By Timothy A. Zercher – TimothyZ@EasySocial.Solutions
Though the meat of this article will cover methods and strategies you can utilize to increase your online reach, I want to start by having you ask yourself a few simple questions on which every marketing/advertising campaign should be built:
- “Who is your target audience?” I am not talking about the people you are likely to reach or the people you can easily reach but rather the IDEAL group of people that make up your potential customers. The answer to this question will help you decide on the messaging CONTENT you will need to use to not only reach them but also impact their buying decision. This could be a whole article by itself, so check out my website for more info on this topic: www.easysocial.solutions
- “Where does my target audience(s) spend their life/time?” The answer to this question will help you decide WHERE you need put your messaging to reach them. I will save you some time here, if your target audience includes anyone under 65 years old you likely will need to reach them at least partially via online channels such as social media, search engine traffic, or influencer outreach.
Now that we have covered the basics we are ready to move on to some tricks and tips for increasing the reach of your online messaging (advertising). There are multiple ways to reach potential customers but for this article, I think it is easiest for us to break the hundreds of online channels into three big categories:
- “Social” – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn,
- “Web” – website design, website content, search engine optimization and Google Ads,
- Finally, “Influencers” – this greatly influences both Web and Social but has a totally different strategy so I am breaking it out separately.
Quick disclaimer; each of these channels is huge and I could easily write five or six article on increasing your reach on each. For the purposes of keeping this article readable though we will just cover the big overarching strategies and I would be happy to personally talk to anyone interested in learning more.
First, let’s talk Social. Social media is a very powerful tool for almost every kind of business. There are really two strategies I would recommend for you to follow. The first is the “viral content” strategy which works very well at establishing your business and getting the word out about your product quickly and the second is the “relationship fostering” strategy which is a better strategy for long-term but slower growth. A great example of the “viral content” strategy is Dollar Shave Club’s first commercial (here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUG9qYTJMsI). Though it was an amazing success and reached millions overnight and established them almost instantly as a major competitor in the market, they then struggled to come up with any other material that was as original or gained anywhere near the reach. If you are able to capture customers quickly enough though this strategy works great, especially if you are selling a fairly low-cost product. The other difficulty with this strategy is obvious – it is very hard to create a viral piece of content, especially while trying to avoid being too offensive or looking like you are trying too hard. If you are looking to sell a higher price product/service – dentists, lawyers, car dealerships, Realtors, etc. – you will likely benefit more from the strategy we call “relationship fostering.” This strategy put simply, is more about building a relationship with your followers and trying to pull them from being a passive user of your services to an advocate of the company. This strategy basically involves creating regular and engaging content to keep your followers interested and keeping them updated on company news. This is the strategy that my team excels in and one which we have found is very beneficial for our clients in the long-run, though it might not yield the impressive up-front results that more viral content generates.
Now that we have covered Social at least a little let’s turn to Web. Again, this topic is huge and there is tons and tons of information available about it but for this article, we will just talk primary strategies. BEFORE you even start you should check to make sure that whatever website you are using up-to-date, virus free, secure, and most importantly SEO optimized. There are a lot of sites that can give you a quick look at how your links perform and where you rank but I would suggest reaching out to a professional to get their opinion on your site before beginning a reach campaign. If you need help finding a REPUTABLE expert reach out to my team at www.easysocial.solutions and we will happily connect you with a team we trust. Once you make sure your site is functioning correctly there are a few routes you can follow to increase your reach, we recommend using a mixture of both of the strategies we are going to outline:
- Your simplest though not always cheapest option to is by Google or other search engine ads. These bump your website to the top of search results on their search engine and allow you to get in front of a lot of people pretty quickly. This can be costly as most campaigns charge per click to your link and unless you make sure you have the correct search terms selected to advertise to you could end up with a lot of website visitors that aren’t even looking for what you are providing.
- The hardest to execute but longest lasting and probably most effective strategy for gaining online reach via Web is to create your own custom content. This article is a good example of custom content – it is content that has been written by your business or specifically for your business with information or opinions that are not accessible anywhere else. This custom content attracts website visitors who are doing research on your field or actually looking for your services/products at the moment. This is a more difficult strategy because of the large time commitment involved but IT IS worth it. If you own a company that can afford it a great route is to hire a team like mine that will write custom blog posts/articles specifically for your website. This allows you to have the organic reach without having to spend hours writing or shooting video.
Finally, I want to touch on one of the hardest but also most impactful ways to increase your online reach; Influencer engagement. This basically involves reaching out on an individual basis to those who are considered influencers of your target audience. This could be people who write a popular newsletter that your potential customers read, a popular Instagrammer who has a following that includes your potential customers or even local newspapers or bloggers. There are basically two ways to pitch your products/services to influencers. First is let them try your service/product for themselves (often free of charge) and if they like it ask them to recommend it to their followers/readers. If you can get ahold of a number of real influencers this strategy can be a massively powerful business building tool. The second pitch strategy really only works if you offer a service/product that is significantly different from your competition – I mean REALLY different not just cheaper or with an extra benefit. If you have some service/product substantially different or really just interesting (here is a great example) then you pitch that they feature your business as real news that will interest their audience. This second strategy can boost your online reach almost as much as a viral commercial. The trick with the second strategy is that you have to be ready to capture the audience. Here is what I mean by that, though they might find you interesting because you have a cute dog in your office you need to be ready to demonstrate how your core business (dentistry for example) is something they really need/want from you.
Though there are a number of other strategies we could discuss I think this should have given you at least a primer on some of the most effective strategies for growing your online reach. I hope you found this helpful and as I mentioned above I and my team are more than happy to help answer any questions or talk in more detail about any of the strategies we mentioned.
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Short Bio: Timothy A. Zercher is the President and CEO of EasySocial. The EasySocial team manages over 30 companies’ online marketing and advertising efforts all over the U.S. and is based in Southern Colorado. www.EasySocial.solutions
Longer Bio: Timothy A. Zercher is the President and CEO of EasySocial. He has worked in digital marketing for nonprofits and for-profits for over 4 years and has worked with over 60 organizations on their online marketing strategies. Timothy graduated from CSU-Pueblo with his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Business Administration, Minor in Finance and Focus in International Marketing. Timothy started EasySocial in 2016 and his team currently manages over 30 organizations’ online marketing and advertising efforts all over the U.S. EasySocial is based in Southern Colorado. www.EasySocial.solutions