Anyone who runs a business knows the importance of marketing. Your product might be the answer to the eternal question of life but if you don’t market it well it just doesn’t matter. The best kind of marketing is the one that you don’t have to do yourself. The age old word-of-mouth and client recommendation are still the most effective and efficient form of marketing for any kind of organization. And then we have the conventional unidirectional communication channels like the tv and print ads. They are good and effective too but if not implemented properly they are as good as trying to ask out an attractive girl blindfolded. You don’t know if she even pays attention, or gets the correct message or the worst leaves you standing alone talking like a moron. And then we have the online frontier. The online world is full of marketing options : organic-inorganic, paid-free, dynamic-static, forced-optional and the options are endless. You have the options of using to your benefit the community driven platforms like facebook , twitter and likes or you can seed the search engines to guide looking potentials to your doorstep. It is very easy to decide to step into the world of online marketing to choose the correct channel that suits your business is very tough. One wrong move can very well lead to severely damaging your online reputation and you will be left doing damage control for a very long time.
The best kind of marketing is the one that you don’t have to do yourself!!
It is very important to realize that all social marketing channels are not meant for everyone. Having a facebook community or a very active twitter account might not be very useful for an industry grade rubber band manufacturer, on the other hand if you have started a new restaurant and are only banking on your SEO and google ads to kick in and neglecting the other social channels, well, that just won’t do. There is no business that cannot benefit from clever use of online marketing. Always remember, howsoever small it might be there will always be a segment of your target audience that is active online which with a little smartness and strategy can be tapped to yield great results. To fairly gauge what social mediums are most suited for requirements, the following questionnaire can be very helpful
- Is your product/service directly used by the masses or is the common citizen your end user?
- Is your product/service something that can be a used to show off as a status symbol or positive trait of character?
- Is your offering a one time engagement or a repeat business model? Yes for repeat business, no for one time.
- Do you think till now constant effort has been required to achieve consumer retention?
- Have you tried conventional marketing channels and if yes have they been helpful to you?
- Is it relatively easy for your customer to transition from your product/service to that of your competition in term of ease, quality and cost?
If most of your answers have been yes, than hey congratulations, you are someone who needs to go all out and fight the marketing battle on all the online marketing channels with a lot of emphasis on the social media marketing (SMM) front. You are running a business model where you have to constantly fight for gaining new customers or at the least retaining them. If you are not aggressive in your SMM strategy the customer will easily move on to the next best competitor. The onus on you to constantly prove that the its in the best interest of the customer when he parks his problems with you. A dialogue is very necessary to maintain that and so visibility. You have to have strong communities on Facebook, twitter and social platforms of the same kind. These measures will definitely bring you to your customers notice which in turn will lead to higher retention. As they say, the best kind of customer is the one that comes back. If it’s difficult to build a community that constantly brings new business in, start concentrating on supporting existing clients.
The best kind of customer is the one that comes back.
If most of your answers have been no, than maybe social media is not where you should concentrate. IT not like you should not do that at all but for you the real meat is in other online marketing channels. In most of the cases your customer will come looking for a product/service that you are offering and you have to be prepared for that. You are saved from the extreme efforts of going out to look for your customers though you will have to do it somewhat. Your priority should be making sure that you are easy to find when someone is looking for something that you offer. An extremely informative website is a backbone for such a strategy. You need to enhance your targeted visibility on all the major search engines. Use both organic and inorganic techniques for there are both kinds of people in the world, the ones that click only search engine results and the ones that will click on your ad. Identify your demographic and target your efforts to try answering the questions coming from them.
Online marketing is not difficult at all, it is rather easy to implement and very cost effective compared to conventional means of marketing. But like any good strategy it requires thoughtful planning and precise execution for it get you the returns that you wish for.