Regardless of your sector or industry, you will no doubt be aware that the competition in your space is fierce. But, while getting ahead of the pack can seem like an uphill struggle, by leveraging the power of digitization the right way, you’ll be able to engage and influence customers and grow your business, one initiative at a time.
As digital technologies continue to evolve, there are more platforms, mediums, and touch points than ever, opportunities to connect your target audience on a deeply personal level. By developing initiatives around even a portion of these touch points, you stand to boost brand awareness while accelerating your business’s growth.
Here we look at ways ambitious SME leaders, like you, can harness the all-encompassing power of digitization to engage and influence customers.
When you are in the midst of operating a busy SME, time is always of the essence. That said, the foundations of your digital marketing success will lie in your ability to select the marketing channels that are likely to make the most impact. For instance, in addition to your website – which is essentially your business’s HQ – you might decide to drill down into your email marketing communications and your Instagram channel, as opposed to spreading your efforts across several social media platforms, third-party e-Commerce sites and landing pages.
Naturally, the digital world never remains static so these choices may change over time and as your business scales, so will your scope to broaden your marketing efforts. But, initially, by forming initiatives around two to three core marketing channels, you’ll be able to generate a focused buzz, potentially enticing droves of new prospects to your brand.
Almost 95% of adults aged 18 to 34 years old are likely to follow and engage with a brand through social media. Moreover, research shows that 73% of marketers believe that social media marketing has been either a somewhat or incredibly effective part of their business strategy. But, despite this clear cut for social media, around half of today’s SMEs aren’t using this proven marketing medium to their advantage.
As mentioned, to squeeze optimum value from your business’s social media marketing efforts, you should take ample time to decide on one platform on which to focus the majority of your efforts. Depending on the nature and mission of your business, different platforms will appeal to different audiences. Facebook is still a tried and tested market leader and Instagram is enjoying exponential growth, with its visual nature appealing to younger generations. And, then there’s Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, as well as dark social outlets such as WhatsApp, and the list goes on.
Take the time to conduct your research, engage and influence customers, creating buyer personas to understand your audience on a deeper level. Study your competitors’ social media efforts to see what resonates with their audience the most and you be able to make an informed decision on your business’s primary social media platform.
Once you have set up or optimized your social media accounts (selected striking profile images, checked that all links are working, produced relevant, punchy bio copy, etc.), you should start building awareness by ‘listening’ to your target audiences conversations through social media, tapping into dialogues where appropriate and using this data as a means of producing engaging relevant content that will strike a chord with your consumers.
While many regard email marketing as somewhat of a lost art, it couldn’t be further from the truth. A golden asset to any budding SME, email, if used effectively, has the power to engage and influence consumers in a big way. In fact, 73% of this younger generation prefer communications from businesses through email. Plus, 99% of people check their email every single day. That said, there’s plenty of scope for connecting with your audience with email communications.
To build a successful email marketing strategy for your business, you will need to consider the following elements:
To ensure you engage and influence your customers on a meaningful level that is likely to result in a conversion, you should aim to be personal and focus on telling your customers an authentic story with your content. Strong narratives grab readers on a deeply personal level and as such, if you tell a story with your emails, you are more likely to attract customers to your brand.
For SMEs in particular, influencer marketing is an effective means of expanding your commercial reach and growing your audience. And, typically, this is achieved through the mediums of blogs and social media.
While attracting internally-renowned celebrities for marketing campaigns or initiatives is a relatively straightforward task for big-budget brands or organizations, for an SME, this task can prove a little more challenging. But, for SMEs, concerning influencer marketing, the real value lies in sourcing small-scale influencers in your industry or niche.
Presently, 94% of marketers believe that transparency and authenticity are key factors of influencer marketing success. That said, by working to forge relationships with smaller-scale digital influencers in your niche, you stand to cut through the noise and connect with prospects that are likely to be highly engaged in what you have to offer or what you have to say.
Another business-boosting avenue you can take as an SME is paid-advertising. By embracing the potential of pay-per-click (PPC) though outlets including Google, Facebook and the recently regenerated, Amazon Ads platform, you’ll be able to connect with a wider online audience.
Studies suggest that 75% of people that click on paid ads say confirm that search ads make it easier to find relevant information. Based on that notion, a well-targeted paid ad has the power to engage and influence customers and encourage a healthy level of conversions. Concerning paid advertising, there are a host of options but perhaps the most effective for boosting your presence on search engines is Google’s paid advertising platform.
In the digital age, the possibilities for creating engaging, inspiring marketing campaigns are endless. By taking the time to connect with your prospects on a deeply personal level, focusing your efforts and taking a strategic approach to your activities, you will set yourself apart from the pack, cementing your success for many years to come.