What is being said about your business? What is your platform telling potential customers about you? How are you defining your business for your current and potential customers?
In the first of our October series we worked on defining who exactly you are and who your target customer is. Without taking these important steps your marketing efforts and dollars are not well spent. If you missed Step One, click on this link and have at it!
Now that you have defined who you are (and created your Mission Statement) and figured out what your target customer actually looks like (creating your Avatar), you’re ready to dig into looking at your marketing process!
Communication and marketing to your customer happens a multitude of ways.
We’re going to break it down into steps by looking at your Customer Experiences.
Starting with the almighty INTERNET.
Pretend to be your potential customer lets walk through these steps.
For example, I stepped through this process pretending I owned a coffee shop. First thing I did was Google: “coffee shops hood river”
Google Results in Order:
- Dog River Coffee Co.
- 4.5 Stars (175 reviews)
- Doppio Coffee
- 4.5 Stars (284 reviews)
- Ground Espresso Bar & Café
- 4.5 stars (135 reviews)
- 10 Speed Coffee Bar
- 4.7 Stars (86 reviews)
- KickStand Coffee & Kitchen
- 4.7 stars (476 reviews)
Interesting to note that #’s 4 & 5 on my search list actually have higher star ratings than the top three.
Where does your business land in a Google Search?
How many reviews do you have in comparison to the other businesses in the search results?
What is your star rating?
Yelp Results in Order:
I typed in “coffee” and “Hood River Oregon”
Top result was a sponsored result – Starbucks (only two reviews)
- Stoked Roasters & Coffeehouse
- 4 ½ rating and 61 reviews $$
- Latest review 9/10/19
- Dog River
- 4 stars and 91 reviews $
- Latest review 8/10/19
- 10 Speed
- 4 ½ stars and 47 reviews $
- Latest review 2/27/17
Where does your business show up in Yelp?
Do your photos match the messaging you want readers to see?
When was your last review?
Do you respond to all reviews (positive and negative) in a timely and appropriate manner?
How easy is it for a visitor to find the following?
Contact – phone and email if applicable
What you Offer
Who you are (is your Mission Statement reflected here? You don’t want to be anybusinessusa)
Facebook, Instagram, Other Platforms
You may or may not have all of these social media channels. To help you decide which would be the most valuable to you, check in with your Customer Avatar.
Where does your customer hang out/live/get information? If your target market demographic uses Yelp and you love Instagram, you best be putting efforts into Yelp.
Sometimes as business owners get caught up chasing the shiny penny, excited about the next new thing.
It’s important to remember that, as business owners, we’re serving our customers, not ourselves.Samantha Irwin
Let’s say you’re a seasoned business owner in your 60’s but your customer base is in their 20’s. While you might be at ease with the phone book, newspaper, radio ads, and possibly Morse code, you can bet your target customer is not hanging out there.
Get rid of encyclopedia Britannica and figure out what Wikipedia is.
It’s important to note that whichever channels you use, your business mission, the feel of your business, should be accurately reflected.
To Do List
Take control of your image that’s being presented to the public.
Be sure your photos are consistent and amazing
Link your social profiles:
(Yelp with Facebook with your Website, etc.) Make sure that each of the channels points your customer to another channel easily. If people want to read about your mission statement, what you stand for, and see what folks are saying on yelp, then make it easy for them to do so.
Block out time weekly, at a minimum, to review your channels, post, respond to customers, etc. By all means, don’t keep people waiting to hear from you.
One of the business owners I reviewed, Chris, said that a customer told him that he drove three hours to do business with Chris because of how he had responded to a negative review. A negative review! These things matter.
Let’s Get Started
This week’s activity will take a block of time to do correctly. I suggest locking your door, turning off your phone, shutting down email, and jumping in for an hour to begin with.
After you analyze each of your channels you may come up with a To Do list of items you are needing to improve.
After you make those changes, share the celebration with your customers through social media or your email list. You can ask for their feedback and let them know your goal with the revamp is to serve them better.
My suspicion is that when you thank customers for their business, share your goal of bettering your business, and ask your customers to look at the updates that (without asking) you’ll receive a couple new and positive reviews on popular review sites.
Let me know how your October marketing work is going! I’m excited by what I’m hearing so far.