Have you ever wondered why your website doesn’t get many hits or why your social media doesn’t get much engagement?
This morning I was chatting with a good friend about these very issues. Jon Martin is an expert in social media and owns The Jon Martin, a social media marketing company in Lancaster, PA.
I am absolutely convinced that there are three primary reasons why businesses struggle online:
- They don’t really know their business and what problems they solve for their prospects
- They don’t know or understand their marketing and sales cycles
- They don’ understand how to engage during marketing, buying, and post-purchase cycles
They Don’t Know or Understand the Real Problems They Solve for Their Prospects
Before we ever sign a new client to a website, we always ask in the sales cycle; “What problems do you solve?” The answers are almost always the same:
- I do…
- We offer…
- We fix…
- We sell…
Here is the problem with that… Who Cares?
Really, who cares? Think about it, when you buy something do you do it based solely on a product or service? When go to networking events are you inspired to listen to someone pitch you for 10 minutes and never talk about anything else? Of course not! You try to get away as soon as possible.
You love to buy, but you don’t want to be sold! Right?
When you start a Google search for something or connect with someone on Facebook it is always started with the premise that you have a problem. When you talk to someone and realize they can help you solve a problem or meet a need, you want to talk more about that. It’s about you, not what someone sells.
The reality is that people buy when they know you understand them and can meet a need or solve a problem.
For example, Jon and I were talking about a manufacture that builds storage units and sheds. They can solve problems for two different audiences; business or consumer.
In the business market they solve the problem of:
- Temporary or permanent office space – We have nowhere to hang our hats or get our admin work done?
- Temporary or permanent storage – Where are we going to put all of this stuff we need and be able to find it quickly?
- Temporary or permanent workshop space – Controlled atmosphere for various workspace needs.
They even have specific industries with different needs (construction, warehouse, and retail stores).
What about the consumer? They may need a storage unit for:
- Lawn and garden equipment – I don’t want this stuff laying around the yard or exposed to the elements and rust.
- Workshop space – Where can I get away to work on a few projects
- A second attic for storage – Stuff is laying around the house or in rooms because we have no place to put it all, but I need it nearby.
- Pool supplies and toys – Chemicals and salt have to stay dry and the toys are neatly put away and not stuck in the filter causing other problems. Plus, it also can serve to hide a pump.
- ATV storage – I don’t want to risk it getting stolen and the garage is too small
- And lots more…
The point is to know what problems you solve and engage with people around that.
Here is an example from my friends at Real Computer Solutions:
Know Your Marketing and Sales Cycles
Critical to engagement is knowing when and how to engage with your prospects and customers, and when do they buy from you? Too many businesses have not thought this out.
Do your prospects buy:
- Around weather seasons
- Calendar seasons like spring, summer, fall, and winter
- Growing seasons (agriculture)
- Manufacturing cycles
Once you know, you can build your marketing calendar. The trick here is to understand that there is a minimum 90-120 day lead time.
That means you want to create each plan and strategy 90 days before the buying cycle starts. That lasts approximately thirty to sixty days. This process includes:
- Research on the problem solved
- Who you are solving them for
- Where are they hanging out and the best place to reach them
- Landing pages on your website are created and optimized
- Blog and social media strategies thought through and created
Engagement During Marketing, Buying, and Post-Purchase
The final mistake many businesses make is that they don’t bother to engage. They are assuming that online tools are advertisements just like buying a billboard, newspaper, radio, or tv advertisements. It’s not even remotely the same.
You have to engage with our prospects and customers via
- Comments on your blog articles
- Social media
- Offline and re-integrate back online
That last one is really important and impacts the post-purchase engagement. If you have a unique or fun customer, thank them if they share they had a great experience. You or your team should be listening and doing interesting things that bring greater engagement and sharing opportunities and talking about how fun the experience was for your customers (not you) for at least thirty days after. You might:
- Take a picture with them and let them know in the next week it will be posted on your Facebook page
- If possible, do a short 30 second video with them and get them talking about how they love your store and post to YouTube and share it out.
You may have some other ideas. I would love to read them below in the comments section so please do share!!!
Here is the point; your website gets low hits and no impact, as well as your social media, because you are not saying anything interesting, relevant, compelling, or engaging. It really is that simple. Sometimes you can be very spontaneous (and you should be), but you must also be very intentional.
If you want the internet to work for you, you have to work it.
Are you ready? Are you willing and open to it? Do you want to explore some options that can forever change the way you engage with people and become a destination place both online and offline? If so, take a moment and click here to learn what it will take to increase your engagement!
As I mentioned above, if you have other ideas of how to increase engagement or just have a comment in general, please leave one below. We would love to hear your thoughts.