You already know that websites, email marketing, and social media posts are an important component of a strong marketing plan. Electronic communication is vital in building awareness of your brand, and an on-line presence is expected for almost every product. You’re likely familiar with the digital vehicles for getting your message out, but are you using them correctly? Make sure your on-line presence is a promotional boost and not a drag by following these tips.
Sell Benefits, Not Features
You know your product inside and out and you know how valuable it is, otherwise you never would have gone to the trouble of bringing it to the marketplace. You are probably quite good at explaining your product’s features, but are you letting your potential customers know how these features benefit them? Features are important, but benefits are critical. There is a lot of noise on-line, and you are always competing to be heard. You only have a small window of opportunity to capture your customers’ attention, so you better grab it before they move on to the next distraction. If you let them know immediately how your product is going to make their lives easier, or make them happy, rich, productive, comfortable, etc., they are far more likely to stick around to hear about the features your product has to offer. And, the longer you can keep someone’s attention, the more likely you are to make a sale. It can be all too easy to focus on how great your product is, but your customer is far more interested in how your product will help them. Keep your customers’ needs in mind, and your customers will keep you in mind.
Know Your Customer
Knowing who is already buying your product and who else will benefit from your product is important information for creating your digital marketing plan. What type of customer is already purchasing your product? What activities does he or she enjoy? Where and how is this customer buying your product? How did he or she find out about your product, and why did this person spend hard-earned money to make the purchase? Finally, who isn’t buying your product that you think would benefit from doing so, and why aren’t they buying? The answers to these questions are a road map to increased sales. If you can use this information to develop a profile of your ideal customer, you can figure out how to accurately speak to him or her and deliver a message that will eventually lead to a sale. Taking the time to understand your customers and potential customers as individuals can help you effectively target whom you are trying to reach and then use the right language to connect with them.
Sometimes It Isn’t What You Say, but Where You Say It
Location, location, location is a popular phrase in the real estate market, but it’s just as relevant for on-line marketing. You can come up with a well-written message that resonates perfectly with your target customer, but if you don’t put it in the right place, it’s useless. You need to know where to find your customers, and they need to know where to find you. If knowing your customer is a key to sales, knowing where that customer spends time on-line will unlock the door.
Do your customers and potential customers favor Facebook and Pinterest, or is Instagram more their style? Do they use Linked In? Are they looking for training or information that you can provide with a blog? Is an email blast the most efficient way to reach your market? Taking time to find the answers to these questions will tell you where your product should take up an on-line residence.
Chances are very good that your customers are on some type of social media, so if you can properly use this medium to advertise your product, it will be to your benefit. Post videos, graphics, photos, and ads to let everyone know what’s new with your product line, your employees, and even your industry. You can use social media to inform about product releases, new hires, retirements, and any community activity in which your organization is involved. There are varying opinions about how much posting is too much or not enough. My feeling is that you should have a consistent presence. In other words, don’t post daily the first week of the month and then drop off until mid-month, and finally pick up to twice a day at the end of the month. You should have a set plan or strategy for how often you appear on your customers’ feeds, and it should consider how frequently you have interesting and relevant information to share. Remember that social media is a casual way to promote your product, so keep it fun and light, but never sacrifice your credibility by getting too cute; always maintain your professionalism. Finally, measure your progress and then adjust your plan accordingly.
Sending out regular email blasts is another way to engage your on-line audience. This is a more formal approach to marketing, so make sure that you stick to your message, present a high level of professionalism, and always direct recipients to your website. If you’ve posted a blog or an important announcement on social media, use an email blast to publicize it.
Writing a blog is a great way to establish your company as an industry leader, and it’s an even better way to get your customers and potential customers to visit your website. A weekly or monthly blog will keep them informed about new products and the benefits those products provide, update them on trends within the industry, and let them know what’s happening inside your organization. Using your blog as an educational tool will establish trust between your organization and your target market. Circling back, remember to use social media and email to announce your blog and where it is located, and make sure you post your blog according to a consistent schedule.
Your website is the on-line face of your company, so make sure your customers know where to find it. You should constantly be directing your customers and potential customers to it with all of your marketing communication vehicles, both print and digital. This being said, it is imperative that you frequently update your site so that it remains interesting, informative, and fresh. Videos and photos from company events, community service activities, trade shows, etc. are great ways to engage your customers. A weekly or monthly spotlight on an employee or a product, or graphics and charts educating about industry trends are valuable to share. As mentioned previously, a periodic blog is also a big draw. Invite your customers to write testimonials to share on your website. As long as you keep it professional, your website can be the prime way that your customers get to know your company and product line.
In conclusion, whether your are marketing a product or a service, selling business to business or business to consumer, on-line marketing is vital. By incorporating these ideas and guidelines into your overall marketing plan, you will be well on your way to building a strong digital presence with a loyal on-line community that will help grow your business.