To be competitive these days, it’s more important than ever for small businesses to regularly engage with their customers. Technology and social platforms have made this easier than ever, and opened up a whole horizon of fresh opportunities for immediate and creative engagement.
You should bear in mind that, in this sense, ‘engagement’ goes far beyond simply responding or talking to customers. Gone are the days of merely delivering messages, today’s customers want experience.
We’ve listed some of the best ways that you can connect with your audience through a fully integrated digital strategy. It just might be your fastest way to business growth!
Understand the customer journey
The first step to understanding how you’re going to be able to engage with your audience is by understanding your audience.
Do some research into your demographic so you’re able to tailor your content accordingly. An easy way to do this would be to create a customer journey map. Find out more about this, here.
One thing that’s true for many consumers these days is that they’re constantly ‘on’. iPhones, tablets and numerous other devices have made access to the internet almost constantly available. But don’t see this as an opportunity to bombard your audience with adverts. The web is full of distractions, and so our attention spans have become increasingly shorter and more fickle. If you want to attract more customers, keep your content simple, available at a time that suits them and make sure it adds value.
Create quality, engaging content that can be repurposed across platforms
When first sitting down to plan your digital strategy, it can at first seem challenging to manage, measure and deliver on expectations across a wide, and growing, range of platforms.
Getting your audience’s attention amidst all this noise can seem impossible, but we’ve got good news – it’s not.
We’re living in a multi-screen world with the web at our fingertips. It’s not just about computers anymore. So, the question is:
Is your site mobile friendly?
If not then you’re already missing out. An increasing number of sales and traffic are coming through mobile devices, and Google has already started to use mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in your search engine positioning.
Find out more about making your website mobile friendly. (link to new article here).
When you’re done, test out the mobile-readiness of your site, check out Google’s mobile-friendly test, here.
When it comes to digital content, don’t forget the three C’s: communications must be clear, compelling and consistent.
Make sure all your marketing materials are fully integrated and clearly part of a wider campaign. This doesn’t mean saying the same thing on all channels, you should be unique with how you approach creating content for each platform, but you do need to maintain a brand voice so as not to confuse the consumer.
Integrating one single brand message across a wide variety of processes, media and capabilities isn’t easy, especially if they are created by several different people. But it is worth keeping an eye on the bigger picture, and being a stickler for detail.
So what should the purpose of your SMEs digital content, across all platforms, be?
Before you start any campaign, you should decide on what success will look like for you. You will have then created a clear goal to work towards.
Social media platforms such as Facebook also have free tools to help you measure your page visits and click through rates, among other things.
Analysing data at every stage of the journey ensures you’re consistently headed in the right direction. Break it down into monthly chunks instead of merely focusing on the end result, as this may well change as you learn more about your audience and the overall customer experience.
There are many tools available to help you measure your website’s results and, best of all, most of them, such as Google Analytics, are free!
An effective digital strategy requires time and effort, and SME owners should clearly define their goals prior to launching one. Going it alone can seem intimidating at first, but there are lots of tools out there (and on this site) to help you on your journey.
Companies with limited experience or marketing budget who are looking for something simple and straightforward could benefit from website-building sites such as Weebly or Wix.
However, as companies grow and become more serious about digital marketing and more focused on brand building, lead generation and customer engagement, they can begin to branch out into partnerships with designers and developers with the specific expertise to look beyond simple websites and create long-term and over-arching strategies. Whatever you choose to do, any and all steps you make towards improving your digital strategy will prove to be worth the investment.