All Posts By

admin

How Your Business Can Write off the Cost of a New Website

By | Cartel Related, Website Design

If you’ve been thinking about having a website designed to remain competitive but never had the budget, you might be pleased to hear you can with a $30,000 tax break.

The Instant Asset Write Off Scheme has been around for a few years now, and the recent extension announced by the Federal Government’s 2019-20 Budget is making it an even sweeter deal for more businesses.

Surprisingly, not many businesses have previously taken up the offer due to lack of awareness about the scheme, but we’re here to tell you that if you’re eligible, you can immediately claim the cost of developing or redesigning your website.

A huge boost for your business right?

What is the Instant Asset Write Off Scheme?

Back in 2015, the Federal Government included in their Budget an instant asset write off that allows small businesses (businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million) to immediately write off depreciable assets up to the value of $20,000. A big jump from the original $1,000 write off!

This is different to the standard tax deductions you can receive for making purchases for your business, because you can instantly claim the deduction within the same income year as the asset was purchased.

What has changed and who is eligible?

The government has since given the scheme a boost by extending it until 30 June 2020, and increasing the threshold to a generous $30,000. Medium sized businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million can now also benefit.

What does this mean for your business?

If your business qualifies, you can instantly claim the cost of assets purchased for your business up to the value of $30,000 within the same financial year, provided your new asset is first used, installed or ready to use that same year.

For example, if you make a purchase in June 2019, but it won’t be installed or used until October 2019, you won’t be able to write it off.

In addition if the asset you purchase is also for personal use, you can only claim the percentage used strictly for business purposes.

So if you’re looking to invest in a new website, you can enjoy immediate tax relief and accelerated depreciation claims with a website tax deduction for your website build. If you’re unsure whether you’re eligible, check with your accountant for information on your individual circumstances.

EOFY is just around the corner, so now is the time to take advantage of the instant asset write off and give your business a competitive edge with a professionally designed website by Cloud Cartel.

Our web design specialists can develop a website that speaks your language, provides a fresh user experience and generates more leads to help drive your business. Get in touch with us today!

 

New Strategies to Utilise in Your Digital Marketing Plan

By | Digital Consulting, Digital Marketing

In a digital marketing plan, it’s so important to figure out different ways to engage with customers and become more visible online. You should be continuously honing and streamlining your marketing plan to get better results. You should never have the same plan for more than a few months at a time, as things change very quickly.

Things in the digital marketing industry evolve fast, so your strategies must evolve with it if you’re going to stay ahead of your competitors. Below, we have some new strategies that you should consider utilising in your digital marketing plan. Take a look and see what you can do this year to get better results:

Create Targeted Content

Content will always be king, and creating targeted content will ensure you’re reaching the people who are actually looking at your pages. You should put a lot more emphasis on quality, and make sure you target the age groups, industries, interests, and demographics of the people you want to attract. Posting lots of information that just isn’t targeted to your audience won’t do. Quality over quantity. Ask yourself, what will your audience find interesting? What questions are they likely asking?

When your content is more relevant, you will get much better results overall.

Start Video Marketing

Videos help to tell your brand story far more effectively, and they are an extremely popular way for brands to get their message across today. If you’re not using videos in your marketing plan, you’re already behind! YouTube isn’t the only way to watch them – brands with a brand video on their social media channels will get more engagement, too. These videos are also effective on channels like Instagram and on your own website. You just need to figure out how you’re going to put up more videos in a way that will suit your audience and align with your brand. Will you go live, do them with your smartphone, or have them professionally produced? A good strategy is key to getting this right!

Focus On Personalised Emails

Generic emails are a huge no-no in this day and age; customers want to feel special, so you have to personalise your communications with them. Personalising emails should be a priority to you in 2019, so make sure you find out as much about your audience as you can. Sending a reward on their birthday, for example, can go a long way! If you make a mistake – for example, call them by the wrong name, make sure you own up to it and apologise. This does happen, especially when you’re using software to email lots of people at once.

Use Facebook Marketing Strategies

There’s a lot to be gained from Facebook marketing. You can use live video, or even use the new advertising platform created by Facebook. Businesses can use this platform to direct their paid traffic to a lead generation form!

Incorporate Customer Reviews

Search results pages are already reflecting customer rankings, so asking for customer reviews is a must if you want to let everybody know how fantastic your business is. Bear in mind that your audience probably won’t give you a review unless you actually ask for it, so be polite. 68% of customers were more likely to leave a review if they were asked. You shouldn’t offer an incentive though, as this is a conflict of interest. Make sure you implement a process to gather feedback and figure out which review system works best for your business, as there are multiple options that could potentially work. Make sure you reach out so you can gain new reviews regularly. Don’t expect people just to leave them.

Make Sure You Have The Option To Live Chat

Live chat allows you to connect with customers as soon as they are ready to speak to you. Chatbots can make it easier to provide answers, and you can integrate chatbots with your website, and then program and customise them so they will fit your brand perfectly. They have to suit your brand image and the message you are trying to convey. Make sure your chatbots are customised to provide the information that your audience wants in seconds – live chat is even better, but this may not be possible all the time, for whatever reason. Your audience should be able to find the answers that they want as quickly as possible.


Will you be incorporating these new strategies into your digital marketing plan this year? You should be! Don’t wait; start using these strategies and get better results almost immediately.

Whats Trending in Web Design in 2019

By | Website Design

Here at Cloud Cartel, we’re always keen to stay updated with the hottest web design trends. It’s one of the many reasons we’re sought after for web design in Perth! Each year, we find there are certain things that either make a comeback or blast onto the scene for the first time. So, here’s what’s trending in 2019:

Glitch art

This is comfortably one of our favourite trends as glitch art is so unique. It’s this idea of something technical going wrong. For example, a computer screen glitching out and causing a crazy warped look. This is being incorporated into web design by creating aspects of sites that have this glitchy design. It draws the user’s attention as they naturally assume that something has gone wrong and glitched out. But, they soon realise it’s all part of the incredible design.

Glitch art is unique, funky, and can be played around with in so many ways. As such, it’s definitely a trend to look out for.

Minimalism

These days, you can expect to see minimalist web design taken to new heights. People don’t want to be bombarded with loads of different colours, shapes, or content. Instead, they want simple and plain designs – particularly on homepages.

This doesn’t mean all website will become boring – it just means they’ll be simpler, and easier for people to use.

Video content

2019 is the year where website owners realise the real power of video content. Therefore, a web design trend will be learning how to design sites to fit around awesome video content. It’s not just about the visual elements, but also ensuring the site is designed to still be fast and functional while playing high-definition video.

We’ve already seen some unique designs, such as featuring the video content as the moving background of a homepage. Video animations are also going to be very big this year.

Chatbots

We’ve all seen those little chatbots that appear on websites – normally in the bottom right corner. You click on them, and a box pops up where you can chat to a customer support member or advisor – whatever. In 2019, they’re gaining popularity faster than you can think. As a result, this means chatbot designs are changing and becoming more and more complex.

Instead of a boring message box, we’re going to see more and more elaborate designs that really reflect the identity of individual brands. We think that we’ll probably see people try and design them to look like actual robots or android assistants as well – which will be pretty cool!

Websites for thumbs

Lastly, the mobile web design trend of the year is going to be thumbs. Basically, we’ll start seeing mobile sites that are designed to be easy for you to navigate using your thumb. This is how most people scroll through sites on their phones, so it makes sense.

Expect to see little changes to mobile web design – like the menu buttons moving from top to bottom for easier thumb access.


There are plenty of web design trends to look forward to this year, but these are our favourites.

If you’re looking for modern web design that’ll turn heads and offer an excellent user experience, then feel free to contact us today!

Optimising your Google My Business Page for Local SEO

By | SEO

What business doesn’t want to find ways to draw more people in? With Google My Business, you can easily go about attracting more people to your local shop. All you have to do is optimise your Google My Business page. All local SEO efforts should include optimising your Google My Business page, as there are lots of great features that can make it easier for you to get the word out about your business. Don’t simply claim your listing and then forget all about it! Below, we’ll talk you through just some of the strategies you can use to optimise this page and get awesome results.

Make Sure Your Google My Business Page Matches

Everything on your GMB page should match other pages across the web. Your name, address, and phone number match exactly on all of your properties. They must match exactly – no changes whatsoever. A small, seemingly simple change could make a huge difference and negatively impact your results. Google will be confused if you do this, and this will limit your reach. Everything needs to be spelled exactly the same, all words included; even abbreviations are a no-go.

These small differences actually make a huge one for local SEO. However, the tricky thing is that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) could be listed on multiple web properties all over the internet. You might have trouble tracking them all down. This means you may want to pay for a NAP audit from a professional company to make sure you can get everything matching and good to go.

Pick The Most Relevant Category

There are many business categories listed on GMB, so you’ll definitely find your business model in the list. Pick what your business is, not what your business does. There’s a big difference! For example, if you were the restaurant ‘Bella Italia’, you would list as an Italian Restaurant, not ‘pizza and pasta.’

Link To Your Website

Google My Business gives you the option to link to your website, which is great news for marketers. However, your linking strategy must be correct. Make sure you link to your homepage. They do not want to see your ‘about’, or any other page first. You should have an SSL certificate and link to your HTTPS version of the site, not the HTTP version, too.

Enter A Description

You get 750 characters to describe your business, so think about this carefully. Explain to people why they should choose your shop. What is going to help to differentiate you and encourage people to visit? What are your audience looking for? Remember, only the first 250 characters will show up in the knowledge panel in the search results. Use your clickbait in the first 250 characters and include relevant keywords.

Allow Booking Integrations

If you are a service oriented business, like a salon or a garage, you can sign on with one of GMB’s supported scheduling providers. Then, they will automatically add a booking button to your page. Simple!

Have Images And Videos On Your GMB Page

Ideally, you should have several images to promote your business on your GMB page. Add more weekly/monthly to ensure that your page is updated with fresh content on a consistent basis. Videos can be up to 30 seconds long. They can’t exceed 100MB and they must use 720p resolution or higher, so bear this in mind. Even better, if you add more than 2 videos, you’ll get a subtab that mobile users will see. Make sure the images and videos you use really sell your brand for you. Otherwise, they aren’t worth putting on. Something is not better than nothing in this case.

Get Reviews

Positive reviews will help with your search rankings and allow you to bring in new customers. In fact, 85% of people trust reviews as much as a recommendation from somebody they actually know. If you don’t have reviews on your page, you could be missing out on a huge number of conversions. 97% of shoppers say that they read reviews when looking for local businesses, so make sure you include them. Avoid creating fake reviews, as this will do more harm than good. Politely ask people to review you instead. 68% of local business users left a review when they were asked to do so, so this really could make a difference to your GMB page and success overall.


Your Google My Business Page is extremely valuable for your local SEO results, so make sure you prepare it accordingly!

 

SEO vs SEM vs PPC – The Bedrocks of Digital Marketing

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

In the 21st century, the success of a firm depends on its ability to market its products and services online. But the digital marketing landscape is by no means simple. There are all kinds of concepts that companies, both new and old, must learn if they want to have success.

As with anything, it’s best to start with the basics. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the key terms that people use to describe marketing online – namely, SEM, SEO and PPC. Once you know what these acronyms mean, you’ll be in a much better position to decipher articles on the subject that you read in the future. So without further ado, let’s get started.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a term which covers a broad swathe of online marketing strategies. Search engine marketing can involve paid advertising, where companies pay search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Google and Duckduckgo to appear in search results, and “free” marketing, where firms generate content designed to rank highly in search results.

There are other forms of online marketing that do not fall under the umbrella of SEM, but they are few and far between. The vast majority of digital marketing dollars go on SEM-related activities, whether they cost money directly or not.

PPC – Pay-Per-Click Advertising

Pay-per-click marketing most closely resembles the marketing most companies are familiar with – advertising activities where the firm pays for the space they need directly. In the case of PPC marketing, the business pays for advertising to appear at the top or bottom of the page in search engine results, or to appear in banners on websites that are members of the advert network. PPC marketing makes it much more likely that your advert appears at the top of search results and is particularly useful for companies just starting that don’t have an established digital presence.

Of course, none of this is free. The “pay” part of PPC tells you that much. But how payment in PPC works is a little complicated. Essentially, you pay for advertising space related to specific keywords. Most PPC marketing platforms, like Google’s Adwords, allow you to select the keywords that you’d like to target with advertising and create advertisements around them. Other people may also want to advertise for those keywords, and so businesses must engage in competitive bidding against each other to secure the space. The firm that bids the most wins the right to appear in the advertising results and the others get relegated to subsequent pages or out of the results entirely.

PPC advertising is good in the sense that you don’t have to build up an online presence to benefit. If you’re a new business and you’ve got the money, you can pay to get to the top of search results without having to go through the much longer process of getting there “organically” – a concept we’ll explore next. But the downside is that you must pay each time a person clicks an advert, whether they ultimately decide to buy something from you or not.

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation

The aim of search engine optimisation, or SEO, is to boost the visibility of the pages of your site without paying advertising dollars directly to a search engine. Companies with effective SEO can climb the ranks in search results without paying for every click and eventually reach the first page, generating leads for free.

SEO involves many specific strategies designed to convince search engines that the content on your pages is more useful for users than the content on other sites. Google and others evaluate the merit of your web pages based on links from other websites, whether they contain useful content, images and videos, and the amount of traffic they receive from social media. Search engines take this information and use it to infer the quality of your web pages and how high up in the ranks they should appear for a given keyword.

The benefit of SEO is that by the end of the process, you should be able to generate traffic to your website organically, without paying every time a person clicks on an advertisement. Prospects will see your pages at the top of search results and then simply click through, no payment required.

The cost of SEO is that it can be both expensive and time-consuming. Rarely do new companies get to the top of search results for particular keywords in less than six months. What’s more, SEO is not free: you have to dedicate time, writers, and SEO professionals to the task.

How to Make your PPC & SEO Campaigns Work Together

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

PPC (or pay-per-click) and SEO are often characterised as two mutually exclusive digital marketing strategies. Businesses either use PPC, or they use SEO: they don’t use both.

But, with a little thought, it’s easy to see that SEO and PPC can work together, boosting the overall effectiveness of your marketing budget.

Both SEO and PPC cost money. It doesn’t make sense, therefore, to focus on one or the other. What firms care about is the effectiveness of their marginal marketing dollar: how much bang for the buck can they get from their digital marketing for each additional dollar they spend? Managers and entrepreneurs shouldn’t commit to one strategy or the other; they should choose to use both in a way that maximises their return.

There are many ways in which SEO and PPC synergise. Take a look at some of these ideas to get your PPC and SEO campaigns working together.

Gain Shared Insights

Although search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising are treated as separate entities, smart businesses know that they can use data derived from one to enhance the other. For instance, companies can collect data from their PPC advertising, see what works, and then implement similar strategies, keywords or H1 and H2 in their SEO content.

Use Landing Page Data

Companies can use their landing pages in a similar way by collecting data on the preferences of PPC-derived prospects. Firms can track which content, CTAs, and images are effective for PPC prospects and then utilise these insights in their organic SEO content.

Achieve Search Results Dominance

Some companies find that there are advantages of being both at the top of the advertising results and the organic search results. Being at the top of both signals to the customer that you’re a leader for their particular search query, making it more likely that they’ll trust you and click through to your site.

Build Customer Confidence In Your Brand

One of the best ways to build trust with your customers is through repeated exposure. People tend to trust what they see as familiar, and so businesses who can get their message in front of customers regularly are more likely to convert. Combining SEO and PPC is one of the best ways to do this because both can be used during different stages of the customer journey.

Most customers do not convert the first time they interact with your firm. Instead, they come into contact with your digital marketing content on several occasions before committing to buy. The first time they encounter you, they may click a PPC advertisement at the top of search results and get forwarded to a landing page. Next, they might do another search and click one of your blog posts high up in the rankings, thanks to effective SEO.

Then they may make several more visits, viewing product pages or making additional searchers and consuming more SEO-related high-ranking content, before finally converting. Using SEO and PPC together helps you attract and retain customer interest through multiple channels.

Use Competitor SEO Analysis In PPC

Competitor SEO analysis is fast becoming the norm for companies wanting to boost the effectiveness of their SEO. What’s the point of starting from scratch when somebody has already found a strategy which works? But what most firms don’t realise is that they can use competitor insights to drive better PPC. Competitors may be drawing people in using specific keywords or targeting a particular audience.

Use PPC Search Intent Data

Although certain keywords might be related to your business (and they may be popular), they still might not be associated with sales and conversions. People searching for “history of plumbing,” for example, may be more interested in researching plumbing than hiring a plumber. As a business, you want to target customers who have “intent to buy.” Tools like Google’s search query report can tell you the rate at which people converted after typing in specific keywords compared to others. Not only do you want to design your PPC around these particular keywords, but also use them in your SEO too. SEO content build around keywords that prospects use before converting are likely to yield higher returns than generic keywords

Leverage Your Display Network

Not all websites in your display network offer the same rates of conversion. Some sites will be popular among your customers, while others not. As a business, it’s in your interest to use your PPC data to find out which websites bring the most traffic to your site and generate the most conversions. Once you’ve got these data, you can pass them on to your SEO team who can approach these sites and offer to create lead-generating content.

Cloud Cartel’s Guide to Branding for Small Business

By | Branding, Design

Small businesses depend on their brands to attract customers and achieve long-term profitability, but many are confused about what a brand is and, more importantly, why they should have one.

It’s clear that being a small business is not a disadvantage when it comes to branding. In fact, many larger companies will deliberately position some of the brands in their portfolio as being “small brands” because of the positive associations that customers have with them. Customers like small brands because of their association with uniqueness, eco-friendliness, and quality, among a range of other things.

What Is A Brand?

Although most entrepreneurs understand the importance of branding, many do not fully grasp what a brand actually is. A brand is more than a logo, a theme or a slogan: it’s a way of communicating the story of your company, one that should contain important information about your values and purpose. Customers want to align themselves with brands that they feel reflect their own values, whatever they happen to be.

Effective branding is a tool for gaining customer loyalty and advocacy. When customers believe in what you’re doing and love your products, they instinctively return for more and share their excitement with the people around them. As a consequence, you gain new customers for free through word-of-mouth.

How To Build A Brand

Brand development can be a complicated process, but by using the following principles, you can get on the road to a fabulous, instantly-recognisable corporate image.

Create A Story

Customers not only want to know what you sell but why you’re selling it. The best brands give customers something that they can believe in, whether it’s a noble purpose, a desire to do something different from the competition or to improve people’s lives.

Be Bold And Follow Your Beliefs

Firms rarely achieve greatness through timidity. Instead, they boldly go out into the world and stand up for what they believe in. Companies that can do this generate an air of authenticity, demanding respect from customers, even those who may not believe in their core mission.

Stop Repeating Yourself

Although repetition can help cement ideas in customers’ heads, it can also get boring. Ideally, you want to create marketing content – especially digital content – which reflects your values but from different angles.

Create Long-Term Relationships With Customers

It’s much easier to retain and sell to an existing customer than it is to find a new one. The longer you keep a customer, the greater the trust, and the more likely they are to advocate your business to other people.

Stop Mimicking The Big Brands

If you’re branding in Perth, then there’s a lot of competition from established companies. Rather than go toe-to-toe with them and mimic their marketing approaches, do something different. Customers are looking for companies that can stand on their own as unique offerings, giving them something that they want. Independent brands often seem more authentic and bespoke than those of the larger chains.

The future of branding is personal and authentic. As customers become more savvy, branding needs to mature.

 

The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimisation

By | SEO

If you want your business website to be a success, ranking well on Google is paramount. By now, you’ll probably know that SEO (search engine optimisation) is the key to getting it right. The real struggle, however, comes from understanding the finer details.

Let’s take a closer look at the fundamental features that can be used to give your business the boost it deserves.

On-site SEO

The on-site SEO features provide the foundations from which to build a successful website with strong SEO. It covers each of the following; unique text content, internal link architecture, bot accessibility, sitemaps, URL structure, and server response codes.

Unique content

Duplicating content (including multiple home pages that simply have the location changed) will penalise your site’s SEO ranking. On a similar note, unnecessary pages (such as subcategories that aren’t needed) can bring negativity to the table. Focus on the pages that actively gain traffic.

Title tags

The title tag for your homepage is one of the single most significant elements of any SEO strategy. If your company provides multiple services, it’s important to choose a title tag that revolves around the primary source of revenue. After all, this is surely where you want to rank highest.

Backlinks

Gaining links to your site from external platforms is a great way to become an authoritative site on any given keyword. Gaining quality links from big websites is the best solution, and can be achieved via social media, although smaller sites still offer some value.

Spam

It’s equally important for your business to disassociate itself from spammy links. If an audit shows that spam sites are linking to your site, it may be worth filing a disavow case. Fewer backlinks from trustworthy and respected sources is better than having many from dodgy sources.

PR

Getting the business out there in the digital world can be achieved through a number of PR stunts. They range from providing expert quotes or guest posts to giving testimonials and becoming a partner on another site.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a tool that provides details of the business along with customer reviews. Accurate details and updated photos are a great starting point while actively encouraging happy clients to leave positive feedback should fire you up the local rankings.

Local Business Listings

Checking the legitimacy of local businesses is a priority for search engine algorithms. Getting the company added to a local listings site can go a long way to confirming this while also gaining a valued backlink.

Marketing

The website needs to be blessed with real traffic. Moreover, Google wants to see that the site is active, which is why continued marketing is key. If you fail to drive visitors to your site, the SEO ranking will soon start to fall.

Analytics

It’s one thing to make positive additions to your SEO strategy, but knowing whether you’re succeeding or failing is another altogether. The use of regular monitoring and professional analysis will pinpoint the good and the bad, allowing you to adjust your plans accordingly.

 

How your Social Media can Improve your SEO

By | Digital Marketing, SEO, Social Media

In the world of digital marketing, achieving a strong ranking on Google is one of the most important challenges of all. Search engine optimisation, otherwise known as SEO, is the key ingredient in the recipe for success. While there are many ways to increase your SEO ranking, a strong social media game could be the secret weapon that leads you to success.

Here are just five ways in which social media marketing can actively influence your SEO in a positive manner.

#1. Content promotion

Publishing links to your blogs, videos, and content can have a minor impact on your SEO through those direct links. Significantly, though, the fact that the content will be optimised on keywords will mean that the content reaches the right audience. As they click the links and read the on-site content, the associated traffic statistics will have a very positive impact as search engines will see this as confirmation that your site brings value to the visitors.

#2. Social link building

Links to your website work wonders for the overall SEO strategy, and posting via your social media channels is a great way to do it. When other websites link to your site and content through social media, it can give the SEO a serious boost while also winning over new audiences. Getting this type of link from influencers is almost impossible without strong and active social media channels. On a separate note, it’s an ideal way to diversify the types of links you gain.

#3. Increased engagement

Social media thrives on the engagement between users, and this includes the relationship between company and client. While the shares themselves won’t influence your SEO, the added engagement certainly will. As the engagement and leads from the content grow, it will make your content (and, therefore, website) become a voice of authority in the chosen topic and keyword. This is something that the search engines algorithm will love, which will result in a better ranking.

#4. The Google-Twitter bond

Google is now partnered to Twitter, which means that popular Tweets are now displayed as a part of the search results. This makes posting relevant content on Twitter a particularly good way to cheat your way to the top of page one. When added to the impact of the added engagement and retweets, a strong Twitter account can be a very useful asset to possess. Given that the partnership is still quite new, it’s likely that the influence will continue to grow over the coming months.

#5. Brand awareness

When consumers search for your brand on search engines, it will slowly but surely increase the presence when dealing with non-branded keywords too. A strong social media game will lead to far greater awareness, not least because consumers spend so much time on social media platforms. Getting the brand known on social media ultimately has a snowballing effect that will subsequently start to recruit new clients thanks to the actions of your existing clients.

Social media helps the business grow in many other ways, but the SEO influences are certainly among the best.

 

Approaching the Customer Journey in the Digital Age

By | Digital Marketing, SEO

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.

#4. Communicate

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.