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Apr 25, 2016

Targeting and Connecting with Potential Customers – 9 Tactics

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Targeting and Connecting with Potential Customers – 9 Tactics

The Internet has transformed marketing. Even the small business can now compete on a large scale and grow its profits through dedicated and consistent strategies. It’s amazing to think that we can reach huge audiences without the use of TV, radio, and expensive purchased advertisements.

But the lower costs and ability to reach a huge audience come with other challenges. There is so much marketing “noise” out there, it will be tough to stand out, to find potential customers, and to connect with them in meaningful ways. When you do, however, the likelihood of generating sales skyrockets.

Here are 9 proven ways to find and connect with the right customers.

Develop a Customer Persona

You cannot begin to develop any kind of a marketing strategy until you know who your customer is. You can determine this in part, of course, by who your current customers are. You can even survey current customers to discover their needs, their pain points, how they found you, and what they like best and least about your product/service. But you will still want to develop that persona, because it will give you all kinds of great information as you plan your marketing. Ask yourself these questions:

• What is the age bracket of my typical customer?
• What is the general income bracket?
• What is the education level of people who seek my product or service?
• Does my typical customer live in an urban, suburban, or rural environment?
• What types of jobs, careers does my customer have?

    Once you have a general demographic picture, then you can do the research on that person’s purchasing behaviors, needs and wants, goals and aspirations, and where they are likely to be found online. Take a millennial for example. Here is what you find out:

    • They are extremely social – both online and off
    • They make purchasing decisions based upon their friends’ recommendations and referrals
    • They hang out on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. If they are career professionals, it is likely they have a LinkedIn profile as well.
    • They prefer mobility and do not think twice about changing jobs often
    • They want to do business with companies that have a sense of social responsibility
    • They want information at the speed of light, and they make purchasing decisions quickly
    • They use mobile devices far more than PC’s
    • They tend to be socially progressive
    • Their work dress is business casual to jeans and flip flops, dependent upon the company culture. They prefer casual and flexible working atmospheres
    • Their lifestyles are more casual and spontaneous
    • They like to be educated and entertained
    • They hate hard sell tactics and value trust, honesty and getting value for their money.

    You have a lot to work with here in terms of marketing strategies. You can be more casual and informal in your approaches; you can plan the social media platforms on which you will have a presence; you can set the tone of your site and your blog; you can focus on relationship-building that is genuine. Remember, getting the right connections is not about you; it is about your customer, and that must be your focus.

    Stalk Your Competitors

    Get on their websites, read every page; go through their blogs. What kinds of conversations are occurring on those blogs? What topics do readers seem most interested in?

    Check out their social media platforms and start engaging in conversations. There are customers here you can steal, of course, but, as well, you will see how your competitors are engaging them and what are the topics for discussion.

    Quality Not Quantity on Social Media

    You cannot maintain a social media presence on all platforms. Pick 2 platforms and give those two all of your effort. Except for LinkedIn, remember that you do not have to be business-focused. You can use humor; you can be inspirational; you can feature your customers and your team; you can tell you story; you can involve your followers with questions, surveys, quizzes and interactive videos. If they are engaging and worthwhile, those posts will be shared. Hold contests with worthwhile prizes – these get shared a lot. Think about it. What have you shared on Facebook? Chances are they are just these kinds of things.

    Every time something you post – on your blog or a social media account – is shared, another community opens up for you.

    It takes times to establish a social media presence, and it also takes consistency. Once you start, you cannot stop. Followers will look forward to seeing your latest post, and they will come to expect them. Don’t disappoint or you will lose a potential customer.


    Potential customers want to see you as a real person, not just a business. This can be done by engaging in conversations with them. And it means that you will not let comments, feedback, or responses to go by without answering them. Be helpful – answer questions, point them in directions for solutions. Let them see you as someone who cares, not as someone trying to sell them something. If you do this, when those people are ready to purchase what you are selling, they will remember you. And they will also refer their tribe members to you when they are ready to purchase.

    You are in business for the long-term, not the quick sale. Establishing these connections on social media is like “casting bread upon the waters.” They are not customers today, but they will return as customers at some point.

    It’s also a good idea to get a social monitoring tool. This will let you know anytime your brand is mentioned. You can then check out the comment, question, or complaint, and respond. If you don’t resolve complaints, they hang out there, doing damage.

    Hook Up With Influencers

    The “big boys” won’t have much interest in you, unless you get their attention. If you are a direct competitor, they will ignore you completely. But you can get the attention of influencers in related niches and begin to develop relationships with them.

    Start by choosing one influencer and following him/her on social media; visit blog and begin to post comments. Engage in conversations on social media. Eventually, as them if you can re-publish a blog post you really liked. They are human – they will be flattered. And, after all, your re-posting of their content gives them more exposure.

    Continue the relationship. When you create a great piece of content, send it over and ask for feedback. If it is really good, it just may be posted on their blog.

    Set up Reciprocal Arrangements with Related Niches

    When you find related niches that are similar in size to yours, set up agreements to promote each other’s companies via blog posts and social media. The goal is to move into as many new communities as possible, and this is a great way to accomplish that.

    Targeted Ads

    There are a number of ways to do this. You can pay for mentions on Twitter account of related niches; you can run targeted ads on Facebook and Google reasonably. When keyword searches are conducted, there you are with an ad. Take advantage of PPC programs, so that you only pay when a click through is made.

    Grow Your Email List

    Your site should have some opt-ins. One or two on your homepage is enough, but you can place them on every page of your site and within every blog post you write. Give something valuable in return for that opt-in. And every time you send out an email, put sharing buttons on it; ask your subscribers to forward great content that you write or discounts you provide. Make it easy with an easy email forwarding form.

    While many may believe that emails are no longer effective, in fact, the research says they are. Use great subject lines and make every email count by being valuable.

    Support a Cause

    This cannot be stressed enough. Companies that support a worthwhile charitable undertaking gain support and trust from potential customers faster than those that do not. And once you begin to support that cause, publish information about it on social media; ask others to join in. Publicize how you are supporting it, and publish photos of you and your team participating. Tom’ Shoes and Headbands of Hope are masters of this, and their sales continue to grow. Something as simple as donating $1 for every sale will tug at heart strings, and people like to know that they are supporting a cause with a purchase.

    The Real Goal - Trust

    Connecting with the right audience requires effort and time. It means that your marketing strategy will focus on customer needs not your own. It means that you will be vigilant about your contact with potential customers and meet them where they are; it means you will become a valuable resource for them. More than that, however, it will mean that they come to trust you. Once trust is established, you will have loyalty.

    9 proven ways to find and connect with the right customers

    About author:
    Ben Brychta - MBA student from San Jose, CA. He is big movie classics fan and loves to share his opinion on different thing happening in the spheres of the film industry, blogging and lifestyle. You can contact him through his Twitter or LinkedIn.

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