Companies that have been operating successfully for some time often neglect to review their business practices and strategies regularly. Everything’s going great, so why change something that isn’t broken? Because there’s always more success to be had.
Failing to monitor and review performance continually could mean missed opportunities for improving customer service, boosting sales, and enhancing brand awareness. If you’re running a startup, it’s just as important to be aware of all the marketing options available and how these could support the achievement of key business goals.
From making the most of social media accounts to embracing the most up-to-date technology, such as bulk SMS software, we’ve put together our top five ways to move your marketing into the 21st century.
1. Master Social Media
Recent research shows that 67% of the UK population is active on social media, and these 45 million users have an average of 7.1 social media accounts. Social media envelops a wide range of age groups; it’s not just for millennials.
Whichever industry your small business operates in, social media should be part of your digital marketing strategy. But it’s not enough just to set up a business account on social media — you must continually nurture and optimize your company’s online presence to deliver a healthy return on investment (ROI).
First, it’s essential to choose the right platforms. There’s no point investing time and money on a fantastic Facebook campaign if your customers and prospects are Twitter and LinkedIn devotees. Competitor research can provide insights into where your target audience spends their time online.
Sign up to a few of the most popular networks, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and Facebook, and test the waters with a few small-scale trial campaigns. Where is there most engagement? Once you’ve gathered some data, you can focus more time, energy, and money on the platforms that will reap the most significant rewards for your business.
Next, set a clear goal for social media campaigns — this is likely to differ across platforms, but there should always be a common thread or goal. Popular social media goals include improving brand awareness, increasing community engagement, generating leads and sales, distributing content, and offering customer support.
Then, devise a strategy that sets out how these goals will be achieved. Consider who the target audience is, what content you will create, how frequently you’ll upload new posts, what methods you will use to engage your audience, and how you’ll measure success. The keys to mastering social media for businesses are targeting the right audience and being consistent.
2. Make The Most Of Modern Technology
New technologies that support and enhance marketing campaigns are emerging all the time. Many are low-cost, simple to use, and integrate easily with existing business systems. Why spend hours performing a task manually when technology could complete it much faster and with reduced error? A company that embraces technology and takes advantage of the best marketing resources will be more efficient, reach more customers, and deliver better customer service.
Automation, where software is used to automate the marketing process, has made digital marketing considerably more efficient and effective for businesses and consumers. Marketing automation can benefit a business in several ways, from enhancing productivity and streamlining workflows to increasing revenue and customer retention.
The platform Buffer, which automatically posts content to social media channels following a schedule set by the business owner, is an excellent example of marketing automation, saving you time having to log in several times a day to send the newest update in your social media calendar out into the world.
Digital communication methods can also boost marketing ROI. Bulk SMS marketing is an excellent method for reaching a high number of targeted individuals at a low cost. The open rates for SMS are as high as 98%, which means that target recipients are almost guaranteed to see the message, promotion, or call to action (CTA) you send.
Text messages are received within seconds of being sent and can be easily shared, which means maximum brand exposure. SMS marketing software makes it easy to send out messages to an entire contact list, segmented group, or individual at the touch of a button. Personalizing marketing campaigns in this way leads to a higher ROI and increased customer engagement.
Making the most of technology to enhance a marketing campaign need not require a significant financial investment. For those setting up a business on a budget, take the time to choose the tools that will deliver the maximum marketing ROI for the smallest outlay.
3. Search Engine Optimisation
The term “Google” is now routinely used as a verb and has even been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. This indicates how much people rely on the internet, and search engines in particular, as a source of information for anything and everything.
“How long would it take us to fly from London to LA?” Not sure? “Let’s Google it”. This is why search engine optimization, or SEO, has become so important in the world of marketing for businesses.
All search engines use SEO to rank web pages in terms of relevance to a user’s search. If a consumer enters “buy blue jeans” into the search bar, the search engine will provide a Search Engine Results Page (SERP), listing websites offering content that is relevant to that search term, with the most relevant content appearing at the top of page one.
The ultimate goal for many companies is to appear in the top spot on the SERP for the keywords that are most relevant to their business. A London-based building company would be thrilled to appear in position one for terms such as “best building company in London” and “which is the best company to build my extension?”.
Achieving the top spot of the search results will drive considerable traffic to a website and increase brand reputation — ranking in position one makes you 10x more likely to earn a click compared to ranking on the same page but in position 10.
It’s not an easy task, and any business owner should take the time to learn SEO or employ a professional to stay ahead of competitors. Still, it’s a strategy well worth employing, offering incredible rewards for businesses that do so successfully.
4. Create Original Video Content
According to SmallBizTrends, by the end of 2019, 80% of global consumer internet traffic will be video content. In the UK, one billion hours of video content are watched on YouTube every day. Video content is extremely popular with consumers, and business marketers are increasingly using this medium to showcase their brand.
Consumers are bombarded with online advertising every time they pick up a device. Video content must be of high quality and original to capture the attention of their target audience. Videos do not need to be a direct sell, though, and some of the most effective video marketing provides information on a trending topic or a useful “how-to” guide on a business-relevant issue.
Look to solve a problem for your target audience — this will establish your company as a thought leader and instill trust. Companies that offer “free” support and advice via video content on platforms such as YouTube will engender a sense of loyalty from customers, who feel they are getting more value from the business.
Don’t forget to include a CTA that encourages viewers to visit the business website or subscribe to the YouTube channel. It’s easy to track engagement with YouTube videos, allowing you to tweak your campaign strategy to maximize results.
Both startups and established businesses should continually review their marketing strategies and keep up to date with the rapid changes in technology that impact the world of digital marketing. Sticking with the status quo because it works may feel safe, but you’re likely to miss out on some fantastic marketing opportunities and fall behind your more daring competitors.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.