24 September 2014
In today’s world, it’s the internet that’s always running. 24/7. We’re always connected, and if businesses want to capture the 24/7, always-online customer, it takes a strong digital marketing plan.
The good news is that, in the Digital Marketing Survey done by Vocus, more than half of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) reported that they were using digital marketing tools to expand their business and drive sales. And among all SMBs, 87 percent of reported using their website in their digital marketing plan. The bad news is that if you’re not online, those are your competitors.
If you’re not online yet, don’t panic. We’re here to give you some insight for your own digital marketing plan. SMBs, per their responses in the survey, tended to be very practical in their objectives. They want to drive sales and drive them fast. That’s a great objective, but often short-sightedness left some SMBs lacking behind their larger counterparts (defined by revenues over $1 million.) According to Vocus’s survey, three of the important areas where some SMBs lag behind are ecommerce solutions, custom content, and mobile strategies. Let’s take a look at each one to see where your business can get ahead by becoming an “always running” e-business:
Whether a small business or a corporation the size of Amazon, people love ecommerce. How else could someone order a carbon fiber rod at 2 AM in their pajamas? And then get it delivered to their door? Selling your products online is convenient for your customers and for you. Ecommerce offers an unprecedented opportunity to sell around the world and still have the high quality of personalization that your customers demand. There are probably people out there that want exactly what you’re selling, but they’re only looking online. If you don’t want to get left behind (or leave them behind!), then include ecommerce in your digital marketing plan.
Some SMBs become so myopic in their goal to sell, sell, sell online that they hurt their ability to build and sustain long-lasting, profitable relationships with customers. Some companies forget the most important part of the sales equation: the customer. To relate to your customer as a person, speak to them as a person with content that understands their pain points and offers them realistic solutions to their problems. More and more, we are seeing the importance of content marketing. As customers engage with your content, they feel more trust in your brand and learn more about the ways you are uniquely qualified to offer them a solution. Yes, we did say “feel.” Because ultimately your customers are human, and feeling is a part of being human. Find a quality Content Marketing System (CMS) to organize your content, and make content marketing a pivotal part of your long-term digital marketing plan. Content is marketing. And marketing does ultimately drive sales.
Mobile is everywhere. From tablets to smartphones, the internet is, once again, always running. People are no longer confined to their home PC, their desk at work, and the county library when they want to go searching for a product online. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, then you’re not giving a good experience to a whole swath of potential customers, whether they’re on the go or on the couch. Just think about how many customers get left behind if 87% of the Vocus survey respondents used their websites in their digital marketing plans, yet SMBs consistently lagged in their mobile implementations. All of those customers want a home, no matter what device they choose to connect with.
We don’t know if your refrigerator is running, but we do know the internet is always running. The web is always on, and your customers are always online. So if you want to surpass your competitors in areas they’re falling behind, such as ecommerce, content creation, and mobile solutions, then it’s time to bring your toes to the starting line and get running.
Want to know more?
Then feel free to contact us.