Digital marketing and its disruption are here and opening new opportunities for businesses to expand and reach an even larger audience.
Where we’ve come from
In the last 20 years, we’ve moved from getting our news and advertising in measured doses from TV and newspapers to complete, unobstructed access to news. News about local, national, and world events; info on where to get laser surgery; reviews of upscale coffeeshops; and the list goes on. Over time, consumers have reacted to this information and now are pushing small and medium-sized businesses, SMBs, to keep up.
Where we are
It’s not unusual for consumers to research, browse and purchase items in the same session. And, this doesn’t apply just to B2C businesses. For B2B businesses, it’s common to find that your potential business customer has done their research and made initial product choices before they contacted you. And unfortunately, when your customer has made a decision on a product, you are often forced to compete mostly through pricing.
While retail is the most obvious industry where this happens, it’s true across all industries. Online shopping gives customers the ability to:
- research a purchase
- browse for comparable items
- compare prices
- know that it will arrive in two days with free shipping
- avoid sales tax in some cases
Even worse for retailers is the popularity of customers coming to their expensive brick-and-mortar locations searching for an item and wanting the retailer match online prices. This is why retailers are struggling and why once-mighty Sears is becoming a real-estate play.
Twenty years ago, it was much easier to take advantage of digital marketing. While the tools to create online marketing were harder to use, the competition was much less and consumer expectations were lower. The early adopters were the only ones shopping online and they accepted the early shopping pains. Today, with 150,000 new websites coming online every day, consumer expectations are much higher and it is much more difficult to gain traffic.
Digital marketing in the future
But not impossible. While it’s true that there are many new websites to compete with, there are more customers online than ever before. There still is as much opportunity as before for businesses willing to make the decisions and allocate necessary resources for digital marketing.
The key to marketing online is to be everywhere. Certainly, you need an outstanding website well organized with great content. You must be able to attract and retain visitors. If you are a B2C company, you need to guide them to your products and convince them to buy.
If you are a B2B company, encourage them to read your pillar content (pillars are the products and services your business and your website is built on), and ) and then provide more content that provides the information that they came looking for. Convince them that you are the expert in your field and then make them feel that your content can turn them into experts as well. Be sure to ask for their email address so that you can include them in regular e-mailings.
Use social media to display your business’s personality
But websites by themselves are not enough. You need to be on social media. If you are a B2B choose Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If you are a B2C choose Facebook, Google + and Pinterest or Instagram depending on your demographics. Social media is where you build your brand and widen your audience.
Graphics and images are absolutely required on social media with an occasional video for good measure. Let your visitors know about yourself and your company. Feature employees and provide testimonials from customers.
For more social media and digital marketing ideas for your business, contact LocalMaxx today for a free consultation at 404-937-1987.