Blog Post By: Ian J. Jennings, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Baer Performance Marketing
Now more than ever, business owners are concerned with their company’s digital presence. Customers check the internet for almost everything they buy, and they want everything packaged and presented to them with a bow tie on it. That doesn’t mean every company must have the same digital presence or brand their company the same, it simply means they must use digital means to do so. Simple. So, what’s next? They need to figure out what platforms (Facebook/LinkedIn/eBay/Amazon/Google/etc.) and devices (phone/laptop/tablet/desktop/etc.) their customers and prospective customers are using to find companies and products like theirs.
What truly matters is figuring out where the customers are when they’re likely to decide to buy. It’s important because it’ll save the time and resources that would’ve been used chasing after people who were never going to become customers. Every dollar spent chasing them is a dollar not spent acquiring a legitimate customer. Marketing agencies are experts at figuring out where customers are and how they’re best communicated with, sold to, and serviced. The best agencies will go one step further and fully implement the marketing plans and strategies they’ve championed. The main areas any good marketing agency would recommend to a business owner wanting to increase their digital presence are:
Website: It’s 2017. Websites are a must have. If you’re selling a product or service, and you don’t have a website, you might as well be selling out of the trunk of your car. Websites are so ubiquitous now that if your company doesn’t have one, many customers will simply go elsewhere. Companies without websites barely feel like companies. They feel incomplete. Websites offer the customer a window to the company’s soul. And websites offer an anchor for the rest of a company’s digital advertising. Customers will usually be led back to the company’s main website (or specified page within it) during any marketing or advertising campaign. It really is the digital store front of the company, and can be the difference between afternoons spent making cold calls and afternoons catching up on dozens of burning hot sales leads.
Social Media: You’ve heard and read it all before. Facebook this and that. You just must be on Twitter. Instagram and Snapchat are where all the millennials are so you better be creating cool filters and locations to tag. The truth is, you can ignore most of that noise. You only need to pay attention to the social media platforms your customers are on, and better yet, only the platforms conducive to good marketing. It doesn’t matter if your potential customers are on Snapchat if there’s a 0% chance they’ll buy your product or pay attention to your company while there. You’re a small or medium sized business. Leave million dollar ads featuring the Kardashians to the Apples and Nikes of the world. They can afford to throw good money after bad. You can’t. But I’m not saying don’t use Snapchat or Instagram. Simply make sure that’s what you SHOULD be using first.
Mobile (Phone): Mobile is tricky because it’s often thought of as a scaled down representation of what already exists in desktop or laptop form. This is true in some respects but fails to accurately represent the importance of having a good mobile marketing strategy. Your company’s branding elements (logo/colors/fonts/etc.), website content, social media accounts and posts, and many other things will be represented much differently on a mobile phone as compared to a desktop computer or laptop. Customers and prospective customers will navigate your pages and content differently, read different things, respond to different stimuli, and so on and so forth. What’s important is that all your company’s branding elements and marketing efforts are designed to fit neatly within the mobile experience. People (your customers included) are glued to their phones all day, every day. They will research your company on their phone. It is essential they see what they need to see to buy your product or service.
Email: Email is fantastic because it’s old, annoying, and still amazingly effective. People read and check their email all the time. Better yet, they use their email to sign up for things, so you can put interesting stuff on your website or social media accounts (free report/tips/etc.), and ask people for their email addresses in exchange for access to it. Just like that, you have a sales lead. They’re interested in what you’re giving away (and what your giving away should be directly related to your business or service) and volunteering to let you contact them about it. It’s a win-win for you and the customer. I haven’t even touched yet on email newsletters, which are an excellent way to provide lasting value to customers and prospective customers who have opted in to receive your transmissions. These are excellent opportunities to sell your product or service to people who have essentially admitted to being interested in it. It’s a no-brainer.
Ultimately, there are dozens of digital avenues and platforms for businesses to consider and explore. The most important thing about these platforms is the people who use them and their relevance to your company. If relevant people are on a platform, that platform is relevant to your company. Period. Come talk to us at Baer Performance Marketing, and let us help you find your customers in the digital world.