Essential Marketing Insights for SMBs: What to Know BEFORE Creating An Online Customer Experience

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E-commerce has taken center stage when it comes to who’s winning at go-to-market success across CPG, Direct-to-Consumer and SaaS customer experiences worldwide. Globally, it has expanded to a multi-trillion-dollar industry, you read that right, trillion! and it’s definitely not slowing down anytime soon. With advertising giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook gobbling up consumer attention with dynamic omni-channel strategies , it might seem impossible for your business to organically find success online but the truth is a lot simpler than you might think. It all starts with defining and discovering unique truths about your ideal customers, before setting out to build your website.

Here at Thought-Bakery, we had a chance to speak with Charlotte O’Hara. Yes, that Charlotte O’Hara. Her expertise in the field of digital strategy and website development is unmatched with one of her biggest strengths being able to break down the most frustrating aspects of optimizing your website into simple, easy-to-follow steps through her online (free) tutorials. From her enviable remote workspace in Bali, she shared critical insights on how to enable an effective consumer digital experience, using audience demographic and behavioral trends. Here’s what we found out.

Know Your Target Audience

“I know nothing about my audience or my customers, and yet, here I am thriving in all of this success.” Said literally no person ever.

One of the biggest keys to online marketing success is knowing the intent and interests of your audience.

There are two sides to that coin. Ask yourself, “What kind of customers do I have now and what kinds of customers do I want?” Your current audience may be made up of previous customers and visitors to your site but not necessarily clients who you’ve identified as your ideal target persona. You’ll need to figure out exactly the audience profiles you’d like to bring in as new members of your client base by digging deeper into what their life looks like, and what drives them to making purchasing decisions connected to your product or service.

Can you explain a bit further what you mean by “intent and interests?”

Learn more about your customers’ typical considerations when looking to invest in your product or service , so that you can better serve them via a tailored customer experience. Start with learning key demographics. Their gender, age, and where they live are good data points to start with. Using customer surveys by Surveymonkey, Google Forms or just reaching out via email are great ways to get the insights you need to achieve a reliable baseline of demographic data.

 Dig deeper then?

Exactly. What are their education levels? What languages do they speak? Are they on social media? What are their interests? What industries do they primarily work in? Knowing this information about your brand’s audience will allow you to: 

●      Advertise More Effectively

●      Create an Emotional Bond with Your Customers

●      Increase Your Sales Conversions

●      Boost Your Brand’s Visibility

 Performing market research on your customers is an invaluable exercise. It allows you to build your brand and shape your website according to what your customers want to see, feel and learn more about. Wouldn’t you want to go clothes shopping in a store where everything fits you perfectly?

Define Your Brand’s Personality and Stick with It

Time for some harsh truth. Building a brand is difficult. From figuring out what your brand’s voice should be to pick out the perfect aesthetic, brand building is hard work.

How do you define your brand’s personality? 

Brand building requires two things: knowledge of the brand’s ideal audience and a value-backed purpose.

First, you're going to need to choose the perfect brand name. If you already have an established business, your website's name should be something very close to, if not the exact name of your business. This will make it easier for your clients to find you online. If you’re just getting started, have fun creating a unique brand name that you can build your business around.

 Your next step brings your market research to life. Using what you’ve learned about your customers, choose the content on your site wisely. If your target audience is comprised of senior men age 65+, you probably don’t want to describe your latest product as “lit.” Be definitive and clear about the services that your business provides, using engaging visuals that speak to YOUR aesthetic and story.

The images, videos, and text on your site should holistically cater to the profiles of your ideal audience. You should never overload your site with too many buttons and features that do not actually add value to your customer e-journey. Captivate and engage new customers to increase the chance that they will convert into a new client or atleast be enticed to learn more about the value your product or service will bring to their lives.

The Devil is in the Data

Just in case it hasn't been emphasized enough already, understanding your customers’ behavior leads to increased client consideration and sales conversions.

However, make no mistake. You can learn all about the demographics of your customers, but how can you measure the success of your marketing campaigns once they're actually on your website?

 Analytics & insights are key.

Every website platform worth its salt has an analytics toolset and dashboard that allows the site’s owner to review page viewability and reach performance of their website. WordPress allows you to choose from several different plugins, Squarespace created Squarespace Analytics, and there’s a bunch more you can tap into.

 Once you've got that setup, Google Analytics should be your next step. It’s simple to install and tracks tons of useful information about your site.

Some of the most important metrics that Google Analytics tracks are page visits, bounce rate, unique visitors, and conversions.

Studying your website’s performance will make it easier for you to determine which pages are performing well and which pages should be changed or scrapped. Tracking metrics helps you to maintain a satisfaction-based customer experience as you’re working to improve their attention time and their ability to understand the immense value of your proposition.

So what are some simple, effective digital marketing strategies small businesses can employ to gain their target following?

Social media 101

Utilizing social media can be wildly effective when it comes to expanding your brand’s reach and engaging your audience. Over 71% of internet users worldwide have social media accounts. Talk about reach. Key points to remember:

  1. Using social media won’t be beneficial (just yet) if you have a low follower count and engagement rate, as well as a consistent content marketing posting cadence. Improve those metrics prior to employing social media as one of your primary marketing tools.

  2. All of your posts should point your audience back to your website. Your site is where the magic happens, users experience your brand and potentially become customers.

  3. Be authentic. There’s enough media saturation as is. To really stand out, you’ve got to stay true to your value prop but also ensure the messaging of your content is relevant to your target audience lifestyles.

hit up their inbox

Did you know that email marketing campaigns have some of the best conversion rates across the board? Why? They help to keep customers engaged with your brand for the long-term, your customers are kept up-to-date with any news or releases, and you can offer them exclusive deals.  Charlotte recommends that your calls-to-action (CTAs) include opt-in incentives for email subscriptions. This can help to boost your lead generations and can be featured organically in pop-ups on your website.

Final Thoughts

Building an effective website for your business is the first step toward experiencing online success. Thought-Bakery is dedicated to helping your business grow to exciting new heights by utilizing proven marketing strategies and providing you will the tools to succeed. If you are interested in learning more about what we do, feel free to contact us via our website for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!