Tag Archives: Inbound Marketing

How to choose blog topics

Blog How-To: Choosing Blog Topics Viewers Want to Read

Picking a blog topic – easy, right? Not necessarily. The process of writing a thorough blog that hits all the proper check marks – captures your audience, answers questions, provides value, positions you as an expert – requires many layers of work.

Where to begin? Here is a cheat-sheet for how to pick a blog topic that your customers will want to read:

Research

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Start with some good old-fashioned research. You have more resources at your fingertips than you may realize. Before you put pen to paper, ask yourself these questions:

What are people searching on Google?

Many of us don’t remember life before Google, and would be lost without it. Use this to your advantage by viewing Google-suggested search options to see what others are looking for on the search engine giant. This will give you tons of great blog topic ideas that are relevant to your audience and industry.

Google search on "how to improve your SEO"

What questions do you get from customers?

Don’t make the mistake of forgetting about your customers – they are one of your best resources because they are already using your products or services, so they have an edge up on subjects that would be beneficial to write about, compared to just anyone off the street.

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What questions do you get from customers all the time? Is there a topic or some information you wish they had that would help to resolve issues your audience commonly encounters? What questions do you get in the comments from your other blog posts? Seek these questions from your audience and answer them to position yourself as the go-to industry expert.

Is there a common subject your competitors are addressing?

Look at what your competitors and fellow industry colleagues are writing about and put your own spin on it. This is a great way to both give your business clout and be involved in relevant conversations surrounding your industry.

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Use these tips to help get your blog topic juices flowing with an everlasting supply of great ideas to write about. Still a little hazy on the details of writing a business blog or how to get started? Give our team of experts at Stray Media Group a call to learn how we can help.

Target Audiences

Target Audience – 3 Need-to-Knows

Marketing is all about connecting with people – you must listen to what they want or what problems they face that need solving, and be the business to provide the solution they’ve been pining for. Before you can swoop in and save the day, your business must first know who your target audience is, what they are saying, and how to reach them with your solution.

 

What a Target Audience Is

Target Audience – the demographic of people most likely to want your product or service. Essentially, these are the people with a problem that your product or service can help them with. When you think about it, we’ve all been doing this for ages. Back in your young days, did you ever ask your dad for permission to do something because you knew that your mom would say no? Classic case of targeting your message to the right audience for the best result.

Definition of Target Audience

The scope of target audiences varies greatly from wide to narrow. For example, let’s say you own a specialty dog boutique with high-end supplies for the die-hard pooch enthusiast. Your audience is going to be narrower than that of a general pet supplies store that is geared towards a wider audience of pet owners, from cats and dogs to parakeets and gerbils.

Or perhaps you own a car dealership that specializes in expensive luxury sports cars. This product will need to target a sliver of the consumer population that can afford that price tag, such as business men in their 40s or 50s that make over $250,000 a year, vs. your local pre-owned car dealership.

Regardless of what your company does or produces, every business needs a target audience and a strategy for how to reach them.

 

Why your business needs a target audience

Why are target audiences vital to the success of your business? To market or advertise your business, you first need to know who you want to reach and where to find them.

If you’re thinking to yourself “Why would I limit my audience to a small group of people instead of sharing what my business has to offer with the entire world?” you are not alone. While on the surface that may sound like the more logical explanation – to include everyone – when you have a defined marketing budget that isn’t labeled “sky’s the limit” (psst…none of them are) you need to work smarter, not harder, to reach people.

Work smarter, not harder, to reach your target audience

By defining your target audience and marketing to the people you already know would potentially be interested in buying (or at least learning more about) your product or service, you are able to:

  1. Craft your message to speak to them directly
  2. Make a relevant connection between a potential consumer and your brand
  3. Focus budget dollars on mediums you know are more likely to reach your audience

 

How to find your target audience

You know what a target audience is, and understand the importance of defining it for your business. What now? Go out and get it! Thorough market research is key here, whether that means hitting the pavement to do your own legwork or gathering data from research companies or resources.

Ideas for market research include:

  1. Experiments or trials
  2. Focus groups
  3. Interviews
  4. Observation
  5. Product pricing
  6. Social media insights
  7. Surveys
  8. Website analytics

The goal here is to get to know your potential consumers, what problems they experience, what they do about them now, and how your product or service can make their life easier. Learn the ins and outs of where they get their information and outline game plans for how to best reach them.

Is your product an online project management program for small businesses? Chances are your audience is more likely to be reached through digital marketing – website, blogs, online ads, email marketing, etc. – vs. more traditional methods that may be more fitting for targeting a specific area with offers for your local supermarket – print ads, direct mail, TV commercials.

Need a helping hand to define your target audience and develop a marketing plan for how to best reach them? That’s what we’re here for. Our team at Stray Media Group would be happy to meet with you to determine where your business is and what we can do to help you grow. Learn more about our work and how we can take your marketing to new heights by contacting us today!

 

 

Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing 101

What is inbound marketing, and why should you care about it? Inbound is the new, shiny tool in the marketing shed when it comes to sharing with others what your company is all about and why they should care about you. In the digital world we live in, businesses can’t afford to give inbound marketing the side eye; rather, you should opt to embrace this immensely powerful tool to give your company’s marketing strategy a boost.

The 2-Way Difference

This form of marketing focuses on a two-way communication system, engaging and informing consumers about your products or services while simultaneously receiving information from said audience. Inbound is all about establishing and maintaining connections with customers, rather than trying to give them a hard sell like the traditional methods (although both have their place in your strategy).

Customers want solutions to their problems. Inbound marketing strategies give the people what they want by providing answers to questions, innovative solutions to problems, and rich content that engages an audience and leaves them with a delectable taste in their mind’s mouth when it comes to your business.

The Mediums

Inbound is chock-full of digital mediums to explore in your marketing strategy. A few of our key favorites we like to get people started with are:

Websites are an absolute must if you want to make it in today’s marketplaces. Without a dependable online hub for your audience to visit, your company will quickly be forgotten and consumers will travel to the next competitor that has what they’re looking for.

Blogs are an exceptional way to help engage customers, build your credibility, and do some essential SEO in the background to boot. Providing rich content that solves problems positions you as a credible, go-to source and leaves an audience coming back to you for more. Plus, blogs are great for building a strong SEO foundation to help you stand out and be more easily found by potential customers.

Social Media presence is a vital ingredient in the well-rounded marketing cocktail, too. It offers wonderful platforms to receive customer feedback and to showcase what you have to offer, and even allows you to share that hilarious meme your followers will get a kick out of.

Use It or Lose It

What makes inbound marketing even more wonderful? Analytics. These digital avenues provide exceptional data on who is coming to your material, what they’re doing during visits, and so much more. Wielding this information to your benefit is made easier than ever before with fabulous tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. The more you know about your audience, the better you are able to give them what they want. It’s a win-win.

Ready to get your inbound marketing strategy up to snuff? Our team can help get you started in the right direction. Give us a call today for more information, and to set up a time to chat about implementing these innovative solutions into your marketing strategy today.

SEO & SEM 101

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) have been, and still are, two BIG terms in the world of digital marketing. Knowing more about SEO and SEM, and integrating the two into your marketing strategy, will bring your business substantial results.

The purpose of both SEO and SEM is pretty simple; they help increase or “optimize” your online presence and bring more users to your website or social media page.

SEO is optimizing your website through key words to gain natural search engine results or “listings” on Google, Yahoo, etc. SEO promotes organic, or unpaid, search results. If SEO is done right, you will have a big competitive advantage in the digital space.

For instance, let’s say you are a women’s clothing retailer in Grand Forks, North Dakota. To boost your SEO results, you would sprinkle your website with key words like “fashion,” “Grand Forks,” and “luxurious clothing” because that is what a lot of people would search for to find you.

SEO is a part of SEM, which is paying search engines, like Google, to list you at the top of their search results when a user searches related words. For example, if you have a bakery in Fargo, North Dakota, you would pay Yahoo to list you at the top of their results when a user would search “bakeries in the Fargo area.”

With SEM, you will also use tools such as Google ADWords and other pay-per-click resources to help boost your standing in search results.

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SEO and SEM have many layers. It takes time, patience, and consistency to see big results. Whether you are a small mom-and-pop shop or a large online retailer, SEO and SEM are essential when you want to promote your business online.

Is this still a lot to take in? If you want to optimize your website but don’t know where to begin, SMG can lead you in the right direction with expert help in SEO and SEM.

 

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