Beyond Google: How to Find Your Prospects Online (Part 1)

Beyond Google: How to Find Your Prospects Online (Part 1)
Michele Linn - Thu May 14, 2009 @ 08:38AM
Comments: 38

How to find your prospects onlineIn my recent post, Eight Things Your Prospects Wish You Knew, I noted that prospects want to easily find information about you. Sure, it sounds nice to say that you should be where your prospects are, but where exactly is that?

This week and next, I'm going to give you some ideas.

Knowing where your prospects hang out online has a number of benefits:

  • You know where to focus your marketing efforts.
  • You can follow conversations to see what people are saying about you.
  • You can find out what interests your prospects and tailor your message accordingly.

Of course, the best way to find out where your prospects congregate is to ask them. Are there certain websites, forums, associations, blogs, etc that they are drawn to? Do they spend time on Twitter or do they perhaps use certain social bookmarking sites?

However, if you don't have access to your prospects, you can also do some digging. This two-step process takes some time, but I guarantee that you'll uncover new ideas. In fact, this is the process I used a few weeks ago when I was trying to unearth some topic ideas for a client, and it worked great.

Step 1: Identify keywords

As luck would have it, Kate wrote a great post this week about how to create a good list of keywords. This is a fantastic place to start, but for these purposes, you want to broaden your scope. In addition to understanding which words and phrases your prospects search on, also record:

  • Title of prospect
  • Industry (if there are specific ones you target)
  • Your product/solution name
  • Competitors
  • Key influencers (think of analysts, authors, speakers in your niche; by searching on people you know who write about your topic, you'll find out where they are writing/speaking, which will likely give you more ideas).

Note: It's likely that you have different people you focus your marketing efforts on, such as the users vs decision makers. Focus on one group at a time.

Step 2: Start searching!

Once you have the list of keywords in hand, it's time to start searching. Of course, search engines are a great start, but there are a lot of places to consider beyond that.

Forums and message boards

Message boards are a fantastic place to find out what issues are on your prospects' minds, but they are not the place to be promotional. While it is great for marketing to monitor what is being said, consider asking a subject matter expert to participate in the relevant boards.

How to find: I suggest checking out the site BoardTracker where you can run searches for key terms across many message boards.

LinkedIn groups:

LinkedIn groups are akin to message boards, but I wanted to call them out specifically. I've recently started participating in LinkedIn groups and have really found them useful. There are discussions you can participate in, and you can post your "news" (articles, blog postings, white papers, etc) in a separate section.

How to find: Go to the LinkedIn home page and select "Search Groups" from the drop-down on the home page ("Search People" is the default) and then start searching on your list of terms.

Blogs

It is absolutely worthwhile to follow the blogs your prospects follow. Again, it is great to monitor the conversation and comment as appropriate (being genuine and helpful, not promotional).

How to find: There is a good post called from ReadWriteWeb that identifies some good places to search for blogs that are relevant to your prospect. I'd recommend the entire post as it provides a useful pro/con synopsis of each site, but here are the six blog search engines it recommends:

Next week, I'll share additional ideas of how you can find out where your prospects are hanging out online.

Have you had success with the process listed above? What additional suggestions do you have for finding your prospects online?

Read more Savvy B2B posts from Michele.

Comments: 38

Comments

1. Jamie Lee  |  my website   |   Sun May 17, 2009 @ 06:16AM

Michele - great tips and resources. I'm so glad you called out to people that forums and other existing communities are not the place to do your marketing - they are the place to get a pulse of what's happening in your market and in the minds of your peers and prospects. Too often companies see social media as a way to jump into a virtual room full "targets" and blast a marketing message out with a megaphone. Can you imagine doing this with a real room of people? Security would be hauling you out within minutes!

Anyway, great tips on how to find and listen in on the relevant conversations. For better or worse, the technologies in this area are always evolving. I've recently been checking out a company called EveryZing that transcribes audio and video content to make it searchable beyond meta data - may be another avenue for keeping your ear to the ground.

2. Michele Linn  |  my website   |   Sun May 17, 2009 @ 03:28PM

Jamie: Thank for the greta resource; I'll have to check out EveryZing. And, I couldn't agree with you more about mointoring conversations vs. being promotional. As mentioned, I have really found LinkedIn to be a great resource, but there are certain groups I am a member of where most of the "discussions" are promotions of webcasts, articles, blog posts or people's services. I want to join conversations on B2B marketing, and I often find myself overlooking any of the discussions if there are too many threads that are promotional. As you mention, the same holds true for forums and message boards (as well as other social media venues). The best way to promote yourself is to be share your ideas.

3. Takis  |  my website   |   Sun Sep 15, 2013 @ 04:55AM

I was really struggling but your tips changed my mindset! http://www.free-roaming-sim.com/

4. CASSARAH   |   Sun Dec 08, 2013 @ 03:34AM

Regulations- Guidelines are also lawfully executed for both the applying organization and the controlled group. Guidelines are the guidelines, process, and management requirements that are set by regulators or govt departments to apply major government and many state laws and regulations. http://designlyset.dk/alterlys-ren-stearin/

5. darlin   |   Mon Mar 10, 2014 @ 09:56AM

It`s great that now it is possible to follow the blogs your prospects follow and find the posts related to the products you sell. I found out about a place that has the best guitars for sale after reading a post about the http://www.luthierscollection.com/acoustic.php website on LinkedIn groups, all the user reviews were great and I liked that there were responses from the company`s marketing team that explained every detail about their products.

6. have   |   Sun May 11, 2014 @ 07:40AM

Even though I think too many pieces have an unnecessary registration barrier, there are also many times when it does make sense to ask people to register for your content, such as when you need to generate a list AND you have a follow up process in place. http://catch22fishingcharter.com/

7. aren't   |   Wed May 21, 2014 @ 12:11AM

There are many individuals who aren't looking to buy when they obtain your provide, so let them tell you that - and, even even more essential, keep that in thoughts when following up. http://www.hocuspokies.com.au/

8. people   |   Thu May 29, 2014 @ 01:55AM

Of course, the best way to find out where your prospects congregate is to ask them. Are there certain websites. http://cheapestflights.to/london/

9. Martin   |   Wed Aug 20, 2014 @ 04:49AM

Nice Article,Thanks for sharing , Great Job, I am always using http://couponcodes365.us and http://mrqe.us for my online shopping coupons

10. Ramya   |   Fri Aug 22, 2014 @ 12:21PM

Won wonderful blog, It s so great work, keep regular updates. i like it so much. My Blogs http://mrqe.in and http://www.seotraininginameerpet.in

11. rohan   |   Sat Aug 23, 2014 @ 07:35AM

Even though I think too many items have an needless signing up hurdle, there are also many periods when it does appear sensible to ask individuals to sign-up for your material, such as when you need to produce a record AND you have a adhere to up procedure in position. https://twitter.com/

12. truth about cellulite joey atlas   |   Wed Aug 27, 2014 @ 02:11AM

Periods when it does appear sensible to ask individuals to sign-up for your material, such as. https://www.rebelmouse.com/truthaboutcellulitereviewsx/

13. krishna   |   Tue Sep 02, 2014 @ 10:30PM

Thanks a lot for sharing the detailed list of Senate names of farm bill Conferees. Most of the members are new to me. This subject has interested me for quite some time. I have just started researching it on the Internet and found your post to be informative http://www.usafashiontv.com http://www.avignaseoservices.com and http://www.avighnaseosolutions.com

14. Oggy   |   Wed Sep 03, 2014 @ 05:47AM

I believe the fact with you. This publish is truly motivating. I like your publish and everything you discuss with us is present and very useful, I want to save the site so I can come back here from you that you have done a amazing job. <a href="https://savingandbuycoupons.wordpress.com/">the post right here</a>

15. jim   |   Tue Sep 09, 2014 @ 02:42AM

There is no question in that Adidas has always been the house item for actions products and components and most generally known all over the world. http://goodshoesfortennis.webnode.com/news/where-to-buy-the-best-tennis-shoes/

16. vally69  |  my website   |   Wed Sep 24, 2014 @ 12:34AM

There are some Online boards that prevent the publishing of ads but, on many of these boards, it is still possible to acquire free Online marketing by use of a trademark computer file. <a href="http://saranwrapweightloss.net">Saran wrap weight loss</a>

17. jamu   |   Wed Sep 24, 2014 @ 02:01AM

Another common method of presenting change is by using a outdoor patio of special credit cards. In yet other activities rewriters or other such devices are used to figure out the perform. http://www.freegiftcodesonline.com/itunes.html

18. vally   |   Sat Oct 11, 2014 @ 01:16AM

Nowadays several individuals enjoying different events and event and they also need efficient collections and terminology for this function. But there is big issue they did not discovered appropriate terminology for this occasion and for party. http://quotecorner.com/

19. click reference link   |   Mon Oct 13, 2014 @ 01:53AM

Just be sure that all the solutions and places have a support and places assurance before the job to be began. Make sure to analyze their execute after they have done the job. http://garagedoorrepairtips.webs.com/

20. sparxxrx   |   Fri Oct 17, 2014 @ 01:50AM

Chances are that you’re searching for a solution to your poor sexual performance, and we promise you that you’ve come to the right place!
http://sparxxrx.com/

21. most reliable car brands   |   Tue Oct 21, 2014 @ 02:53AM

Shades of unskilled eye darkness will create your eye colour pop while plum and purple shades will deliver a impressive effect. For mascara endeavor deeper. http://mostreliablecarbrands.com/

22. the post right here   |   Fri Oct 24, 2014 @ 02:23AM

Jonathan Instant overlooked the capability of the English and Irish audience with his indicated satirical brochure way returning in the 1700's. http://hairlosssolutionservice.tumblr.com/

23. marry   |   Fri Nov 14, 2014 @ 06:18AM

encouraged to find Anine Bing this site. I wanted to thank you for this special read. I definitely savored every little bit of it and I have you anine bing bookmarked to check out new stuff you post,

http://autopartspromocode.us/
http://autopartspromocode.us/store/adventureharley-com/
http://autopartspromocode.us/store/autoanything-com/
http://autopartspromocode.us/store/autopartsexpress-com/

24. www.fantasyfootballmogul.com/   |   Wed Nov 19, 2014 @ 05:51AM

Make sure to analyze their execute after they have done the job. http://www.fantasyfootballmogul.com/

25. girlsdoporn   |   Wed Dec 31, 2014 @ 11:55PM

What a great writing, really I appreciate such kind of topics. It will be very helpful for us. Waiting for more articles, blogs like this. I’m going bookmark your blog for future reference. Thanks a lot for sharing this. http://talent.adweek.com/gallery/22319413/The-new-method-of-entertaining-yourself

26. saddles for sale   |   Sat Jan 03, 2015 @ 03:16AM

You should write about the directions on the blog. You can demonstrate it's revolutionary. Your blog commentary can broaden your income. http://horsequips.com/saddlesforsale.html

27. global economy   |   Sat Jan 03, 2015 @ 03:45AM

Another person around my Facebook group Discussed this website with us Particular Located Therefore I look it over. I'm absolutely enjoying the knowledge. http://www.investasian.com/author/

28. Bifeh   |   Sun Mar 22, 2015 @ 09:16PM

Fantastic website. Plenty of beneficial statistics here. I'm sending it to a few pals ans excessively distribution in delicious. Added to noticeably, utter appreciation you to your effort! http://penyerang.com/

29. waseem   |   Tue Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:20AM

It provides them with the opportunity coordinate a particular organization and also connect if two-way discussions are motivated. http://awesomeexactlytiny.tumblr.com/

30. additional info read   |   Wed Apr 22, 2015 @ 02:29AM

Yet again, no issue how smartly designed a SEO Service is, no issue how many advertisements, most favorite and back-links you integrate, it will devote some time before your web page is known. http://meetakhtar.blogspot.com

31. the post right here   |   Fri Apr 24, 2015 @ 05:27AM

Internet promotion may be the hurriedly improving manner that the brings numerous sophisticated features in organization promoting. http://ceocoachingbenefits.yolasite.com/

32. Century Packways  |  my website   |   Sat Jun 06, 2015 @ 08:23AM

You have shared very nice information regarding this social media. Really I got some new things from here. http://www.centurypackways.in/

33. franklin   |   Wed Jun 24, 2015 @ 05:07AM
34. waseem   |   Sat Aug 08, 2015 @ 12:41AM

That is especially actual for seo, if you own a website and want to make it big, previously or later you will need professional SEO talking to alternatives. https://nflhacking.wordpress.com/

35. zimzam   |   Sat Sep 19, 2015 @ 06:54AM
36. errty   |   Mon Dec 28, 2015 @ 02:13AM

uperbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place
Discount vapor code
http://discountvaporcode.com
Vape mods
http://discountvaporcode.com/vape-mods/
Vape pen
http://discountvaporcode.com/vape-pen/
Vape eliquid
http://discountvaporcode.com/eliquid/

37. Packers And Movers Punr  |  my website   |   Thu May 12, 2016 @ 12:34PM

Post a Comment




powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder