When it comes to online marketing, how are you?
Do you struggle to create a message that resonates with customers?
Do your web pages, or social media pages continually fail to convert visitors into buyers?
If you face any of these challenges, consider this article godsend. I am not saying these words for the sake of it. These words come from the bottom of my heart.
Some time ago, I used to struggle with online marketing. Things were bleak— very bleak.
My website attracted very few visitors. It could go for days without drawing even a single visitor. To make the matter worse, only a handful of them ever read my blog posts.
The lack of visitors was not limited to my website.
My social media pages too lacked traffic and engagement. Nobody ever left comments, shared the posts or even liked them.
I wasted precious time and money, doing the wrong things that never improved my online marketing goals. I read one online marketing tactic after another, but I never found answers to having an effective online marketing campaign.
After a long struggle, things changed for the better. I started attracting more visitors and leads through my online resources
This happened when I discovered that there’s a secret to being successful in online marketing.
Amazingly, the secret has to do with three things— that I will discuss shortly.
Therefore, if you’ve been having a marketing struggle like me, today I want to share with you the secret that changed my online marketing so that you can earn more from your website.
Once you understand it, you’ll no longer struggle to reach target customers with your online marketing content.
Instead, every content you write will bring you thousands of customers, and unbelievable profits. I won’t be surprised if your website could become as successful as Amazon, eBay or Alibaba in attracting customers–but on a smaller scale.
Ready for this transformation?
The Basics of Selling to Customers in The Horticulture Industry Apply in Online Marketing
At the foundation of every effective online marketing strategy is:
- A clear understanding of who is your customer
- The problems he or she faces,
- And how your product or service will solve his or her problems.
Without such an understanding, online marketing success will be a pipe dream.
Without understanding, all about online marketing, your website will continue attracting little or sales year after year.
Even if it manages to sell to a customer, it will be out of sheer luck, nothing else.
Therefore, to guarantee success, you must clearly know who is your customer, his problems, and how your products will be of benefit. Do that and you’ll never struggle to market your products online.
Not if you follow the ten steps below.
Step # 1: Who is Your Customer? Answer This, and You’ll Outshine Your competitors!
Believe it or not, you already know your customer.
The problem—that is probably limiting your online marketing success is how you use words, to reach him or her.
I am saying this because all horticulture businesses have three customer options. They can choose to sell to:
- Business customers
- Alternatively, to both
If your horticultural company sells to dealers, agents or distributors, you sell to business customers. Your company is, therefore, a B2B company.
If you sell directly to consumers, your company is a B2C company. If your horticultural company sells both to business customers (i.e., Dealers, agents or distributors), and directly to consumers, your company is a B2B and B2C company.
This clarification on who your customer is, may look elemental, but it is important to understanding the NEEDS of your customer.
Step #2: Identify the Problems of Target Customers.
The type of problem your customer faces will depend on who is your customer.
Let me explain.
Let us say you sell petrol irrigation pumps.
If your target customer is a distributor, agent, or dealer, most likely, the customer will be interested in
- The profit margins he’ll get selling the pump,
- Acceptability of the product by the consumer,
- The amount of discount he will enjoy if he pays within the stipulated credit period
- The credit period he’ll enjoy.
If you are selling the same equipment directly to a consumer, he will be interested in:
- The cost of the petrol irrigation pump
- The amount of fuel it will use per hour,
- Price and availability of spare parts,
- It’s efficiency,
- Discharge rate,
Do you now see? Same product, different customers, and various concerns or problems?
Now that we have known, needs of customers vary depending on who they are, to create an effective online marketing strategy, the next step is to
Step # 3: Determine the Problem That Your Product or Service Solves.
Up to this point, I know things are easy and direct.
Depending on who is your customer, it is easy to say my product solves this problem or that problem.
The challenge that you may face is creating online content for your customer.
That is where things get complicated—and that’s the focus of this post.
Most horticultural companies often create the wrong content. They either create content that focuses only on the outcome of using the product or material that doesn’t solve a customer’s problem.
Let me explain:
From the example of the irrigation petrol pump. If your target customer is a distributor, then you create content that geared to a consumer, do you expect to succeed in your online marketing?
Of course not.
To succeed in online marketing, you have to create content that addresses a customer’s concern.
I often see many horticultural companies create bulletins, ads, web copy, newsletters, and other marketing material that only focuses on the outcomes of using a product.
It is easy to say:
“My product will kill all the mango weevils in your farm, or say goodbye to mango weevils, or have a mango farm that is free of weevils.”
However, it is not easy to articulate the “Before and After state” of the customer.
Writing content that focuses on the outcome of using a product is not bad at all.
The only problem is such content fails to express the state that the customer was before using the product.
That is contrary to great online marketing. Effective digital marketing requires that you show the “Before and After state” of the customer.
Customers don’t buy products or services.
They buy access to the after state.
If you can prove how your product will move customers from a state of suffering, and pain, to a state of happiness and wealth, you’ll be more successful in your online marketing than your competitors.
Step # 4: Determine the “Before state” and the “After state.”
Great online marketing needs that you clearly show the move from the “Before” state to the desired “After” state. By doing that, the marketing message will resonate with the feelings, desires, and belief in the prospect. The word will stand a higher chance of success.
How do you exactly decide the “Before” and “After” of your customer?
To accurately define the “Before” and “After” state, you’ll ask yourself a series of questions.
- What does your prospect HAVE in the “Before” state? What does your prospect HAVE in the “After” state?
- How does your prospect feel in the “Before” state? How does your prospect feel in the “After” state?
- What is an average day like for your prospect in the “Before” state? What is an average day like for your prospect in the “After” state?
- What is your prospect’s STATUS in the “Before” state? What is your prospect’s status in the after state?
Answer this questions, and you’ll have a rock-solid online marketing campaign.
Let me explain:
Our example of the petrol irrigation pump will be perfect.
Imagine the water pump—we want to sell has the following features.
- It is 6.5 HP petrol pump
- Has a discharge rate of 30 M3 per hour
- Has a head of 45 meters
- It’s efficient in fuel consumption. With only 2 liters of petrol, you will pump 210 M3 of water
- It can operate continuously for 12 hours without losing power, overheating, or being inefficient.
A horticultural farmer who wants to buy a new petrol pump could have many problems with his old pump. The high issues could be:
- The high cost of operating his current pump,
- The inefficiency of the old pump due to frequent breakdowns
- also, many other problems.
For us to be effective in marketing the petrol pump online, one blog post, or ad, or video cannot tackle every problem that a prospective buyer will have.
The post or whatever content you’ll use to market the petrol pump MUST focus on one problem at a time. You’ll have to create content that talks about the efficiency of the shoe, another about fuel economy, another about its quality, and so on.
For that reason, let us create a “before and after state” for the farmer who is spending much money on fueling his old petrol irrigation pump.
|Have||High fuel cost||Cost of fuel reduces by 30 %|
|Feel||Frustrated about the skyrocketing cost of irrigation due to a high amount of fuel his current pump is using.||Happy that he has finally reduced the cost of fuel|
|Average day||A day filled with worries of the mounting production cost||A day filled with the hope of a better future and increased profit|
|Status||Uneconomical production||Makes a profit|
This petrol irrigation pump will transform its buyers.
- From HAVING a considerable irrigation petrol bill to making a 30% savings on the bill.
- From FEELING scared and frustrated to confident and happy that his fuel bill is affordable.
- From having an AVERAGE DAY filled with worries of mounting production cost to a day filled with the hope of increased profitability.
- From a status of a failed horticultural farmer to a “highly successful and revered farmer.”
Once you write down the “before and after state” of the customer, the marketing copy writes itself.
- Irrigating your valued crops during the dry season does not have to be a scary, frustrating experience.
- Say goodbye to high fuel cost. By using this petrol irrigation pump, you’ll save up to 30% in fuel costs.
- When your crops grow green and healthy—and ready to meet market demand, you’ll be a highly successful farmer.
What you need to do with these points you’ve jotted down articulating the movement from the before to after state is to give them more flesh.
Step # 5: To Succeed in Online Marketing, Find the Keywords Prospects Use to Find Solutions to Their Problems!
To explain this point, I’ll refer to our petrol irrigation pump:
The horticultural farmer, interested in buying a new petrol irrigation pump, will have a problem that is different to that of a distributor. Likewise, the distributor will have his own unique needs.
If your customer is the farmer, you’ll have to use keywords in your content, related to his problems. If your customer is the distributor, you’ll have to find keywords that he’ll use to find solutions to those problems.
You can’t interchange their keywords then expect to have a compelling online marketing message.
Don’t falter in your online marketing like many horticulture businesses.
Use keywords that match the customer intent!
How to Find Keywords That Match a Customer’s Intent
To start our keyword research, we have to start by brainstorming about the potential keywords a customer will use.
This process of brainstorming is not complicated. It merely involves thinking of the most likely keywords a potential customer will use in an online search. The keywords we think about will be a basis for finding other keywords.
After a little brainstorming, I got the following keywords:
- Fuel efficient petrol irrigation pump
- Best petrol irrigation pump
- Low maintenance petrol irrigation pump
- Best petrol 6.5 HP irrigation pump
Conduct a Google Search of the Keywords You’ve Just Brainstormed
Test the keywords you’ve just brainstormed by searching them on Google. As you do this search, observe the search results. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Do the search results match the intent that you have in finding an efficient fuel pump?
If they do, then, the keyword is a good candidate for your content.
Another thing to look out for. in the search results, is the related searches section at the bottom of the search page. Click on each of them.
Ask yourself, “Do the search results match the intent I have in finding a fuel efficient petrol pump?” If they do, then the keyword is a potential candidate for your content.
When I searched the keyword economical fuel efficient petrol irrigation pumps, the top result did not answer my query. If I were targeting that keyword, it would be an excellent opportunity because it has very little competition
Conduct a Search on Popular Forums Like Quora and Other Horticultural Industry Forums
The intention of this is, “To find everyday keywords that customers are using to find a petrol irrigation pump that you might have missed.” We don’t just want to have a list of 3-5 or 10 keywords. What we want is to expand our keyword list, and find keywords that we will use in our content. The more related keywords we have, the better for us.
Because we’ll use all the possible keywords in our content.
Conduct a Search On Popular E-commerce sites like Amazon, and Alibaba.
The purpose of this is to find actual products that use the keyword. You may be suprised to find no products use the keywords you’ve brainstormed. For example, when used the keyword petrol irrigation pumps, they were no products using that keyword. But when I changed it to gasoline petrol water pumps, a number of products popped up. in the process of doing that, I found out that people use gas petrol pump in their searches!
By doing this, you can mirror the success of the product and use it as an inspiration for yours. Don’t forget to list down the keywords that the product is using. The keyword could be a potential one for your product.
Once you are satisfied that you’ve found the right keywords for your content, it is time to
Step # 6: Write Your Blog Post
As you write your blog post, don’t forget to show how your product will move the customer from the “before state to the after state.”
If you forget to show the transformation, your blog or content will not be effective.
You’ll have failed in your online marketing.
Another thing, don’t forget to use the keywords that you’ve found. Use them in your title, headings, meta-descriptions, in the alt tags of the images, and within your content. The keywords are
Step# 7: Optimize Your Page Or Blog Post
You need to do On-page SEO, once you finish writing your post. Optimizing your page is necessary for improved page rankings.
Read this case study:
Step # 8: To Succeed On Online Marketing, Expose Your Page or Blog post to Potential Customers
To do this, Share it on social media.
Facebook and Google Plus are excellent places to share your page. Here is a detailed post on how to share your blog on social media.
Step # 9: Make your Offer Irresistible
Once prospects land on your page, what will you offer them that will blow them away? Is it a limited discount opportunity?
Step # 10: Prepare to Handle Lots of Buying requests
It would be foolhardy to advertise your services online and fail to prepare to sell. Make sure your phone line is working, and there’s someone to receive the calls. Ensure you regularly check your emails for buying requests. Have sufficient stock for all your customers.
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