55 per cent of B2B buyers search for information on social media with 52 per cent of B2B buyers saying they expect half of their purchases to be made online by 2018. Yet whilst 95 per cent of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half are still not active on social media on a regular basis. If you’re looking to get your digital marketing strategy ahead, then check out our five tips below.
Be realistic about your budget, product and market
It’s great to dream big but you have to be realistic about how much money you can put aside and use this as much as you can to achieve what you aim to out of your digital marketing plans. You have to remember the number of businesses out there that have invested heavily in digital marketing, or have had experience in this for quite a while. It may not be possible for SMEs to become the market leading product, however don’t focus on this. Focus on your product and service, your unique selling point, your range of reach and what you want to achieve in both the short and long term. Setting a clear foundation and goals could make the difference between online success and failure.
Know your options and choose the right channel
With digital marketing evolving so quickly, there are many different methods and channels to reach your target audience. Consider which channels your target audience are exposed to the most and which they spend the longest on? Look at the list below of the different channels your business could take:
- Pay Per Click marketing (PPC)
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Email Marketing
Social media is becoming one of the most popular channels for two-way communication and helps to bring a personality to your brand rather than it just being a business name. To be able to implement a good social strategy, it takes some time investment and this is why it’s often underused by SMEs as it can be time consuming enough being a one man show. Social media helps bring the balance between professionalism and personalisation by giving your brand a voice. It helps to maintain regular interaction and appear more approachable with your customers without spamming their email inbox or letterbox.
Pick your marketing agency well
There are many digital agencies to choose from, some offer a full range of services and some may specialise in certain channels and areas. The problem with agencies is that they take on high volumes of customers therefore spreading their attention and focus quite thin with high pressures to complete jobs by deadlines to move on to the next. Remember that pricing is of course important but you shouldn’t do this at the expense of the quality and attention they should pay you.
Consider these few items:
Have you prepared a detailed brief to inform them of your needs?
How will they achieve what they’ve told you they will?
Do you want to deal with several agencies that specialise in different areas or one agency that will offer a full service?
How well known is the agency and how much experience do they have? You can see if you can find any previous customer testimonials.
How much contact will you have with them and how will they manage your day to day expectations?
Think twice before signing long term contracts as it could not go the way you want it to.
Speak to your audience
In a day and age where everyone is interacting and switched on constantly, it’s important to engage your audience and be able to have two way communications with them. It may not be hard but it does take time. There’s a lot of focus on sales that you may forget to actually interact and understand your customer’s needs, it shouldn’t just be about making instantaneous sales. Social media has a big presence in many people’s lives and it gives your business a good opportunity to be responsive to queries and be present in current issues and affairs.