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How Are Your Customers Finding You?

Nov 26, 2018 1:46:58 PM

The digital age has transformed how businesses grow, gain new contacts, and nurture leads. Implementing a digital marketing plan is no longer an option, but it's vital to keep you competitive in today's fast-paced world.

In this past decade, we have witnessed an unrelenting increase in online searches for goods and services. What started out as spotty dial-up connections, sparse information, and slow, inefficient data has quickly made way for lightning-fast LTE smartphones, abundant free WiFi, and more information than ever embedded in the digital landscape.

Your future customers are online and will continue to avail themselves to digital directories like Yelp, social media platforms, and search engine results to get information. Any business that wants to succeed in this new era needs to start riding the digital wave.

How Are Your Customers Finding You?

In 2018, customers are consulting print media less and less. Traditional resources such as phone books can be outdated just a few months, or even weeks, after publication. After all, businesses change ownership, names, locations, and contact information constantly. So how are your customers finding you in the digital age?

More often than not, they are finding you through online searches on a mobile device.

Online Searches- The Numbers

The primary way customers are finding you in 2018 is through an online search on their desktop or smartphone. According to SmartInsights's 2018 Search Engine Statistics, 3.5 billion people worldwide search for information on Google daily. What search engines are your customers using?

  • Google is the overwhelming favorite, making up for over 62.6% of internet searches.
  • Google Images and Google Maps account for another 23.9%.
  • Bing gets 2.2% of total online searches.
  • Yahoo gets slightly more searches than Bing at 2.4%.
  • YouTube, which is owned by Google, accounts for 4.3% of searches.
  • Amazon makes up for 2.3% of online searches.
  • Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter all make up for around 2% of searches.

As you can see, Google is the giant on which shoulders you want to stand on if you want your business to grow. However, having content on YouTube and other social media platforms collectively can make your business visible to around 6.3% more internet searches. This number is only bound to increase as the typical user already spends 116 minutes on social media daily.


Mobile Devices: A Growing Trend

Every year, more people are getting smartphones. According to the Pew Research Center, right now, 77% of Americans own smartphones. This is not just Gen Z and Millennials. GenXers and Baby Boomers are hopping on board. 89% of Americans between the age 30-49 have a smartphone, while 73% of individuals between the ages 50-64 own a smartphone. Seniors are also joining in on the fun with 46% of the 65+ having the internet at their fingertips.

According to the aforementioned statistics from SmartInsights, mobile searches on Google have finally overtaken desktop searches in the United States. To keep up with the needs of your customers, you need a reputable online presence that draws your customers to you.  

What Do Customers Want?

What exactly are these customers searching for? It could be the answer to a simple question like finding the capital city of a country. But if they're looking for a cupcake vendor or an outstanding lawyer, what factors play in their decision-making process? What exactly do they want from you?

We've tallied the results down to three main needs:

  1. Solutions- Customers desire reliable information from a trustworthy source that helps them make an informed choice.
  2. Customer Service- People want to partner with businesses that are transparent and responsive to all their queries.
  3. Value- Your product or service needs to be worth the consumer's investment.

The way that customers are looking for you is directly tied to their needs. Here are the 3 ways that users are looking for your help in the 21st century.

1. They Want Your Solutions

Many business relationships start with a humble internet search. Someone who has a need or problem enters a query into Google, such as " Fix broken dishwasher Alexandria VA". In a second or two, they will see a list of websites, videos, and or blogs with content that ranks highly for the keywords they entered. From these results, the customer can consult any blogs, videos, infographics, and other forms of data that arise in hopes of finding a solution to their problem.

You want to be the one who answers their question. This means you need great content. There's plenty of competition out there for the keywords you want to rank for, but showing up on the first page of an internet search is vital when 75% of users won't go past the first page of Google.

When a customer comes to you on their own accord, it's called inbound marketing. It's inviting and less direct than methods like cold calls or direct mail.  


How can you offer solutions?

Be Found.  You can't offer solutions if your customers can't find you. Here are some basic steps you can take to help your customers find you online.

  • Update all your information on online directories and social media so you can be easily found.
  • Use both organic growth and paid growth to improve your search engine rankings.
  • Your website should be mobile-friendly to keep up with increasing smartphone activity.

Hot Tip: If you're starting from scratch, you should work with a service that can craft and implement an SEO strategy that benefits your business. This will involve various elements like using the right keywords, updating social media, refreshing online directories, responding to reviews, and more.

Offer Helpful Content. Customers want to partner with a company that's a problem solver. When they search for solutions, they want credibility and professionalism. Here's where you step in.

  • Anticipate the questions your customers would ask and create answers to them in meaningful forms of content such as video, blogs, and infographics.
  • The type of content that is best suited to your customer base will be unique to your business and its needs. You may need a regular blog that targets strategic keywords that can grant you more keyword "real estate" on Google. You may need to invest in video if you're heavy on social media.
  • Have your blogs use the right keywords that are both strategic and relevant to your product or service.
  • Make sure your videos are less than 5 minutes long and include subtitles.

They're Searching for Great Customer Service

Consumers are looking for businesses that care about them. This means that they need great customer service. Here's what you can do to offer your very best online.

Be responsive. Engaging with all your contacts matter because it shows that you're not a distant company that doesn't care about its customers.

  • Respond to every review, even the negative ones. Invest your time to respond daily or hire someone who can do this on a regular basis.
  • Like your customers' comments on social media and engage with these interactions in a meaningful way. Remember, familiarity breeds loyalty.

Be Transparent. They want to build a relationship of trust. More customers than ever are looking for authentic businesses without the glossy veil of corporate distance. Here are some examples of how you can present yourself authentically.

  • Use Facebook Live to go behind the scenes before special events.
  • Respond to DMs and comments on content with a real person.

Use Targeted Content. When customers believe that you understand them, they believe you can help them with their problems. Content that directly relates to them generates this trust.

  • Know what grabs your audience's attention. For example, you wouldn't post about how to knit a sweater if you're a handyman. Instead, you'd post content about common household repairs.
  • Base your content on data that you gather about your consumers. For example, you're a beauty salon and your typical customer is a female between the ages of 30-50. This profile is called a "customer persona" and you should craft your content around what this person would want.
85% of potential consumers are more likely to respond positively to personalized marketing like targeted email campaigns.Find-you-customers-1They Want Quality

All the great content and customer service in the world isn't going to make up for bad products or business. Make sure that whatever you do exudes excellence. This goes from your image to every service you complete.

  • Ask Customers For Good Reviews. When you have done a stellar job, ask you're satisfied customers to take a moment and review you online. Each positive review helps you rank higher in online searches, which helps customers find you.
  • Invest in Professional Web Design. Search engines prefer modern websites and so do customers. Invest in an expertly-crafted website that is easy to access on a mobile device. In fact, Google has recently changed its algorithms to prefer mobile-friendly sites.
  • Look Professional. Your blogs, videos, and web design need to look great to boost your image. If your brand is developed around a product, make sure that you present it in the most attractive way.
  • Great value: Make sure that the quality of your goods or services matches the cost. While you should not shortchange yourself, you shouldn't make the cost unattainable. In fact, recent studies reveal that 85% of people shop around for the best prices. No matter how good your services are, if you're out of the appropriate price range, your customer will choose the competition.

Are Your Customers Finding You?

If you're not incorporating digital marketing into your business strategy, you're missing an important component that could benefit your company in the short and long term. As search trends become overwhelmingly digital, your future customers are going to find you online more than anywhere else.

Here are three ways your customers want you to help them in the 21st century:

Offer Solutions

  • Set yourself up to rank high in an online search.
  • Create quality content that addresses your customers' problems.

Give Them Great Customer Service

  • Be responsive and transparent.
  • Use content that appeals to your customer personas.

Exude Quality

  • Have a professional image.
  • Make sure everything you do is excellent.
  • Price your goods or services right.

Let Us Do The Heavy Lifting

At Gray Group International, we're a digital creative solutions agency that believes that everything we do starts with "why". We believe in the power of forming relationships to actualize marketing goals, focusing on inbound and content marketing.

Our team of fearless risk-takers will create a marketing and promotional plan that is unique to your brand, from the web design to the personalized text message campaign. Together, we can explore new ways to reach prospective leads in the digital landscape.

Call us today for a complimentary consultation to learn about how we can help you reach your target audience, nurture leads, and grow your business. Let us do the heavy lifting while you propel your brand into a bright future.


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