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Digital Marketing Marketing Strategy Uncategorized

Connect to Your Perfect Client

More than just a LinkedIn request or a potential client you met during a networking event, connecting to your perfect client is a nuanced process. This relationship is high-trust and one that takes time and effort.

The Perfect Client

When we say, “perfect client” we don’t mean a customer who is actually perfect. Perfect implies complete and whole. You don’t need a client whose problems have already been solved.  

Your perfect client is looking for a business, service, or product like yours to solve an existing problemThey may fall within your target audience (or maybe not), but you’ll know they’re a good fit when your solutions fit their problems.  

Discovering Connection

connect to your perfect client

The process for discovering this connection is two-fold. It requires understanding the needs of your client and then providing the right product for right scenario at the right time. 

So, this connection is first and foremost relational. A huge part of being relational is understanding the other party’s needs. When you understand the needs of your client and how you can meet them, that’s where the perfection starts to show up: when you find solutions by smoothly fitting your problems and solutions together.   

By understanding your client’s marketing needs, you show your ability to see the bigger picture. Demonstrate how your outsiders opinion  — while perhaps distant from the dynamics of their daily operations — is no stranger to their objectives. In fact, that distance may even provide the insight or perspective they’ve been missing 

When you demonstrate the ability to meet a need, provide a service, or fix a problem with your client, your interaction with them becomes something more than just supply and demand. It becomes a connection. 

Our Approach

When it comes to marketing, not every possible service will be required or will work at the same time. There are different needs at different times. Some areas might already be working well—some less so. The more clearly you understand your client and your relationship with them, the better attuned you become to their immediate needs in certain areas.  

connect to your perfect client

At Stone City Digital, we perform a marketing audit to understand these areas of need in order to apply the right service at the right time to create the right solution. We strive to understand our clients in a way that serves them best.  

By connecting to and with your perfect client, you can achieve a relationship that goes beyond pressing need to brand loyalty. And this connection ranges outside the world of marketing to apply in any market. 

Comment below about a time you connected with your perfect client! We’d love to hear your story. 

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Digital Marketing Marketing Strategy SEO

What Is SEO and Why Is It So Important?

Search Engine Optimization—or SEO—refers to maximizing the traffic to your website from search engines like Google or Bing. It is a multi-faceted digital marketing tool that can boost your website’s overall visibility. SEO strategies are important for leveraging your website’s online presence effectively in today’s digital world.

That’s why we’re sharing how SEO works and why it’s important. Firstly though, there are some key elements that help us understand where and how we can utilize SEO effectively.

Keywords 

Simply put, keywords are the phrases people type into search engines. The keywords you choose for the backend of your website, your content, or any other written material must be picked with care and thoroughly researched.  

Unlike the past, keyword optimization is not the only SEO factor prioritized these days. That’s not to say that it’s not still important! Your keywords still need to have contextual significance and relevance to be effective. This is critical as they are instrumental in bringing the right visitors to your website. 

Content 

Content is one of the most significant resources for optimizing your SEO. Its the primary way to inform your target audience and draw them to your website. Content includea anything from images to videos to blogs to the very copy on your webpages.  

Your content should be meaningful, relevant, and informativeAll of your content has the same goal: to give your target audience a clear picture of why your brand, products, or services will meet their needs or solve their problemThat’s why the visitor is there in the first place! 

There are many other important areas where you can leverage SEO but keywords and content are a great starting point.

Reasons You Want Good SEO 

Now, you might be wondering why SEO is crucial for your brand. In today’s digital age, brands and companies need to take their businesses online. With that shift in service and product delivery, brands and companies need to be found. Good SEO is one of the main ways businesses can achieve that necessary traffic. Here are some of the primary reasons why SEO is important for your business today. 

1. Authority

Authority refers to the credibility and reputation of your brand and business. The higher your website is ranked in the search results, the more authority your website will have and the more credible and trustworthy your business will be considered by your target audience.  

2. Rankings and Visibility

The primary goal of SEO is to boost and improve your brand’s visibility to potential customers. SEO makes your brand more accessible to the broader audienceswhich increases website traffic and the possibility of sales. 

3. Relevance

Using the correct SEO increases the relevance of your website for your users. Relevance is an important ingredient for user experience. By using the right keyphrases and tactics, SEO can boost the relevance of your website and get the right info to the right people—namely your target audience!  

A userfriendly website makes the consumer experience much more smooth and enjoyable when they can find relevant information at the right time. This establishes your brand’s credibility in the minds of your target audience. 

4. Web Traffic

Another important purpose of SEO is to, of course, increase your website traffic. This can only happen when your brand’s search rankings (and consequently its visibility) improveDrawing in more potential customers provides the opportunity to increasbrand awareness, sales, and good connections with prospective customers.  

5. Growth

Last but not least, the simple fact of the matter is that good SEO can help you achieve your business goals and your vision for your brand’s success. Yes, SEO can help boost traffic to your website and improve your brand’s visibility. But it can also help establish your brand’s credibility and build trustThat’s the type of growth that is beyond value!  

At the end of the day, it is this trust and faith that people have in your brand that will ensure the success of your business and take it to greater heights! 

 What now?

After understanding the elements and importance of SEO, we’re sure you’re excited to get started on improving your website’s SEO. We can help! 

At Stone City Digital, we work with our clients to help them improve their SEO and digital marketing strategies and then help them execute them in an achievable way. Reach out to us and let us help your business grow! 

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Digital Marketing Marketing Strategy

Marketing Your Business in the Days of Remote Work

It’s been a wild ride for the entire world these days. While it remains to be proven, I believe that humanity has never before experienced such major global shifts so quickly. It’s 2021 and it seems like EVERYTHING has changed. The way our economy works, the way we do business, the way we work, the way we see our families, the way we entertain ourselves, and the way we live our lives day to day. That means the way we do marketing in these days of remote work has shifted too.

If you’re like most business owners, you’ve been doing your best to pivot your business as gracefully as possible while juggling your usual priorities like maintaining a high level of customer service, keeping and acquiring new clients, and delivering what your business promises every day. And I’m certain that it hasn’t all been pretty or perfect for you. We know because we’re living it too.

That’s why the best gift we have to offer you is a little advice on small changes you can make to your marketing for 2021 without adding too many extra tasks to your plate.

1. Make your presence known on the internet with regular blogging.

If you haven’t started blogging, either for yourself or your business, now is the time! Your customers and potential customers are spending a lot of their time online. Your virtual presence and activity have never mattered, and probably never will matter, as much as they do now.

Overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Simply start by answering the most common questions you and your team encounter from your customers every day. Then get it out there using your website, social media, and emails. This will give you the opportunity to put your business, services, and products in front of people in new ways.

2. Ensure that your brand’s messaging is accessible, clear, and positive.

Brand image, reputation, and perception are extremely important to any business. That’s why you must clearly communicate what you do, what problems you solve, how you do it, and why you do it to your customers online. You should be sincere and positive. Nothing will turn away customers faster than an obvious attempt to take advantage of their negative circumstances. They’ve got problems and you have solutions; it’s a win-win for everyone!

3. Your everyday content doesn’t have to ask for the sale.

No one likes to be “sold” something, but we all need to buy products and services every day. So, how do we balance that? Your social media platforms and blogs can communicate a whole lot about you and your product or service. Your content can demonstrate to customers how they can use your products or services to solve a problem they might be encountering or to address a need they might have. Get creative. Your prospective clients will connect with your personality and attitude just as much as with the solutions you offer.

4. Invest in the best digital tools.

Part of marketing your business effectively is making sure your team has exactly what they need to do their jobs well. Online collaboration and workflows can become overwhelming without the proper planning and resources in place. Make sure you have the right project management and communication tools to manage your remote work. This way, everyone on your team will have access to the data and resources they need to market your business online.

Part of equipping your team is also ensuring they have the proper tools for communication. Good communication with your customers is key to your marketing efforts. It’s best to invest in online communication tools that make your marketing clear and your customer service easier to manage. Clients expect fast responses even when you’re remote, so this is certainly something you need to take seriously.

5. Consider working with a professional marketing team to pull your brand and your marketing together.

Of course, there is no need to struggle with your marketing on your own.

Stone City Digital works with businesses to help them make the best use of digital media. We can help you market your business online and increase your digital visibility using the latest tools and strategies.

Get in touch with us today to get started!

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Content Marketing Digital Marketing Lead Generation Marketing Strategy SEO

5 Things I’ve Learned While Marketing for Startups

I have been a part of many startups including a production company, a real estate website, and a tech company innovating a new type of battery. In that time, I have seen patterns emerge that lead to success and I have seen the red flags of failure over and over again. I want to share the top 5 things that I’ve learned while marketing for startups so that you can see the success you can achieve, as well as some dangerous potholes in an already bumpy road. 

1. Build, then market.

Before you even start to think about marketing your brand, you need to build it. The excitement of your new startup might motivate you to start running for new connections, but it is so much harder to run before you’ve even put your shoes on. Some key infrastructures that need to be in place are: 

  • Logo/brand image: Can people tell who you are at a glance? 
  • Uniform social media platforms: Will people feel the same way when visiting your Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and website? 
  • One message: Is there a strong “why” behind your startup that people can grab onto? 
2. Become or Hire a Generalist. 

SEO, social media, lead generation, content creation, data analysis. There are so many factors to marketing in today’s world. Big firms will tell you that you need to get a SEO specialist to ensure that your website gets the right exposure, or that a social media expert is needed to make sure that you connect with your consumer base.  

All aspects of marketing are equally as important to startups in their early stages. Hiring a specialist or only learning how to do one thing well may bring you success for that one aspect of your business, but this will hurt you in the long run because have neglected everything else.  

Give your business a strong foundation by generalizing. Doing everything well is important to make sure that when you grow you will be ready to bring on specialists.

3. You Will (Probably) Need to Spend Money.

A lot of marketing can be done for free; SEO, content building, developing a social media presence. But you should not be afraid to spend money on it. If people don’t know about your new product or service, who’s going to be your client?  

Designating some of your budget for ad spend is just as important as hiring that new part-time developer because if you don’t have a client base, you won’t have a startup for much longer. 

4. Don’t SellEngage.

If what you are doing is completely new, people probably won’t even know why they need your product or service. At such an early stage, you have the ability to engage your consumer base and share your central why behind what you do.  

Help them understand why they need your product or service by explaining the future you are creating. You can do this with: 

  • a promotional video; 
  • blog posts; or
  • responsive communications on social media.
5. Do Not Underestimate the Importance of Your Community.

Being a part of your local community or the community of your peers makes a big difference to your startup. If you scratch their back, they will do the same for you. 

Sponsoring a community event can be a great way to gain exposure and to network with people you may need to know further on in your development. When you are involved in the community of your industry peers who are more established than you, you may be able to learn from their mistakes and seek help or advice from them. Don’t forget that networking is an essential part of marketing. 

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Content Marketing Digital Marketing Lead Generation Marketing Strategy

Digital Marketing Tactics vs. Strategy

Wishing your phone would ring?

As a business owner myself, I am often (almost daily) informed about some new way to advertise my business or some new online tool that is going to revolutionize my business. These tools could be super useful, and the advertising method may attract attention and maybe even clients. 

However, the reality is often that the new advertising method or tool doesn’t result in new clients, and business owners like us are left feeling like we threw our money away.  

Here are a few questions every business owner should be asking themselves when it comes to their advertising and marketing opportunities: 

  1. If I’m attracting attention, what do I have in place to make sure its the right kind of attention? 
  2. Do I have tools working for me that ensure I achieve the maximum benefit of the attention I get? 
  3. The buying cycle is about the clients decision-making process, so how am helping the clients inform their process and move them closer towards trusting my business? 
  4. If Im getting attention, and maybe even phone calls and opportunities to create clients from the attention, am I properly positioned to do so? Can I handle the work? 

This is where the advertisers and marketers calling you with a new way to market run into trouble. They tell you about all the reach you are going to get because you bought into the advertising opportunity. What they don’t do is help you make sure you are set up to create and receive clients from your advertising and marketing efforts. 

Back to Basics 

Before developing a marketing strategy complete with tactics, a business must consider some basic business and marketing plan essentials. Think about these elements of your business: 

  • Who or what is my business? 
  • What do we do? Why or how are we better than the competition? 
  • Who are my clients? 
  • What problem do we solve for clients? 
  • Where do my clients come from? How do I find them?
  • Who is my favourite client? Where did I find them?
  • Who are my competitors? Who do my favourite clients think are my competitors? Who does google say my competitors are?
  • If I receive more phone calls or sell more products, can I handle that? Do I have a growth strategy?
  • What’s the true lifetime value of a client? How do I know if my marketing dollars made a return?
  • Does my pricing structure support the cost of growth? 

It’s only after we back up a little and ensure that these essentials have been considered that we can write a marketing plan that includes a social media and digital marketing strategy for your business. 

The Magic Potion of Digital Marketing 

Anyone can post an ad on Google or Facebook; the tools are relatively easy to use. You can push out the message easily, just like running a radio ad. Yes, people will hear about you for sure. They may even mention the ad if they become a client. But what they don’t share is the journey they took to decide to become your client and that it wasn’t the ad itself that led them to their decision.  Just like the radio.

An ad without a strategy does not create a client. It may help people know your business name. But that’s about all it does.

Your digital strategy itself must include a plan for nurturing your perfect client along through the buying cycle of your business, whether the buying cycle is a 15 minute, an 8 week, or even a 1-year cycle. This part of the strategy is the magic potion of a digital marketing and simply running an ad or putting up a website will not help you with this. 

At Stone City Digital Inc., this magic potion is our differentiator. Our unique 4 stage marketing process, takes our clients back to the essentials, creates clarity around your brand and your product and builds a wholistic strategy to connect you with your perfect clients at every stage of the buying decision.  This magic potion recipe is different for every business, and we are committed to discovering yours with you. 

The Client Journey 

When you’ve got the ingredients right, a great nurture sequence, and you are reaching people who are exactly like your perfect clients, the client journey goes a little like this:

Stage 1: Initial contact 

The potential client heard the radio ad, received a piece of direct mail, saw an ad online while reading their morning news, or even saw a billboard ad they pass by every day.  Soon after, they looked up your business on Google, by name. Maybe they even went to your website to check out your brand and your pricing. Perhaps they noticed your Google reviews. Two were 5star reviews but there was a 2-star review there too. Finally, they also checked out your competitors, by searching for your keywords on google and decided to hold off a bit, they couldn’t decide on following through. 

Stage 2: Reminder but no need and no follow through 

A few weeks later an ad popped up on Facebook and caught their attention. They took no action, it wasn’t the right time. A few days later, while on YouTube, a quick 6 second commercial popped up while they were watching a funny video AND their favourite vlog. They hit “skip ad” and kept watching their video. Still naction. 

Stage 3: The need arises 

The need for your product or service truly arises, and the potential client realizes they shouldn’t delay the purchase anymore, so they return to your website either searching your business name or typing in your keyword. You’re #3 on a list of 10 or 11, but they know your brand so they click yours first.  

When they land on your website they notice an article titled “10 Questions you don’t know you should ask us before you buy from us.”  They have to add their email address to read the whole thing but you’ve peaked their interest, they give you their email address and go ahead and read. They visit your competitors sites too, but they don’t have an article and your prospective client is out of time today… they’ll finish this later.

In the meanwhile they get an email thanking them for being well informed customers and provides a few details that weren’t in the article or listed on the website. The email also asks them a few questions about what they might be most interested in or if they have any more questions… From here they are treated to a scheduled group of emails based on their answers to the questions in their first e-mail Every contact with them being meaningful and helpful, never pushy. From time to time a coupon for extreme savings is included but mostly it’s great information.

Stage 4: It’s time to buy

Finally, the time has come.  The prospective client awakes in the morning and knows they must finally buy your product or service and they remember that they have a coupon in their e-mail in box, they didn’t delete it. They decide they’ll reach out to you to complete the purchase with you today.  Your phone rings and your sales team does everything right.  When your team asks “how did you find out about us?” they answer, “from Google”.  

Stage 5: After the sale

The sale is finalized and in true professional form, your new client gets a welcome message and enters into an email sequence written to ensure that your client feels welcome and confident in the quality of their purchase.  What’s more, your post sale e-mails confirm that once they buy they are still important to you. So, when they need to buy again, they’ll buy with you.

Connecting with your perfect client 

Great marketing is more than running an ad or posting on social media. It’s a process of meeting your perfect client before they need you and then being available to them at every stage of the journey. The results are indisputable. You know your marketing works, when your perfect clients are coming to you first because they already trust you before they’re ready to buy.  

There’s no silver bullet to any marketing. Yes, we use tactics and some commonly used tools that anyone else can use. However, Stone City Digital Inc. critically addresses the essential questions listed above by ensuring that you have a marketing and digital marketing strategy that includes a plan for nurturing your perfect client through the entire buying cycle of your business.  

The next time you consider an advertising opportunity, ask yourself, “Is this tactic going to bring me my perfect client and get them into my buying cycle so I can nurture my relationship with them? “

If your answer is no or even I don’t know,” call us. We can help.

Categories
Digital Marketing Marketing Strategy

Know Your Business, Know Your Value

Your Business, Your Value

Youre an expert in your business.  

You know your business or product better than anyone and you know the value you bring to your clients. 

But have you written that information down and used it consistently? Have you clearly stated your value proposition in digital spaces such as your website and your Facebook page?  

Why Should They Choose You?

Your value proposition is ultimately a brief explanation to clients and customers as to why they should purchase from you or hire you instead of someone else. Essentially, your value proposition is an outline of what makes you unique. 

For example, our unique value proposition at Stone City Digital Inc. is that, “We build and implement digital marketing strategies while educating, engaging and empowering our clients to participate fully in their digital marketing strategy through their entire business lifecycle.” Our purpose at Stone City Digital Inc. is to teach businesses to fish rather than to sell them fish.  

Analyze Yourself

Now, consider your own business and ask yourself these questions: 

  • What is it that your business does? 
  • How does it make your clients lives better? 
  • How do you do it? 
  • How does your competition do it? 
  • Why are you the best choice above all other competitors? 

Spend a little time with these questions if you haven’t already, and write down your answers. Writing this information down is key to focusing your business’ purpose and offeringsAttempt to combine your answers into a nice and tidy little statement in one or two sentences (or even less).   

Need help?

If you’re finding that you are having a little trouble composing your unique value proposition, check out Strategyzer’s explanation here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=D254suPMpwY&feature=emb_logo 

Categories
Digital Marketing

Is Going Digital Driving You Crazy?

Are you struggling to get your business online? 

You know you need to be online because all the experts say so!

Figuring out which digital route to go with your business can be overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. 

Stay tuned as we outline various marketing strategies to get your business online and reach your ideal customers and clients.