We’re in an age where everyone lives online. Cell phones in hand in the morning, evening, and at the dinner table.
We’re not here to discuss the ethics or morals of technology. We’re here to talk business.
With over 85% of searches being in relation to products and services, the value of investing in your digital presence is massive.
This post is going to help you get started with digital marketing. We’ll walk you through six simple steps to expand your business online.
- Change with consumers by investing in your digital presence
It’s important to recognise consumer behaviour is changing, with technology being the driving force. Technology gives consumers access to the information they need to make smarter buying decisions, without the need to walk into a store or speak with a sales person.
Consumers are also able to quickly share information and opinions with their friends and peers – thus the advantage of social shopping.
- Ensure your online and offline presence is seamlessly connected
This change in behaviour means the buyers journey is also changing.
It’s no longer linear, but rather complex. The buyers journey now involves moving between a variety of online and offline marketing channels, and is now done at the consumer’s speed, on devices that suit their needs (desktop and mobile).
Some of the many platforms include online, phone calls or instore. They may start the purchase process on their smartphone while on their lunchbreak and finish on their laptop at home!
And guess what? Consumers expect a seamless online and offline experience throughout that whole buying process. So, in order to keep up, businesses now need to meet their customers where they are searching – online.
- Keep getting referrals, but add online reviews to your focus
Referrals are still highly desirable, however due to the changes in the buyers journey, a strong online presence is needed to strengthen credibility.
When you’re making a purchase decision, how often do you google the business you intend to purchase from? Would you still purchase their products or services if their website provided you with minimal or out-dated information?
Imagine, instead, if a slew of great customer reviews showed up. Chances are, you’d be much more likely to do business with them. Put online reviews as your focus.
- Make sure your website looks and functions great
Think of your website as your superpower to speak to your customers when there are in the decision-making process.
By providing them with a visually appealing, easy to navigate site full of useful content, you’re able to capture their attention and keep them ‘in your store’.
Growing an online business through digital marketing or inbound marketing can be boiled down to nailing two components: Your website and its content.
In regards to your website, think of it as being an online representation of your physical presence. It should reflect your brand, along with speaking the voice of your buyers through its design and graphics.
Key ideas to make your website user friendly:
- Keep your website design simple yet reflective of your brand
- Make it easy to navigate
- Clearly state how customers can contact you
- Include tabs that point them to information they’ll find helpful
- Don’t forget to optimize it for mobile devices
- Add good website content
Your website should hold useful and helpful content which helps your customers through their purchasing decision.
Examples of this type of content includes:
- In-depth product/service descriptions
- Pricing details
- Addressing frequently asked questions or concerns your customers have.
In other words, create original content (such as articles or posts) discussing the topics your customers care about.
If you don’t know what your customers care about – ask them! Send out a survey to your email list or create a poll on Twitter.
By creating content to help ease customer pain points or barriers, you’ll begin to establish yourself as trustworthy and stay top of mind for your customers.
- Yes, you can easily do it yourself!
This isn’t necessarily a step to follow, but a pep talk.
Digital marketing can seem like a huge and confusing task to take on, but rest assured you don’t need to be a marketing expert to bring your website up to date!
We have created a series of easy-to-follow eBooks to help you through the process, and grow your business online.