Saying “Yes” to Digital Marketing
I’m often asked, “What should we doing when it comes to our online strategy? Should we concentrate on social media, Adwords, SEO, landing pages, YouTube video or all of the above?”
My answer is always the same: “Yes.”
I get the same puzzled look. Then I ask a question. “What would you like to accomplish with your digital marketing strategy?” Far too often I get a different version of the same answer, “I’m not sure.”
Many companies have become successful and maintained sustainable growth without any form of digital marketing, but in the last few years they’ve leveled off. They’re still providing the same great products and service to customers and their experienced sales team is as sharp as ever.
Their decline is a direct result of adaption—or lack thereof. In this new age, how we do business and how we share it with the public has changed forever. (If you are a new or smaller business, you can appear as large as the established companies with the right digital marketing strategy.)
Customers want to know more about the people behind a company. Do you share pictures and videos of your community involvement? What social issues do you stand for? Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and now Snapchat give your company a “heartbeat” and brand identity on a personal, accessible level. A robust and active social media presence is vital in this era of doing business and directly impacts your overall marketing strategy.
If the current customer clicks on your company’s Twitter or Instagram links and there’s little to no activity, they’ll lose interest and assume you have, too. In this new era of business, people want to know what you stand for and then what you sell.
The starting point lies in video. Your smartphone has incredible capabilities and can let your audience in on real-time activities, like your new projects, how your team celebrates success, your new hires, or your new clients. It allows people in. This is part of what your audience and potential clients want to know.
What’s become frustrating for established companies is when they lose market share to new upstarts. How does it happen? These upstarts believe in the power digital marketing.
When we’re brought in to discuss digital marketing strategies with traditional companies seeking the shift to digital, one of my first questions is, “How do you feel about digital marketing?” In many cases I get a shrug, or I don’t believe in it and can’t see the ROI. But in 2017 you cannot ignore social media. If your company sells a product or provides a service, there are over 400 million users (potential customers) each on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat that you could be accessing. Facebook just surpassed 1.8 billion users. It’s not just for fun—this is modern marketing.
The best part about increasing your online presence, especially through advertising on these platforms, is that you can get as detailed as possible. If you build custom cabinets, you can target customers based on very specific demographics. For example, if you want to reach customers in Charlotte you can target SouthPark, Panther fans, homes above $500K, who attended UNC Chapel Hill and who are also dog lovers.
Before you begin your digital marketing strategy, ask the right questions. What do you want to accomplish? Do you want to establish or promote your brand, increase sales, increase followers or all of the above? With the right digital marketing strategy, the ROI will follow.
Bernard Lee is the President of Charlotte Search Engine Consultants, CharlotteSearchEngineConsultants.com. They help companies develop digital marketing strategies producing an online voice much larger than their company. He can be contacted at Bernard@charlottesearchengineconsultants.com.