Whether you have a brick and mortar business, an online-only service, or a mix of the two, in order to grow you need to be found online. For most people the first thing they do when they are looking for information, products or services is to look on the net, so from the small local handmade knitting store that never sells anything online through to a global company that specializes in language learning, if you don’t have information that is available to be found when people look for you, then you just won’t be found.
What Should Your Digital Marketing Look Like?
Many people get overwhelmed with the plethora of abbreviations they have to suddenly try to understand when they enter the world of online marketing: PPC, SEO, SEM, ROI, PPV, SERP and that’s without falling into eCommerce terms like click funnel, B2B or affiliate marketing.
Although it can seem complicated when you first step into this world, working with a good agency like Alpha Clicks can help you to not only decipher the terms and untangle the threads that create a good strategy but also help to make sure that your marketing is effective.
An effective strategy is one that ensures potential customers recognize your brand, no matter where they encounter it, and can find you in the spaces where they will look. There are several global brands that have put such an effort into their branding that they have become recognizable even with only part of their logo displayed; brands such as Coca-cola, Google, Amazon, Windows or Apple are all easily recognizable around the world.
However, most businesses don’t have the advertising budget that these companies have, so you need to work to make sure that every cent you spend is effective in achieving your goals.
What Are Your Marketing Goals?
Most businesses really don’t have a clear goal in mind when they are thinking digital promotions, generally, there is a vague idea that they want to make more sales, but nothing more concrete. When you are working with a good agency, they will be able to ask the right questions to help you define what your initial goals are. These will usually be broken down into “brand awareness”, “build community engagement” or “increase sales”.
The trickiest one is actually to build community engagement, as this as a “why” of its own – what is the reason you want to build community engagement? Often this is done to either increase brand awareness or drive sales, but it should also be considered a goal in its own right.
Where are you based and who is your main customer? Do they know who you are? All businesses have a niche market, but many times that group hasn’t been well enough to define yet. When you find a digital agency to work with hopefully they will be able to help you define who your target audience really is. Having this defined enables you to work out where you should be spending your time and money.
If your product or service is being noticed by females in the 18-30 year age bracket who speak French and love sport, you will be looking to advertise in a different manner and on different platforms than if your target audience is males who are 40-60 years, play golf and speak Italian.
Although you might like to have the same brand awareness as McDonald’s, start by focusing your energy on your target group and ensuring that they know who you are and where to find you.
A sale does not necessarily mean a product that is exchanged for money but can mean when a client engages your services or accesses your information. If you have developed a strong client base then increases sales may be as simple as sending out a newsletter offering a discount, however, this is not always the best way forward. Many companies have been caught in a sales pattern where customers wait until a specific sale comes up before making their purchase.
In order to be able to increase sales, it is a good idea to have your digital marketing agency analysis your current sales and work out where best to increase your efforts as well as developing a thorough and smooth sales funnel. This means from the moment your potential client discovers your product, service, or information, they are given an easy and seamless way to reach the end goal (purchasing your product, engaging your services or accessing your information).
However, it is not simply a case of adding a few ‘buy now’ buttons, and more than just developing your sales funnel, a good digital marketing agency will also ensure that you are able to be provided with the data showing where your new clients are coming from. You need more than to just increase your sales through a one-off event, but to find a way to keep your customers coming back time and time again. For this you need to make sure that you are capturing their information during the sales process.
Increase Community Engagement
More than just a catchphrase, this is the whole purpose of social media, to develop communities and give people a platform in which to engage with each other, and with your business. However, many businesses do social media very badly, missing the “social” part and instead are left wondering why their hard sale tactics are working.
Your social media community becomes your word of mouth and your testimonials, which we know are your best form of promotion. However, the engagement still needs to be as organic as possible to have the most effect. There are certainly benefits to developing a social media presence, but there are also quite significant risks, and before you go too far down this road it is a good idea to have a solid plan in place about your policies if things go wrong, how to do deal with customer complaints, what to do if something unfortunate goes viral, as well as how to engage with positive interactions.