With the unprecedented changes in social and working practices we have witnessed during these last 18-months, the signs are that both physical and digital businesses are going to have to up their marketing strategies to stay competitive in 2022.
Whether improving client/consumer relations or ensuring all your tools and apps are synchronised across all platforms, the following are some of the more important aspects to consider when planning your marketing strategies for the coming new year.
Essential areas in which to improve your marketing strategies
Breaking your business down into these five areas and choosing the best digital tools for your business model, should allow easier optimisation, regardless of products or services.
1. Search engine optimisation is still the big player for search engine rankings and should include new high-quality, relevant content on a regular basis, with good long or short-tail keywords.
2. Consider the use of Google AdWords as part of your advertising strategy.
3. Social media can be used to advertise both products and your latest blog post, with links back to the relevant content. Use it to its fullest.
4. There are hundreds of apps out there that can help you analyse how well your business strategy is working and where possible changes or improvements can be made. Choose those you feel will provide the most benefit to your particular niche. A little automation can save a lot of time.
5. Consider automating your email marketing using such systems as MailChimp, Act On or Constant Contact.
Improve customer and client interaction
A few years ago, the big buzzword for online businesses was inbound marketing, and it is as relevant today as it was 10-years ago. Over the years however, a mix of traditional outbound marketing and inbound marketing has been proved to yield the best ROI.
Outbound marketing includes the use of cold-email shots advertising new products or services, direct mailing and product advertising via social media or website. In the physical world things such as newspaper and TV ads, billboards, tradeshows and sponsorships.
Inbound marketing is the art of drawing your customers to you, with content that they want to read. That could be, why your newest product is the latest must-have. How to set it up in 5 easy steps, how to get the maximum benefit from it, or a Q&A page for problem-solving. This method helps cement better business/client relationships, reduces the need for time-consuming phone calls, and cuts out some of those cold-email shots. Most of which invariably end up in the bin.
Are all your details on Google My Business?
Even if you’re already registered on My Business, the new year is a good time to ensure all your company details are up to date. If you’ve not yet registered, now is a good time to do it.
Your business profile should include your full company name and full address, including town and postcode. Phone numbers, office and mobile. A short description of goods and services and operating hours.
Optimise your content for voice-activated searches
The use of voice-activated searches has been steadily increasing since the likes of Alexa, Siri and Cortana have become more reliable. The biggest changes will be in content and keywords. People rarely text as they speak. Where a voice search may be ‘chemist near me still open,’ a text search may be ‘opening times of local chemists?’ Make your content more conversational using plenty of hyphenated words, and alter your chosen keywords to blend with a chattier content tone. Apps such as Google Keyword can help with your keyword selection.
Positive customer reviews can increase your client database
Good customer reviews can go a long way to help prospective customers choose your business or product over that of a competitor. With the increasing publicity regarding scam websites and products, it has been estimated over 90% of consumers nowadays, will look for positive reviews before purchasing products or equipment from a business they’ve not previously dealt with.
When sending out ‘thank-you for using our product or services’ emails, include a review request with a link to your review page, making it quick and easy for a customer to complete.
Social media is also an excellent platform to garner positive reviews that all can see. A short status detailing how your expertise helped out one customer will often attract a positive unsolicited comment from another regular customer, thanking you for similar help.
Whether good or not so good, always reply to all reviews, so your customers know their feelings or concerns have been noted and taken onboard.
The use of video and visual assistance continues to grow
Necessity is the mother of invention, and when offices had to close and staff worked from home, visual assistance began to play a larger part in navigating through this new way of conducting business. Hybrid meetings became the new norm, with conferences, seminars and workshops going hybrid, part live and part virtual.
Visual assistance has also played an increasingly large part in day to day business activities, maintaining a virtual closeness amongst work-from-home employees, while ensuring close contact with field engineers and operatives.
The use of video can also play a large part in an upcoming advertising campaign. According to Statista, in 2018 YouTube was the most used social media platform in the UK, 2% ahead of Facebook. Consider such things as informational about-us videos, product or service demonstrations, new products, and information on company branding and boardroom changes and additions.
Consider the use of webchat
If you’ve got an increasing customer base (or are building one), consider the use of webchat. Those little AI chatbots popping up in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen when visiting a website, are becoming increasingly popular.
The majority of consumers visit websites for information, services or product browsing. Chatbots offer a quick and simple way to collect the information they want or browse the products they’re interested in, while the impulse is still bright. Having to browse the site looking for contact details, email addresses or telephone numbers often allows that impulse to wain and a possible sale or new client to be lost.
Webchat isn’t just for the big players. There are webchat bots available to suit many smaller businesses that can be synchronised to your smartphone, allowing you to deal with the query wherever you are.
Digital marketing will continue to increase
Like it or loathe it, we live in a digital world that is set to expand as artificial intelligence continues to get more intelligent. The good news is, even that small corner shop that has survived the ups and downs of the previous 30-years, can benefit from the many apps available in the digital marketing industry.
With so many businesses not having made it through the current pandemic, now is a good time to take a long hard look at how you can increase your share of the market using the latest digital technology, and formulate a positive digital marketing strategy for the coming year.
This article was written by Patrick Barry of VRT.ie – The go-to experts in the Car importation field. Be it importing a motor from the UK to Ireland or needing the assistance of a Customs Clearance Agent, VRT is here to help.