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Stop Trying to Be Everything To Everybody

target audience

In today’s fast-paced, mobile world, it’s more important than ever to have a laser-like focus on your target audience. But if you try to be everything to everybody, you may wind up being no one to nobody. There is so much content out there that people can’t pay attention anymore unless they’re drawn in by the most relevant information. This means that email newsletters and blog posts go unopened when they don’t seem like something worth paying attention to–so how do you make your content interesting enough for people?

Focus on your audience’s needs. What are their pain points? Use what you know about them to speak directly to their concerns and desires–instead of throwing everything at the wall for a chance that something will stick, focus on giving people only things they are actually likely to want.

There Are Riches In Niches!

By focusing your efforts on one target demographic instead of trying to appeal to the masses, you can give people information that is truly relevant and important to them. The more laser-focused you can be, and the more you can zero in on understanding your ideal customer, the better you will become at responding to their needs to better serve them. When you understand them, you can start to think like them, become part of their “tribe,” and it will be easy to speak their language.

At that point, you’ll have a huge competitive advantage over any other business trying to make inroads with your target audience. It will become easier and easier to acquire more of your ideal customer, and you will no longer be attracting potential nightmare customers who are not a fit for you or what you offer.

What are the benefits of niche marketing? Niches can be more profitable than broad-based campaigns because they allow for greater focus and specialization. They also generate higher customer loyalty when people feel like their needs are being addressed specifically to them.

Finally, niche marketing is easier than market-wide campaigns because it’s less time-consuming and requires smaller budgets for testing.

In today’s fast-paced world, the most important thing you can do as a business owner is narrow your focus while still maintaining true authenticity with your audience. It seems counterintuitive, but the more you narrow your focus, the easier it will be to target a specific demographic and find success.

If you need help targeting your ideal customer, contact Zebra Marketing Solutions or set up a complimentary consultation!

4 Thanksgiving Marketing Campaigns to Get More Leads & Sales

Thanksgiving Marketing Campaigns

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a challenging year for many of us. Thanksgiving Marketing Campaigns may be the last thing on your mind. You may be deciding whether or not to visit with family this Thanksgiving, or lamenting a planned socially distanced holiday with family over Zoom, and you may be asking when, WHEN will things be back to “normal?” Yet, the very essence of Thanksgiving is about being grateful. We must look beyond these circumstances and appreciate the abundance we DO have in our lives – our family, friends (even if we can’t be with them as usual), food on our tables, the roof over our heads…and our customers!

In keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, any successful marketing campaign must be centered around this theme. And so, no matter what you are thankful for, it’s always important to let people know you are grateful for them. That’s why many businesses take the time during Thanksgiving to thank all of the stakeholders surrounding their business – their partners, vendors or suppliers, clients, prospects and acquaintances.

Also, in keeping with good ol’ American capitalist tradition…Thanksgiving has become a time of shopping! There’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. People are ready and willing to spend some money, so if you’re not on the ball with your Thanksgiving marketing campaigns, you may be missing out on some growth and sales opportunities!

Here are a few marketing campaign tips you can try this holiday season to express your gratitude and give your business a boost!

  1. Give Thanks to Your Customers, Prospects, Partners and Vendors! There are many ways to express your gratitude to those who make your business tick. Send a paper or virtual greeting card, a small gift or an email letting them know how much you appreciate them and the relationship you have. Post your thankful thoughts on social media using a graphic or a video. Or give them a call the old fashioned way!
  1. Offer Exclusive Deals Via Email and Social Media. Entice customers with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals! Some companies even start running promotions early, to beat the buying rush and give customers more time to get excited about their offers. Start a Black Friday deal on Thanksgiving and run it through Cyber Monday for a 5-day bonanza! Use email to notify customers already on your list and social media to entice new customers.
  1. Create Valuable Thanksgiving-Themed Blogs. Thanksgiving is a time of celebration – and can also be a time of challenge for your customers. Think of a challenge that your customers may be facing this holiday season and write a blog post to help them solve it. Maybe they’re lonely, don’t know how to cook, worried about taking time out for the holiday…whatever it is, be there for them! Give them valuable tips that they will appreciate.
  1. In-Store and Online Giveaways. Want more followers on your Facebook page? More email list subscribers? Ask people to like your page, post what they’re thankful for, and enter them into a drawing for a valuable prize from your business! Ask them to subscribe to your email list for your exclusive offers, and enter them for a prize. Get creative! Be sure to let them know how grand the prize is and publish the winners!

I’m sure you’re excited to get started with your Thanksgiving Marketing Campaigns! Keep the spirit of gratitude in your heart, in your messages and in your offers and blessings will surely be returned to you this Thanksgiving!

Download your copy of “19 Proven Ways to Capture More Leads – Today!” or Schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session with ZMS and we’ll give you some new ideas you can implement right away to start generating more leads in your business.

Why Starting a Business is Like Riding a Bicycle

I recently embarked on my 10th Houston to Austin, Texas MS 150 bike ride – a 160-mile ride to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) research and support. I was on the bike for about 14 hours over 2 days, I burned over 7,000 calories, and there were a whole lot of hills involved. In between thinking about my tired legs and how many miles I had to the next rest stop, I had a lot of time to think about life too.

People ask me all the time about this ride, “How do you do it? What’s the secret?” And I tell them, “There’s no secret, you just keep pedaling, that’s it. And when it gets tough and you don’t think you can pedal anymore, you keep on pedaling until you get there, and you just don’t give up.” There’s a lot of suffering involved with endurance road cycling…especially when the weather presents a challenge. Wind, rain, cold…can definitely wreak havoc on your ride. And when you add in the hills too, it can really get tough! But then some rides are fantastic! Sometimes the weather is perfect, and the wildflowers are blooming, and I think, “Wow, I’m the luckiest person in the world!” And on some rides, I’m thinking I feel great, and then suddenly the road turns and I’m riding uphill, battling a head wind. Then the road turns back and I’m flying downhill effortlessly!

As I was riding the hills on the MS 150 this year, it occurred to me how similar the feeling is to starting a business. Sometimes I’ve got it all figured out, and everything is going according to plan, and I feel like I’m on top of the world! And before I know it, it’s not quite as perfect a situation as I thought, and now I’m solving challenges, and I may not know when those challenges will be resolved. And I just have to power through it and keep on moving! And never give up, because waiting around the corner is the top of another hill – another high point!

I recently heard Dave Asprey, Founder and CEO of Bulletproof Coffee speak at a Digital Marketer conference. He recommended tolerating a cold shower every morning to develop your mental toughness. I feel like for me, cycling has taught me the mental toughness and stamina required for entrepreneurship. One of my favorite quotes is one by Albert Einstein, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” So, when life gives you lemons….don’t forget to just keep moving! (After all, lemonade can be very refreshing after a little exercise!)

For more information on powering through and powering up your business, please contact us for a complimentary consultation!

How to Win With Facebook Ads

A winning marketing mix incorporates a perfect blend of varying strategies, each of which is a single component to the entire revenue picture. Paid ads helped pave the way for companies to boost their revenue streams online, and they’ve been around for a long time for one very good reason: they work.

Facebook is obviously no stranger to social-savvy interactions. This space of familiar faces and similar interests takes on new meaning when the social sphere brings business and pleasure together. The thing is, Facebook knows how to make money off its popularity, but it also knows how to make you money by offering paid ads that head right to your target audience.

Facebook’s business pages are pretty locked down; in fact, only 5 to 8% of the people who have liked your page will actually see your regular posts. If you want to get in front of the people who can make a difference to your business, you now have to pay for ads.

What You Need to Do

It’s important to have a consistent ad strategy. Spend time honing in on your target market so your ads are laser-focused. Your efforts will mean your money is well spent, and you’ll be advertising to people who actually care about your brand and messaging.

What Facebook Ads Do

Paid Facebook ads are a great way to get likes on your page, even if — or particularly if — you’re just starting out. There are two particular types of Facebook ads:

  • Traffic ads send people to a destination on Facebook or elsewhere, such as a website, app, or Messenger conversation.
  • Engagement ads are designed to get your audience’s attention by way of page likes, event responses, or offer claims.

This combo has a tendency to generate page likes, which can lead to higher ranks on the social-savvy scale for smart business owners.

What Doesn’t Work

Our agency hears one statement over and over again: “I’ve tried Facebook ads; they just didn’t work.” The truth is, they do work, but you have to know how to work them first. Typically, Facebook ads fail because the back-end of the campaign — or the sales funnel — isn’t set up properly. If an interested person clicks on an ad and gets sent into an abyss of all things internet, they’ll leave long before they can learn more about you.

Set yourself up for success by creating a lead-capture campaign that puts a system in place to capture contact details so you can push people further down your sales funnel. The following tools, when executed correctly, can be great weapons to have in your contact-capturing arsenal:

  • A clean, yet enticing, landing page
  • A well-written call-to-action
  • A valuable offer at no cost (free reports, ebooks, or video training sessions)

Once you’ve captured your leads, you can nurture your relationships with products best suited for your customers’ particular needs.

Are you ready to put paid ads to work for you? Reach out to our Zebra Marketing Solutions team to book your complimentary Strategy Session today!

Setting Yourself Up for Social Media Success

Social media once started as a means to, well, socialize. It’s where you kept up with friends and stayed in touch with family. These days, though, it’s gone beyond the bounds of a fun place to chat with others. For businesses, it’s an imperative part of the marketing mix. That said, if you’re not social media savvy, the idea of tweeting, following, and sharing can simply be overwhelming. To help you de-stress from this madness, we have a few tips:

1. Target Top Industry Influencers

There are plenty of companies and individuals who have tens of thousands of followers. Find them, follow them, engage with their posts, mention them in your own feeds. A positive relationship could yield you dozens of new leads.

2. Invest in Up-Front Visibility

Paid ads, in conjunction with great SEO efforts, are a perfect marriage for long-term social media strategies; they particularly work well if you’re looking to boost your revenue or traffic when you’re new to the social media scene. You’ll be promoted to an audience that’s most likely to be interested in the products or services you’re offering, and as long as the rest of your content is valuable, you’ll likely achieve a few happy followers as a result of your efforts.

Paid ads tend to be a misunderstood animal in the digital marketing world. Stay tuned for our upcoming paid ads exposé!

3. Engage with Your People

If someone takes the time to mention you on social media — good or bad — respond! Customers are receptive to companies that respect their time and feedback.

If you enjoyed this post, increase your social media presence by tweeting us @ZebraMarketSIns!

The 80/20 Rule: What Does Your Content Say About You?

In many ways, marketing is like dating. Think of it this way — nobody wants to be on a date with someone who only talks about themselves. If a woman is sitting across the table from a man who talks about himself 100% of the time, she’s 100% likely to turn around and run the first chance she gets. Same goes for men, of course. Dating should be a two-way street. You talk about yourself a little bit, but you spend a lot of time asking about the other person so you can keep the conversation rolling and engage your dating partner.

This same idea holds true in marketing. You see, there are plenty of companies that spend all of their time talking about themselves. In truth, nobody wants to follow a business that only creates self-promoting content.

What Is the 80/20 Rule of Content Creation?

If you really want to build an audience that pays attention to what you have to say, you’ll spend 80% of the time sharing information that’s useful to your customers and only dedicate 20% of your posts to self-promotion. Thus, you’ll embrace the 80/20 Rule of Content Creation.

How Can You Embrace the 80/20 Rule?

1. Share Other Companies’ Social Media Posts. If it will be helpful to your consumers, don’t withhold secrets! Your content needs to be valuable to your customers, and sometimes, other businesses have great things to say. Not only that, but the share will build goodwill with companies who might return the favor and share your stuff someday.

2. Focus on your FAQs. Learn from the questions your customers ask you, and use those questions to build a solid base of valuable, useful content they’ll find helpful (and shareable.)

At Zebra Marketing Solutions, we’re 80/20 Rule experts. Shoot us a line; we promise to spend 80% of the time learning about your needs. We only need 20% of the conversation to tell you how we can help you grow your business!

How to Become a Lead Generation Machine!

Being a small business owner comes with huge responsibilities. You often have to wear more hats than you could fit into a closet. Sometimes, it seems like you’re running in a hamster wheel, doing everything you can to keep your company moving forward while still staying stuck in the weeds in terms of bringing in new business. When this happens, it’s because you’re not making lead generation work for you.

What is Lead Generation?

It’s a jungle out there, and to be successful, you must be better than your competition. If you feel like you’re spending all your time looking for new customers, but just not getting as many leads as you’d like to boost your bottom line, you may be missing out on the power of great inbound marketing.

In short, lead generation turns you from being the hunter into being the hunted. You’re no longer ruthlessly wandering the consumer jungle in search of anyone who might happen to take your bait; instead, you’re attracting people who are ready to listen, thus ensuring they’re more likely to pay attention to the products and services you offer.

Why is Lead Generation Important?

In the inbound marketing mix, leads are generated by first capturing an interested person’s contact information online (or in person), and then enticing them with quality content and tidbits that add value to their lives. By giving people a “taste” of what you offer, you’re more likely to convert these passers-by into actual paying customers.

Cashing in on Data Collection

It’s important to know as much about your consumers as possible, to hone future messaging to ensure more fruitful leads. Landing pages, contact forms, social media follows, and newsletter sign-ups all allow you to gather insights and data about your consumers’ behavior that you can use to provide relevant messaging and content going forward, to build relationships that turn your leads into customers, and your customers into raving fans!

Intrigued? Book your free strategy session with Zebra Marketing Solutions to learn more about lead generation, and find out how the right strategies can bring consumers directly to you!