Can Digital Marketing help your business?
Well, let me ask you this?
When was the last time you got online to find a product or service to meet your needs? Was it within the last month? Last week? Less than 24 hours ago?
If you are like most consumers (78% according to comScore’s quarterly State Of Retail report), you frequently seek solutions to your problems through digital channels.
Your customers are no different.
Regardless of industry, whether you are a doctor, small business owner, pizza chef, or professional consultant, your customers are seeking solutions to their problems.
You know you have the answers and you need to showcase your solutions in a location where your customers gather.
Digital marketing is a very broad concept. One aspect of Digital Marketing is serving the needs of your customers with content that answers their questions and/or solves their problems.
Here are 3 ways in which you can start meeting your customers’ needs online using Digital Marketing.
Tip #1 - Develop Your Web Presence
I recently began discussions with a customer to provide digital marketing consultation for their emerging brand. After our first conversation, I immediately googled the company.
Much to my dismay, I couldn’t find anything about them. No website. No Google listing. Nothing. I did eventually find a social media page that had only a logo, but nothing else. I immediately called my customer and insisted that we start by developing their web presence.
When creating your web presence, you must understand that having a website or Google listing is not enough.
There are an abundance of channels available to establish your dominance as a leader in your industry. You need to know which methods of online branding are best for your product or service.
Let’s look at some of the different digital marketing channels you can use to start engaging with your customers:
Publishing a website is a must for every business (and I would argue for every professional).
Building a website is easy and relatively inexpensive, and it is usually the very first place that your customers will come to find out more about your solutions.
Make sure your content is updated frequently (with new posts, news, or media) and that you give your customers a way to connect with you. You can set up a simple contact form to accomplish this.
Also a nonnegotiable, your social media presence allows you to give instant updates to, and interaction with, your customers.
However, with so many different social media services available, you can get lost trying to keep up with everything.
Instead, I recommend finding the most valuable social media platform for your industry and focus on that until you have established a strong following. A few of the most common are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Podcasts & VLOGs
In our media rich society, podcasts and vlogs (video logs) are two of my favorite forms of digital marketing.
With podcasts acting as a sort of “radio show” and vlogs providing the opportunity to establish a video presence (like youtube or vimeo), you have a cheap way of entertaining and educating your customers.
Both podcasts and vlogs are simple enough to start up, but again, your best option is to look at your industry and figure out which would offer the most impact and focus primarily on that one until you become comfortable enough to add more.
Now that digital marketing technology has grown to accommodate social channels, we have the ability to collaborate with other customers when looking for a product or service.
Your customers will investigate you before purchasing from you, so it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with review sites.
Determine the best reviews sites for your industry and start asking your customers for reviews.
Google reviews are important for local oriented businesses. Click to learn about our system for how to get more Google reviews.
Tip #2 - Provide Quality Online Customer Service
The truth is that word of mouth is still the most successful and effective method of marketing your brand’s value, and this applies to digital marketing.
If your customers enjoy their experience of working with you, they will share that experience with their peers (and hopefully, through their social media channels).
There is so much information that could go into providing excellent online customer service that books can be written on the topic (and there have been).
Therefore, I’ll share some of the best strategies I have found for developing customer service your customers will want to talk about.
Fast Response Time
The best customer service providers have strict policies on response time.
As a general rule, you should never make your customer wait longer than 24 hours to hear back from you. You don’t have to solve their problem in 24 hours (and in most cases, you won’t be able to), but you absolutely must respond to them within that time frame.
Thank them for their inquiry and assure them that you will follow up with them to provide the solution. The great news for you is that you can automate your first response by setting up a response action when a customer submits a form.
Multiple Communication Channels
This may seem obvious, but I have run into companies that only offer a tollfree number for contacting them. This is an immediate turnoff for me, as I don’t have the patience for navigating through multilevel menu options.
Make sure, at the very least, you offer your customers a support email address they can use to connect with your company.
You can use contact forms, social media sharing icons, or (if you can afford a help desk) an online chat option built into your website.
Whatever option you choose, just make sure that you give your customers as many avenues of contacting you as possible and ensure that you are choosing contact methods that you will be able to provide quick response.
There is No Bad Publicity
Business owners have a natural tendency when seeing bad reviews to get defensive; and, therefore, leaders strive to create no mistakes and to never have bad review.
The first problem with this is that it is impossible to avoid all mistakes. Second, if you think this way, I would like to encourage you to start thinking differently. Negative feedback is NOT bad (so long as it is the exception and not the rule). It means that people are talking about you, and that is good.
The reality is that the only time you should be truly afraid is when people aren’t talking about you at all, because that means that you are not leaving any impression.
Negative reviews can be good. It can show you where you can do better, and in most cases, it can provide an opportunity to give really exceptional customer service.
If a customer complains, you can use that to show humility, a willingness to make things right, and earn a trusted customer for years to come.
Tip #3 - Produce Consistent Sharable Content
So now you know two of the three basics of digital marketing: You need a website. You need to offer great customer service that gets people talking.
However, that still won’t take you as far as you could go.
If you create a web page that stays stagnant, your customers will quickly lose interest in your brand and seek solutions from your competitors. Consider the following example.
The Law of Activity
Let’s assume that you are shopping for a wedding photographer. You find two professionals who both have a website.
Both photographers offer their services at similar prices and both use similar equipment. On Jim’s website, you find a page that tells you about Jim’s training and education, but hasn’t been updated in 5 years.
On Emma’s website, you can see photos from every wedding she has ever done, including the one she shot last Saturday. Which photographer will you be inclined to call on first?
Consistently updating your website with new content is like carrying on consistent conversations with your customers.
My wife and I watch a vlog that posts videos once per week. Having never met the people in the vlog, we feel like we know them personally because we have been following their adventures every single week for the past year. I don’t see or talk to some of my friends that frequently.
When you start posting consistent and unique value content, your customers are going to feel more connected with you than ever before making it easier them like, know, and trust you.
Learn more about growing your business via Colorado Springs Content Marketing.