Once upon a time, businesses would need newspapers and magazines to advertise their services. This is a time long gone, one that many of us don’t even remember. Everything is now available online rather than in print and businesses need to catch up with this. Social media is being used more and more intensively, and this is a perfect opportunity for businesses to advertise. However, this has also changed the world of advertising itself, since it isn’t solely about taking beautiful pictures anymore. You actually need to find a way to grab not just someone’s attention, but also their interaction. This isn’t easy, but it is doable and there are ways to make sure internet marketing is a success for you.
Give Away Free Stuff
People love freebies and this is the perfect way to make money by spending money. By giving something away for free, you will attract them to your site and encourage them to make purchases. All businesses should consider handing out freebies.
First off, who doesn’t like free stuff? The phrase “if it’s free, it’s for me” rings true with just about everything for everyone—and that includes internet marketing. One of the simplest things to do is run a contest or promotion for customers.
This will come as a welcome surprise to marketers. It means that you don’t have to give something away for free to every single customer. Instead, you can create a social media post asking people to like, comment and share it and then pick one such person out of those. This will hugely increase your visibility across the entire globe, all at the cost of a single freebie.
Use Google AdWords
The reality is that we still speak of “search engines,” but the only one that really matters is Google. All your efforts should be focused on building yourself up in their rankings. One way to achieve this is by investing in Google AdWords.
Using AdWords enables you to advertise on Google, the most popular search engine, which in turn enables you to get your advertisements in front of the biggest potential audience.
Learning how to get to grips with AdWords can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there. Google provides quite a lot of explanation about this themselves, and there are also many publications focusing specifically on how to use it to your advantage. Alternatively, you may want to consider hiring a professional to deal with your AdWords campaign, and your other internet marketing efforts.
Set a Fair Budget
Unfortunately, you will not get very far in the world of internet marketing if you don’t have a good budget for it. You must see the money you spend as an investment, and if you spend it right, you can also expect to see a significant return. There are plenty of things you can do that don’t cost too much money, but if you want to share a place at the top with the big boys, then you have to be willing to spend a bit.
On average the survey found that digital marketing represents around 2.5% of the company revenue or approximately 25% of the marketing budget, but this is increasing quickly. As tactics and techniques evolve identifying “pure” digital spend is becoming harder and frankly, less relevant as tactics merge.
Of course, this money has to be spent wisely. Digital and online advertising is a major item to invest in, but so is content creation and management. Another focus is on search marketing and on website maintenance and design. Finally, much of the budget will be spent on email marketing. Sometimes, unfortunately, it is very difficult to see just how you are getting that return on investment. However, doing it right means you should see an increase in revenues.
Listen to Your Customers
A final very important thing is that you need to pay attention to what your customers say. As businesses are developing their social media websites, they must realize that the point of these sites is specifically to be social. Hence, if they post something, they can expect customers to respond, positively and negatively. They must then take the time to actually respond to these comments. Looking at Facebook in particular, the way that posts are shown now depends greatly on the likes, shares and comments on those posts, so if you stop communicating with your customers directly through comments, your posts will also start disappearing from their timelines.
Unfortunately, dealing with customers through social media is very different than what we are used to in customer support.
As with so many areas of social media, the key is: listen first. The temptation – especially when you see the first tweet complaining about your product – is to dive straight in. If your customer service team is already active on social media you might decide that there’s no time like the present. But for most companies, spending some time listening to what customers are saying online almost always pays dividends.
You will also have a lot more negativity to contend with. In the past, when complaints had to be written or passed on via the telephone, people often wouldn’t take the time to mention it. Now, however, they can simply find your site on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter (to name but a few) and enter highly negative remarks in an instant. And these remarks will be visible for the rest of the world as well. Clearly, your response to these is incredibly important, as your positive customers will be watching as well. There are a few keys to doing this right.
First of all, you should always acknowledge your responsibility in the issue at hand. This is almost as good as downright apologizing, and customers appreciate it. You should also try as much as possible to see things from their point of view. Hence, if you don’t understand their point of view, ask them plenty of questions.