So what’s the take-away idea? If you are not already online – start small. Set up a social media page or website for your business. If you are online, get your website evaluated and list 10 things that will make it easier to navigate. Implement all 10 ideas.
There is nothing wrong with being a reluctant to invest in online marketing – particularly if you have limited knowledge of all things – digital.
One in six SMEs in Ireland has no online presence at all. 68% do not have the ability to sell online. *
Yet – Irish consumers spent €6.5 billion online in 2015**. That figure grows exponentially each year.
Your greatest incentive to market online is your customer. Customers, today, expect to find an online presence for almost every business that they deal with. Customers check you out and you have to be there to meet their needs.
The majority of consumers now browse online and three quarters of them expect to find a website to help them with their decision making and are disappointed if they don’t find that online back-up.
So how do you, the reluctant online marketer, find your feet online? Here are four simple steps that you can follow to bring you into the online space:
Start with the customer. Deeply understand your customer’s online needs. Whether you are a professional, an entrepreneur or any business owner, understanding your customer’s online needs is critical.
Your market research can be done in a number of ways. You may want to bring groups together into what we call Focus Groups – to talk about how they interact online. Alternatively, you can do an online survey, record feedback from customers, talk to customers during the sales process or research your typical customer profile – for example Millennials, Generation X or Y.
Your aim is to build up a profile of your ideal customer and how they like to interact online. It is not just the platforms that they use, but how customers engage with those platforms. Do they like to read articles, research information, learn new skills, buy online, enter competitions or compare reviews. Once you understand fully what your customer actually needs, desires or expects from you online – then and only then can you design your online marketing plan.
Next consider the media. Digital marketing makes use of electronic devices such as computers, tablets, smart phones, smart televisions and digital billboards.
Your digital marketing plan could include any of the following: email, advertising, websites, mobile apps, gaming, video and social media to engage consumers.
There are a lot of options to choose from – however, those options can be honed if you have done your research properly. If you deeply understand your key customer groups and how they interact online – then you can choose the media that fit best.
Start with one, maximum three media and perfect those. Then broaden your marketing to include other relevant media.
Get the design right. You may need to build a blog, a website, a facebook page or a mobile app. In the modern world, customers are bombarded with stimulus – much of which is neither needed nor appreciated. Good design resonates well with customers. Put the most relevant information first on your media page. Make your pages a sanctuary, an oasis of calm. Be mindful and don’t overload pages with needless material.
Use a good web designer to help you design and promote your pages. Once you have a well-designed template, then you can continue to develop it in-house. Getting that template right, however, is critical to success. You need strong, harmonious imagery. Thoughtful headlines. Proper structuring of information so that customers can find what they need easily.
Your research should also tell you what key words and phrases consumers use to find your type of product or service. It is important to build those keywords and phrases into the bones of your web or social media pages – so that customers searching for certain phrases or words – land on yours. Don’t overuse keywords, search engines don’t like that tactic.
Promote your pages. There are about a quarter of a billion active websites live in the world. How do you get your Internet pages recognised about millions of others? Once your pages are live, find ways to promote your web presence to customers and potential customers.
Put your website address, facebook page and/or blog details on all your marketing material – so that customers know where to find you. You may want to send a gentle launch email, if you have customer permissions, to let them know you are live online.
Online advertising or paid-for advertising can be useful, if you are clear about who you want to target and if you have details of their exact characteristics including demographics, leisure pursuits, geographical location, and a whole host of other elements. Paid advertising only works well, if you are forensic in your understanding of the type of customer you want to attract. It all goes back to the research.
Get deep insights into your customers –their characteristics, their motivations and their online consumption. Once you understand who they are and how they communicate, then you can build your digital marketing plan to meet their needs and expectations.
You have been in business for a while now. You understand your customers and you have a handle on your competitors. Knowing that the majority of consumers expect some online presence from you, knowing that they spend vast sums of money online and knowing that there is a fantastic opportunity for you in the online space – go research!
* Source: Dot ie Digital Health Index produced by Ignite Research (Jun 2016)
** Source: Visa Europe Irish Consumer Spending Index (Feb 2016)
Ꮩaluable info. Fⲟrtunate me I discovereԁ your website by
chance, and I’m stunned why this accidеnt didn’t took place eaｒlier!
I bookmarked іt.
Thank you so much for your feedback. Hopefully will continue to provide useful articles to you. Rachel
What’s up to every one, it’s genuinely a pleasant for me to
go to see this web page, it contains important
Thanks for your feedback. I really want to help people with original useful information. Rachel
Appreciating the hard work you put into your blog and in depth information you present.
It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed
material. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google
Thank you so much for your feedback – much appreciated. If you need articles on any particular topics – let me know.
Wonderful website you have here but I was wanting tto know if yyou knew of any discussion boards that over thhe same topics talked about here?
I’d really like to be a part of group where I can get opinions from other experienced people that share the saqme interest.
If yyou have any recommendations, plesase let me know.
Thank you so much for your feedback. I’ll talk to colleagues to find out for you.
In the meantime, all the very best. Rachel
I absolutely love your website.. Excellent colors & theme.
Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to
create my own blog and would like to learn where
you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.
Hi there. Thank you so much for the feedback. Much appreciated. The blog was designed by Kong Digital – here is their website: http://www.kongalytics.com
The blog is an ‘off-the-shelf package for writers… You may like to look into what WordPress provides. All the best. Rachel
I want to to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it.
I have got you book marked to check out new stuff you post…
Thank you so much for your feedback. My aim is to provide useful articles for you. Rachel
Hi there, just was aware of your weblog thru Google,
and located that it’s really informative. I’m going to
be careful for brussels. I’ll appreciate in case you continue
this in future. Lots of other folks might be benefited from your writing.
Thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated. I plan to keep writing! Please spread the word…
My relatives every time say that I am wasting my time here at web,
except I know I am getting familiarity everyday by reading such pleasant articles.
And I hope to come up with more good articles for you.
“You made some good points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most individuals will agree with your blog.”
Thank you. I appreciate your feedback. Rachel
mSvLbP Youth rock band Ranetki says thank you for such a wonderful blog..!
You are most welcome! Rachel