Basic cross digital platform strategy of Marketing Communications
So you have set-up your business and have a very clear idea of what you want to offer to your customers. You looked into why people want or need your product or service, defined the targets you need to meet and thought about your business’s strategy.
This was the most difficult bit. If you have already come this far the first and very important step in your journey has been completed.
To make your business successful you need to reach out to your customers. Customers that are interested in the products or services you or your business can offer them. You need to make sure people know where to find you, get in front of them when they are looking for what you offer or intrigue them enough to check out (explore) your product proposition – especially for a less common and even more so for an innovative product / service.
So what is an essential all-round digital marketing strategy for your business? It is the art of identifying, planning and executing the promotion of a product or service to your target market (the customer types that will want and need your product) using all the relevant digital marketing platforms to get your product in front of them, intrigue them and convince them to buy it.
In these slightly more challenging times (yes, I know this is probably an understatement!) luck favours the brave and inventive.
To tackle this task, I will give you the list of the most widely used marketing tactics as well as the newest ways to promote your business and products becoming more popular during the last few months.
As the most popular search engine it is key to promote your business on its platform. A good way to start is to add your details to Google Business along with images of your premises and products, some info about your business, your location, opening times.
Keep in mind that your customers will be able to review you and these reviews will show on Google Business. So offering great quality and customer service is extremely important.
Set a budget and register your business for adwords. Adwords is the interface that will allow you to create Gooogle ads to promote your business to your clients on google. Its best to always trial your campaign and ads so don’t go crazy when you start. Ad words is simple and complicated at the same time depending on how specialised and targeted you want your ads to be. If you have not tried Google ads before you can find out more about how to set them up here or maybe you want to consider hiring a digital advertising specialist to create your custom campaign for maximum impact locally, nationally or internationally.
Youtube is also part of Google and videos are a very popular way to find out information about everything. If you can create regular videos about your products, how to use them and how they help your customers. Include tips and make sure your videos always have a personal one to one feeling when watched, as if you are talking to one viewer at a time.
Create a presence on social media. Social media are very important, not only can let potential customers know about your products and services in real time, for example when you get a new product in, have an event or a new tip regarding a product, you can also connect with potential clients answer their questions and share their posts which are relevant to your business.
Choose your social media wisely for your business, you do not have to be on all platforms especially when you are starting off. You will also find that some of the social platforms are more relevant to your business and potential clients than others. Once you decide to create an account on any social platform you will need to monitor it closely, update it regularly with meaningful content that appeals to your customers and reply to any queries within a very reasonable timeframe.
Remember that customers can also post comments about not being happy with the product or your service so you will need to make sure you check regularly to resolve any potential issues.
The most popular social platforms in all markets currently are:
· Facebook Messenger
· Tik Tok
There are a number of sites that show statistics on what the popularity of the various social platforms. Even thought the figures vary slightly on each site, the above list is more or less in order of popularity.
The most widely used by businesses from the above list currently are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin, Tik Tok and Pinterest.
Look into how to set up your business page on the social you choose by typing “ …… busines page” for example “facebook business page” in your browser.
Its worth mentioning that even though Whatsapp and some other messaging apps do not allow direct advertising it can be a vary important tool to contact your customers directly. Here are some ways to do this https://blog.hootsuite.com/whatsapp-marketing/ As it is a direct contact app, you need to always make sure that recipients can opt out of your communications. Remember to keep your communications relevant, few and to the point. Spamming your customers will probably result in them blocking you.
Here are some useful links to get more information.
Another way to sell your products and possibly promote your business are marketplaces. They are extremely price and delivery time sensitive as platforms and even though they may contribute substantially to your overall sales, they tend to have a quite low customer loyalty to brands. The best price and fastest delivery time usually wins.
You can list your products on various platforms depending on your country. Many of the Marketplaces will require you to set up a business account with higher fees than an individual seller.
Marketplaces are most used in app form with the top ones still being Ebay and Amazon.
There are a number of localised marketplaces in different countries so the best option would be to go to your app store / google play etc and type in “buying and selling” in your search bar to get the best and most popular marketplace options for your location.
UK digital marketplaces https://www.mbe.co.uk/blog/top5onlinesitesforselling
US digital marketplaces https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/infographic-top-online-marketplaces/
Germany digital marketplaces https://ecommercegermany.com/blog/20-best-online-marketplaces-in-germany
Having a website has been considered a must for a long time. Although setting up a website is much-much easier now than it was, it also not essential anymore to the success of your business, especially if you are starting off. You can create a page on social media such as Facebook and include a lot of the standard website information, though in a more condensed and interactive version.
There are definitely a number of pro’s of having a website for your business.
Credibility and trust
Having a website shows that you are a serious business. People can find out information about you and your products / services in a detailed manner. It also shows that you have put in the time and effort to make sure that people can find out information that is valuable to them.
Being found on search engines through organic listings
Creating a website lets search engines find and index your site and the information that is on it. This is how your website will be showing up on search engines for specific and relevant keywords and phrases as they are included on your website pages. It is very important to include information, keywords and phrases that your customers will be looking for on all relevant pages of your site. Nowadays search engines have become a lot smarter and are looking at the overall content of the site and how relevant it is to specific keywords. Just including random keywords to boost SEO is not the recommended way forward.
Relevant links on search engines:
Find out more about how search engines work https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/seo/how-search-engines-work/
Statistics on the most popular search engines https://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share
Cutting down on customer queries and customer service time
While creating your website have a think about what the most common questions from your clients are. Or what they would need to know to buy your product or service. You can include all the relevant details in an easy to find way on your website (think about the layout in advance!) and also add a frequently asked questions or How-to section on your site.
Bringing all your social media together including videos about your products
You can use your website to bring all your online and offline presence together in one place. You can show your latest videos, social posts and blog together in one place. With the help of different widgets for different media you can easily display the most up-to-date social media content on your site. The way to do this is via Social media feeds. Many template based website building platforms now have a selection of layouts to choose from so you will not need to use extra coding.
Some sites choose to only include a little icon with a link to their social media. It really depends how you want to use your site. https://blog.hubspot.com/website/10-best-free-social-sharing-button-widgets-2018
You can choose how you display what you want your clients to see.
Your website is a place for your business to showcase, inform, and persuade customers to choose your product or service. Imagine it as a cross between an ad, a catalogue, a why us booklet, and a presentation. It remains the best way to showcase information about your business and products / services, display the best reviews you have received, show your location for clients to find you, wow with awards, interest with offers, intrigue with new products, convince with case studies and portfolios, build trust and interest with past and future events, and educate and inform with your blog.
Find out more about how to make our site Search engine friendly using SEO.
Email marketing is still a very big contributor to revenue for businesses. And with the number of email addresses registered yearly growing it is expected to remain a strong part of the digital marketing strategy mix.
But what is email marketing? Email marketing is the creation and sending of emails that are targeted to what your customers want or need relevant to your products and services typically including one or more “calls to action”. A call to action in an email is a link like “Buy now”, “Read more”, “Contact us” that asks a recipient to take an action as a result of reading / viewing the email or a specific part of the email.
If you already have customers and their email addresses are available to you from previous purchases or other sign-ups on your site or app, email marketing is a great avenue to explore in order to increase your sales and your customer awareness / engagement. However, do make sure that any data you collect from your customers online and offline are authorised and that the recipients agree to receive your emails relevant to new products, updates etc. The way to ensure this is to have them tick a box that they are happy to receive this information when they are registering and providing their email address.
When sending emails to your clients always make sure to have a prominent “Unsubscribe” link at the footer of the email communication you send them.
About GDPR: Find out how GDPR affects sending emails to customers https://gdpr.eu/email-encryption/
The section “What the GDPR” says explains what you need to keep in mind when sending out emails.