Businesses of all sizes now have a wide range of digital marketing opportunities at their fingertips, which can be specifically targeted to suit their objectives, budget and industry.
SMEs can now connect and engage with their customers in an easier, more cost effective, and measurable way, than ever before. So, what’s digital marketing all about? And why should you make full use of it as a small or medium sized business owner?
Your Industry’s Digital World-
Think of your industry’s online world as a huge shopping mall, where every other shop is offering similar businesses to yours. If you owned a shop within this retail park you would do all you could, in terms of marketing, to make your business stand out from the crowd. So why wouldn’t you do the same online?
Customers make full use of the internet to easily find the services and products they are looking for. If this retail park was full of White Goods Shops, for example, people would travel there specifically to find these products. The benefit here is that if someone is in the area, they are almost definitely looking to make a purchase either then, or in the near future.
The difficulty comes in ensuring that yours is the business the customer chooses to shop at, and then making sure that the visit ends in a sale. This is where digital marketing comes in.
Make sure you’ve got the best positioned shop within the retail park. This is probably the first one they see as they walk in. In the online world this is equal to being on the first page of Google’s Search Results. When someone searches for a term related to your business, you want to be the first name they see.
Unfortunately, making it to the first page is no mean feat. This is where a strong focus on SEO within your Digital Marketing Strategy, can massively improve your Google ranking. Concentrating on publishing relevant content, including longtail metadata, and ensuring you use alt tags on images, are all ways in which this can be improved.
In the real world this would mean making sure your shop window was appealing, as well as showing any current deals you were running. In order to increase the likelihood of someone clicking onto your website, in the online world, the simplest option is to ensure that your Website’s Meta Title and Description lets your audience know that you have what they might require. This can be taken further through running Google Ads PPC (pay per click) campaigns, in order to show customers more targeted information in relation to their search.
Ensure Customers Stay.
If your audience can’t see the deal they saw in the window right away, or can’t easily discover how to find it, they might leave – why wouldn’t they? There are countless shops with similar products in the same place. This is where your bounce rate comes in. It’s important to make sure that after clicking on your website, your audience are instantly shown what they want, or where they need to go, otherwise your potential customers will “bounce” and leave your website.
You can reduce the bounce rate of your website through using landing pages with your Google Ads. These ensure that your audience is being shown a page which is more relevant to their initial search, rather than landing on your home page. Think of it as walking a customer in through a side door that leads them straight to the product they want, instead of through the front door.
Ultimately, some people will land on your website’s homepage, and for this reason you need strong Calls to Action (CTAs) to guide your customers where to go. This is like having aisle signs in a supermarket, making it clear where you need to go if you’re looking for a specific product.
Now, if your customer already knew what they wanted, then at this point they might instantly add the product to their basket, and head straight to the checkout. But a lot of the time it’s not that simple.
Present Yourself Well.
If your products are higher ticket items which need more consideration, or even if they are purchases that don’t need to be made instantly, your potential customer may do some research about each shop and its products. This is where your other digital platforms become essential.
In the real world, after having visited the retail park looking for a dishwasher, your audience may go back and discuss their options with friends and family. People trust people, and it’s important to have a good collection of reviews and testimonials available for your potential customers to see. Having these available over a few different platforms works to increase the reliability of these reviews.
Another thing that may influence a purchase is how your staff presented themselves and acted whilst they were in your store. If you warm to a sales person whilst in a store, you are more likely to make a purchase. This effect can be replicated online through ensuring your voice across all platforms is welcoming, positive, and subtly persuasive.
If you ask a sales person a technical question about a dishwasher in the shop, and they give you a simple yet informed answer, then you are more likely to trust that if something did go wrong with your product or service, they would be able to help you fix it. You can achieve this sense of authority within your field by ensuring that the content available on your site and across all platforms, answers these questions.
People are often scared of the unknown. A customer’s choice may also be influenced by whether or not they were aware of your brand prior to their search. Like having signs on the side of the road as your customers drive towards the retail park, or adverts on TV before they leave home, making your customers aware of your brand online is an important part of the sales process.
The more your audience sees your brand in a positive way, the more they are likely to trust your business enough to make a purchase. In order to get your brand in front of your audience in the online world, you can use sponsored adverts and content across different platforms, in order to be seen by the people who matter. Having your business online is one thing, but making people pay attention to it, is another.
So now you’ve implemented your digital marketing strategy, you’re being found online, and conversion rates are increasing.
Don’t Stop There.
When purchasing your product in the retail park you may receive a discount voucher or another piece of promotional material. You may even receive a leaflet through your door a few weeks after, reminding you of the other products you could buy from the same shop. And now that you know they’re a reliable company, why would you go anywhere else?
This is where email campaigns are important. You want to ensure that you stay at the forefront of your customer’s minds, so that you’re the first business they think of when they need something else that you can provide. Brand loyalty is still important in this day and age, and having repeat custom will cost you less in the long run. Through not only keeping your customers informed about your products and services, but also giving them a reward for shopping with you, you can instil a sense of brand loyalty in your customers and increase repeat custom.
Make your Digital Strategy Work for You.
If you’re unsure where to start or how to improve your digital marketing, contact Dentons Digital today and see how we can help.