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The creation of any form of digital marketing, whether social media, your website, or (especially) paid advertising campaigns, must rely on quality research, and the implementation of the right strategy at the beginning of each digital marketing project.
You must always take the time, at beginning of your project, to conduct a thorough market analysis before doing any work. If you follow this advice, then I can safely promise that you will save both money and a tremendous amount of frustration.
We’ve all heard the old proverb “Measure twice, cut once”. Did you know that phrase dates back to late 1500, or early 1600’s?, It was coined by sail-makers of the day, when sail-making cloth, or canvas, was scarce, and waste could not be tolerated. Well, the phrase may date back several hundred years, but it’s as relevant for marketers today as it was for the sail-makers responsible for draping the masts of many tall ships.
The truth is that most business owners, while absolutely brilliant at what they do, do not deliberately neglect their marketing research. Nor do they deliberately overlook the ‘measure twice’ approach. Instead, they make assumptions. They make assumptions about what they need without doing the research to ensure that is in fact what they need. That is adverse to the old proverb and more akin to ‘just put the canvas on the rigging and hope for the best.’
It’s not uncommon in my business to meet business owners who have taken that tact. In one recent instance, a business owner approached me and said, “I need help with my social media marketing”. So, we started a conversation.
We quickly discovered that wasn’t the problem at all. Through our clarity session, we discovered that her website wasn’t indexed by Google because it hadn’t been built with SEO in mind, and it had very little useful, or relevant, content. The lack of content was an issue for more than just SEO. Potential clients visiting her website also didn’t have enough information to learn more about the services her business offered. So, visitors were not having a great experience when on her site.
Our first step was to conduct a thorough analysis of the state of SEO on her website. I actually offer an SEO analyzer tool, for free, on my website. You can find a link to that tool at the end of this article, or if you’re listening via podcast, visit the SEO Audit Services section on AtlanticOnline.ca So, with an SEO fix-strategy in hand, we conducted a thorough keyword research, which revealed the language and search terms her potential clients were using when looking for the services she offers.
Using this information, we redesigned the website and added high-quality content. Once the updated website was ready, we also helped her with social media. At this time, the website was ready to convert visitors into leads.
If she had launched her social media campaign earlier, without having the right content in place, which is what she thought was needed, she would have been losing money.
So, in another case, another business owner approached me asking for help with his website’s SEO.
We launched a discovery session and quickly realized that his website would need a lot of work before it would be possible to actually capture leads from any incoming traffic. It was clear that he had skipped the research stage prior to building the original website, resulting in a site that was not attractive to his target audience.
Once again, we began with a thorough SEO analysis, followed by keyword research. After we had established the search terms, we
- redesigned the website,
- added relevant content,
- created an automated list building funnel to capture inbound traffic,
- made major changes to the homepage, and
- added a video to increase conversion.
As a result, his website not only ranks well in search results, it also converts the traffic into leads. And that was critical to his success, because it was an e-commerce website. One of several we actually stepped in to apply fixes to this year.
SO, AVOID ISSUES BY CONDUCTING DIGITAL MARKETING RESEARCH!
- Understand Your Marketplace
Your marketplace, or niche, is the most important thing for you to study and understand. You have to understand your competitors, consumer demographics, distribution channels, and current trends applicable to your area of expertise. To achieve this understanding, you can commit to a competitor analysis to better understand your competition. We offer a Report on Your Competition that would be very helpful in understanding the social media position of your competitors, and how you rank against them. The Report On Your Competition will compare your online position against 3 of your top competitors – giving you insightful data to surpass your competition. And let’s not forget about SEO analysis and proper keyword research. Both are critical in identifying the current state of your online assets, trends in your niche, what people are looking for, and how to position yourself to be found by your customers.
- Understand Your Business
If you can’t define why customers would choose you over your nearest competitor, your marketing efforts probably won’t work. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis can help you to understand why customers would and wouldn’t buy from you so that you can approach your marketing from your strengths and try to make up for your weaknesses.
- Build The Right Audience
Demographic research is crucial to targeting your marketing efforts at the right audience. Who are you selling to? You can use polls, buyer research, and customer analysis to define your buyer personas or personality profiles for your customers. Why? Knowing who you’re selling to and how you solve their problems will help you to target everything from your web content to your sales channels directly to your buyer. Your buyer personas should define every age group you sell to, their average problems, concerns, and how you solve their issues. Understanding your audience allows you to match your products and services to the consumer, rather than hoping that they stumble upon you when they want to buy.
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