Luke and Sadie discuss how influencers and brands may benefit from buying likes or views but also the disadvantages and...
Online marketing – Making the most of your digital platforms
The internet is a land of opportunity. Where, for the most part, anyone with something to say can speak to whomever they please and do so however they wish.
While having your say is easy, getting people to listen is far more difficult. Whatever your message and whatever your niche, simply putting out content is no guarantee that people looking for messages like yours will find what you say, pay attention if they do find it, or listen to it over other competing voices from within your industry.
When people who want to buy search for what you’re selling, in an ideal world, they’d find your website first and buy from you. However, it’s unlikely you’re the only business doing what you do and your competitors will also be trying to win that valuable custom. So how do you ensure potential customers find you, buy from you and keep coming back?
If you’re going to invest your time and money in establishing an online presence, then making sure you get a genuine return on that investment a primary concern. While ROI is important in any facet of your online presence, nowhere is it as essential as when paying for advertising.
With so many online advertising platforms to choose from, it’s really easy to spend a lot of money on paid advertising without seeing much for your money. Paid advertising can give you terrific ROI or terrible ROI entirely dependant on how you use it.
No matter which advertising solution you choose, it’s important that you establish how you’re going to be charged (per click, per view, per impression etc) and essential that you target your advertising properly.
It can seem counter-intuitive to reduce the number of people who see your ads, however, because of the way most advertising platforms charge you for advertising, the more people see your ad then the more you’ll get charged, so it pays to adjust the settings so that only the people who are most likely to convert see your ads. That way you’re not wasting money serving ads to people who probably won’t buy.
Know your audience, market in a way that appeals specifically to them.
Whatever industry you’re in, you’re almost certain to have a good idea of which demographics the majority of your customers inhabit, so tailor your marketing messages to appeal specifically to your target audience.
Think of your regular customers. Within that group, there are a smaller group people who really love what you do, within THAT group are a handful of customers who are practically evangelistic about your service. Out of them, you might have one or two ‘super-fans’. The kind who would be at the front of a queue if you had a midnight product launch, the sort who are better brand ambassadors than people on your payroll. When creating your marketing messages, write specifically for those people and you won’t go far wrong.
Establish a brand personality
Marketing isn’t always about telling people what you have for sale, it’s as much about who you are as what you do. Your brand should ideally have a personality of its own and all your online content should be in that same consistent tone of voice. That tone of voice should be one that appeals to your typical customer and with which they can relate.
For example, one of our clients, a ladies fashion brand has a brand persona which emphasises sisterhood, a squad mentality and the happiness to be gained from premium experiences, so the content we produce on their behalf is entirely in keeping with this personality. One of our travel service clients has a very relaxed approach and are keen to promote the family experience, the joy of travel and aren’t averse to the use of humour within their online content. This contrasts with another of our clients who provide financial assistance services, whose voice is more informative and helpful.
Produce quality engaging content
Blogging is a solid way to produce content and to establish your brand as an expert in its field. Well written, informative blog posts can attract people to your site long after they’ve been published, especially if you’re offering a unique insight or an answer to people’s questions. Additionally, the more you write about a particular subject, the more search engines will notice that your site has a lot of information about a particular niche and might, therefore, be a good place to send searchers with a question.
Email marketing can be a powerful tool if utilised correctly. Chances are that your previous customers have signed up to hear from you once in a while, so don’t leave their inboxes empty, send the latest news from your business, your latest promotions and some smart text and imagery just to remind them that you’re there and give them a nudge to buy ‘that thing’.
In terms of reach and engagement, video is currently the number one medium for marketing content. Messages can be communicated in a natural way and your message can be readily assimilated by the user. The effectiveness of video content is something we’ve been emphasising for a while and if there’s one medium you invest in, we think video should be it. If you have any questions about video content, then we invite you to #AskFalkon and challenge us with your video related questions!
Be an active part of your digital community
It’s easy to forget the ‘social’ part of social media, however, if you do, you’ll be missing a trick. Keep an eye on what’s popular, what’s being commented on and what’s trending within your area of expertise.
If you have something to say, then say it, if you see something you like, then don’t be afraid to follow and share. If you’re seen to be active and to be making a worthwhile contribution, you’ll not only increase your brands visibility, but also the perception that you’re an expert within your field. Don’t look for selling opportunities, look for opportunities to engage. The sales will come.
Things move quickly online. What works today, might not work tomorrow and in a week from now, there might be something entirely new that no-one’s thought of. It’s also important that you tailor your content dependant on the requirements of the social platforms you’re using. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube are the main four, but not the only social channels and all have their relative strengths and weaknesses.
With this in mind, it pays to keep yourself up to speed on the latest trends within your industry and within online marketing in general. If you identify a new opportunity, be in a position to move quickly to capitalise on it before your competitors do.
A word of caution though. Be careful of using ‘cheap tactics’ to try to artificially gain reach and exposure. Facebook have been taking a very hard line on attempts to ‘game’ their algorithm and are getting extremely good at differentiating quality content and what they term ‘engagement bait‘. If your content doesn’t provide anything of use or interest, then chances are you’re having to use undesirable tactics to lure people into visiting and engaging. These strategies are going to be less and less useful as time goes by, to the point of being damaging to your brand and it’s rankings, so stop it now!
I think I need some help here!
At Falkon, we’re always keeping ourselves up to date with the latest marketing trends in order to keep our clients on top of their industries. There’s only so much you can do in a day and if we can take care of the online marketing for you, that’s more time you have to spend doing what you’re best at, while we take care of the rest.
If you’re looking for up to the minute advice about where your online marketing can take you, from website design, to social media management, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Feel free to get in touch and take your first step towards unleashing the power of digital marketing for you and your business.