Whatever the size of your company, making use of the internet as a marketing tool is pretty much essential these days. But the web isn’t a static environment, it evolves and changes all the time. So what are the latest trends that smaller businesses need to be aware of?
Social media has exploded in popularity over the last decade and it’s no longer something that’s confined to younger generations. In fact Facebook and Twitter are most used by the 35-44 age group.
When using social media as a business tool it’s important to understand the demographic profile. Some sites, for example, are more popular with particular age groups. Knowing which are the best sites to target males, females, young adults, business people and so-on ensures that your marketing efforts aren’t wasted.
The key to using any social media effectively is to engage with your customers, don’t treat it as a one way process where you simply push out information. You need to be able to respond to requests and queries in a timely manner. It’s more than just a numbers game, collecting lots of ‘likes’ won’t build your business as effectively as getting to know your customers.
In 2014 the use of mobile devices like phones and tablets to access the Internet overtook the use of PCs for the first time. It’s therefore important for businesses to recognise that their customers are likely to be accessing a website in different ways.
Having a mobile-friendly web page is a good start. It’s possible to design a site that will recognise the device being used and deliver an appropriate page automatically. Depending on your business you might also want to think about having your own mobile app. Marketing via an app is a powerful tool as your message has more chance of getting noticed than if you’re just sending out emails.
If, for example, you’re selling houses or cars, an app will allow you to ‘push’ information about the latest stock. Consult bespoke app developers like justaskmarketing.co.uk and they’ll be able to create an app to suit your business.
It’s no longer enough to just create a website and expect it to look after itself. You need to actively manage your business and your reputation online. Keeping your site update is a first step, by providing new and updated content you ensure that people will keep coming back to the site.
As well as being a marketing tool the web also offers a channel for your customers can comment on your business. This is of course a double-edge sword as while positive comments can boost your business, negative ones can harm it. You therefore need to be active in managing your online reputation. Set up alerts to monitor for comments about your business and take appropriate action. If a customer complains for example contact them to see how you can resolve the issue. You won’t please everyone of course but a timely response can often work wonders.