Take Estate Agency for example, how can an agency effectively communicate what sets them apart from their competitors? This becomes more of a challenge when potential customers conduct so much of their initial research and buying journey online, before meeting or even talking to an actual human!
In an industry like Estate Agency where relationships are key you have to work hard to start building them via your website.
Step 1 - Know your ideal clients
The key to successfully marketing anything is knowing who you are trying to sell it to. This is just as true for businesses who aren’t selling a tangible product and those who are. Any marketing strategy demands you need to do some quite thorough work on your client personas before you can work out which messages will resonate with them. Think about who your ideal customer is, what they do, what drives them to look for services and what their pain pointsare. There are free online resources you can use for persona building. Taking the time to work this out will help you to be much more targetedin your marketing efforts.
Step 2 - Understand their problems
Often service businesses are guilty of putting themselves front and centre on their websites, it is tempting to have pages of text describing in detail what they do, how, why and when they were founded, the company vision etc. It is more effective in marketing terms however to look at the information you provide in terms of how you can solve your potential customer’s problems. Describe their problem and then how you can solve it. This is where having a very clear idea of your ideal client is helpful. Presenting potential clients with information in a ‘problem/solution’ format makes it easy for them to see how what you are offering is useful to them. Have a look at your web copy - if you are using words like ‘we’ ‘our’ and ‘us’ more than ‘you’ and ‘your’ you may need to look at your messaging.
Step 3 - Become a Thought Leader
Thought Leadership is one of those phrases which you often hear used but what do we actually mean by it?
Put simply, using your website to demonstrate your firm's expertise in it's sector. Use a blog or news page to explore relevant topics and provide useful, high value information which clearly demonstrates you are knowledgeable and trustworthy. Provide resources for downloads, whitepapers, instructional videos, industry insights. This kind of content on your website will start to buildtrust in website visitors, especially if they have come to your website whilst researching a particular problem. Having well written, useful content on your website isalso a key part of your SEO strategy. We have discussed the benefits of content for SEO in many posts before – have a look at this post for more detail on this.
Step 4 - Make your website work for you
You have to look at your website as more than just an online shop window - Think about the steps necessary to turn website visitors into leads and then, hopefully clients. First you need to attract visitors to your site – this is done in a number of ways, advertising, content, social media and online search. Onceyou have visitors to your site, you want to convert those visitors into leads – this is done with online forms, calls to action, landing pages and sign-up pages. Think about what you are offering to persuade an anonymous site visit to a lead - i.e., someone who has made contact in one way or another, by requesting a download or signing up to receive further information from you. From leads you are looking to create customers - what this means for your business will depend on your sector – to take estate agency as an example again, the close phase may mean booking a valuation or consultation with you.
Step 5 - Keep at it!
Your website should be viewed as a dynamic, evolving thing rather than a static online brochure which has been published and is then forgotten. In terms of search visibility, content loses potency over time so it is important to keep adding fresh material to your site. This also shows regular visitors that your site is well maintained and you are an active and engaged business. If you know that you lack the time and the resources to maintain a regular content strategy, consider outsourcing to a specialist digital agency like Rumble. See our services for more information on our digital marketing services for businesses or to download our free top tips document.