How to Find Your Audience Online

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Rich: Let's just jump in. Um, today the topic is going to be, where is your audience online? And that's what we're going to break down and discuss today. I've got, my name is rich Brooks. I'm the president of flight new media. We're a digital agency located in Portland, Maine. Uh, as you can see, we're both working from the office and.

Working remotely these days and hopefully everybody out there is keeping safe. Um, I love talking about digital marketing and I love talking about how do you find your audience and engage with them online? So that's what we're going to be talking about today. And I'll hand it over now for introductions to my director of marketing, Liz bell.

This feel free to introduce yourself.

Liz: Hi. Hi, I'm Liz bell. And I love talking about marketing and general overview of strategies and moving forward on different channels. And I've got a great team here at flight. And one of my main team members is John. Go ahead, John. Hey,

John: my name's John Paglia. I'm the digital marketing specialist here at flight.

Um, but I focus mostly in SEO, local SEO, um, with some paid search on the side.

Rich: Awesome. So, uh, today, like I said, we're, I'm going to be throwing questions and adding my own 2 cents along the way, all about how you guys can find your audience online. Um, feel free to throw questions out to us, either in the chat.

Actually let's try and focus on we'll focus on the chat. I've got it open. So any questions you may have throw them to the chat and I will definitely be, uh, adding them whether at the end or throughout the conversation as we go today. Um, and yes, before we get going, we are going to be recording this. So if you lose internet connection or if you can't make it through the whole session today, we are going to be recording it so you can check it out later.

Uh, so one of the first things that we want to think about is identifying our customers many businesses, especially those just starting

John: out. Uh,

Rich: you may not know your ideal customers, so Liz let's start with you. What are some of the ways that you can determine who is your ideal customer and who you should be talking to?

Liz: Well, I think the best way to start is figuring out the persona of your customer. Um, you might look and see if they're baby boomers, you might kind of, um, analyze the characteristics. Uh, baby boomers, gen X millennials. So if you're the one to look at a baby boomer audience, you're looking at authentic authenticity, um, they're very self reliant, and then you're going to get into the genetic says, um, they also are self-reliant, but they also enjoy life and they work hard.

Um, millennials, a lot of curiosity there. They want to have. Things coming at them fast. They're immediately rewarded. And then gen X, um, they've got a lot of ambition. Um, they've grown up with digital right in front of their faces all this time, so they know a lot. So the best way to start is figuring out the persona of your customer before you even go after them.

Um, you could certainly, you can do it by generational viewpoints, but you can also do it by what do they read? Um, Where do they shop? Uh, Facebook has, uh, somewhat toned down the opportunity to target precisely the customer you want. So you've got to think about it. Um, again, what are they reading? Are they reading reader's digest or are they reading something like people magazine or are they reading something like Forbes?

What kind of. Uh, income do they have, um, and you can usually base that on what they're reading, what they're surrounding themselves with what they're following and Facebook really allows you to, um, choose those personas for you. In fact, they may even allow you to choose your competitor. You just have to look for it.

And I will say that Facebook does has the most, does have the most direct targeting available right now.

Rich: As you talked a little bit about age groups, for sure. Um, how about things like local  I mean, a lot of companies that start off right. Local, what kind of role does that play into it? And are we just taking guesses if we're just getting started?

Is this just like, we should know who we're selling to, if we're in building repair or if we're an accountant who's, you know, and at least in our mind targeting high wealth individuals.

Liz: Yeah, I there's an opportunity. You're not going to be perfect every time. Listen, every. Every pitch is not going to be a home run.

You've got to do some testing, split testing on visuals on copy. If you're local, you want to make sure that you bring up things that are local. Like we're in Maine right now. We want to talk about the working waterfront and lobster and the outdoor adventures of Maine. So you want to make it familiar to that user and you want your Facebook page and any of your social media to look like it's lived in and it's all FinTech so that people can build trust in it.

Rich: All right. Uh, John, if you do have, if, if you're a business and you've been doing it for a little while, you've already got a customer base, what would you recommend people do to find out where maybe similar type audiences may be and where they may hang out online?

John: You know, you got to start looking at some of the places that aren't as popular.

So, you know, Liz was talking about Facebook and Facebook comes with Instagram, but you know, there's other places, Pinterest, Twitter, Reddit. Reddit's, it's one of my favorites right now. I'm, I'm harping on it, pretty hard as rich and Liz know, um, that I think Reddit can be a really great place to understand what people are talking about.

Not necessarily your customer base, but if you know, rich and I were talking the other day about, um, He does woodworking. I grill those are our hobbies, but rich is in a bunch of different Facebook groups for woodworking. Where I, when I bought my new grill, I went right to Reddit and started falling off the submarine.

It's for grilling and smoking. Um, all kinds of different meats. So it's where do take one step further and understand yeah. And where people want to go to see that content, whether it's to better what they're doing on their own, or try to learn new tips and tricks. Um, or do, I mean, I signed up for a few email lists.

I'm sure rich you did with your woodworking stuff. So, you know, it's, you know, email lists are just as important too. Um, and trying to figure out how to, what kind of content is in what. Social media platform, let's call it. So like maybe certain photos work better on Reddit and certain blog posts work better on Pinterest or something like that.

But you just, it's just good to do some research on it. Not necessarily dive head first and put all of your content content in every single place, but just try to get a better understanding of where people like to go when they're either a, just getting into it or where they want to share all of their wisdom.


Rich: And for those of you who don't know what Reddit is Reddit as a popular, very popular website, um, out, uh, on the website, on the internet, obviously. And. Groups within Reddit are called subreddits and they can be for almost any topic in the world. So whether you're looking for customers who might, you might have as general sense of who is going to be likely to buy from you, you or you're just looking to understand the conversations and the questions that people are having online.

Right. And it is one resource where people might be congregating online to find out. More about this now, John, you're a big fan of analytics. I know you, you love diving deep into Google analytics and setting up Google data studio for a lot of our clients. Is there any way that you can use, if you are in business and you've got a website and you've got analytics set up Google analytics, is there any way that analytics or either onsite or somewhere else can help us identify where our audience might be hanging out online?

John: Yeah. Um, there's a whole acquisition tab. Within your Google analytics I'm in, within that acquisition tablet breaks down into direct traffic, which those are the people who are either typing your address, your website, right into the address bar, or have you bookmarked people are coming to your site via organic search.

So that's via Google search engine or being, or if anybody's still using Yahoo. Yeah. Who, um, you know, a big one for you, right? It's like you're asking is there, there's a whole social, um, Breakdown. So it tells you where people are coming from Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, I mean any kind of social platform out there.

And as long as you have your analytics code set up properly, you're going to be able to see where those people are coming from. And then to take it one step further, you can then break it down to see, okay, what's the male, female ratio.

Rich: What's the

John: age, straight down. Um, what state are they in? What city are they in?

Um, you can dive pretty deep within Google analytics and really hone in on who are the people who are actually converting on your website versus the people who are just coming to your website. Not doing anything other than reading the information.

Rich: So, what I've heard so far from you guys is that if you're just getting started and you're literally, this is day one, or you really haven't been paying attention to who you're selling to that, uh, part of it is, is figuring out who your persona who's most likely to buy from us.

And then that may help you determine some of where you're going to put your attention, right.

John: It's backwards from there. Yes, they are. Wherever they convert. W understand how they convert. Are they just opting into your email list? And then it's a longer conversion where it takes them six months to find me buy a service or product from you, or is it social media where they're going to buy right away?

Cause you have ads

Rich: running. And I know from some of the questions we received, like for example, somebody is looking for to, um, uh, To get in front of people who might have property. So, you know, you need to start thinking about like, if these are multiple multiunit places, is there a place online, whether it's on Reddit or Facebook, are these people congregate?

What are the groups they belong to on LinkedIn, their groups, you know, Maybe go into those places. And if you have been doing business for quite some time, then maybe going to some of the analytics that you already have set up and start to work backwards from there to understand where more likeminded people may go.

So that's a little bit on the basics of where to get started. Uh, now Liz many social CD, uh, social media sites. Seem to attract certain demographics, tick tock versus LinkedIn. For example, can you share with us what are some of the basics of where we should focus our attention based on the type of audience we are looking for?

So if we have a certain audience in mind, maybe it's high wealth individuals of a certain age or millennials or whatever, can you like break down for some of the more popular social media sites? And although there's always outliers, what kind of audiences weight might we find in each one of those

Liz: places?

Yeah, that's a great question. So I'm going to go, um, if you're B2B, you are on LinkedIn. Um, and there is some B to C there, but I think for the B to B marketer, that is the place to be. I'm really. Joining Twitter right now. And that seems to me like it's making a comeback. I'm not sure. Uh, or maybe it never left.

What shorter seems to be the place right now, particularly, uh, if you are, uh, want to be kept up with the news particularly, or if you're in the educational field. Um, I think there's more discussion there and it's, and it's an immediate satisfaction. Facebook

Rich: people. I'm just going to jump in for a second here, Liz, uh, for people who are not familiar with those terms, B to B means business to business and B to C means business to consumer, which is very common ways, uh, or very big ways of organizing what type of business you're in flight.

New media sells to other businesses where to B to B, we have a client that's a doggy daycare. They're basically selling to individuals to consumers. So their B-to-C please keep going. Liz.

Liz: Yeah. So when people go to Facebook, they're going there to see their friends check in on their family. Um, what's going on?

That, that they're not involved in. So Facebook, they may not be. Buy from Facebook, although they, there are exceptions to that role, but they are not going to Facebook to shop. So you've got to make sure that your, your ad and the information that you're sharing. We just talks to that audience. Um, It's probably a little bit of an older skew.

Um, if you were looking for young and Spanish, you're going to go to Twitter and, um, Instagram and, uh, use that part, those channels for

Rich: visualization. And obviously some of these channels do have broad audiences. Like you were saying, like Facebook for most B to C brands, it's safe to understand that your customers are probably there, whether they want to hear from you or not.

Maybe another issue entirely beyond.

Liz: And if you're a, once I spoke, you've got even. Yeah. If you're on Facebook, you've got to be sure that you are standing out, that your visual is good. Your content looks good. Um, because you've only got a few seconds on that scroll to make that person stop.

Rich: Alright now, uh, social media is a big part.

We're going to keep talking about that. Do a deeper dive into some of the more popular platforms, but there are many other groups that congregate online, right? Uh, John, we kind of touched upon it briefly, but where are some of the places that people can go to find their ideal customers asking for questions, giving advice and networking.

John: I think the biggest thing for me, I mean, putting on my SEO hat here, I think it's doing your competitive research. So looking at your competitors and where are they, are they on certain social media platforms and how are they doing on those social media platforms? Are they getting me engagement? Are they getting comments?

I mean, obviously you can't see the bottom line or their conversions. Um, but you can see the engagement, you can see people liking or commenting or sharing. Um, but then take it one step further, go to those, go to those competitor websites. What are they blogging about? How are their service pages set up?

Are they better than yours? Um, do they answer all the questions that you hear a lot, those frequently asked questions, um, are they addressing those issues more than you? And so you need to get that on your website and then it's a trickle down effect from your website cause of social media from social media, it goes to your email list.

Um, and then it really, you're just casting that net as wide as possible too. Cause you never know who's going to share something and you're going to see in that person's going to see it. Another person, someone in your qualified. Customer list.

Rich: Right? So a couple of things to bring up here. Uh, there are groups that form both in social media and off of social media.

So for example, we have a client who is in, uh, philanthropic, philanthropic circles, and he actually created a group on LinkedIn, which attracted. Tens of thousands of people in that space to that group. That's, you know, so we've been talking about where to find people online. Here's actually a guy who created a space for those people to hang out.

And now he's basically guiding the conversation of this entire group. Very powerful thing. And although LinkedIn groups in general are not something I have a whole lot of excitement around because they tend to be very spammy. He is actually running a very well curated group with really good conversation.

So. If you're in the B to B space, start looking for some of these groups on LinkedIn. And John mentioned earlier, my COVID hobby has become woodworking and I am watching just going down rabbit holes on YouTube, and I've joined a bunch of Facebook groups as well. Um, Where people are sharing their ideas. A woodworking for beginners is one of the groups that I check on almost every day, where people are sharing things or doing what kind of tools they're using.

They're asking questions. Now, if you're selling hardware, you're probably not going to be able to pitch to this group, but you are going to understand what their pain points are. And then there may be an opportunity for you to join the conversation in a non salesy way. And then ultimately bring people back to your website, but finding your audience online, isn't always about selling to them.

It also can just be about doing some good old fashion market research. But

John: if you don't like so going to the woodworking example, it, you don't necessarily even need to join the conversation. You know, if these people are asking like, you know, what's the best table saw for how to make a table? I don't know.


Rich: um, would be one application, although there are many more keep going,

John: but if you saw that question, yeah. Multiple facets in that group or in that social platform, wherever it may be now go write a blog post about it. Cause you know that there's a subset of people asking that question. There's probably a thousand.

People asking that question.

Rich: Right. And you could also find that maybe there's a new product that you might want to bring to market, or just that you want to carry in your store because you see everybody's struggling with the same problem with their router table or something like that. I'm not going to try and get too geeky on the whole woodworking thing, but I'm just using examples here.

Um, the last thing I wanted to mention before we move on is the fact that you really should be. Looking into discussion forums that are their own websites, not part of any social media. And we had a client recently who has been in the business for years, and we found that they were getting all this traffic from this one website.

They, it was a forum, a discussion forum where their best, basically all their clients were hanging. Prospects were hanging out at one place and they didn't know about it. So this opened up a wealth of data and resources and prospects for them. And we, of course, didn't tell them, go in there and start pitching your product.

We just said, go in there and listen. And if there's an opportunity, then you can go and, uh, you know, add your 2 cents. And in, in your, in your, uh, Sub not your subject line, your emails, a scription line. You could just say, you know what company you're from and maybe include a link, something like that, but not be very pitchy about it.

And if you wonder if there's a discussion form of your ideal customers, all you really need to do is head on over to Google, put in your area of interest and the words, discussion forum. And you're going to start to find, find the places where your ideal customers hang out online and where they're actively having conversations.

Liz: That really allows you to build your authority. So you're, you're coming in as a listener and you are contributing and then you go in for the hard sell if you need to, but listen, social media, any type of marketing, you've got to have a good foundation before you build that house. So. I like to say, we got to build the runway.

So building that runway does take time. It's not going to happen overnight. You've got to build authority. You've got to build trust and have the, the stamina to wait for the right time.

Rich: Now, some people are going to say whether they're on this call or not, they're going to say my customers are not on social media.

John, what do you say to somebody who says that to you?

John: Um, they're in some form of social media. Um, but you know, maybe that social media just isn't converting for them for you. So, you know, going back to my example, I was using, looking at your competitors and what they're doing with maybe their content, you know, are you going to be able to drive people to your website with blog content or are people finding you not in discussion forums, but maybe in a directory of some sort, maybe a, um, a business directory, like a specific, um, like a plumbing directory.

Um, maybe they're finding you that way. And if they're finding you that way, you just want to make sure that your business information is correct. Um, but really once you kind of get them to your website, it's now your job to convert them into either a warm lead or, you know, a hot lead where they're going to buy right away.

But if they're not going to buy right away, are you going to get them on your email list, um, to hopefully convert at some time or, you know, are, are they just going to go right to the contact page and fill out, you know, a free consult

Rich: form? All right now, uh, let's dive into some platform specific advice because I know a lot of people are wondering about this sort of stuff.

Um, and Liz, you, a director of marketing you're really into social media. Facebook has a vast array of different types of people. We talked about this before. How once we're there, do we find the right people? What are some of our options for finding and getting in front of our ideal customers on Facebook?

Liz: Well, let's do, let's take that two ways. So let's start organically. Okay. Um, so when you're doing organic marketing, you really want to know your audience. They are human beings. They are not always thinking about your product, but they may be thinking about. Um, the, the larger aspect of your project product, let's go to the woodworking.

Um, if you go to a Facebook page for woodworking, there may be talk about tools, uh, different types of wood. What, um, What different workshops looks like, what the, he shed looks like, all of those things. So yeah, you want to take the information that you have about your own product, but you also want to put it in a real world setting.

It's not always about your

Rich: product.

Liz: It's about things that happen to touch your product. So more of an umbrella situation. For ads, you've got to be in business manager. If you are not in business manager, you really cannot target your ads properly. You can't share your information. Take a look at your analytics.

Business manager is not easing. Um, but once you get in there and you work with it for awhile, it just becomes second nature. So there is a learning curve for that. So in business manager, you're able to target as well as you can for Facebook. Um, It's better than a boost. Um, if you're going to boost any of your posts, you can't target as well.

You can't set your budget as well, and you're looking at your ad sets and you can't follow as well. So my, probably my number one advice right now is to get in business manager

Rich: and Liz. Um, I believe you can take your, if you are in business, you've been in business for awhile. You've got contacts, you've gotten an email list, perhaps you can upload.

Your current group of customers to Facebook and say, Hey Mark Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg, show me like people, people who look like your audience and they can create that. And now we can start marketing to other people that may match up with who our ideal customer is. Correct.

Liz: Everybody has an email address.

And if they are using that email address that they have given you on Facebook. Then that is part of your audience. Now, once you upload it, probably in a dot CSS CSV file and your audience's set, you're also going to want to put a pixel on your website and that's going to help you retarget visitors that have come to your website.

So, yeah. It's a little big brother here, um, with, with retargeting people on your website and you're going to see it on Facebook. You'll see those ads on Google. You'll see it on other platforms. So it follows you around. So if you've, if you're thinking about woodworking, um, You're going to probably rich.

You can probably verify for me that you are being targeted on other sites right now,

Rich: because everywhere I go is a woodworking ad. I was, had become blind to social media ads that target me, and then I got into woodworking and all of a sudden they pop up everywhere. Right? Uh, just a couple of things that Liz mentioned just to break them down for you.

So you can upload your, you can create audiences on Facebook and one audience would be people in your email list or people in a CSV file that you have an email to another one that people who visited your website. And the way we do that is we use what's called the Facebook pixel. It's a little snippet of code.

Your web developer can add your website and that tracks anybody who goes to work site, who also has a Facebook account. You can remarket or retarget them on Facebook, but that's what that's called. So those are different audiences you can create. And then to find other people like that you can do. What's called.

Creating a lookalike audience and that's common on every platform, but Facebook is really the one that's probably most robust and really was the one that started that trend on social media. Speaking of other social media sites, Liz, I'm going to stick with you Facebook. Wait, hold

John: on. One

Rich: thing John's going to interrupt me.

So go ahead, John.

John: Well, Regan just asked a question. Um, Liz, do you recommend serving two ads, one to an audience and one to a retargeting audience? Or should you combine them to. Very


Liz: So yeah, that is a good question. Well, those are two. So the retargeting is a warm audience or almost a hot audience. So your message may be different there.

You've got to look at your, your messaging and what you're trying to, what action you're trying to get that user to do. Um, how familiar you want your copy to be to that user that you've seen before. So, um, I'm going to go with

Rich: two. All right.

John: Especially if you have the budget.

Rich: Yeah. Now Liz, as I was saying, Facebook owns Instagram.

Are there any specific tips you have for Instagram different than you might have for Facebook?

Liz: Instagram is incredibly visual to stand out on Instagram. You know, you've got to have some. Good visual context. Um, not the overlay. Uh, people don't want to come and add them. They want to stop and enjoy what you're trying to share there.

Your hashtag strategy, you've got 30 plus hashtags. Use them all. You've got real estate on your profile page. You've got 150 characters there. You use them all because that is how you're going to reach those people that are searching for your product.

Rich: Alright. Um, let's shift gears. We're going to go B to B right now.

We're going to talk a little bit about LinkedIn, which is currently my favorite platform of choice, um, and the way that there's a lot of ways to use LinkedIn to find your audience. But I think one of the most important one that's often overlooked and not talked about as much when we talk about social media is the idea of.

Prospecting. And I noticed a number of the questions that came in. People are talking about very specific niche audiences in the B2B world, like physicians, nurse practitioners were a couple of others, uh, beverage industry marketers. I mean like while I'm sure there is a Facebook group for beverage industry, marketers, like that may not be the best place to try and find them and engage with them.

They're more likely maybe spending time on LinkedIn. If that's the case. What I recommend doing is if you're on LinkedIn, Go to the top left corner. There's a little search box there and you can type in nurse practitioner, beverage industry marketer. It's going to happen when you do that is LinkedIn is going to pull up all the people that match up with that job or that, that phrase.

And it can be incredibly powerful, no matter how narrow the niches. And if you get too big, an audience which often happens, then you can. Filter that audience, you can say, I'm only interested for people who have been in there company for three to five years or something only interested with people with this.

Like, I don't want all markers. I only want the director of marketing, you know, or I don't want all marketers. I only want social media managers and you can start to narrow that list down. You can say, I only want people who are in fortune 500 companies, or I only want people who work for Bayer aspirin. Um, it's incredibly powerful.

So when you're talking about. How do you find some of these niches, especially in B to B, LinkedIn is a very powerful tool. Use the prospecting tool, and then once inside the prospecting tool and you start to identify those people, then you can start to connect with them. Now we can go down the rabbit hole here.

I'm not going to cause we have a lot of other stuff to talk about. But my general rule in LinkedIn is just because somebody happens to have the job title that you are looking for. Doesn't mean they want to have. Be sold to on LinkedIn. So making the connection and with a reason why you want to connect with them is a great idea.

But yeah, don't try and get too salesy. But if I were you and you are after some of these audiences that you guys have mentioned in the questionnaire, then I would definitely recommend claying around with that search box on LinkedIn, starting to see where those people are and starting to engage with them.

Okay. All right. Um, and by the way, if you guys have specific audiences that you want us to talk about, mention those in the chat or the Q and a section, we'll come back to those at the end. We'll talk about maybe some we'll brainstorm some specific ways that you can get in front of those ideal audiences, regardless of where they may hang out online.

John: Um,

Rich: Now, there are a lot of other platforms out there such as house, uh, Twitter. So on any advice, John, on some of these platforms and finding your ideal customer, maybe on some of these less, less popular or more nichey, uh, sites out there.

John: Yeah, and I, yeah. Um, how's this a great example. So I wouldn't really categorize it as social media.

I would categorize it as a. Somewhat of a directory that is an extension of your website. So with house, for the people who aren't familiar with, it, it's a, mostly for remodelers and contractors, um, that I can share their projects that can share their before and afters. Um, Also, you can re view people on house as well.

So it's like almost Yelp,

Rich: but yeah,

John: strictly for remodelers and contractors. So I would definitely start venturing out to see, you know, are there industry specific websites that you should be on, whether they're free or paid? Um, you know, off the top of my head Yelp for, you know, Hospitality and tourism, um, or restaurants, uh, open table for restaurants, house for remodelers.

Um, there's quite a few there's three or four out there for nursing homes. If people who, um, who are, you know, have their nursing home website out there. So what it is it's, you know, if you were to ever Google like top 10 restaurants in Portland, Maine,

Rich: the first four results

John: are going to be ha um, Yelp face and not Facebook.

Um, open table. And a few other directory type websites. So the point being is that if these websites are showing up in the search engines,

Rich: you should have

John: some sort of a presence on those, um, websites. It doesn't require much upkeep like social media. Like you don't have to post every day or make sure you're interacting with people.

Um, but it is a

Rich: place

John: for you to be seen that isn't your website, think of it as an extension of your website.

Liz: Yeah. And John, I would say if you are there, make sure you monitor it.

John: Right because there are reviews on it. Yep. Views.

Liz: And you want to be able to respond to those people need to know that you are there and start to depress you based on your response.

Because if you've got something that's just left or you didn't actually, uh, offer something to that client or to that customer, or, um, somehow. Take responsibility for something that may have happened in your restaurant or not at least have the open conversation,

Rich: right? Yeah. We've got a couple of questions that line up nicely with what you're talking about.

John one is, do you suggest pay to play with sites like hows and

John: Yelp? Do it cautiously. Um, I've dealt with Yelp before and Yelp is a pain. As all business owners know, they call you probably four times a week trying to get you to spend money with them. I think it depends on your industry and what kind of traffic there is in PR within your industry for, yeah, like restaurants.

It might make sense because there's, you know, especially in Portland, there are so many different restaurants out here. You need to be at the top of that list. When someone's searching for top restaurants in Portland, Maine and Yelp shows up and then Yelp. Generates a list of their own. So you want to be on that list?

Um, yes. I would spend a little bit of money with them to maybe be like a pro member. I don't know if Yelp has that. I think Howes has some sort of some perk like that. It's almost kinda like the LinkedIn, um, pro version where like you get specific perks, I guess it depends on what the perks you're getting and your budget.

It's not someplace I would run and spend money to first. I would definitely go to Facebook first or some other social media platform to spend money on. Um, but if you're finding that all of your competitors are on Yelp and they're killing you in reviews, and they're killing you in the search on Yelp, on Hauser, wherever that it might make sense to spend a little bit of money with them.

I do believe Yelp is pretty cheap, but if you're not careful, they can really hook in for quite a bit of money.

Rich: Another question we got is what social media is sites besides BRBO should this person have their renting information on what are some of the seasonable seasonal websites or magazines should they advertise on?

My Airbnb is an entire house rental in Maine that sits on a hundred acres. Sounds very nice. Uh, currently trying to market the snowmobile gun clubs, ATV club, any suggestions, I'm a new business. I'll open that up to anybody who might want to throw some ideas

John: out. I would take it one step further. What do people who snowmobile like to do?

My first gut would be to hike or to hunt. Um, probably I think if there's no meaning, they're probably doing one of the two. Um, so take it one step further and your audience is now go a little bit further and be like, and start finding those groups, those, those hunting groups or the hiking groups, and really start, um, talking up the location.

Is it close to a specific hunting? Right? It's not a range. It's a permit. Place area area. I don't know.

Rich: See what the hunters. Sure.

John: Um, but I would start talking about what else do they get with this Airbnb? Like what else is around? Are there certain restaurants around? Are there certain, um, Places of interest to go. If it's a hike, maybe you start providing people with like hike, easy hikes your Airbnb. So now they can hike from the Airbnb to a certain mountain or a certain peak and walk back instead of having to drive and try to find this place.

And. Worry about parking. Um, it's really taking that one step further to understand that audience and what those audiences are doing when they're out snowmobiling.

Rich: So the other thing that I would say on this is, again, some of this comes down to what's your ROI on this. So I don't know what your time is worth versus this, but especially when you're first getting started.

And you're trying to find those people that will probably rent from you every single year. I'm going to find those snowmobile gun clubs and ATB clubs. I'm going to find those discussion forums are going to find those groups on Facebook and on Reddit. And I'm going to make sure that in my signature file, it might link back to my website, but all I'm going to try and do is answer any questions that come up about that specific town or County.

I think this is in Maine. Um, Where people are asking questions like, Hey, where can you go for a hot meal, you know, in this pill place? And because this is your area and your area of expertise, you're going to answer that question. And after you start to show that you really are giving to that community, people are going to start to see that link at the board, see your name at the bottom of every single post and say, Oh, you know, rich really seems to know, is that, does he have an Airbnb up there?

Let me check that out. And the next thing you know, That's how you start to build trust in a community, not by going for the hard pitch, but by going to where they are and providing value. It's a longer thing. There's other things you can obviously be doing for marketing and advertising, but this is one good way of finding that ideal audience online and for,

John: and it's word of mouth too.

You know, he's got one happy snowmobile group staying in your house. Chances are they're going to be, they're going to tell all their buddies. And

Rich: it's just going to snowball

John: from there.

Rich: And somebody asked me, what do I mean by a signature file? Usually at the bottom of either an email or when you're signing, when you're part of a discussion forum, you can usually add one or two lines about yourself.

So it might say rich Brooks, a hundred acre, Airbnb, you know, something like that. So people would start to know who I am and what I'm all about. So that just gives it. It's a little tight tagline that you can put into your file when you're posting to these groups.

John: To jump back to the Airbnb real quick. I just did a quick search, but there seems to be some sort of directory on the main hunting

And it's a member based

Rich: organization.

John: It looks like where it just lists all the places that you can find a Lakeside lodge, sporting camp, housekeeping cottage, campground resort in hotel, bed, and breakfast, or rental for your main hunt or family vacation.

Liz: Yeah. And I'm

John: going to add,

Liz: I think you should go back to the old way, marketing it some on this as well.

Who can you partner with? Is there an equestrian stable down the road? Can you link with them? Can they link back? I'd also consider, uh, your hashtag strategy on Instagram. If you are, uh, 100 acre wood, um, use that hashtag as many places as you can on Instagram. And you would consider a Facebook page just for your listing.

Rich: And this person is on bear mountain. So there's probably, if you went to Instagram or Twitter or these other sites, there's probably a bear mountain hashtag I'd leverage that more broad hashtag as well as maybe something specific. Like if your property was called hundred acres on bear mountain, it would be hashtag a hundred acres of bear mountain.

In addition to hashtag. Bear mountain. So those are some ways that you might start to get gain some visibility and get found, talking about finding people, but we're also talking about positioning ourselves. So we get found by our ideal couple customers, which is the perfect lead in to the next section of our conversation, which is really around.

Content marketing, not everyone is social online. And even if they are, they may not want to learn about your business, this intelligence software, while scrolling through their Facebook feed to catch up on their friends, pictures of kids. So beyond social media, how can we find our audience online using some content marketing strategies, John.

John: Oh boy. Well, um, I, the first content marketing strategy would be, I've said it a few times now is your competitive research. What are they talking about? How, how are they addressing issues in your industry? Are they how to videos then, you know, start creating how to videos obviously better and with a different spin.

You don't want to do it verbatim. Um, or is it a long form blog piece? That is, you know, the cornerstone content, you know, I'm going to stay on this woodworking example, but you know, is this the best piece of content on Google for table size? And are you going to create it? Um, you know, it has all of the, you know, all the big questions people are asking about table size and, um, what Google does is Google will read all of it and.

Well understand that you are over time, you will be the go to person. And when people are asking about table saws, um, another great way of understanding content and what to create is just Google a question or Google a topic. Um, that's specific to your industry and look at what the results yield are. The results yielding a lot of blog posts are they yielding service pages because you don't want to go write a blog post about table saws, but if you search table size, I know for a fact you're going to get all, you know, product pages for table size.

So how do you take the keyword table saws and turn it into a piece of content that people are actually looking

Liz: for? Yeah. And you're thinking about what your customer is looking for, not about what you were looking for. You've got to put yourself in your customer's shoes, particularly if it's, if they are beginners, um, like riches with the woodworking, what, what does a beginner need to know?

We may not even know what kind of chisel to use yet. So sometimes things that we think are very basic, um, Actually bring people in for the.

Rich: Last year, Liz may have frozen up there. We'll give her a second.

John: I go back to that, like we're in it every day, you know, where like, for us, we're in digital marketing and web web design website, design and development every day.

So to us, when we're talking about Facebook pixels, or we're talking about, you know, you know, WordPress as a CMS or something, like some people are just going to scratch their heads and not understand that. So you have to take a step back and be like, okay, What do the customers that mean to you? I understand my business need to know about it.

Rich: And I just want to use an example because somebody had mentioned CPG brand managers, very small niche. I had to look up what CPG stood for consumer packaged goods. I'm like, how would you find that audience online? So from a content marketing standpoint, you could do some research, find out what people are already talking about.

You could create some blog posts or YouTube videos or podcasts or other types of content that might address some of their biggest concerns so that when they are going to Google, which is where they hang out online for business, that you can be there. So that might be one approach. And like the exam we mentioned earlier with our client who started his own LinkedIn group.

Another way to find your audience online is basically create a group where they can hang out and talk and not be sold to all the time. That's a great way of really building trust with them. So yeah, if there's not a CPG brand manager, a group on LinkedIn, who's invested or interested in retail sampling, then you could start one.

If there's a big enough group to be able to provide vide insight and advice to that audience.

John: And I'm assuming with packaged goods. I mean, that's in so many different industries. So now you have, you know, you can break that your car and out into so many different industries and talk to so many different industries.

You can talk to the food industry, you talk to the beverage industry, you can talk to the clothing industry or the household industry, household product industry. Now you can, yeah. You've, subsetted your audiences. So now what do each of those audiences talk about and what are those job titles? You know, is it an operations manager, it's a warehouse manager or whoever that makes these decisions, or it would be looking up, maybe they're trying to, you know, maybe their lead, they want to try to increase their lead time.

So how does, how do your products or services help those lead times, or maybe they want to better the supply chain management. So are they better that I'm in, that's where your expertise comes in within your content that you're creating?

Rich: A great answer, John Liz, how do you in this content management or content marketing side, how do you begin to understand what your audience is looking for so that you can create that content?

Liz: Well, certainly you're going to start out, go back to the beginning and look at your analytics. Where are they coming from? What information are they looking for when they, after the, before they come to your site, who's leading them there and go there and find out what is on that site that people are interested in.

Why are they searching for you there? So it's a matter of just opening your eyes into all the. All the assets that you've got in front of you, um, and thinking like a customer.

Rich: All right. Uh, John YouTube is a place that people often go to find out how to do something, any techniques for finding our audience there.

John: No. Well, I mean, finding your audience, you can just kind of look at the search results. So YouTube is now owned by Google. So therefore YouTube videos are now being added into search results. So start plugging in some of your keywords. What, what keywords are yielding YouTube videos. And then from there you do your research.

What are those videos? What are those videos about, um, what, you know, what keywords are they using and maybe the title or the description, um, are they using, um, like a really cool thumbnail that will catch your attention? Are they using, um, transcript files so that you don't have to watch the video with sound?

Rich: All those

John: small factors play into how to get a video ranking ranked on Google. So if you, if you're putting yourself in your customer's shoes and searching for some of these keywords, Yeah. And those YouTube videos are being found on the first page, somewhere near the top or bottom of the search results page.

You can almost guarantee that someone is watching those videos because I'm sure, you know, rich, you probably watched plenty of how to woodwork. I mean

Rich: more specifically, but

John: how do you saw it and whatnot, and how to do these know, I know how to apply a wheel to a cart. I'm sure you had to do that. Um, so, you know, those are those how to videos or those educational videos that will get people excited to go out and try it.

It doesn't have to be hands on how to, like, I just, I watch YouTube videos all the time about how to build different reports or how to, um, Yeah. Basically how to build different reports and make them look even better than they are instead of just a word document.

Liz: Yeah. And if you're looking at somebody that just bought a new house, what are they looking for?

They're looking for plumbing and electricity and what happens is their basement floods. I mean, Or how

John: to design their basement or how

Rich: does

Liz: that whole circle gets

John: bigger? All right.

Rich: We've got some questions from audience that I want to get to. So I want to kind of try and put a little bit of a bow on what we've been talking about so far today.

And one thing is there are places online where your ideal customer, whether it's B to B or B to C, right? They're hanging out. And a lot of these might be discussion forums, or they might be social media, or they might be groups within social media. And a little bit of research will show you where those conversations are already going on.

Now, if you're in B2B, LinkedIn is probably the place you're going to start. But beyond that, you're probably going to need to understand what problems your customer is. Trump prospect is trying to solve and create that answer for them. So it might be creating videos on YouTube. It might be creating blog posts to rank well in Google, or it might be in my case, creating podcasts that address their biggest concerns.

And then it's about creating content that ranks well within the Apple podcast or other podcasts searches. So that people can find your content. So sometimes we're going to our customers hang out and other times we're kind of laying bait out where our customers are likely to go to, to attract them there.

Now we did get a number of questions. And if you guys want to share some of your audiences, either questions that you have for us or share some of your audiences, we can kind of brainstorm on where you might find these people hanging out online. Go ahead and add that to either the chat or the questions and answer section, whichever one you want.

But I'm going to start with one of the questions that came in before our audience age group is so diverse. Millennials to retirees will be welcome. Any tips to, to find this audience. And, uh, I've got my own thoughts, but John Liz, do you have any suggestions for people who come to you and say, everybody is our customer?

We need to talk to everybody.

John: I think it depends for me, it would depend on, you know, I always like to look at the data because the data will always tell a story. Regardless of what you think you're telling your target audiences, look at your data. Are people 50 to 65 converting higher on your website or on social media or engaging with you on social media?

Um, or is it the younger audience or is it more male than female? You know, it, the, the data will help you, you understand your target audience better.

Rich: Liz thoughts on that.

Liz: Yeah. And you, you could also change your target, your ad, your ad target for each ad. So you have separate ads for your gen X and then you have a separate ad for your millennials.

Um, easy to do. It's somewhat replicated on some of it, but, but change part of the, um, the skew on the age and you you'd be surprised. Just how much those two generations actually have in common.

Rich: The other things that I'd add to this is the fact that like maybe age isn't the biggest differential in your audience, and maybe you should be looking for something else if you're selling Coca-Cola.

Yeah. Anybody can drink that. So that's a little bit different, but you may be having different messages. Either in nostalgia or energy or something like that, based on who you want to talk to. If you're talking about a product that's good for hikers, well, your hikers could be anywhere from 12 to a hundred.

You know, that the age is not the differentiator. It's about where do these things, people who enjoy hiking hangout online. And so then you're going, going into those Facebook groups or you're posting images of your product or your product being used. Instagram or whatever the case may be. So maybe there's a different way of trying to identify what makes your audience interested in your product and where they might go to have conversations around it.

A question we just got is what are some of the biggest obstacles for targeting with Facebook special ad categories? Liz, I'm going to hand that one off to you.

Liz: It is a big obstacle. I agree with you, uh, depending upon if you are a housing or political or social activist, you're going to need to be verified.

That's your first step. Um, they are opening up some targeting for housing and the other categories, but they are limited. So then you really have to think about. What is that person thinking about in their life cycle? That will lead them to your product. For instance, we're working with a senior living home that is housing it's limited as an ad category, but we also know that those people may have seen a financial advisor.

They may read certain financial magazines that are preparing them for this, and that's how you're going to target them. You can't target them by choosing. Uh, adults looking for senior living. So you've got to step out and think about what your customer is looking for and

Rich: maybe what stage they are in life.

Maybe they're not specifically looking for one thing, but. Where they are in their life cycle would get them interested in certain products, services, magazines, TV shows, and then you might be able to at least roughly target based on those things. And maybe then hone it down with retargeting ads or something like that.

Liz: Yeah. And Facebook, once you start those special ad categories, Facebook actually helps you out a little bit and says, Oh, this person is an older person. I'm going to go ahead and put this ad towards them because they have all those analytics that we can't see. So you're not completely stymied, but Facebook does help you target the right person eventually because Facebook

John: wants your money.

They want you to succeed. So they're going to, they're going to help you as much as possible without pulling back the entire curtain.

Rich: Here's a question. I do promotional marketing for a nonprofit that works with schools on quality lead quality literacy instruction in Vermont. So how might you identify that audience and find them online?

Liz: So, so I'm going to go with that special education. Um, so I would definitely go after, uh, parents with children under the age of. And then a certain age. Um, and then I would look at some of their competitors and see if they are in there. Um, I would also look at. Renowned speakers that may speak to that. Uh, and people follow.

Let's say you follow Bernay Brown's. She can be a category and Facebook, and I can target those people that listen to Bernay Brown. So think about, um, what people listen to, what kind of music they listen to speakers, books, um, and that it's gonna probably bring into a, bring your target in a little tighter.

John: And depending on your, uh, your budget, I would take it one step creepy creepily forward pimply. Yeah. Creepy, creepy, creepy, sure. Whatever. Um, start targeting certain locations, start targeting like pediatric offices or, um, schools zones. So when people are in your, in

Rich: a certain area,

John: you can show an ad when people are in a certain area.

So depending on, you know, depending on your budget, I would go with Liz. Um, advice first. Um, but then if you have a little bit more flexibility in the budget to play around with some targeting, take it one step further and go start target certain locations that these families might be visiting.

Rich: And I think if, if I'm reading this right, or, uh, you're also you're targeting the schools.

So we're talking about administrators or people who were involved with bringing projects like yours, into their schools. So I might go to LinkedIn and I might look for people. I I'd figure out whether it's principals, school, administrators, whatever it may be. And I do that search. And then I'd narrow it down to just Vermont and I'd start manually outreach and connecting with some of those people.

And maybe based on some initial conversations, maybe you've got an instructional video that kind of explains what you're doing. So like, as the conversation goes like, Hey, you know, we're actually helping improve quality literacy in schools. We actually have a couple of betas. It tests out there right now with some amazing results.

If you're interested, I'll send you a link. Then if they say, yeah, I'd like to send them the link they're at your website. Now you can kind of retarget them and continue on that conversation. Or you might be putting on some webinars on the same subject. So you, Hey, we've got a free webinar coming up on how to improve literacy in school systems.

Thought you might be interested, here's where you can go to register. So then that might be another way to get in front of that specific audience that you mentioned.

Liz: Yeah. And once you build that audience, particularly on Facebook, let's say you've got 640,000 people that you're targeting. You may want to narrow that down and just say, Oh, I only want parents of children one to three.

So make sure that you're it's big enough, but narrow enough to get the message across to the right audience.

Rich: How effective are visuals in attracting someone to read or view more of your message are brief videos and effective way to project your business. I think

John: they're extremely effective. Cause that's what's eye catching words are no matter yeah.

How you write it or type it though, they aren't good. They catch your attention. So something that pops off the page or something that doesn't look like an ad that just like rich said earlier, that fits in with your social, um, feed. Um, that's what's gonna probably work the best. Um, unless it's, you're going after people who are just an avid woodworker and are, are just gonna gravitate towards any of those ads.

Rich: I think I agree.

Liz: I'm sorry. Rich, go ahead.

Rich: I was just gonna say, I think human beings in general, we're attracted to contrast. So even though a lot of the rules around social media advertising are about trying to fit into, you know, do native advertising, make it look like it's part of the feed, which is.

Definitely good advice. Another approach is to just do things that contrast with what's around it. So yes, it makes a lot of sense to do something that's visually powerful, but some of the most effective ads could just be like two or three words, uh, in black, on a white background, whatever it is, you know, like it should contrast and catch people's interests because that's what we're hardwired to notice is things that are different things that stand out.


Liz: And people don't read. We know this, we've seen this all of our lives. Um, the consider the visual to be your first priority, much like your logo, um, or your, uh, vision for your company and that the content is the second priority. Just

John: make, please make your ads make sense in our stay on brand. I can't stand the companies that are like, here's a picture of the mountains.

Now come let us clean your gutters. Like that makes no sense, like make sure it makes all sense. And

Rich: I don't know, somebody is a residential contractor and property manager. They're wondering how to reach out to their clients during COVID-19 to new clients during COVID-19. So, I guess my question to this person is I'm not entirely sure who your ideal customer is.

Maybe it's a homeowner or maybe it's a, uh, somebody who owns small office buildings and they need property management. Um, so assuming that's the case, do you guys have any recommendations on how we would reach out to new clients during COVID.

Liz: Well, rich, I think you've got the perfect example here, and I'm going to let you take it because you came up with this idea, um, for the, um, teleconferencing for, uh, working with people in their homes, but not being in their homes.

Rich: Okay, so actually that's right. We do have a client who's a plumber. And one of the suggestions that we gave for them is basically tele-health for plumbing. So what they did and they've had some success with it is they, um, are going into people's homes. And this was more so right at the beginning of COVID when nobody knew what was going on, but they said, look at, you know, you pick up your phone and we'll set up a zoom call or what a FaceTime or whatever's easiest for you.

You show us what's going on with your plumbing and I will help diagnosis and see if I can show you how to fix it yourself for free. And if we can't then we'll schedule a time. So that was something that kind of not just help people out, but also generate a little bit of good PR. Um, so that might be something that you could absolutely do.

I assume that's what you were talking about, Liz that, yeah. And so, uh, that would be one thing, absolutely. That I think you could do. Uh, the bottom line is people. Uh, may not make too many changes if they've already got a property manager in place, but there's always going to be people who are disappointed with the person who's managing their property.

Um, so, you know, there may be like we've discussed before. There may be groups on LinkedIn or Facebook about people who own, you know, small commercial buildings that need property management. And, you know, some of this comes down to, it may not be where they hang out online. This may be where I put more of my emphasis on.

Optimizing my website for local search doing some paid search as well. So that would be the other thing that I probably be taking a look at because this may be a pain point that somebody's going to Google to solve rather than it, it, it could be either way. It could be I'm part of a pro uh, property owner group that we're having this discussion.

Hey, who do you guys recommend for X? And it could be that I just go to Google. So my recommendation is make sure that you're in both places. Mary agrees with you that people don't read. Liz, can you say more on how to get these folks attention? I'm reading this by the way, Mary. So some of us still read,

Liz: uh, Mary, the more educational content that you can put out there, the better it's going to reach someone sometime.

So take the opportunity to look up the keywords that are in your industry and write. Search engine optimization, optimized copy that will bring those searchers or people that are on Google searching for you, um, with the intent, um, when they searched with intent to, to find you your, um, your educational information will come up and John, you may want to talk a little bit more about intent.

John: Yeah, that's a whole nother webinar. Um, but basically the intent is just, you know, if you've got a keyword, if you got a long tail keyword that is, you know, Like four or five words long, let's say, and you want to understand, so Google wants to understand how to best serve results for that keyword. So that's the intent portion of it.

What is the intent of this keyword? Is it not, are there are people trying to just find out more information or people just trying to buy? So. That way, once you plug in that keyword into Google and you're starting to see what content shows up, whether it, is it more promotional or is it more educational?

And then you can kind of get into that. But. That's a whole nother, that's like another 45.

Rich: We'll maybe do another panel on this. Oh, we're actually running over. And speaking of woodworking, I actually, through Facebook marketplace sold my old miter saw and I need to go meet with the person who's going to buy it.

So anyways, this has been fantastic. Thanks. This was a lot of fun to be able to just abandon about ideas. Hopefully you guys got a lot out of it. Absolutely. Uh, we all, we did record the session. We're going to make it available for you. We'll take a look at some of your questions. We'll send out the link in the next few business days, so you can watch this video again, if you want to.

And if you have more questions, feel free to fire them off to any one of us. We are John Liz and Thanks everybody for a great afternoon. Take care now.