Last month we looked at non-digital routes to communicating with our customers. So this month we are looking at the digital ways. The current pandemic has no doubt had an impact on the world of digital marketing. Businesses that weren’t online pre pandemic mainly decided to get online and those that were already online, decided or were prompted to up their digital game and spend some time reviewing and improving what they had. So, what is new and what should you as a small business owner be doing?
How can we communicate with our customers and potential customers? By communicating I mean two-way talk involving questions and answers and engagement, rather than talking at or to someone. Communicating with our target audience involves speaking and also listening. “Social media is not a media. The key is to listen, engage, and build relationships.” — David Alston, author
What are the digital options for communicating with your target audience?
Digital marketing channels include:
Social media – there are many platforms out there that appeal to different audiences and with varying ways of getting your message out there. For example the more established platforms of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google my business as well as the new ones of Clubhouse and TikTok.
Email marketing – once you have a consented to GDPR compliant (and noting PECR too), sending a regular newsletter or email out to keep customers and prospects updated, informed, engaged and for upselling too, is a potential idea
Online marketing – this term in my mind includes your website which in turn also incorporates content, SEO, PPC and more.
Nowadays, you can also network online too at events. Advertising can also be online in publications, directories, magazines and so on.
Digital marketing channels to use and why
Whatever channel you use, you must always be GDPR compliant. By talking with our customers and target audience rather than talking at them, we will inspire them more. They will listen more. They will not feel sold too. So getting your communications and messaging right is very important, whatever method you use.
Social media marketing
What social media platforms are right for you, your business and your audience? This can be a tricky one, but factors to consider when deciding which platform to set up and use for your business are age, the type of messaging and its complexity, images, videos, # and the demographics of the audience. Plus consider your personal preference too when it comes to which social media platform to use.
Frequency of posting is another tricky area to master. I would say you need to be consistent and regular as with anything in marketing but not too much though. Use a blend of content and variety/style including salesy posts, plus company news, topical and seasonal posts, plus personal updates etc. Be authentic!
And always use your profile’s stats to gauge what engages with your audience and so on. Your digital marketing should be based on what your audience wants and needs and what works for them, which in turn will engage them and lead to sales and enquiries.