Digital Marketing: 3 Winning ways to make it work for you

Digital Marketing BrightonStill in its infancy, digital marketing is so fast changing that it’s not always easy to know how to integrate into your existing marketing planning effectively.

Try these 3 simple steps to making sure you choose the right platforms for your business.

1. Research: find out where your audience is

As a small business, it’s very tempting just to pick one channel, normally one you might be familiar with or may have dabbled with on a personal level. Focusing all your efforts on Facebook, for instance, when your target market might be engaging more in Instagram or YouTube, could prove costly in the long term.

Before you commit to setting up profiles on Social Media streams, find out what research has been done on your target market which outlines where your customers might be communicating. Using your keywords, search each channel to see how your competitors are engaging and learn from their apparent success.

Recent studies show that small businesses see the best results when they commit themselves to joining up their marketing efforts making sure all their digital platforms are accessible, whether through print advertising; QR codes, Website; link to email marketing sign-up, Social Media; links in online profiles which direct traffic to specific targeted offers/services.

2. Add Value: consider what your target audience really wants

Avoid blatant selling; posting constantly about how great your products are and communicating special offers won’t generate a sale on it’s own and will soon see your followers dwindle and go somewhere else. Whilst everyone loves a bargain, sharing useful pieces of knowledge and advice will give credence to your products and position you as the brand to follow in your field of expertise.

Ask your customers what they want; as soon as you know then you can start providing powerful, targeted information, which will generate more sales.

3. Join the dots: make sure your digital marketing becomes part of your overall marketing mix

Digital marketing is only one part of your overall marketing strategy; albeit an important one – don’t be tempted to separate digital from your other marketing efforts.

Consider your key propositions and utilize other marketing strategies to communicate your key digital platforms including Face-to-face (business cards/flyers), Media (advertising) and PR (Press releases).

Consider every physical touch point you have with a customer – at the till if you own a shop, the food bill if you own a restaurant, in the waiting room if you run a beauty salon.

In essence, try and keep it real; communicate openly with your customers and give them what they want – this way they’ll keep coming back again and again.

 

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help with implementing your digital marketing Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 for an initial chat over a coffee!

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The importance of the Follow-Up

Follow-upAs a sole trader, I need to be able to ‘sell’ myself to both existing and potential clients together with generating leads through various forms of marketing – all of which need to be followed-up.

Going in person to networking events, engaging online and working with people on projects on a daily basis gives us loads of content and conversations; juggling multiple communications both on and offline.

With millions of images, messages and insights relentlessly bombarding us on a daily basis, it’s easy to fall through the communication cracks and to a certain extent we seem to have lost the art of follow-up, which still remains the most important activity to engage in after meeting new people, and the keystone to relationship building and retention.

Timing is Essential

Follow-up with people you have met or been introduced to as soon as you can and try to make time to respond to people who have taken the time to contact you (unless it’s an obvious spam)!

Research, research, research

Knowing something about them and what they do will give you a powerful advantage for opening a conversation; taking the time and trouble to research their company beforehand will give you a smart strategic edge.

Be engaging

Exchange knowledge which will add value and help to forge a strong mutual connection; using all the social and online tools shows you are willing to engage and gives you a series of touch points to develop that connection.

Change their perceptions

Small gestures can go a long way to change a potential customer’s perception of you.  Provide an endorsement or introduce them as an expert in their field to someone looking for their help; this doesn’t need to be reciprocal and will have a big impact of how people perceive you, demonstrating you as someone they can trust.

Don’t give up at the first hurdle

Time is such a challenge these days, it’s too easy to give up early when it doesn’t look like you’re getting anywhere with people you have a relationship with or feel a potential with.  Be persistent, but respect people’s time and know when it’s time to step away if you can’t add value straight away.

Keeping in touch is so much easier than it’s ever been – so never fail to follow-up!

Social Media Networks. . . the new kids on the block

Davey Marketing Social Media MarketingWe’re all now pretty familiar with the more established social networks such as Facebook and Twitter and getting to grips with their importance when developing marketing campaigns and connecting with our customers.

But, did you know that there are more than 200 active social networking sites out there?

Early contenders like Classmates.com was launched way back in 1995 followed by Friends Reunited, in 2000 and LinkedIn in 2003. Flikr and Facebook came snapping at their heels in 2004 and Twitter in 2006.

Whilst we’re all becoming slaves to social giants Facebook and Twitter, maybe we need to come up for air and see what else is out there, specifically those being tipped as the ones to watch.

For whatever reason, the following 3 sites are being heralded as the next Social Media networks to keep an eye on.

Whisper
An iPhone app promising anonymity, Whisper is a place where users can post secrets (known as whispers) that appear in the form of an online postcard.

According to US online business forum, Business Insider, more than one million people have uploaded around 8 million whispers. Gaining steam among college students on campuses in America and a recent $3M worth of funding, could this be destined as the next big thing?

Medium
Being heralded by its founders as an extension of Twitter, Medium is quite simply a blogging site promising “A place where you can find and share knowledge, ideas and stories – specifically, ones that need more than 140 characters and are not just for your friends.”

Created by Evan Williams and Biz Stone, the guys who started Twitter and Blogger, you’d assume Medium has a fairly good chance of being the next big Social Media contender.

Sina Weibo
With twice the number of users, Sina Weibo is China’s version of Twitter and has been embraced by large brands such as Pizza Hut and some Western celebs like Tom Cruise, who apparently has more than 4.2 million followers.

According to Mashable, 22 percent of China’s internet population are signed up and there’s now a US version; only decipherable if you understand Mandarin Chinese!

I’m sure it’s going to be a while before any of these networks overtake the likes of Facebook and Twitter, but I’m sure we’ll all be whispering and Weibing to our customers in the not too distant future!

Christine Davey
@DaveyMarketing

If you’d like some help and advice to increase your effectiveness through online marketing, Tweet me or call me on 01273 772033 today.