Working with new clients is always an exciting prospect for digital marketing agencies. Even with the best intentions at heart, building a good relationship with a new client can prove quite difficult.
What you want to do is build a foundation for long-term future with your clients but at the same time, you have to ensure you have got the right fit.
When dealing with small business clients, initial negotiations between both parties will be between what they need and what they can currently afford. This can be a challenge for digital marketing agencies who cannot define what a client needs given the constraints on time and budget.
The best thing to do, is to ask the right questions.
Understanding the target audience of your client can help you determine the best social media platforms they can use to connect with them. To kick off a social media campaign without prior knowledge about your client’s audience is like driving blindfolded. You have no idea where you are going, there is no destination in sight and someone could get hurt.
An important aspect of identifying the “who” is to determine who the client’s target audience is. Neil Patel founder of kissmetrics and quicksprout tell us a little bit more about identifying a target audience.
“You must have a detailed picture of your target audience in order to create optimal and helpful content for it.
Do you know who your ideal customers are? What age brackets do they fall into? What about their income status, educational backgrounds, needs, and wants?
These questions about your target audience will help you develop a buyer persona.
That buyer persona forms the focus of your inbound marketing plan. It’s one of the key factors of success in content creation and marketing.”
A lot of businesses will tell you they want to appeal to everyone. Not only is that not possible but it’s not feasible. You need to create a customer profile with your client to narrow down all the search parameters.
If your client manufactures sneakers, wouldn’t it make sense to start by identifying the age range of people who are likely to buy sneakers?
Give it a thought.
Don’t stop there. Are you targeting single people, what are their hobbies, where do they shop?
Obtaining this information will make the rest of your job much easier and you’ll see the results of your efforts much faster too.
Ask the right questions
- Does the product match the customer’s specific needs?
Does your target audience really need the product your client is selling?
In other words, how much value does your client’s product give his customers?
You want to ensure that you work with clients that set realistic goals and expectations so you can do your best job.
Do you have the right market-audience fit?
Can the client’s customers afford the product he is selling, or better yet, are they willing to pay for it?
- How much information do you have on your client’s target audience?
This is where you have to do your research. Knowing everything there is to know about your clients target audience is essential.
What you need is in depth information like where they like to shop, what brands they trust, what makes them laugh and so on. This will enable you to develop the best possible social media strategy for your client.
- Who are your client’s competitors?
How different is your client’s product or services from their competition? What can you do for your client to set them apart from the rest?
- What social media platform is your client’s target audience using and how are they using them?
While Facebook, twitter and google+ may be very popular, that doesn’t mean you would limit your marketing strategy to only those platforms.
Goals and Outlooks
Managing the expectations of your client is very important. Like any kind of relationship, people go into them with a different set of expectations that may or may not be in line with each other.
Lack of understanding on the part of the digital marketing agency can result in all your efforts being for nothing.
“Our goal-setting process at Buffer is always in flux as we experiment, learn and change. But a few main principles help keep us on track throughout the process and make sure our goals are the right mix of workable and challenging (at least, most of the time).”
You have to work together with your client to establish realistic expectations that are measurable.
Doing that will create a healthy working relationship between you and your client. To establish the goals, you have to ask what your client’s goals are. Is it to:
- Drive traffic to their website?
- Increase awareness?
- Improve customer service?
- Get more likes on Facebook?
When you get this information it will help you determine the areas where you need to focus all your efforts on and how best to utilize your resources. Establishing these goals ensures that you position your clients properly gain return on investment (ROI)
To do the best possible job for your clients, you will need to have a sense of what resources are available to you.
To get a better picture of the size of the task at hand, you have to consider who you’ll be working with and how various responsibilities will be distributed.
“In order to make sure our goals are realistic but still challenging, we use the Google model of OKRs, where the key results are always a stretch, and the minimum bar each quarter is to deliver on at least 70% of the planned improvements. It means that we overreach and are always pushing ourselves to perform.”
When planning a social media strategy for a client, you need to know who you will designate for specific tasks. If you have an internal team that are capable of handling these tasks, then include them in your initial planning process.
You should also take the time to determine the number of hours your team will dedicate to handling all social media related activities for the week.
When you know exactly what and who you are working with, you can now start thinking about which social media platform best suits your client’s needs.
Understanding social media platforms is important because they constantly evolve. As a prerequisite, you should be active on the major social media platforms so that you have the know-how on the latest trends and mannerisms.
Once again knowing the goals of your clients will help you determine the approach you take.
If we use our previous customer profile as an example, men and women aged between 18 – 35 as the target audience. If your client has a relatively high budget to snap high quality photographs of the sneakers they sell, Instagram could be your preferred platform of choice to advertise those images.
You can also use Twitter as a tool to drive customers to the client’s website.
As always do your research to determine which demographics are using each social media platform and how they are using them.
Those are the essential tools you’ll need to meet your client’s demands. Always be transparent with your strategies and tactics but more importantly, build a strong relationship with your clients. Keeping you existing clients happy will reward you with even more loyal clients in the future.
Feature Image: blacktulip.ca
In Post Images: FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Quicksprout.com, Moz.com