Value, marketing, and your website

In business, marketing is how you present your offering to the world

Your website and social media presence should be two of the chief components of your overall marketing strategy. Both function to create the first impression you make when a potential customer is searching for a service or vetting you online. First impressions are formed in seconds, so you need to be competitive. In fact, you need to outdo your competition.

Before you begin the process of marketing yourself and thinking about the overall look of your website, you need to think about value and your value proposition.

Marketing and Value

The four types of value in marketing are:

Functional Value: The solution an offer provides to a cunsumer.

Monetary Value: The price someone is willing to pay relative to the perceived worth of an offering.

Social Value: The extent to which owning a product or engaging in a service allows the consumer to make a statement relative to others.

Psychological Value: The extent to which a product allows consumers to express themselves or feel better.

What is your value strategy?

In regards to your business, how do you want to set yourself apart from your competition? These are some possible methods:

-Niche marketing

-Communication

-Service

– Offers

-Reviews

What is your competitive advantage?

What do you do that is unique to your industry?

Please don’t be like one of my Realtor clients, who said, ‘I do the same things everyone else does.’ You may follow a similar process or give a similar service, but playing up your unique strengths and gifts allows you to work them into your value proposition. In this case, the Realtor was a gifted negotiator and we were able to emphasize that by showing concrete examples of her past successes.

What is your value proposition?

The combination of goods and services you offer. To deliver value to your customers, you must consider your total market offering:

-Superior product

-Excellent service

-Expertise

-Reputation

How do your customers define value?

Service? Competitive prices? Reputation for reliability? Quality? Luxury? What are they willing to pay for your services?

How are you communicating value on your website?

-Are you engaging your customers?

Methods of engaging your customers include giving them a great user experience. The way to create this is to develop a framework that is logical, coherent, and easy to use. Navigable top menus, all information such as phone numbers, business name, and the nature of your business must be located in the top third of the page.

Middle of the page-your story and other relevant information about your business

Bottom of the page-reviews, blog.

Footer, all necessary contact information, map, and other nifty add-ons like video content, calendars, social media feeds and sharing icons etc.

-Another way to engage your customers is to know who they are:

Do they live in a specific geographical area?

What demographic do they belong to: income, sex, age etc.

Are you appealing to particular professions?

You will then design your website to be relevant to those categories. For example, a website selling t-shirts to young women in their twenties will have a far different design than one selling luxury clothing to women over forty-five.

Many people in my industry focus on the technical aspects of web design, such as functionality and ranking through SEO. One thing they rarely address is the visual appeal, beauty, and overall design of a website. Anyone with a moderate amount of technical skill can put up a website but it takes research, a comprehension of color theory, art history, consumer habits, and real world business knowledge to understand how to appeal to an end use consumer.

Are you telling your story?

Consumers want stories. Tell them how you created your business or product, why you want to serve the public, what makes you passionate about your field, which obstacles / hardships you have overcome, and what makes you special.  You want your customers to create an emotional connection to you.

What you can do for them

It’s all about the consumer. Are you going to help them get the results they want? Use concrete examples and don’t be shy about talking about your past successes. 

What methods do you use to get your message across?

Blog – no keyword stuffing-search engines are getting smarter. Small business owners have been told they need to write blog posts in order to rank. It’s imperative to use longtail keywords, especially in paragraph headings, but what really counts is your originality and the quality of your posts. You must deliver useful information. Google, confusing quantity with quality, is now promoting 1000-1800 word posts for ranking purposes. Reader’s eyes glaze over at 450-700 words, so make sure you have organized your thoughts into coherent paragraphs with good headings for those who skim to find relevant answers.

Video content – we’re moving into a post – literate society. Many consumers would rather watch than read, so you must include video content. If you are too inhibited to get in front of the camera,  embed content relevant to your industry. Just make certain that you are not violating copyrights.

Page content – useful information expanding on that page topic, from 350—700 words.

What is the user experience like on the website?

Do they love the website, linger and examine your pages or do they move on rapidly? 

You need to be aware of what is going on behind the scenes and then tweak content to get better results.

-Are you pushing their hot buttons?

A hot button is a cue that triggers an emotion in a prospective buyer that causes that person to buy a product. It is imperative that you present your product and speak directly to a consumer’s needs in terms of his or her personal buying motivations.  This is the psychological aspect of your marketing.

Realtors are masters of this kind of talk –home, folks, value, safety, schools, family, exclusive…

I remember paying a fortune for Yves St Laurent cosmetics when they first came out. Where his lipsticks better than a less pricey brand? Probably not, but the packaging was amazing. It made me feel elegant, sophisticated, and attractive. The packaging and scent made me think the product was special, better than a lesser brand, and therefore I valued it more. The luxury market understands this concept very well, whether it’s a car, clothing or a parcel of real estate, i.e. the consumer thinks they are more worthy because they can own valuable items.

Call to action

Are customers taking the actions you want them to take when they use your website?

Giving you their contact information in exchange for something of value like a newsletter or a discount so that you can begin a dialogue with them 

Calling you for a consultation or more information

Purchasing an item

Integrating the look of your website with your social media pages.

You must have a strategy. Do not post randomly and sporadically. To develop a relationship with your potential customers, your posts and ads must be visually appealing and informative.

Be a teacher. You are teaching the public about your business while providing valuable information.  You are also resolving their potential problems.

If your website has a certain look, let that look reflect in your posts.

Lastly, share your posts across your social media pages. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram appeal to different audiences, but with a few tweaks you can re-purpose the same content across the board. Or choose the one that makes the most sense for your business. If you are a psychologist giving relationship advice, YouTube is a much better platform than Instagram. If you have a message for business people, then use LinkedIn to  publish articles – but then share them on other social media and remember to redirect people to your website.

To create the best website and social media presence, you must consider your overall value proposition. Please don’t hesitate to email or call me for more information or a free consultation. 847-424-1601.