Cousin Eddie. Some of us just laugh at the name and know immediately it refers to the outrageous character in the beloved Christmas classic, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
You’ve probably heard or even quoted some of Cousin Eddie’s lines. For example, when poor Clark Griswold finds out that instead of getting a raise, his boss sent him membership into the Jelly of the Month Club, Eddie replies, “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year!”
Another great scene is in the grocery store, when Cousin Eddie tells Clark that life has been rough and the family now lives in an RV. Eddie says, “I had to sell off the house, the barn, and the 10 acres. All I kept was a 50-foot plot, the pigs, and the worm farm.”
Of course, the idea of a worm farm is funny enough, but Cousin Eddie managing it is hysterical. Truth is, though, worm farms are real! Households use worms to fertilize compost, and businesses sell them to consumers who enjoy fishing.
So that got us thinking, “How the heck would you market a worm farm?” Digital marketing isn’t limited to certain industries.
If you want to grow your business online, there are steps you can take, whether you’re a manufacturer, retailer, or worm farmer:
Find Your Target Audience
The first step to creating an online presence is a website. Or is it? Even before that, you need to take smaller steps to ensure the website will be effective. For example, make sure your site has a clear purpose, along with the content buyers are looking for. In addition, think carefully about how your website should be structured and designed to reach your target audience.
We like to create “buyer personas” to grasp who a client’s target audience is. Imagine a fictitious person that embodies your ideal customer. Think about what their job title is, what they need to know, and how they prefer to buy your product or service.
A commercial worm farmer’s ideal customer might manage the garden section of a large retailer or own a small bait & tackle shop. While both customers are in different consumer environments, they share the same goal–to buy your worms. If there’s a significant difference in the goals of buyers, create another persona to help you to speak to both of them.
Build Your Brand
With the baseline of your target audience clear, you can start to effectively build your brand in a way that resonates with the buyer personas. Branding is a long and detailed process. You need to determine how you want your brand to be perceived. Conceptualize and design your brand image, touchpoints, and experience.
Things to design could include the following:
- Worm Logos
- Worm Website
- Social Media Images (such as a glob of earthworms thriving in rotting organic waste)
- Marketing Collateral (like a brochure on how fast Tiger Worms can repopulate)
- Ads (“Get Your Worm Composting Guide Today”)
- Stationery (For worm lovers only!)
If you want to take a deeper dive into branding, check out our Crash Course in Branding.
Strategize and Write Your Content
When you’re getting started with creating your website concept, you need to consider the content. “Content is (still) king” as Bill Gates stated 25 years ago. What your website says is just as important as how it looks and feels. As a growing brand, don’t just talk about how great your product or service is, but tell your readers how you can solve their problem. Make them see why they can’t live without your product or service.Our agency uses the Storybrand Framework to help our clients position themselves as successful guides in meeting customer needs.
The clarity of your messages is important for brand building. A user should be able to understand what you're selling and how they can buy it within seconds of visiting your site. The average person will spend only a few seconds searching for the answer before moving on. Being concise is critical, especially on the homepage. Reserve more detailed information for internal pages where visitors have moved past the awareness/exploration stage and entered the consideration stage.
We like to say, “Don’t ask them to marry you before asking them out on a date.” Providing in-depth information and details about your product is proposing marriage. Instead, ask them for a date where you explain how to solve their problem. Then, once that consideration is made and your visitors have taken the bait (no pun intended), you can lead them to more detailed information.
Here’s a simple example of copywriting for a homepage.
Instead of saying:
#1 Worm Farm in the US:
For an unbeatable price, we farm, harvest, and sell worms for retail stores across the country
Affordable Wholesale Worms
The second message highlights a value proposition (affordable), explains your target market (wholesaler), and describes what you’re selling (worms)–in three simple words. The message is easy to read, and buyers want to purchase with as little effort as possible.
Once buyers say, “Hey, I need wholesale worms, but my current worm guy is too expensive,” they will be willing to dig deeper into your site to learn more. Then you can tell them how your worms are better.
Content Marketing & Ongoing Optimization
After your worm farm has an established web presence, the job isn’t over! The idea of building a website and letting it grow old and outdated is the traditional way of web design.
The most effective approach is to treat the website as a living, evolving resource. Your brand’s main touchpoint with customers should be your greatest asset. With the Growth-Driven Design methodology Vendilli uses, you can continually improve and expand your website.
Optimize and Expand
Don’t worry about getting everything out the door at once. When developing your website, launch with as little information as you reasonably can, and make additions afterward. Ongoing optimization lets you make data-driven decisions that are catered towards your audience’s behavior. By using tools like Google Analytics and HubSpot, you can gain insight into how users interact with your website. This information will guide your decisions on how to improve your online presence and cater to user behavior.
If you’re finding that few people are making it past the homepage, you must consider why. Ask yourself: “Could my calls to action not be clear enough? Is my content clear? Is the website confusing?” This is where analyzing user data is important. If you find, for example, that after users visit the worm statistics page, they leave the website, then you must consider a better way to keep that visitor until a purchase is made.
Create A Resourceful Content Engine
Website optimization helps improve the performance of your site for visitors, but how do you get visitors to the site in the first place? The first step is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While there is a lot to this, including incorporating relevant keywords in your content, one simple way to move up in Google rankings is to create a blog. Churning out content on a regular basis that is engaging and helpful to visitors brings great value.
Blogs turn your website from a salesperson into a resource. Buyers are more likely to trust and purchase from a website that educated and guided them through their decision making. Users will see your company as an authority and expert. This is the foundation of inbound marketing.
Let’s explore some blog post topics that buyers for our worm farm may benefit from reading:
- “What Are the Proper Ways to Store Earthworms?”
- “How Many Worms Do I Need to Get Started?”
- “What Type of Worms Are Best for Composting?”
- “Would Cousin Eddie Ever Purchase My Worm Farm?”
These are the kinds of topics potential buyers would likely be searching for. If you can be the one to answer these questions, you’ll likely be the one who makes the sale.
We could go on to next steps such as email marketing, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, print advertising, and trade shows. But the overarching theme remains: Keep your message clear and valuable, and guide your buyers to success.
If you want to dig deeper into the world of Inbound marketing, check out our full blog to learn more about handing your own “worm farm” marketing! If you’re looking for a partner to help with your website design and/or inbound marketing strategies, let’s have a chat!