You cannot afford not to market your brand online today. That’s where your customers are already, and it’s also where your competitors are as well.
If your business is not currently involved in online marketing, you’re wasting time. Skim-read the rest of this article, then get whoever is in charge of your marketing into the office (assuming that’s not also you) and insist on a plan of action within 48 hours.
You should by now at least have a website, and if not, you can source hosting, site builder software and domain names Your site is your base of operations. Your aim is to use online marketing to drive customers to it, where you can convert them into sales and revenue.
Probably you know this already. Certainly if you don’t you will be aware that people have been talking for years about the potential benefits of e-marketing.
So why is marketing your brand online so vital nowadays?
If you have an advertising hoarding by the side of the A57 you can maybe expect 10,000 people to notice it, on a good day. And of them maybe 20% will take in the message you’re trying to impart and if you’re lucky, a tiny percentage of them might think about acting on it. If you’re marketing online you can have your message seen by hundreds of thousands, wherever they are in the world, for a fraction of the cost of renting a trailer in a farmer’s field. 1,000% more exposure, brand awareness, for virtually zero spend has got to be worth considering, right? Better exposure leads to better…
You now have dozens more potential channels to communicate with your customers, from blogs to online tutorials, podcasts to Instagram images, banner ads to tailored emails. You can now tell the story of your brand from multiple platforms and angles, your reach and ability to develop brand loyalty grown exponentially. And more engaged and deeper communication with your company naturally provides a much better…
Amy Tyler (for the purposes of this article, a fictional teenager), happens to be idly browsing online for a new pair of trainers. She’s not in a buying mood but still hovers over the cool images of the trainers she wants that are showing on your brand’s Instagram account. She makes a note to click through to your site from Instagram when she’s on the bus home. When she does, she’s prompted to give her email address.
Now, the cookies on your website enable you to follow Amy around the internet, not in an annoying manner of course, remarketing and discreetly displaying ads aimed directly at her, featuring the trainers you know she’s interested in, on every site she visits. Further, once a week or so, using the email address you got earlier, you contact her letting her know the trainers she wants are still in stock and how great she’d look in them. After a couple of weeks, Amy has the money to buy a pair and she has just one brand front of mind – yours. She also has a new relationship with your company which you can build on. And because you now have a conversation going, you can get a lot more…
In 2014 92% of marketers agreed that social media is important for their business. A similar figure indicated that social media efforts have generated more exposure for them, and some 80% indicated that they had increased their website traffic. Social media is excellent for capturing business intelligence, through monitoring conversations and comment threads, and tracking the positive or negative effects of such marketing devices as sales promotions on Twitter and Facebook. Smarter business intelligence helps you to create more helpful online content for your customers, which gives rise to higher…
Because Google – yes, and the other ones – love to see people talking about your brand, and if they can see that you’re answering questions and generally making yourself useful, they’ll bump you up the results. That’s why many successful e-marketers actually give away as much free content as they can, because they know it pays dividends further down the line.
It also helps you develop…
It’s easier to partner up with related brands for cross-promotion when you market online and have reliable customer intelligence to share, and that in turn gives you access to new markets, more traffic, and more sales channels.
And all of this, as mentioned, with little time or expense required, at least unless or until you get heavily into it. It’s not an overnight thing, obviously, and it does require commitment, but with only a few hours a week, in time you can develop a loyal brand following for next to no expenditure.
Here’s a few tips to get you started:
Social media-wise, you should be looking for a presence on several platforms ideally, but make sure they’re the right ones for you. If you’re a hairdresser in Bolton, you’ve no need for LinkedIn, but you would do well on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Consider what information you want to release on different platforms. Can you afford to give content away for free?
Your online marketing should have as its focus quality over quantity. Don’t annoy your customers, help them, make them want to get to know your brand better. To that end, it’s vital to ensure your website is user-friendly and gives a great customer experience.
Focus on your conversion tactics, whether that’s ecommerce sales, booking appointments, or getting shares and comments. Calls to action should feature in all your marketing efforts, and the sales funnel on your site should be clear and easily navigable.
Collect email addresses whenever and wherever possible. As far as online marketing goes this is one of the most important things you can do. Now you can send tailored messages, that you know will appeal to them, whenever you want.