The Lighthouse Of Online Marketing

The Internet changed our concept of time completely.

10 minutes of 15-20 years ago were just enough to look on Yellow pages for the phone number of a favorite restaurant, try to call it once or twice from your land line to learn that it’s busy, try again and finally book your table.

Today, in 10 minutes you can book your international flight, answer a few emails, buy activities’ tickets for the kids and in 3 seconds book a table in your favorite restaurant.

Now, that’s well spent 10 minutes.

Every day our value of time increases – we can do much more in significantly less, and the fact that a massive amount of information is available to us at any second about any topic can be very confusing.

As a business owner in such a disrupted world, you need very clear concepts of how to build your marketing to get to where you aspire. If people search for your business and can’t find it online in a few seconds, you lost. If they search for a service you offer and another business comes up, you lost.

How to know which digital channels to choose? How to build up the campaigns? What messages to convey?

Here are the three words that will be your lighthouse and show you the way.

the-lighthouse-of-online-marketing

1: Attention  

The most common mistake business owners do in the “new world” is misallocating their budgets, offline vs. online.

Ask yourself this: Are your potential clients really looking at your billboard driving 80 KPH on the motorway? And even if they do, you really think they have time to read or they’ll remember you in 30 minutes with all the text and elements you placed on it? What do your users do when ads are coming in the middle of their favourite TV show? You got it right! They’re taking the mobile to check their email, check Facebook… And how many of them really see and/or contact you after looking at your ad on page 37 in the magazine?

people-on-their-laptop

We live in a connected world

If you answered these questions genuinely, you can now agree that all people of all ages, genders and socioeconomic status are connected.

Now, let’s talk online. If your target audience is 13-18 years old, some of them are on Facebook, for sure. But dig dipper because you’d be surprised to learn that many of them don’t care about Facebook (mainly because their parents are there) as much as 25-44 years old do, and they spend most of their time on Snapchat or Musical.ly.

If you’re targeting Chinese audiences then forget about WhatsApp or Google. Try to explore WeChat and Baidu.

Baidu, the most popular search engine in China (and 2nd most popular search engine in the world)

Baidu, the most popular search engine in China (and 2nd in the world)

The point is – do the research and mainly ask yourself – where does your potential clients/actual clients’ attention is everyday?

Whatever the answer is, this is where you should invest your marketing efforts.

2: Intention

After you understood where users’ attention is, ask yourself the following:

Where in the “buyer’s journey” does my ad meet the user? Is it when they’re first aware of their need in a product like mine? Is it when they’re considering purchasing a product like mine or, is it when they’ve decided to purchase a product I sell?

These three questions are important to be asked in another version as well – replace the phrase “a product like mine” with “my product” or “my business”.

For example, let’s assume you’re selling holiday attractions. Your potential clients will be on the search for holiday attractions in different stages – when they’re planning their vacation (while in their home town) or when they’re already in the destination.

If they’re searching on Google for “holiday attraction ideas in mauritius” your users are clearly in the stage of awareness. They need more information about what they’re looking for, so your ad should suit this research state of mind and drive them to learn “everything you need to know about holiday attractions in Mauritius”.

If they’re searching for “diving in mauritius best price” they’re further in the buyer’s journey and now know what they’re looking for. Your ad should drive them to do just this – “Check best prices of diving attractions in Mauritius Here”.

You should ask yourself where are your potential clients in their "buyer's journey"

Understand in which stage of the “buyer’s journey” your potential clients are

If they Google “diving package mauritius buy online” they’re now in the last phase and have decided to purchase. Your ad should drive them to buy from you – “Book online your all inclusive Diving in Mauritius day – simple and fast”.

And if they’re searching for the above while not yet in Mauritius – “Save your precious holiday time – book now” or if they’re already in the destination “Buy online to reserve your slot and save 5%!”.

The user’s intention in each of the examples above is different and as seen, the connection between the user’s intention and your ads should be strong.

And it’s not all. User’s intention is also within the different platforms. When a user is searching for “attractions in mauritius” and clicks your Google ad, this intention is by far stronger than if they clicked a beautiful Mauritian beach photo you posted on your Facebook page. If a user that visited your website before (remarketing) clicked the same post, it’s another intention, and it’s stronger.

Clicking on a beautiful photo of Mauritius is a different intention than actively looking for "holiday attractions in Mauritius"

Clicking on a beautiful photo of Mauritius is a different intention than actively looking for “holiday attractions in Mauritius”

When users browse Linkedin their intention is completely different than when they login to Snapchat. Linkedin is a business network where things are serious and formal, so much that many women and men choose a profile photo when they’re in their formal outfits whereas on Snapchat they put a dog filter on their face and vomit rainbow colors.

After setting your business’s marketing goals, understand where and when you should show your audiences your ads and build your marketing plan around it.

3: Engagement  

Simply put – it doesn’t matter how many followers  or subscribers you have if they don’t engage with your content. Engagement is the most important metric you should look at when creating and following up on your marketing plan.

How did users respond to your last video? To your latest newsletter? Did they like it, forward to a friend and comment on it? Did they share it and tagged their friends? Did they send their details for more information?

The best way to encourage engagement is to create valuable content that people care about (and granted, which is also related to your business) and target it to the relevant audience.


Are you creating valuable content?

Staying on the same attractions example, a relevant to your business and valuable content for your target audience would be “7 foods you must eat in your Mauritius holiday”.

Put aside page likes and followers amount. Forget about display impressions. Care about info requests, comments and shares. Analyze clicks, traffic to website, leads and phone calls. These are the metrics that will determine if your online marketing is successful or not.

Following in the footsteps of (tech) giants

Google’s #1 company value is “Focus on the user and all else will follow” and Facebook’s mission as stated in their company info page is to “give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected…”.

What is leading the two biggest websites in the world is the user and in a disrupted world like we live in, it makes a whole lot of sense.

We should all do it too, whether we’re selling a technology, product or service.

Have more ideas about marketing concepts? Please do share in the comments section below!

 

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