Digital marketing is an essential feature for any modern business as the online arena is where millions of consumer interactions take place every single day. When handled in the correct fashion, this environment promises to generate some truly fantastic results. However, this is only made possible when you approach it in the right way.
Here’s how to ensure that your online marketing strategies are met with the right responses time and time again.
Leaving the traditional route behind
In years gone by, there was a linear route. The consumer would first be exposed to the brand before becoming familiar with it thanks to regular marketing. The consideration stage would hopefully be followed by a purchase and a repeat customer.
Nowadays, consumers have greater expectations while they additionally interact with brands in a completely different manner – this includes where they shop and how they make consumer decisions. With a more sophisticated and customer-centric approach, however, it is possible to win over the online audience.
Marketing teams must now embrace two-way conversations, find innovative ways of pushing the brand as well as the products, and know how to strike at the moment where consumers are most likely to complete an impulse buy.
Approaching the customer journey in the digital age
It’s also worth noting that consumers now follow a four-stage cycle. After creating an ‘initial consideration set’ of brands, the consumer gathers information in the ‘active evaluation’ stage before choosing a brand with what is known as the ‘moment of purchase. Finally, their ‘post-purchase experience’ is where their future decisions will be influenced one way or the other.
Following the four steps below should put you on the pathway to success.
#1. Consumer-driven marketing
Modern consumers are influenced heavily by the views of their friends and family. When dealing with the online audience, this can extend to strangers that are past customers too.
User-generated content (including testimonials, customer reviews, and blogs) from impartial third parties carry a lot of weight due to their authenticity. In truth, those reviews and responses are likely to have an even greater impact than any marketing campaign.
While the user-generated content is important at every phase of the journey, the impacts are heightened during the active evaluation phase. The reviews and testimonials can make all the difference by confirming or contesting those initial first impressions.
Google My Business is a particularly good solution for local businesses, not least because it boosts the SEO status too. Other platforms including Trustpilot are very useful too.
Still, you will need to give your customers a reason to provide positive reviews. The last thing you want to do is let them down. So, set realistic expectations and surpass them. When customers gain a quality service that is even better than promised, the positive reactions will lead to great results.
#2. Engaging content
As a modern business, you don’t merely want customers to love your products. You need them to become loyal to the brand too. Thanks to digital marketing, this can be achieved before a product has even been purchased. You’d be a fool not to take advantage.
People buy into people. Even without face-to-face interactions, the use of engaging online content can make prospective clients feel closer to the brand than you ever thought possible. Blogs, behind the scenes videos, and opinion pieces are all great options. Essentially, you need the content to bring value to the consumer’s life while getting them familiar to the brand.
When a consumer loves the brand, they will be far more likely to look at its products with a positive outlook. In turn, this can lead to instinct purchases. Furthermore, the fresh content is a great way to keep the brand relevant – especially for existing clients.
Engaging and entertaining content is also the perfect way to celebrate the personality of your brand. The fact that you’ll enjoy it too should spread to the customers. Given how their mindsets can alter everything, the value of engaging content cannot be emphasised enough. Be sure to embrace it.
#3. Mobile strategies
The exponential growth of smartphone and mobile technology has changed the game forever as clients can now access valuable information at any time, any place, anywhere. In fact, over 50% of all online interactions now take place via handheld screens. Targeting this marketplace is no longer merely an option; it is essential.
Media consumption through mobile devices is an amazing thing, not least because it offers a real-time interaction between client and company while consumers can interact with each other too. Over 7 in 10 customers use their smartphone during the research phases of the purchasing journey. Therefore, your business needs to incorporate mobile strategies into its marketing endeavours.
If the mobile browsing experience is inadequate, it makes the business look outdated and unprofessional. Over half of the potential audience will suffer as a direct result. Conversely, when the site is optimised, the engagement levels will be far greater. Mobile search engine results will show your website in a more prominent position too.
Given the opportunities for real-time engagement with consumers, it’s vital that you learn to embrace a two-way dialogue. Participation will keep the business fresh in their minds, which will give you an advantage as they handle the decision-making process.
In addition to encouraging participation, it gives the business a chance to collect valuable information. This client insight (both individually and demographically) can then be used to tailor the brand accordingly.
Better still, the interactions will be held with people that actively show an interest in the brand. In turn, it can be assumed that they will be likely to show an interest in the products too. This prevents you from falling into the trap of wasting time and money on online users that won’t realistically buy your products.
When supported by the other ideas mentioned above, great communication that leaves consumers feeling valued is sure to guide them to the desired destination.