Perhaps the most profound of simple marketing solutions I can offer you for getting found online is to be very, very intensely focused on your core customer persona.
Intense customer focus: simple yet difficult!
That's also possibly the most difficult concept to put into action. Intense customer focus requires intense focus.
Being intensely focused requires you to deliberately keep interruptions at bay. Think of all the interruptions you regularly face: email notification announcements, chat requests, text messages, Facebook updates, Twitter pings, phone calls, meeting requests and reminders, to name just a few... A jungle is much quieter.
You won't be popular doing so. However, you'll quickly discover that you're more productive and creative - a considerable bonus when it comes to being thoughtful and deliberate about getting found online.
Being intensely customer focused means that, despite any interruptions you can't avoid, you never lose sight of your customer which, in turn, gives you a better chance of connecting, establishing trust and delighting them, not to mention getting found online.
The world is noisy and full of focus-breakers!
Interestingly, as noisy and complicated and constantly-in-flux as our world is, it isn't newly so. Steve Jobs refers to the world being complicated and very noisy in this 4 minute video about marketing where he introduces the 1997 Think Different advertising campaign. And the Gutenberg printing press in 1450, considered the Internet/Twitter of its day, introduced information and ideas at a pace never before seen. In other words, interruptions aren't going away. Intense focus is how to overcome them.
In the same video, Jobs states that it's hard to get people to remember much so it's critical to be very clear about what you stand for.
To be very clear, you need to be intensely focused on who's important to your business and what value you offer them.
The issues associated with getting found online
In thinking about this current noisy world, the following issues loom large:
1. Getting found online seems to be a moving target given constant search algorithm changes (many to prevent the bad guys from taking over, and others to improve the search experience). And, yet, the more things change, the more valuable your high quality, hyper relevant content becomes to search engines and those searching. If you're committed to getting found online, you must believe in creating beautiful, remarkable customer-relevant blog content regularly and consistently over time. You may also need to adapt your website technology if it prevents customers from finding you (#mobilegeddon).
2. Competition seems intense! How can your business stand out when search engines seem to make everyone show up in results? That's where intense focus helps you: know what words your specific customer personas use; know what problems they seeks solutions to. Help educate them so they are smarter. Be thoughtful and respectful; share your wisdom socially; interact and respond to questions. That's part of building trust online.
3. The noise level around digital marketing solutions is deafening. There's new stuff all the time; it takes effort to learn how to use each new one and it's hard to figure out which is the best solution for your business. Unfortunately, the marketing technology landscape continues to get busier...
That said, you can't ignore marketing technology. It's what will allow you to automate many aspects of your marketing so you can spend more time and effort focused on customers - qualifying, closing, delighting and inspiring.
Marketing technology will help you manage and optimize your website and blog content - ideally with a responsive solution, capture email addresses and information about your prospects, automate your lead nurturing and provide you with analytics so you understand how visitors use your site and what progress they make while converting into customers.
It's okay to evolve your solution over time and to piece together different tools. What's not acceptable is to believe you don't need any marketing solutions. So, ask around and start exploring. (BTW - I use HubSpot.)
4. Digital marketing solutions won't help you get found online without content and commitment. To work, these tools require a sound strategy and deep commitment to doing your content homework.
Then, stick to your content plan and calendar. Focus on the content machine and making sure it is persona focused, uses the right words to speak to the problems your personas have at that specific stage of the buying process. It's hard work, not glamorous, and I haven't yet come across effective shortcuts. However, it's also potentially the most exciting work possible because you get to connect in a meaningful way with prospective customers. It's real and it generates results.
5. Simple digital marketing solutions provide you with data (aka gold) about your customers. Data allows you to learn, evolve and improve your online experience. That assumes, though, that you use it and review it regularly - at least monthly - and use it to guide your content.
Be curious, ask questions, involve those around you so you become smarter in your intense customer focus.
In other words, be intensely focused in developing your marketing solutions!
So, tell me, what simple marketing solutions have you embraced to get you found online? How are you evolving your solutions? How do you manage intense customer focus and uninterrupted focus time?
What tools help you the most?