Last Updated: Feb 15, 2022

A customer-first mindset is the best way to produce an effective marketing strategy. And the only way to put your customers first is to understand who your target audience is in the first place.

If improving your audience research to execute winning content is something you could use some help with, look no further. This week’s round-up features plenty of tips on how to do this including suggestions for using user-generated content, tips for navigating Twitter, new market research, content marketing ideas, and much more. 

Let’s take a look at the top-ten ecommerce and marketing articles from this week.

  1. The User-Generated Content Ultimate Guide: How to Use It, Why It’s Important, and Timing It Perfectly” by Neil Patel

Are you using user-generated content (UGC) in your marketing? If not, you’ll want to get started after reading marketing expert Neil Patel’s article on the subject this week. 

According to Business Wire, 79% of people say UGC impacts their purchasing decision. What does that mean? People are now trusting recommendations from others instead of the brands themselves, and UGC is the key to successful marketing today. 

Patel then lists several ways to incorporate UGC into your marketing strategies, such as by sharing your audience’s photos and videos, testimonials, and reviews. If you’re ready to give UGC a go, Patel’s guide is a great start. 

  1. Small Business SEO Checklist: 11 Ways To Improve Rankings” by Mindy Weinstein

SEO for small businesses can be a struggle, especially when you don’t have a dedicated team on the job making sure you’re constantly on top of new updates like the bigger companies often have. But that’s not to say it is impossible according to digital marketing strategist Mindy Weinstein, who penned a business SEO checklist this week. 

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At the top of Weinstein’s list is the advice to nail down what problems you solve for customers. This will make life easier when it comes to tasks like keyword research and content creation. Other tips include fixing technical SEO issues, optimizing your Google Business profile, analyzing competition, and getting links from websites in your local area. 

Regularly checking in on your SEO is always a good idea, especially if you’re a small business. Check out Weinstein’s article for more tips on how to do this.

  1. An Introduction to Local SEO and How it Can Add Profitability to Your Business” by Aprajetta Singh

Sticking with the theme of SEO this week was content writer Aprajetta Singh, with a guide on local SEO and how it can add profitability to your business, particularly for startups. 

First and foremost, what is local SEO? According to Singh, local SEO is simply working to make your business more visible in local search results on Google and is key to improving traffic and acquiring better conversion rates. In the article, Singh also outlines several ways to start building your local SEO such as by improving local citations, working on your Google Business profile (also mentioned by Mindy Weinstein this week), and encouraging local reviews. 

Local SEO is an essential strategy today and should not be forgotten about. But luckily, it’s not overly complicated and can be easily managed. Check out Singh’s article to be better versed in local SEO and find out how you can improve your own. 

  1. How to Choose the Right Long-Tail Keywords” by Sergio Aicardi 

Moving from general SEO to keywords was SEO expert Sergio Aicardi, who gave a fantastic rundown on long-tail keywords this week on Semrush Blog.

As Aicardi says, “long-tail keywords are search queries that consist of 3-5 words and tend to be more specific to the user’s search intent.” For example, if your business sells coffee, you may use long-tail keywords such as “organic coffee beans” or “how to make filter coffee.” Next, Aicardi outlines why long-tail keywords are so important; they are easier to rank and target the audience better. Aicardi then gives some tips on how to expand your keyword lists. 

Overall, this is a fantastic one-stop guide to cover all your bases when it comes to long-tail keywords and optimizing them to achieve fantastic results. It’s worth a read, and a bookmark too.

  1. Google Ads for eCommerce: How to Make Your Website Conversion-Ready” by Kasim Aslam

If you’re in the process of starting Google Ads for your ecommerce business, an essential question to ask beforehand is whether your website is ready to convert. Why? As put by advertising expert Kasim Aslam, you don’t want to spend all that money and lead customers to your virtual front door only for them to find that it’s not ready. Thankfully, he gave some helpful tips to ensure that’s not the case in his article this week on Digital Marketer

First up, is the tip to check in on your website’s conversion rate optimization. 

“You can’t drive traffic to a broken website. So, it’s crucial to ensure you catch any website issues or errors,” writes Aslam.

His other tips include working on your product pages, correctly selecting the right media, and ensuring you have robust titles and descriptions. 

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Starting an ecommerce website is easy. But ensuring it converts is another story. Check out Aslam’s article to be sure your website is up to scratch before launching your Google Ads campaign.  

  1. Marketing Messages Must Stand Out in Twitter’s ‘Sea of Same” by Nathan Eddy

Thinking of starting a Twitter account for your business or looking to amplify your Twitter game? Content creator Nathan Eddy gave some great marketing advice on how to stand out and have your voice heard on the platform on CMS Wire this week. 

“People are engaging with brands on Twitter far more often than they were just a few years ago,” he writes, “Indicating that a well-crafted, outside-the-box social media marketing strategy could offer organizations more exposure and cultural relevance.” 

Still, it’s important to remember that your business doesn’t need to be across every social platform. In fact, it’s far more beneficial to pick just a few based on where your primary audience is located instead of stretching across several. However, if Twitter is one of the platforms that your target audience hangs out on, then many of Eddy’s tips will be useful to you. 

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  1. 5 Email Marketing Habits to Leave Behind” by Liviu Tanase 

We all know that email marketing is here to stay. Marketing expert Liviu Tanase, CEO of email validation service ZeroBounce, gave his say on five email marketing habits to leave behind this week to better drive your strategies. 

Tanase’s suggestions on habits to avoid include being inconsistent in release and lacking in punctuality, neglecting welcome emails, incorrectly managing spam complainers, having an outdated mail list, and insufficient testing. He also included a few bonus pointers, such as spending extra time on subject lines and preview text and keeping an eye on your unsubscribed list. 

Finally, he says to make the process fun. “Being excited about growing your business will make implementing new habits much easier, so together with your team, try to make the enthusiasm both joyful and contagious.” It’ll help your emails to be more relatable and more likely to resonate with your audience as well.

  1. Eight B2B Visual Content Marketing Ideas” by Allie Decker 

Stuck for inspiration right now when it comes to your visual marketing content? Content marketing professional Allie Decker is here to help, with eight B2B visual content marketing ideas to brighten your social media strategies. 

Some of Decker’s suggestions include using user-generated content (as Neil Patel encouraged this week as well), scroll-trigger animation, and graphs and charts. She also recommends creating infographics. This content is not only visually appealing, it is also a great tactic to use if you want to re-utilize and transform old content. For example, take an old blog post and convert it into an infographic – easy!

Eye-catching content is growing more and more important by the day on social media, or you risk your audience scrolling past your content. Decker’s article is a great short read to be sure you’re across all the current visual content trends to fire up your social media. 

  1. The 13 Best Social Media Automation Tools (2022)” by Neal Schaffer 

Small businesses are always stretched for time. Thankfully there are plenty of modern tools available to ease up your workload while achieving great results. To help with heavy marketing loads, why not consider using social media automation tools? Marketing expert Neal Schaffer covered his favorites this week on his blog. 

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As listed in the article, there are many ways tools can help, such as by managing all your social channels under one dashboard, scheduling and repurposing posts, and even creating fresh content. Schaffer then suggests a bunch of different tools to consider including Agorapulse, Sprout Social, and an oldie but a goodie, Hootsuite

Social media is a time-consuming task, which is why using tools such as those which Schaffer suggests is a no-brainer. To find the perfect tool suited to your marketing needs, check out this article. 

  1. What is the Buyer’s Journey? How to Create Content for Every Stage” by Si Quan Ong

How often do you see an item and then immediately click the buy button? Probably not too often, unless it’s under $20 or an impulse buy. Instead, you may spend some time researching other products and talking to friends, which leads you to a completely different product that does the same thing but better. This is all part of the buyer’s journey, which marketing manager Si Quan Ong covered this week. 

According to Ong, to best anticipate the buyer’s journey, you must create content for each stage. This means creating your buyer’s persona, finding topics that match each stage of the buyer’s journey, creating content for each stage, and finally adding in CTAs. 

By better understanding and anticipating your customers’ buying behavior, you wield the power to more successfully drive online sales. To gain a better grasp on this topic, I recommend giving Ong’s article a further read.

The Next Step: Effective Audience Research

A common theme running through many of these articles this week was the importance of knowing and better understanding your online audience. Why? Because knowing your audience will help decipher your content and messaging and will essentially help convert these followers into paying customers. 

Ready to nail down your own audience research? Here’s how to get started:

Step One: Compile information on existing customers and social media followers. 

Step Two: Use social media listening and automation tools to find out what people are saying about your brand and what platforms they are using to do so. 

Step Three: Analyze the competition and how they reach the same or similar target market.

Tip: Your audience is likely to change with time as different trends emerge and social platforms change. Therefore, it’s important to regularly check in on what your audience is saying. Not only will this help drive new content, but it will ensure you are producing the right content, which is exactly what will help those followers to become customers. 

Need help reaching your audience? Reach out today for your free 20-minute consultation and let’s find out what you can do to scale your company. 

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