Digital marketing is a defining term that is consistent with the current times. It is not just another swanky catchphrase or a fancy buzzword to throw away at business meets and conferences. Check with local SEO, if you may.
Given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, digital marketing has been a massive saviour for quite a few businesses, especially those operating at a small scale. One simple reason for this is that it costs the same, essentially, for anyone to go online and make a presence. However, making that present effective and impactful is the real challenge.
Today, there are countless digital platforms such as social media sites, web applications, and search engines, among others. Although the unanimous reality is that everyone is online, the ugly truth is that the ‘online space’ is like a virtual galaxy, with audiences scattered across different mediums.
Moreover, digital marketing would not be what it is today without social media. Social media sites are an impetus to most technological breakthroughs, online branding and community building. So compelling is the power of social media that no digital marketing agency in London or anywhere today can thrive without it.
General to-dos for small businesses when on social media
Before getting into digital marketing strategies, as small-scale businesses, there are general to-dos that you should follow on social media. These are basic guidelines regarding business conduct online and are akin to extrinsic factors, posited by Frederick Herzberg in his two-factor theory.
Consistency is key
When setting up a business account on a social media site, you must devise a consistent approach across aspects such as tone and uploads. Consider dedicating specific timelines, days and time slots for uploading posts, blogs, or think pieces online.
Understand the platform and its audience
Every social media site has its peculiarity and purpose, as well as a different audience demographic. So when contemplating uploading content pieces online, understanding the basics of the platform is paramount.
Curb the overreaction
Running into flak is quite common today. It has cost several corporations and brands to be at the receiving end of a negative reputation. When faced with criticism or a slurry of cuss words, keep the conversation healthy.
Profound strategies for amping your digital presence
Every business was once small. And, as a small-scale business owner, the desire to grow bigger is natural. Here are a few strategies that come in handy.
1. Subscribe to local business groups or forums
No longer can one survive and thrive in oblivion. Networking and honing connections are paramount. Joining local business groups will help you be better informed about trends and get you acquainted with like-minded people, that is, other small-scale business owners. More so, this can open your doors for leads and prospects.
Given the ongoing battle with Covid-19, this can become ever more prevalent. More so, with the world becoming increasingly interconnected, online mediums offer an excellent impetus for collaborations.
One such platform that renders stark opportunities for networking and collaborations is Slack. It is a cloud-backed messaging platform that helps with remote work collaborations.
2. Paid advertising
The paid advertising strategy is where the company or brand creates a digital ad and pays a digital channel for posting and appearing on the medium. Two profound approaches under the paid advertising model are Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing Campaign. They sound and look easy but they can get really complicated. A few tips from the best PPC agencies:
1. Define your goals
2. Know your audience
3. Test your ads
4. Optimize ads for mobile devices
3. Facebook Advertising
The platform is a holy grail for small-scale businesses. More so, it is not that heavy on the pocket. Facebook is a stand out platform for social media advertising as it offers advanced targeting as one of its USPs. It compartmentalises your content pieces to engage with a specific target audience based on age, location, interests, online behaviours, and others.
If running your campaign on Facebook seems a struggle, then tools such as AdEspresso come to the rescue. AdEspresso not only runs your Facebook ad campaign but also helps expedite your journey towards a higher Return on Investment (ROI) for the ad. If your product requires a visually appealing ad campaign, then the Instagram Ads feature is ideal.
4. Dynamic Digital Marketing
The digital mandate posits that the right product should reach the right customer at the right time and on the right platform. This goes to show that people have their online presence scattered across online platforms. To make your reach impactful, your brand should adopt a dynamic strategy through omnichannel marketing. Elevate your online presence across platforms:
Youtube – live stream your products or services through demonstrations
Instagram – share visually appealing images and videos of your products with the audience
Twitter – keep your engagement short and concise through quirky and compelling catchphrases and follow trending hashtags.
Another crucial aspect that helps augment your dynamic digital presence is hosting online events and webinars. The former should be kept informal, whereas the latter formal. Online events such as interactive and out-of-the-box quizzes or contests and challenges can do you wonders and garner more followers.
A brand that made this a success is Expedia. A few years ago, Expedia had a weekly and monthly draw contest on Instagram, which ran every Thursday over ten weeks. Such contests help maintain a steady and loyal stream of followers and subscribers.
5. Increase your responsiveness with integrated communication
Today, subscriptions (or followers) and viewership are the defining currencies. Following or unfollowing a brand or company is now just a click away. However, to not be at the unpleasant end of losing viewers or subscribers, you should ensure to be as responsive and interactive as possible.
One approach is to offer multiple chat options such as Messenger or WhatsApp. Also, on Facebook Messenger, you can avail the assistance of Facebook Messenger bots for answering and responding to queries. More so, a profound approach would entail mixing up different interaction methods such as a voice-based response followed up with a text-based message. Doing so would garner higher scores towards customer services radar.
Digital marketing is the norm for surviving and thriving in the fast-paced world of today. It has come to the rescue of various small-scale businesses amid the ongoing pandemic. With most business activities conducted online, digital marketing presents stellar growth opportunities. Joining local business groups and forums, hosting events and contests, and adopting integrative communications strategies are impactful. Companies and brands should also be considerate by maintaining a schedule for posts, being aware of the platform and audience demographics, and handling criticism with care.