With digital marketing and social media changing on a virtual daily basis, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with recent trends and new ways of connecting with potential clients. This is truly an age of digital selling, with every aspect of sales and marketing done online and virtually nothing done in person. Although it can be difficult to know where to start and how to keep up with modern practices, there are still a number of essential tips and techniques to follow in order to maximise your chances of being seen.
- An engaging website. People now expect more and more from a company website, and a website which simply presents text information with a few pictures thrown in here and there is now not really good enough. Websites need to be engaging and inspiring. It can often be very difficult to know how to achieve this, especially if you do not operate in a particularly exciting industry. Don’t forget, your website is essentially your business personality in digital form; even if you sell bath plugs for a living, find a way to make your business fun, original and memorable.
- Telling a story. The need to engage brings us neatly onto the need for compelling content. Of course you need your potential clients to understand what you do, and the products and services you provide, but first of all you need to catch their attention. This can be done with dynamic content such as videos, infographics and blog articles such as this beginners guide to marketing online or some basic SEO tips. Don’t be afraid to inject some humour into the way you present your information; even if you work in a ‘serious’ industry, you can still stand out from the crowd by putting a smile on someone’s face.
- Who are you talking to? It is absolutely essential for any business, in any field, to understand its target audience. Try not to just look at things from the seller’s perspective; your clients may have a completely different way of looking at the services and products you offer. If you were in their shoes, what would you want from a service provider? If you can see both sides of the equation, you are far more likely to be successful.
- Be a fly on the wall. If you have competitors who seem to have a much stronger social presence than you do, make sure you pay close attention to what it is they’re doing and saying. When you visit their social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, do they have much more engagement with their customer base than you do? If so, pay attention to how they are achieving this in terms of the posts they make (including on their own blog) and the responses they are getting. Are they instigating debates? Being deliberately controversial? However they are achieving it, this is something you also want to achieve.
- Building commitment. If you do manage to achieve the kind of interaction stated above, you may also be able to build a certain kind of commitment from your clients, both existing and potential. Making it easy for people to keep up to date with you can be very helpful, and by employing Like, Follow and Share buttons for example can work a treat. Other options such as an RSS Feed or simple email subscription can also work well, as long as the content stays interesting.
- Recycle your content. Being original is incredibly important, both in terms of keeping your customers interested, and also for SEO. But this does not mean you can only use an article or blog post once. Feel free to use content from earlier in the year, perhaps, but turn it into a different type of content i.e. create an infographic, slideshow or YouTube video, or expand a successful blog post into a longer article.
- Not all marketing is free. There is still a time and a place for paid advertising and media. Budgets can be extremely closely controlled with the likes of AdWords so there is no fear of running up a huge advertising bill. Using Sales Lead Generation tools such as Lead Forensics is quite costly but extremely effective. Also if you have spotted a website related to your industry which could provide a great deal of exposure for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with paying them to carry a sponsored article on your behalf.