Start with the Fundamentals Before Jumping Headfirst into your Internet Marketing Strategy.
(Market, Message, Media)
Before we delve into Internet Marketing Strategy, SEO, and Social Media Marketing, I want to be sure we have built a strong marketing foundation.
As I talk with various business organizations across the United States, I have come to the realization that the vast majority tend to skip straight past the fundamentals of an internet marketing strategy and dive headfirst into tactics (Pay-Per-Click advertising, SEO, Social Media, etc.).
So, what do I mean when I say, “Fundamentals”? All marketing has three core components:
- Message (what)
- Market (who)
- Media (how)
You have to have a unique “Message” (who you are, what you do, what makes you unique, and why someone should hire you rather than another business offering the same service), a precisely defined “Market” (to whom you sell and who your best customers are), and then look at “Media” (where you can reach those best customers). The tactics (Pay-Per-Click, SEO, Social Media, eMail, etc.) fall into the “Media” category.
If you focus solely on the Media or Tactics, you will likely fail regardless of how well-selected that Media is. You need to scale back to the fundamentals. Invest the time and energy in fleshing out your “Message” and figuring out who your “Market” is. By doing so, ALL of your Media choices will be vastly more effective. How can you do that?
Spend a few minutes and THINK. Take out a scratch pad and answer these questions:
- What do I do which is unique and different from my competitors? (Do you offer a guaranteed time frame for your appointments? Do you offer written estimates before starting work, promising to stand by that estimate? Maybe you offer a guarantee for all of your work and will look after any issues within one year after the project is complete. Perhaps you offer a free consultation to showcase the services you have to offer to potential customers.)
- If you think about the psychology of a customer, what concerns or apprehensions do you think they have about hiring the services of a new business organization? “They won’t be able to finish the job on schedule, so I will probably waste a lot of time waiting around for them,” “They are going to be a crude mess and leave me with more work in the end,” or “They are going to give me one price over the phone, tell me another when they start with the job and then charge me something VASTLY different once all is said and done.”
- How can you address your customers’ common concerns uniquely?
- Who is my ideal customer? (Please realize not everyone resides in your city nor within a 25-mile radius of your office). You need to be clear about the audience that you are looking to attract.
- Look at your last 25 customers and evaluate who spent the most money, who had the highest profit margins, and who was genuinely pleased with your service. What are the unique characteristics of those good customers? Do they live in a particular area of town? Do they have a higher income level? How did they hear about your service offerings?
- Start to define who your ideal customer is so you can put a marketing plan in place to attract similar customers.
Once you have fleshed out your Message and your Market, you can start to think about Media. To determine what Media will be most effective for you, you need to think about where you can reach your IDEAL customer.
The Internet is a great “Media” for connecting with your ideal customer who is proactively in the market for your services. Throughout the remainder of this book, we will be explaining the various Internet Marketing channels and how you can use them to connect with your ideal customer.
Remember, you need to start with the FUNDAMENTALS (Message, Market, and Media) before running headstrong into any internet marketing strategy.
Next Steps to Creating an Internet Marketing Strategy
For more help with your internet marketing strategy, we recommended getting a copy of our book Home Services Digital Marketing: Double Your Contractor Business Fast on Amazon.
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