Top 5 Marketing Questions Your Business Should Be Asking

Nowadays, everyone is trying to manage a business and brand that sticks. Businesses and marketers are very busy with multiple channels, campaigns, metrics, projects, and deadlines. To stay competitive, business and marketers should be asking themselves these 5 questions.

  1. Who are your target audiences or personas?

This is Marketing 101, but you’d be surprised how easy forgetting about this fundamental question is. Approaching every project thinking first and foremost about your audience should be second nature. This would also be why your company exists. You’ve missed the market if you’re not targeting or providing value to a specific target or persona.

If you’re just getting started, establishing audience personas will take some due diligence and a fair amount of market research (try your CRM or client files). But it’s well worth the effort if your campaigns are to have the most impact.

  1. When is the right time to provide value?

After creating target personas you need to understand their job details and where they spend their time looking for information. When you identify your audiences’ primary job responsibilities you can zero in on the various pain points they face daily. With that knowledge, you can tailor your message to fit what your audience needs.

Also, your target audience will inevitably spend time looking for new information and consuming content. You need to know where this so you can provide informative and quality content. That is where your brand’s message also needs to be.

  1. What is keeping your audience up at night?

Even if we don’t want to, we all take our work home with us from time to time. These concerns can offer insight into how to reach different customers. While this may not be easy, by doing some strategic research, you can learn a lot about your audience’s needs. This will help you to provide valuable content and deliverables to your personas.

  1. What will make you stand out from the crowd?

The marketing market is saturated. This is why you need to see a piece of marketing a few times before it resonates. People experience a steady flow of content from multiple sources: emails, social media posts, traditional advertising, and many other channels. Keep it short, sweet and simple. This is how your message will stand out.

Keep your audience’s attention by having a clear, focused message about the solutions you can provide that will address their pain points. Be sure you provide value and consider offering an incentive.

  1. What action do you want your audience to take?

The call to action (CTA) is could be considered to be the most important part of any marketing message that your audience receives. Use 1, maybe 2, CTAs at a time. If you have multiple CTAs, your audience will likely become distracted and confused and less likely to convert. Make sure the CTA is easily visible and engaging follows through with the action it presents.

Website 101 – Your Website Credibility Checklist

 Website 101: These 30 quick tips can help improve your website and exposure online!

  1. Web design counts. Visitors will ‘judge’ your website so be sure to make your website attractive, trustworthy and professional. I liken your website homepage to a handshake – it’s your first introduction – make it count.
  2. Make it very easy to contact you. ‘Contact’ link should be always in your navigation menu as the very last link. If your business depends on incoming calls be sure to have your phone number easily visible as well.
  3. Be relevant and current. A website that displays relevant information to the visitors is instantly more credible. Tailor content to your visitors and consumers and if possible their profile and behavior.
  4. Use simple language. People need to understand what is written on your website. Write how you talk using the same language your customers do.
  5. Correct spelling. Grammar is a must and incorrect spelling certainly makes you seem less credible.
  6. Link to external websites that reference you or your organization. If CBC, the Globe and Mail or the National Post has written about you, link to the stories. Having outlets (even small ones) feature you is always a good thing.
  7. Provide staff bios and photos. People don’t trust anonymous websites.
  8. Avoid cheesy stock photos. Be sure all photos on your website have a purpose.
  9. Visible return and refund policies. What happens if I’m not happy with your service? People want to know the answer in advance before making a purchase.
  10. Don’t ask for too much information on web forms. Web forms are a natural part of a website, but only ask for information you need. Every extra box reduces participation.
  11. Support your statements. Use third-party evidence, neutral experts or verified (scientific) studies. Sources and testimonials are key.
  12. Avoid superlatives. Don’t say you’re the best, no one is going to believe you. Be more descriptive and specific (e.g. “Fastest pizza delivery in town” vs “We deliver your pizza in 10 minutes”).
  13. Explain your products. Make sure visitors have enough information to make a reasonable conclusion about your product and/or service.
  14. Show prices. Many companies decide not to display their prices and encourage customers to contact instead. Prices can help drive sales.
  15. Show your client list. Customers don’t want to be the only one. Numbers and names can help build credibility.
  16. Show a link to a reputable organization. Are you connected, partnered or networked to a university, a governmental agency, a research lab, or another reputable organization? Perhaps you’re service provider, reseller, partner, sponsor, advisor, etc.?  
  17. Testimonials are money. Not literally, but testimonials work well if they’re by real people. This means photos, full names, what they do, and their employer. Celebrities or well-known people are better and video testimonials are the best.
  18. Case studies & portfolios are great examples of your work. Use these to demonstrate your benefits, expertise and explain why you’re different.
  19. Bring on the reviews. People trust reviews and look for them; take Amazon as an example.
  20. Are your payments safe? Provide the information about your secure payment options.
  21. Maintain your news sections and blog.  It shows that you keep your site updated and provide free recommendations and expertise. If you can’t regularly update your news or blog you should either not have one, or remove the dates.
  22. Guest blog. This is basically the same as the previous point. If your users have come across your posts on blogs they read, you’ve more credible to them. Also, you can mention and link to the blogs that have your posts.
  23. Add a career page. A must have if you need new staff, want to expand, or build credibility.
  24. Make sure it works. Dead links, non-functional forms or pages and anything else that might seem ‘broken’ will decrease credibility and the number of visitors.
  25. Build a social community. Use social media and blogs to encourage commenting and conversation online. Having an active Twitter account or Facebook page will show that there are real people behind the organization.
  26. Keep Ads, and blinking banner ads to a minimum. Too many ads kill the experience and make the visitor feel second place. Remember loud sites and pop-ups scary away visitors.
  27. Website speed. If your website is slow and seems to takes forever to load (10+ seconds) visitors will doubt and leave.
  28. Google Counts, Literally. Search engine optimization (SEO) is key. Search yourself and see where you rank with Google. Being on the 1st page counts and so does anything else that comes up about your company.
  29. Don’t put too much content on one page. Don’t describe everything you do, and you can’t optimize more than 3 search keywords per site.
  30. Just don’t overdo it. Keep it simple. 

9 Click Worthy Tips

  1. Call To Actions – Use these! CTA’s answer: “What’s in it for the subscriber?”
  2. Personalize the click – This is targeting at its finest and can make a huge difference on encouraging participation.
  3. Provide multiple places to include offers – This helps increase conversion rates. Examples in eMarketing include the first paragraph, sidebar and closing sentiments.
  4. Over-communicate what you want your readers/subscribers to do – Don’t leave it to chance, explicitly state what action you want your readers to do.
  5. Make your Call To Actions visible – Basically don’t hide your CTA’s, especially behind images.
  6. Remember important dates – People always like when you remember their birthdays. Triggered emails and a detailed database can help, which also helps with #2.
  7. Know your audience – Engage your audience through effective segmentation and re-engage with special offers. When in doubt, just ask your audience what they want.
  8. Give people a reason to click – Find the appropriate balance between content and design.
  9. Create triggered and sequential campaigns – Delivera stated that sequential emails, over a set period of time, have the highest click through rates and can help engage post-purchase behaviour.