#1 Marketing Problem for Small Businesses in 2013 – Noise

The biggest marketing problem for small businesses today is noise – it’s hard be heard because of everything going on all around us.

The challenge is to cut through the noise and be heard by your buyers!

The 2013 Approach to Buying: Think of how you buy goods and services today. Gather app You note a problem, you do the research, you reach out, you wrestle with the details and come to a conclusion, and you make the purchase. Throughout this process, you get input that helps you make your buying decisions.

Given the way people buy today, the challenge is to provide your people with relevant information when and how they need it. Good information that is helpful, and valuable to a prospective buyer, is not noise.

Offer helpful, valuable information: Understand what information your prospective buyer/client needs at every step of their decision making process. At the beginning of their journey, they need details about the problem they are facing. Next they need to see solutions and understand them, including the pros and cons. Finally then need pricing, support, how-to’s, and action assistance.

Craft your content – your messaging – to meet the needs of your buyer at every stage of their purchase process.

Because so many people look to the Internet and search for what they want (Google or Bing, Facebook or LinkedIn), it’s important to have your messages and information come up during those queries.

Message Visibility: Improve opportunities for success in becoming more visible, valuable, approachable, and accessible to your people through social media.

Tips to break through the noise:

Grab Attention: Write creative, catchy headlines (#1 Plumbing Nightmare vs. Leaking Pipes Cause Damage). Use video in new ways (show both the human side of your business and the product/solution you offer – experiment!), make sure you entertain, inform, keep viewers curious to learn more, make sure the audio is clear and that your message can be heard . Try podcasts as a way of delivering greater detail on your product/solution. Creativity and knowledge of your customer should influence how you approach gaining their attention.
Segment and Focus: Target different messages to your different audiences. Increase your focus on attracting higher-quality followers and connections on your digital platforms (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn) rather than on simply the number of connections. Share interesting, relevant content to each target group – this means spending time to improve your audience segmentation, and developing a multi-pronged communications strategy where messages are tailored to your segmented groups and adapted to the social platform being used (more formal on LinkedIn, picture-rich and chatty on Facebook).
Engage: Be social – talk to people, see what they’re thinking, how you can help, what you can offer – and do this in a timely manner and on a consistent basis.
Think SEO: With all of the content (blog, post, video, podcast), optimize for search. This means using keywords and structuring your content to be sharable, likable, and a comment magnet.
You will have to take stock and ultimately make some tough choices this year as to where to engage your audiences in order to achieve maximum impact. Social media changes rapidly, so it is important to have an updated strategic social media plan to be efficient and effective online. Integrating your in-person, traditional marketing, and online marketing efforts is critical to your success.

The bottom line: consumers/clients/customers want to do things on their terms. Adapt your marketing messaging to meet their needs for information, and you’ll find greater success as you cut through the noise and offer value.

Related posts:

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Social Media Trends 2013 – How You Can Adapt the Best to Improve Your Business
Brave New Marketing World
Labor Day ReGroup – Quick Tips on Social Media Messaging
How Small Businesses can Keep Up with Social Media in 2012

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