Your digital platform can be the difference between gaining a new customer or losing them to a competitor. Customers will flock to providers that make their lives easier and there is a whole generation of consumers that can almost only be reached through online advertising. So what are your options?
This is often the last gatepost between you and a new customer and you want to make sure you get it right. Customers will make a lot of assumptions about your business based on your website. If the site looks old or poorly made, they might assume this has some correlation to how you run your business. Functionality is important too; a slow site, broken links and bad UX can cause frustration and alienate a customer.
Adding features like ecommerce, a chat box or booking system can make it that much easier for clients to get on board and is often the deciding factor in a customer choosing you.
SEO & SEM
Search Engine Optimisation and Search Engine Marketing – or simply the art of making your business more visible online – is almost as important as the website itself. Often business owners will build a site and expect it to work like an ad in the yellow pages but unfortunately it’s not that simple. Search engines judge whether people want to see your site based on its popularity, relevance of search terms and quality of content. If you want people to visit your site, you need to make it easy to find by making it SEO ready. Paying to list first for certain searches can also be worthwhile (think Google Adwords) and if you expect to gain a lot of your customers through online searches this could be an important part of your marketing campaign.
Often social media is a passive form of advertising – you’re creating content to keep people engaged so that they remember you when they need you. Paid social media advertising can also work passively or actively as a branding exercise to new audiences or as a call to action. This is an increasingly popular way to reach potential customers as we spend so much time on it every day.
EDMs or Electronic Digital Marketing (or simply digital newsletters & communications) is a great way to remind customers your there. Developing an EDM template and marketing plan is a low cost way to advertise, so why not take advantage of your existing client database and sell to people that have used your services before? After all, repeat customers probably make up a significant chunk of your revenue. Incentives can help encourage customers to join your mailing list and stay on it (eg. Freebies / exclusive deals).
Google maps is on it’s way to replacing business directories. So many people use it to find and compare businesses. Having great images, up to date information, good reviews, a link to a great website and even a Streetview tour within your business can significantly help getting customers in the door.
Other ways to advertise
Here are a few more ways you can incorporate digital into your marketing plan:
- Online display ads
- Subscription online TV & Youtube
- Google Adwords
- Advertising on affiliate sites
- Online retargeting