Changing Trends in Online Marketing
Marketing used to be pretty straight forward. An ad on the radio, a few billboards, perhaps a TV ad if you had the budget, and the business would start rolling in. No longer. The internet has made the world a lot smaller, and with it, brought your competitors closer to your door. Once upon a time if you were the only butcher, baker or candlestick maker on your street, you’d automatically cornered the market. Now, everyone can buy all of those things (and a million other things) from Amazon, or Ocado, or a dozen other online giants. So how can other companies even begin to compete?
The answer is with clever digital marketing. The good news is that digital marketing is a great leveller. Amazon, Ocado and the rest can put out adverts on Facebook, but guess what? So can you. But that doesn’t mean that every company is doing it right. There are four main things to remember when it comes to digital marketing.
It used to be that a post on Facebook would be seen by everyone who likes your page. But, surprise surprise, Facebook are a company too, and that means they want to make some money as well. Using clever and frequently updated algorithms, Facebook can essentially control who sees what at any given time. This, on the face of it, is bad news for businesses, because to get a post seen by the maximum amount of people, you need to (you guessed it), pay out to Facebook.
But it’s not all bad. The charges are highly scale-able to suit a variety of budgets. £50 here or there on high profile posts (for example, if you’re having a flash sale, or to maximise on seasonal holidays) really does have a decent impact on the audience your post will reach. And more than that, you can very specifically target your audience based on categories including age, gender, location – even interests. This is not blanket marketing of the kind you get doing a TV or radio add – this is audience specific targeting. The people seeing your company are people who are actively going to be interested in your products or services.
You don’t need to post multiple times every day to build an audience on social media. This used to be a good way to build audience interactions, but now social media platforms are getting cleverer with their algorithms, half the time you’re shouting to an empty room. Instead, post less often (as infrequently as two or three times a week even) but make sure everything you post is great quality and actually offers something of value to your audience. This doesn’t have to be a special offer or a sale – a joke or funny pic is just as likely to be shared. People will only share content with their friends if they think that content is great. Social shares are the digital equivalent of word of mouth – don’t underestimate their power.
All of the above is true at the time of writing, but in the world of digital marketing, things move fast. You’ve probably got enough on your plate running your company without worrying about keeping up to speed with the latest digital trends. Luckily for you, there are people who make a career out of it, such as London-born Carl Silverstone, founder of marketing company Alpine Studios. Carl has an insider’s view, as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the UK. Carl was identified as gifted at mathematics at aged only 4 years old, and started his first business at 12; now aged 30 has shown he is adept at more than just numbers. Marketing and innovation experts such as Carl Silverstone make it their business to know what the latest best practice is and scale on it. If you don’t have time to find out – you can be sure they’re already in the know.
Identify the tone of your business and stick with it across all your marketing communications – this means the public posts you put out on social but also the way you respond to queries. If customers feel like they know you, they’ll remember you and that’s how you make returning business. If you don’t have a flair with words, or aren’t sure how to identify the USP of your company, again, ask an expert to help.
After that, you can sit back and do what you do best – run your company like a pro.