Understanding the online market
Marketing has evolved over the years, now it is not as simple as creating ad campaigns for bill boards and magazines, with the internet comes a vast market place, giving your business access to a global market, so how do you get your business noticed in this large market place?
Online marketing is web based channels to promote and sell your brand, services or products these products might not even be your own, there are various ways you can market online such as email, social media, display adverts and making good use of your SEO, if you need to know the basics of SEO click here
There are four basic channels for marketing
- The main one we all know is selling direct
- Dual distrabution which is a third party (perhaps a affiliate)
- Reverse channels
- Selling through intermediates
Depending our your type of business you would need to decide on where you can get customers from, for example if you are a physical business offering cleaning services, you will not need a gobal business audience therefore you should focus on gaining local customers, one of the good tools to do this and it is free is use google my business this is a nice feature and could work well for you company. This cannot be used for an online business unless you have a physical address to use.
Strategies that are used today
There are numerous strategies used today so lets look at some of the better known ones:
- Most common one we all know is word of mouth, how many times have you recomended a product or service to a friend or family member, this can be very effective especially for local businesses, having customer testomonies can be very powerful. Might be old school but it still matters today.
- Relationship marketing, this is something a company may do with you, as a existing customer they will build brand awarness with you this by giving you a new product before it is released, bit like a movie preview, you get the invitation to get tickets before they go on sale to the general public
- Viral marketing, reminds me of having fans, people who love your products or services and simply cannot wait to see what you have come up with next, or you create some quirky video that people just cannot help but share.
- Mass marketing this is great if you have the budget for it, large companies such as supermarkets use this method, they have the numbers and can reach customers on a national level or even globally.
- Seasonal marketing this is used for many business across the field for events such as sales, easter and the one we all know Christmas, no sooner has Christmas passed and we are onto Easter, for example take Easter eggs they are out about two months before we even get to easter, or how many holiday companies are promoting holidays, winter is coming to a end so your longing for some warm sunshine or a new place to visit.
- Content marketing, this is growing rapidly and is widely used by affiliate marketers and many retailers are using this method as part of there marketing strategy.
- Events such as trade shows are used for example you would not go and buy a new boat from just a advert, you will want to go along check it out, look at the quality of the product, try some of the features out, even arrange to go out in it to see how it performs before you buy it.
- Search online. how many people use google to look for something ! either for products or solutions to questions they have and do not forget YouTube 5 billion people view this platform every day, that is huge.
Now this is just some of the various methods that get used in working out the best method of marketing for your products or services and even small businesses are realising that having a website is of value to help their business grow.
Future trends in the way we communicate
One of the new trends for 2018 is Mobilfication, what is this you might ask, simply making use of mobile phone technology, how many people are using mobile phones for many things such as banking, buying and playing games, when your coming home from work and your on the train or bus just about everyone is on the mobile phone.
If you have your own website or planning to build one make sure it is device friendly, pages are quick to load, make it appealing having good images and content is a must. Text your existing customers say once a month or if you have a special offer, track it and see how responsive they are, do they come back more often for your product or services.
With every marketing campaign you should be testing it out and seeing how effective your marketing is, there a number of ways to do this, google analytics is one of them, some plugins have analytices and offer split marketing campaigns.
Now here is one that I have only recently heard of, think its quite quirky Chatbots , what is that ? my thoughts exactly will be giving this a try to see how effective it is. a computer program to stimulation conversation online. want to know more details on this check out the video at bottom of the page. It is thought that over time this will replace email only time will tell.
Have you noticed that when you use certain messaging systems such as facebook messenger we are receiving ads within this application now, seems that no matter what we are on adverts follow us along.
Simple marketing tips for beginners
If you are new to a online business, keep it simple work out ways to reach your audience this can be done by setting up goals in google analytics, such as georgraphics, ages and interests to track your traffic, see what pages/post are getting the most interest.
There are paid advertisements with google ad words or Facebook I would not recommend you do this unless you know what you are doing, as it could be costly and ineffective.
If you are a local based business and do not need marketing for the overseas market, firstly get yourself on google my business, want to know more on local SEO click here.
Look at some of your competitors is there something you can do better or is there something you can offer that is unique, do not over think it, what would a possible customer type in the search bar, can you come up with a solution or do you have a really good product.
If you have a product on offer is there other products that go along with it for example you are looking for a new car, so what else could you offer, new car mats for the inside, topbox for extra storage.
Why would a customer buy from your website ? do you give more information on a product and make it easy to understand the benefits.
Most people will look at reviews before buying something especially the high end products, so think what would you want to know about the product or service, write for your visitors.
Joining some groups with like minded people can also help, networking is also a good way, try meetup.com and check out what workshops etc are going on, its not just for social meets there are a lot of business events to.
If you have the budget for this and you would rather someone else handle marketing for you, then there are a number of agencies around. Try and get one that is recommended to you, if not make sure you do your home work.
Some offer a trial period and that is worth considering depending on how their pricing is, make sure you understand what you are getting in your package and it will meet the needs of your company.
Do they understand you company business and the vision you have for its growth these are questions you need to consider.
One place you can have a look just to test the waters is DAN ( Digitalagencynet.com/agencies) this is a web based service that has a network selected, highly talented,independently operated marketing & advertising agencies with digital DNA. There are around 500 DAN member agencies operating in cities throughout the world.
If you are local based search around and see if you can perhaps try a small agency always check their work, do they have reviews and go with your first impressions, so if it does not feel right move on to the next.
Will chatbots replace email ? what are you thoughts, want to know a bit more just watch the short video.