What are your business goals? Most small to medium size businesses today are focused on growth. Whether it’s local, national or international growth - online marketing can be a huge advantage to any business’ growth goals. Consumers are using the internet for every part of their buyer journey. Websites that focus efforts on internet marketing are seeing more and more success when it comes to customer acquisition, especially cost per acquisition and faster sales processes. According to Mashable, “Inbound marketing costs 62 percent less per lead than traditional outbound marketing”. Your customers are starting their journey to buy by reading and researching across many sources they deem reliable. In order to generate more leads for your business, you need to be a valuable and informative source for your ideal customer. Growing an online database of your ideal customers starts with just that. Your website needs to be a valuable resource where your target audience can read blog articles, download guides and tools and learn how to get started with solving their challenges. Are you ready to grow your business’ online database? Here’s how to get started!
3 Steps To Grow Your Online Database of Ideal Customers
1.Create Buyer Personas
The first step in growing your business’ online database of your ideal customers is actually knowing who your ideal customers are! Traditionally, businesses create marketing strategies to reach the “masses” and spend a ton of budget on reaching out to all people, instead of just the best people for them. According to Hubspot, using marketing personas makes websites 2-5 times more easier and effective to use by targeted users. By understanding who your ideal customer is, your marketing will be more focused and therefore more effective. In order to create your buyer personas you must:
- Research and review your current market and ideal customers. What are the patterns and commonalities you see?
- Interview your ideal customers. Get to know why they chose your company, what their pain points are and what
- Create profiles or “buyer personas” with basic demographic information, challenges, hobbies and more. This will help you focus your marketing efforts on 2-3 personas that you truly understand.
2. Create Content Focused on Your Ideal Personas
You’ve probably heard it many times by now but once again “content is king” when it comes to online marketing! Creating blog articles and website pages with valuable content for your ideal personas is the key to attracting them to your website and getting them to return again and again. Hubspot tells us that, “82% of marketers who blog daily acquire customers from their blog”. Using the information from your buyer persona profiles, begin writing blog articles that speak directly to your ideal customer’s issues. Attracting the right people to your website is the first step in growing your online database. Your goal with blogging is not only to build and retain your audience of readers, but you want them to provide their contact information for your database. A blog subscription form on your blog is a great way to grow your database with contacts who find your content valuable. Add a simple form field asking for “email address” only on the side of your main blog page or at the end of your blog article. This type of form fill is the easiest to obtain to start growing your database. Readers who are enjoying your content will want to subscribe and get the latest articles in their inbox!
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3. Create Downloadable Offers, Forms and Landing Pages
Downloadable offers and landing pages are a critical piece in growing your database. Like your blog subscribers, these contacts are interested in the information you’re writing about and are willing to provide their contact information in order to access it. A downloadable offer can be a guide, a template, powerpoint slideshow or even some type of tool such as a calculator. Offers that are gated behind landing pages are more “valuable” than your typical blog article. They have more substance to them and are worth more to the contact, that’s why it’s okay to ask for additional information besides email address to access.
With downloadable offers, you can use your landing page form to find out even more about the contact and see if they are “qualified” for your business. Aside from email address, your form can include fields that allow you to gather information you know fits your ideal persona. For example, if your ideal customer lives in Boston, MA then you can ask for “location” on your form. Use this information to segment and identify prospective leads in your database and create lists for email marketing efforts. The more downloadable content you have available on your website, the more chances you have to grow your database with new contacts.
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