The dominance of companies like Ant Financial Group and Alibaba within a communist environment like China is one of the benefits of digital marketing in any environment. This is why the disappearance of the founder and CEO of Ant Group and Alibaba Group, Jack Ma for months raised some eyebrows in the global business community.
Many speculated that the Chinese government had the billionaire in custody as part of its customary measures of keeping private corporations from growing bigger than the Chinese Government. Beijing launched a campaign to reign in giant tech companies they believe have too much control over the Chinese economy. The influence of Jack Ma’s twin companies through technology and digital marketing now appears to be a threat to the Chinese Government that prides itself on political and financial stability.
The fact that Alibaba has grown large enough to make the communist government of china wary is proof that, if you follow the principles of digital marketing, there’s nothing your brand cannot achieve. Before Jack Ma, started Alibaba, he had a string of failures in his personal and professional life. His first breakthrough came with his discovery of the joys of the Internet when he moved to the US in the company of friends in 1995. Although he heard about the internet in 1994 when he founded his company, Hangzhou Haibo Translation Agency. It wasn’t until 1995 when his zeal for everything Chinese propelled him to create an ‘ugly’ website that had every piece of information relating to China on the internet.
According to the billionaire, it was at this point he realized the power of the internet as well as its propensity for great potential. By April of 1995, Jack alongside a computer teacher, He Yibing started China Pages, registering www.chinapages.com as a domain name in the United States. China Pages made $800,000 within three years. 1995 was the turning point for Jack Ma as he became one of the earliest pioneers of digital marketing in business by building websites for Chinese companies with the help of friends in the United States.
What is digital marketing?
Before we learn about the benefits of digital marketing for your business, let us quickly run through what digital marketing is. The internet is the backbone of business in the twenty-first century. Without the internet and the marketing activities carried out through its channels. Digital marketing is regarded as all marketing efforts carried out online by an individual or a business. It is marketing that uses digital means to get closer to its target audience. It entails E-Mail marketing, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, display advertising, SEO marketing, content marketing, and blogging.
How do businesses use digital marketing?
While digital marketing has not replaced traditional advertising in any way, it has certainly grown to rival newspapers, radio, and television outlets traditionally adopted by big businesses. These days, it is not unusual for large and small-scale businesses to adopt one or both methods of advertising in other to reach and engage their clients. With the ease of access to the internet, it would seem like you’re committing business suicide if you refuse to adopt digital marketing methods as an integral part of your business strategy. Here’s how your business can make use of digital marketing to boost your sales and market reach.
1. Reach Target Audience With Ease
Every business including yours has a target audience for goods and services being produced and offered. Targeting an audience specifically for your business has become necessary in recent times due to the increasing competition in today’s marketplace. With the lion’s share of the market being controlled by big and established companies, Digital marketing offers you as a small scale business the opportunity to even the playing field. Digital marketing strategies and tools like affiliate marketing, content marketing, and SEO enable you to interact directly with your target audience and also gain new loyalists.
Social media platforms and business websites are the most common means of reaching out to your target audience with the help of digital marketing. The beautiful thing about this is that as a business owner, you do not need a deep working knowledge of technology to set up these platforms; this is why professionals exist. Professionals like ICONIC digital world help set up and maintain business websites and social media platforms for your business. At the end of the day, all you really need is to click a button to get to your target audience and begin to experience the benefits of digital marketing.
2. Measure the Development and Growth of Your Business
In the times before the internet, analyzing the growth and development of a business through traditional advertising means took time and was often inaccurate. Digital marketing tools enable you to take charge of your advertising campaigns and monitor their progress with the growth of your business. With a variety of digital tools like social media metrics, SEO, and web analytics, you can keep track of the people that interact with your business pages and advertising campaigns. This helps you arrive at important business and marketing decisions that will have a profound impact on your business.
Digital marketing also helps you know what you want to achieve with your business; helps you form organizational goals and the pathway to achieving those goals. Establishing your organizational or business goals helps you work on your brand awareness to generate more leads and sales.
3. Keeping the Business afloat amid stiff competition
If you decide to go into the online store and packaging business like Amazon and you don’t employ digital marketing tools, your business will collapse in weeks. Small scale businesses do not have the magnitude of resources an established player in the industry has. This is where digital marketing tools come in by helping you gain a level playing field. With a few targeted, buzz-worthy online advert campaigns, you can get your foot in the door and actually compete with the big dogs.
Small financial institutions and microfinance banks that provide short-term loans to small scale businesses and individuals fall under this category. Many of them make use of targeted adverting to provide the same services that big and established financial institutions provide to the same target group. The difference is that the big players spend thousands and millions on television and newspaper adverts to get to their target audience. You, on the other hand, get to spend very little to get to the same audience. The reach that you can enjoy on a really slim budget is one of the benefits of digital marketing.
4. Build Relationships and Business Reputation
Major global brands engaged in friendly banter on Twitter recently. It all started when Weetabix collaborated on an advert with Heinz baked beans. The picture showed baked beans on Weetabix; an odd combination that attracted comments from major brands across Europe, Canada, and the United States. This is just one of the many examples of how businesses use digital marketing to build relationships and reputation.
Constant advertisement, comments on relevant and hot events and constant interaction with customers via websites, email and social media platform helps your business build relationships that lead to brand loyalty. By constantly monitoring your communication channels, you can easily respond to problems, acknowledge compliments from fans, answer questions, nip the emerging crisis in the bud, and discover emerging trends in your industry.
5. Increase Revenue Generation
The activities you engage in while building your brand reputation online will enable you to have a practical understanding of how digital marketing can improve sales for your business. According to statistics from Google, companies that engage in digital marketing strategies have at least a growth expectancy rate of 2.8 times better than companies that refuse to embrace digital marketing.
This is why nearly every major brand you can think about has an online presence. Effective digital marketing strategies lead to higher conversion rates which equal more revenue. As a small business, an effective digital marketing strategy for you would require a combination of an interactive website and a strong social media presence; this is something Iconic digital world can help you achieve easily.
How Can Digital Marketing Improve Sales For My Business?
a. Establish a Digital Presence for Your Small Business
The first step towards achieving this is by building an interactive and easy to access website for your business. A good website is the cornerstone of a good digital marketing strategy; this is ultimately where you want your target audience to end up so they can buy what you have to offer. This is why you must ensure that your website is user friendly, with interesting content that will keep visitors engaged. Fortunately, ICONIC digital world offers such services at an affordable fee.
Asides from your website being interactive, you should make sure it is optimized with SEO. This means making sure that the website conforms to search engine algorithms such as Google, so it can found easily by your target audience. The fact that your website can appear at the top of a google search page when users make inquiry adds to the overall quality of the site and reputation of your business. An optimized site appears on the first page of every google search and therefore is more visible to the public. Optimization increases the chances of your website receiving a high number of clicks which generates a high level of site traffic and conversion.
b. Invest in a Combination of Digital Marketing Channels
Making use of multiple digital marketing channels increases the viability of your business and the chances of increasing sales revenue. According to recent statistics, successful businesses make use of a combination of websites, social media, email marketing, display/banner ads, mobile apps, and content marketing. All of these digital marketing channels can help you create a story around your brand that your customers can identify with. These channels also help you test new marketing trends in your industry. Smaller businesses can change marketing strategies in other to stay abreast of the current trends in the market that influences the choice and taste of customers.
An effective digital marketing channel through which you can create a bond with your customers is by creating a blog on your website. Here you get to provide useful content surrounding the services you offer and other topics your customer base will be able to relate to easily. You can also share resources and the latest happenings within your industry. This doesn’t have to be every time; once a week is more than enough. Your content must however be top-notch.
Creating a content marketing strategy is the best way to harness the power of this digital marketing channel for your business. This strategy will help you identify the type of content to push out on your blog or newsletter. This is because targeted blog posts, such as the one you’re reading right now, have a great capacity to generate site traffic, raise customer interest and engage prospective customers intimately.
You could embark on an email campaign where you get to send a monthly newsletter detailing the latest happenings in your industry or news about special offers and promotions for loyal and new customers. Email campaigns will get you sales and establish some form of brand loyalty, but you will need to use other digital marketing channels to connect with potential customers outside your already established base.
Paid advertising which also includes affiliate advertising helps to expand the base of your business by reaching out to people who have the same preferences with your customers but have not started to patronize your business yet. You can advertise your business on popular platforms like Google Ad Words or on the pages of other websites for a fee.
Sales through social media campaigns are one of the benefits of digital marketing to business growth. Social media has become the primary means through which the public gauge the viability of a business. These days, your social media page is the first point of contact between your business and the outer world. This implies that your content must connect with your intended audience to convert visits to sales on your website.
c. Provide Prompt Customer Service
One of the most attractive features of any business is how quickly and efficiently customer complaints are dealt with. Customers who are not satisfied with a product or service are often placated if their complaints are quickly attended to and resolved. A company with a reputation for effective customer service gains quick and wide acceptance in the court of public opinion.
This is because a lot of people use customer service experiences as a yardstick to measure the ‘usefulness’ of a business to them. Customers appreciate experiences and relationships with their favorite businesses and would often not mind paying extra if they know they will be treated well. People want to be treated with respect and dignity; they want to know that when they contact your customer service, they will not be put on hold for hours without a valid explanation or compensation for the time wasted. Companies like Rackspace, Trader Joe’s, Ritz Carlton, Wistia, CVS, and Buffer are famous across the globe for their excellent customer care service.
d. Make Improvements Based on Customer Feedback
Digital marketing channels enable businesses to get feedback from customers regarding the usefulness and viability of goods and services being offered. Having a means for customer feedback helps the business tailor its services towards creating the best experience for the customer. Customer feedback gives you an insight into the actual needs of your loyal customers.
Implementing some of these suggested changes shows that your business takes the interest of its customers to heart. Sometimes you have to go out of your way to gather this information proactively through surveys, polls, and online forms. It also helps you to compete with the big boys in your industry, as it shows that your brand cares about what customers and fans think about it. Empathy is a big win these days in the public space, and digital marketing is the way through which your brand can put this on display.
e. Define Your Target Audience
Knowing your audience or the type of customers that are likely to patronize your business helps with targeted ads and an increase in sales. The habits and preferences of this important group of people form the blueprint for your digital marketing strategies. To achieve this, collect customer data through surveys, customer suggestions, and complaints. You should build a buyer persona with the information from these sources; this will help to tailor your business to satisfy the specific needs of your customers.
From this buyer persona, you will be able to determine; the tone of communication to use in your emails, newsletters, social media posts, and website content; preferred products; what customers expect from your business; and what channels to find the people most likely to patronize your business online. Gaining knowledge of the social media platforms being used the most by your target audience enables you to build a digital marketing strategy around these platforms.
There are more benefits of digital marketing for small businesses than you can imagine. This is because the internet keeps expanding and developing with limitless opportunities; if you can think about it, you can achieve it. You should remember that your customers are the reason you are in business. Therefore, you should consider building your digital marketing strategies around your customers; this will keep you in their good books and attract more.
Most striving businesses have used the help of professionals like Iconic Digital World to improve their sales. Contact us today and we will be glad to help. Check out website design services now.