Marketing a consumer services business is based on two things: relationships and emotions. Your services are not tangible, they may be confusing to your audience, and you may not be local to your customers, so you need to build relationships with your prospects and customers. This requires emotion-driven stories, transparency, and correct timing.
Timing is everything for B2C businesses, especially service-based businesses. To connect with your prospects and customers in a timely manner, use intent-based advertising to target prospects that are searching for your services as well as marketing automation to target repeat customers based on the customer lifecycle.
To convey your unique services and industry expertise, it’s important to convey how you do things rather than just what you do. This also builds credibility with your audience in a variety of formats, from your website to content marketing, and from online reputation to your referral program.
Continue reading to learn how you can use digital marketing to target narrow segments of your audience and inform them with quick answers to their inquiries while leveraging intent-based advertising, email marketing, blog articles, social media, online reputation management, a referral program, and more.
Many customers seek your services because of a specific and potentially urgent need. It’s important to draw them in with emotional storytelling that addresses their pain points and your simple solutions (services) that solve them. This is the beginning of your customer relationships.
Once you’ve drawn them in, you need to build trust with your customers by showcasing how your services are convenient and easy to use, and that your customer support team is ready to help. This further improves the customer relationship, which only improves as they use your services, reach out to your helpful support team, and establish your service as a routine for their everyday life.
When people have a problem, they often ask Google for the answer, as well as directory listings and social media. To let consumers know you have a solution to their problem with your services, you need organic strategies as well as advertising.
Advertising a consumer services business combines brand awareness initiatives and brand promotion. Digital advertising leverages geo-specific targeting, which not only focuses on your target areas but also helps you gather data on who your ideal customer is. (This is really important because you can leverage both local geo-targeting [e.g. you know Seattle consumers love your services!] and national geo-targeting [because you sell your services throughout the U.S.]) Part of the strategy will be analyzing who is searching for your service and who might be interested in it as well. The majority of your advertising efforts will target people who are looking for a solution to meet an immediate need.
Over time, you will fine-tune targeting on all paid advertising platforms and researching your competition to understand why they’re successful or what they might be lacking that you could take advantage of. You will learn ways to lower ad spend and utilize the best keywords by looking at the search term query report to shape the correct traffic to the website, split testing ad copies to improve ad performance, and researching long-tailed keywords to compete with competitors’ ad spend. All of this is an effort to reduce cost, capture your competitors’ customers, increase ROI by zooming in on high-converting customers, and to further expand your business.
Consumer services businesses need a strategy when they communicate with prospects and customers in order to build relationships with them in a consistent manner. This strategy should be centered around providing content that meets their needs. When they ask questions (via Google search or to your customer service team), what is their intention behind the questions? Creating communications assets (content, responses for your customer service team, etc.) that respond to their intent will help build relationships with them, often quickly. When customers trust you, they are more likely to purchase your services.
Many consumer services businesses are tempted to focus on industry terms when they talk about their business, but this often confuses customers. Instead, it’s important to discuss the problems and challenges your business solves through your solutions (services). When creating content, it’s vital to speak directly to your audience and create content they will understand. Often, customers care about how your business works in addition to how your services work. This means your communications efforts must convey reputability and will focus on customer testimonials and reviews, complete business transparency, and easy-to-understand solutions.
The communications strategy for every consumer services business should evolve with the business, the customers’ needs, and the industry. To do this, it’s important to monitor how prospects and customers interact with your content. This is where analytics comes in on all platforms—your website, social media pages, and email marketing account. Since lead nurturing efforts are primarily about content, it’s important to constantly monitor what content is read, viewed, and liked by your audience. When content is read and liked, take note for future social media posts, blog articles, emails, and more. When it doesn’t, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this content clear?
- Is this content focused on one topic and purpose?
- Is this content attractive? Consider the vocabulary, images, videos, etc.
- Is this quality content?
- Does this content benefit my audience in some way? Education, entertainment, etc.
- Is this content served in a format that my audience prefers
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