If you don’t know much about digital marketing, you may be not know how to bring potential customers to your business website.
The first step is to understand your target market — in other words, the people who are most likely to buy from you.
In this post we’re going to look at the Aussie consumer to understand what they’re looking for from businesses today.
Today’s consumers expect more
The moment we first booked an Uber or streamed an on-demand movie on Netflix, our consumer expectations changed. And they continue to grow each time we experience a better product or service.
Even now during the COVID-19 pandemic, shifts in our customer experience are increasing our expectations.
We want contactless service
For example, businesses are offering contactless ‘click and collect’ as a way to continue operating during the pandemic, and it’s likely to remain a consumer expectation even when all the restrictions are eased. Plan for it now.
We want it now
Better experiences are also driven by time. Aussie consumers want immediate responses from companies online, whether it be via live chat or social media messaging. We want to be able to order a product online and have it delivered the next day.
We don’t want to go far
We also don’t want to have to travel to buy. For instance, Google’s Year in Search Australia 2020 report indicated that ‘near me’ searches have increased 60%, while ‘best near me’ searches are up 65% and ‘near me open now’ are up 25%.
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How to reach an Aussie audience
The most successful tactics or channels through which to reach Australian audiences online may not surprise you, but I highly recommend you read on to understand why.
1. Search engines (paid and organic)
A recent Salmat Marketing Report found that 49% of respondents trust search engines (e.g. Google or Bing) over all other media.
Now consider that almost 90 percent of Australian web searches flow through Google.
Further to that, Google’s Australia 2020 report reveals that over 70% of consumers search online prior to making a purchase and expect to receive immediate information when using their smartphones.
So you need to be both visible and helpful when consumers are searching for the information they need to make buying decisions.
There are two two general tactics you can use to do this — search engine optimisation (SEO) and paid search engine marketing (SEM).
Search engine optimisation
SEO is the practice of tweaking your website and online posts to improve your visibility within organic (aka free) search results. Unless you pay a professional to optimise your website for you, this strategy costs you nothing but time.
SEO work requires both an upfront and ongoing investment of time to be successful, but it is not a ‘pay-to-play’ tactic. You can stop investing in SEO and still continue to generate visitors to your website.
Search engine marketing
Paid search is your opportunity to immediately become visible when your target audience starts their search for products or services like yours. With its strong dominance of the Australian search engine market, this will most often involve Google Ads.
Although your business listing will appear in search results while you’re paying, it won’t when you pause or conclude your campaign.
Learn which tactic you should pursue and how in "Why your business needs SEO marketing right now."
2. Strategic content marketing
Have you heard the saying ‘content is king’?
It’s true in many ways. Content marketing can have a huge online impact. For example, it can:
- Give your customers the information they’re searching for
- Carry potential customers along, from their initial search through to the moment they’re ready to buy
- Improve your search performance and ignite your social media engagement
- Cost less to reach your target audience than using paid ads
But like with most tactics, marketers sometimes take content marketing shortcuts and this is why not all content is king.
For example, 500-word blog posts rarely rank in search results, so they are not likely to attract a crowd and ultimately don't achieve what they could. Aim for a minimum of 1,000 words when blogging.
To get the most from content marketing, focus on helping people during their buying journey by answering their product/service questions.
The success of your content strategy depends on understanding your audience and undertaking keyword research.
3. Paid advertising on social media
Social media is largely a pay-to-play tactic for the majority of small businesses that don’t have the benefit of a loyal global audience.
Consider that Facebook’s organic reach hovers around 5.2%
That means if you have 1,000 followers, your posts will likely only be seen by 52 people.
It’s not to say that social media isn’t a fantastic opportunity, it’s just that you will likely need to pay to get the results you’re after. And not only pay to make sure all of your followers see your posts, but to reach a larger Aussie audience.
Paid social is a terrific opportunity to reach your audience. You can choose multiple targeting options to ensure you’re reaching potential customers.
The key however, is understanding exactly who your audience is. For example, other ‘small business owners’ is not a target audience. You need to know:
- How old your target audience is
- Where they live
- Whether they’re homeowners or renters
- Their level of education
- How much money they earn
- What other social accounts they’re likely to follow
- Where they’re likely to spend their time online
If you know that much about your audience, you’ll be able to reach them very well with social media advertising.
You must understand your target to hit it
Reaching and engaging your Australian audience is going to be a journey for your small business. Consumer expectations grow every day, and so you’ll need to evolve as they do.
It’s hard to see a world where consumers will rely as much on any channel as they do on search engines for information about products, services and businesses.
So start by improving your business visibility on search engines, whether you decide to pay for it or not.
Content is what your audience is searching for. After all, they have questions. Find out what answers they’re searching for, then help them in their buying journey by answering them. In the process, you’ll lead more of them to your website.
Finally, it’s important to understand that 18 million Australians are active social media users. It’s highly likely that your audience is among them, so social media is another place to spend some time. Just understand that to make the most of the opportunity, you’ll need to pay.