Being a young company, a frequent hot topic at 9 Spokes is what's the best way to attract new customers?
Big, bold and brash brand advertising is one option. TV, radio and press ads can also be an impressive way to get messages across. These channels, although far reaching, can be expensive because getting to your target audience often means having to talk to everyone. It's no wonder you often hear the saying half the money spent on advertising is wasted; the trouble is determining which half.
Digital Revolutionises Marketing
Thankfully, the marketing and advertising landscape has changed immeasurably over the last 15 years, particularly with the growth of digital mediums like email, web and social media. Digital marketing has many advantages: you have far more control over who you communicate with, you can tailor messages to different segments of your audience and you can see which campaigns are working and which aren't. All of these factors can make it far more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods, which is why we love it!
Digital Harnesses People Power
Unlike traditional advertising, digital marketing is a two-way experience, allowing customers to engage with your business and feel part of your brand - which enables you to build ongoing, valuable relationships with them.
Digital also gives customers the opportunity to talk about your business with friends and the wider public, whether it's on social media, blogs or review sites. If you can get customers to say great things about your business in these spaces, you'll find it can be a more persuasive and effective form of promotion than any snazzy marketing idea you might dream up.
Digital is Living and Breathing
Unlike other marketing, digital shouldn't be viewed in terms of one-off or seasonal campaigns - it is a living and breathing 24/7 process. After all, customers can engage with your website or social media page any time, day or night.
This doesn't mean you have to be up all hours sipping energy drinks - you just need a realistic long-term strategy to manage three key elements:
Email: Can you reply to customer requests within reasonable time? Are you able to send news and offers to relevant customer groups? Can you see who is opening emails and responding?
Web: Is your website optimised for mobile? Is it engaging, yet informative? Can you regularly refresh content and offers? If you sell online, is the payment process quick and easy?
Social media: Can you regularly post engaging content? Are you posting in a way that attracts new followers? Can you handle enquiries, compliments or complaints on these platforms?
The good news is that you don't need a lot of technical know-how to manage your digital marketing in-house. However, many small businesses do struggle. Lloyds Bank estimates that 1.44 million small businesses and 98,000 charities in the UK aren't getting the basics right. This means they could be missing out on a relatively simple and cost-effective ways to attract new customers.
Don't worry though, we're here to help! Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing useful tips about our favourite ways to manage the email, web and social media aspects of your digital marketing. Stay tuned!
If you've already got your head around digital and want a great tool to see how your online marketing is tracking, check out the 9 Spokes smart dashboard. It's free to use! You can find out more here.
See you soon,
The 9 Spokes Marketing Team