – This is also known as the call to action. “The call to action is what you want them to do next,” Botti says. “I want you to watch this video. I want you to sign up for this event. I want you to read this article we wrote. I want you to comment in the post. You should always have a next step for someone “one guides them along the way. Otherwise, they’ll just move on. While some of them will figure out for themselves what to do next, we want the path of least resistance. You want it to be easier for people to do business with you, so any friction throughout this process is going to lose people.

Botti says that rather than hitting the target perfectly, owners should accept that there will be a process of composing effective marketing efforts.

“It’s a process that will refine over time as circumstances and your business change,” she says. “Think about the message you gave to a customer before the pandemic versus now. Maybe it should be a little different. Your business has changed. Your situation has changed.

She also says that as owners become familiar with marketing, they can broaden their reach.

“This process can be repeated for multiple audiences,” she says, “because many of you will have multiple different types of ideal customers. But my recommendation is that you start with the area where you most want to grow your business and that you work from there.

Use content you already have

The thought of having to come up with an effective message and material to support a marketing campaign can cause stress for many small business owners. Botti suggests that this material may already exist.

Botti told the story of a new client who came to him asking for marketing help. This client was manufacturing custom products for an industry and bringing people into their store for training. When they thought this process was limiting their marketing time, Botti told them to have someone make videos of people passing by their business. “We took those images and created six months of content for them about different things,” she says, “because it was something they were already going to do.”

Looking at day-to-day interactions with customers, business owners might be surprised at what they actually have at their disposal.

“I want you to think about what you already have,” she says. “You have content. What are you saying and what are you already doing? Every day you provide content to people because they ask you questions. You explain how something works. I like to use the three times (3x) rule – if you find yourself telling the same story or providing the same information three or more times, that’s content that a general audience of you needs know, so it belongs on your website or on social networks. You should take it out there. So embed yourself in your processes to pay attention to the questions people ask you.

According to Botti, putting this information online is a great way to quickly and inexpensively expand your company’s digital footprint.

“It’s a great way to get found in search engines,” she says. “You know what questions people ask all the time – do you have an article about it? We have clients who have created one or more strategic pieces of content, because these things really correspond to what their ideal client needs or wants to know in order to do business with them.

Come back on Tuesday when we look at what should be the focus of your digital marketing efforts and how you can own your communication channels. For Part 1 of this series, click HERE.

(Image licensed by Ingram Image)

William L. Hart