Digital marketing is not hard, your customers are well educated, technically savvy, informed (and impatient).
You need to engage with your users 24/7 on the platforms where they can be found. Don’t put an email link, phone number form on your website asking people to call in the age of online platforms.
Your customers demographic may indicate where you may find them. Generally, young people may on Snapchat hiding from parents why are on Facebook, technically savvy people may be on Linked-In or Google Plus or Twitter.
Rough social media user counts per platform:
- Facebook – 1.5 billion
- YouTube 1.49 billion
- Twitter 400 million and falling
- Instagram – 275 million
- Linked in 250 million
- Reddit – 125 million
- VK – 120 million
- Tumblr – 110 Million
- Pinterest – 100 million
- Google Plus – 100 million
- more http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites
Q1) Are you talking to your customers and on the platforms they are on.
Check out https://namechk.com/ to see if your company name is available online.
Don’t solicit reviews
Don’t solicit reviews on trip advisor and other review sights by giving away free products as the reviews will sound fake. Try and explain to the customer that you value feedback online and listen to that feedback.
How to capture new users
Create Content about the products of services you sell and post it online so Google Google and search engines can find it in turn customers will find it (and you will spend nothing on Ads).Inform people about your product in the form of a blog video VLog.
If you sell coffee beans show people the process of roasting and packaging your coffee beans ad talking about your coffee bean sourcing process. Your customers will learn something and will feel a connection with your brand, the next time they see or smell coffee beans they will think of your product.
If you sell apps or software design services educate people about the app development process so they understand your experience, passion, and thoroughness as this cannot be learned for free or sourced from elsewhere.
Sharing information gives back and allows people to binge on your story (product, service or process). Telling your story in a format that gives back is sought after compared to traditional advertising.
Seperate Social Media Accounts
It is a good idea to seperate (create new social media accounts if need be) accounts and post personal and business information seperate to personal content.
You can send out free samples to online influencers to geneate awareness.
Also you should have and give consistent information across all communication channels. Providing different (or lacking) information across different channels is a big turn off for customers.
Consider doing live streams of the things you do on Facebook or Periscope. This costs nothing and it is an easy way to start sharing what you do.
Know your competition
Know your competitions prices, products and customer engagement strategies,. Your customers will periodically re-engage with other vendors and if they are cheaper will switch if you dont have retention mechanisms like discounts etc.
Link the problem and solution?
Customers are great at finding content and services online and ensure your content solves a problem and you are not selling too hard as this can turn people away. Use long descriptions for any content you post online to ensure search engines find your content, search engines love words in the title.
Posting blog post frequently can be a good way of engaging with customer and validating assumptions. If you have nothing to report and are stuck about what to share then think of what you have been asked in the week previous and start with bullet points of how you can help and go from there.
Use users previous activity data to create reengagement
Like Facebook do.
Blogs and video VLogs are a great place to inform your customers about upcoming products or services. Capturing users email addresses in return for the occasional exclusives and coupons can increase sales and engagement. Posting regular content is enough to engage with your users but asking users to sign up to a newsletter
https://hootsuite.com/ is a great service that can allow you to manage all of your social media platforms from one dashboard, with Hootsuite you can individually see your engagement in social media platforms (likes, shares, retweets, visibility etc) but it is advisable to generate trackable links on your website and have google analytics Google Analytics (https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/) measure the hits so you can compare apples to apples yourself.
Microsoft for years have directed people to a web page that forwards people to the right content but tracks the request at the same time for free https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=245999
You can set up a similar page with a PHP file on your web server using the following code (you will need your own website that you can place files on)
header("Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate");
header("Expires: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT");
header('Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8');
/* Sample Usage
// Insert your google tracking code here
header( 'Location: http://simon.fearby.com/blog/' ) ;
header( 'Location: http://www.fearby.com' ) ;
// add more here
echo "I could not find a page for the URL you specified.";
Community Advocates for your brand
Encouraging customers (outside of trade shows and events) to promote your brand (and rewarding leading advocates) is a must. Run competitions to encourage users to promote your product online and retweet and share your customers created content. If customers love your product reward them with extra product or prizes. Everyone loves a competition.
Notifications and triggers
Notifying customers before a product is set to be replaced (e.g coffee bags or pods), and offering a paid replacement (with or without discounts) will help the customer. Discounts (or free) 10th purchase is a good long term sales strategy.
Monitor your websites if you host them yourself the extra traffic may cause your site to go offline (driving people away). Hosting on other platforms may require you to upgrade your hosting plan. Having a fast website can be key in ensuring your customer’s experience is positive.
I would not pat yourself on the back if you have a 400% social media growth rate, you are after sales and conversions and not social media follower numbers. Make sure you generating more sales and leads from the effort put into social media?
It is also advisable to participate in the platforms you choose 24/7 from a mobile device so you can respond to customers queries, feedback or questions. Chances are your customers will go to your competition via mobile within minutes or are using a mobile device doing research in a bricks and mortar store.
You may want to talk to your phone carrier and setup a number of phonetic compatible landline, mobile and 1300 numbers. Companies like www.twilio.com allow you to programmatically use numbers from your business. Looking professional can mean a lot to the customer but be prepared to use/man those numbers.
Don’t use automated phone numbers to cut costs and push communications like my bank does (ignoring incoming text).
I called my bank (re the above) and they had deleted my application in a new call centre and failed to tell me and ask me to visit my local branch to learn more. Thankfully good old fashioned face to face was able to assist me (not an app, online, call centre or SMS).
Engage with your customers.
Don’t be afraid of asking for feedback and ideas from engaged users. Ask users what they want to know or see and ask for stories in return for discount coupons. An engaged customer is more valuable that 100 potential customers. I once gave feedback to an IPSOS call center who called me regarding a survey they were running and it was clearly not getting past my spam filters (Spam Assassin), I told them this multiple times and I still keep getting calls saying I have not completed the survey (thanks for not listening IPSOS).
Do set an average engagement time and measure and record average engagement time over time. Starting out at an average of 12 minutes and ending at 28 days is bad.
How not you do it
I asked @twilio a question on Twitter and did not receive an answer for a 15 days.
I asked Alibaba Cloud a question 5 days ago and just got a reply.
Who does it right
@ParallelsCares monitored a keyword and pro actively found a tweet of mine and contacted me with a solution.
Modern website platforms can track users activity on your site (either via cookies assigned on the first-page load or ensuring a trackable unique token is used with each page on your website e.g https://www.yoursire.com/folder/page/index.html#UniqueTrackableToken )
Google analytics can also allow you to see the most common country, web browser, platform and device type.
If all else fails you can spend money and advertise your product and or service. Read this article on advertising terms http://webanalysis.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/cost-of-advertising-cpm-ecpm-and-cpc.html
Paid Engagement Staff
One option for the busy business owner is to pay someone to manage their online engagement and interactions. This can free up time but ensure that person intimate with your product and or service. Often I have had calls from company so called representatives and they clearly know nothing of the companies products, my history or interactions.
I am a big fan or the Atlassian Trello and Confluence tools to manage the ever growing things to do and research. Atlassian Service Desk is a nice feedback and FAQ Helpdesk/ticket system https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira/service-desk and Atlassian I use Jira Software for managing my pipeline tasks.
Keywords and Hashtags
Your jobs is to find your customers online and acknowledge them and educate existing customers and turn them into advocates.
Platforms like Twitter have hashtags that can allow #brand1 to differentiate to #brand1 by using a hashtag to trigger a search on that platform. A hashtag can be a unique string usually starting with a # symbol.
Platforms come and go and don’t get comfortable. Always ask customers where they hang out online and follow them.
And remember to give things a go and measure everything, without data you just have an opinion.
Post bought to you by http://netconstructs.com.au/
Blog post vision v1.4 added samples and seperate accounts .