Take a look around you and consider how you communicate, or how you take in the latest news. There is no denying that the world is very rapidly moving into a digital age.
Your customers and staff have already embraced the use of mobiles phones, laptops, tablets and more and this is only going to get wider in future. If your business infrastructure has not embraced this digital revolution then you need to act fast!
Why? The facts speak for themselves. digital marketing and communication is fast, versatile and often cheap and easy to execute.
We’ve put together some key ways any business can begin to boost their digital presence:
1. Create an email database
Building an email database is a highly effective way to send out targeted marketing to either potential or past customers. No matter how much the world changes email has remained constant. We all have an email address, and we all check it every day.
Gathering data isn’t difficult, but you need to offer a reason for someone to sign up. Put a simple sign up box on your website asking visitors if they would like to receive special offers, or product news. Or add a tick box to your order basket asking customers if they would like to receive exclusive special offers from you.
You can get started straight away by using your existing contacts. Send them an email stating your intentions; give them a sample of the great promotions you plan on sending and a clear way to sign up.
2. Engage on social media
Why social media? The simple answer is it is where your customers hang out. People use social media networks such as FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn to communicate and share updates. But now more than ever before they are used to research products and services, along with the companies who provide them.
Your social media presence is a great tool to communicate and listen to your customers. Plus, Google have now confirmed your social presence in a contributing factor as their search algorithms work to produce the best search results. They want to rank what they consider the most popular and interactive businesses in their search results.
3. Create a video guide or promotional video
Creating videos can be a simple but highly effective and way to interact with customers and boost your digital presence. Of course, many large businesses spend significant amounts on professionally produced and designed animated videos, but your business doesn’t need to do this in order to have a real effect.
Depending on the nature of your business you could film a series of simple instructional videos, or film your employees demonstrating their work. Even if you have a simple office space it is now becoming popular to simply film your office at work over a full day and publish this as a time lapse.
Search engines place significant weight on use of video on your website and depending on the product you’re selling a simple video could be difference between the customer purchasing or going elsewhere.
So don’t hesitate to create a YouTube channel, upload some videos and share them with your audience!
4. Take time to read through your website and write great content
Spending time to create great content for your website is a choice, but thinking poor content will do is a mistake and a waste of your time and resources.
Even if you think your content is good enough – when was the last time you read through it? Any new customers will be reading it so if you want to sell through your website you need to make sure your content is both engaging and well written.
A classic mistake made by in-experienced digital marketers if duplicated content. Do not simply go to a competitor website and copy their content. This will not only damage your reputation but also lead to punishment by search engines – they will only rank unique and great content.
5. Encourage customer reviews or endorsements
Nothing says you do a great job or provide a great product like a series of positive endorsements from your current or past customers. You can advertise your business all you want but any potential customers are always going to believe genuine past customer experiences.
Many customers place so much weight on getting reviews they offer incentives to do so, this could be through discounts or free gifts. However, the first step is easy – just ask! If you’ve done a great job for a customer just ask them if they would be happy to give you some feedback.
We understand that people are busy and writing a review can seem time consuming so at 08Direct we’ve found the easiest way to get a customer to supply a testimonial is to draft it for them. We first ask if they would be happy to supply one, and then send over some content for them to approve. In virtually every case they only suggest minor changes and are happy for us to use it as their words right across our marketing materials.
6. Consider your customer journey
Have you ever been purchasing a product online or signing up for a service and given up because it is too confusing or your discover an error and perhaps lose trust? When was the last time you went through your own online customer journey?
Not only that, do you have a set process for contacting customers once they have confirmed a purchase such as a confirmation email or a simple welcome message?
Your customer journey should be written down, take some time to create a flow chart of each stage and pin point at which points you contact them. Simply adding a stage where they get an email after 3 months may even lead to repeat business with you.