As technology advances and more companies turn to the digital realm for their marketing needs, it’s important for companies to stay up-to-date on how to utilize the latest technologies to their advantage. Using outdated practices, experts say, can cause well-intentioned marketers to get left behind.
To aid retailers in their digital marketing ventures, FCNews reached out to several industry experts for their advice and digital marketing tips regarding ways to improve your digital presence.
Following are some of their top digital marketing tips:
Use downtimes to your advantage
“Look for cost-effective opportunities, even if you’re only spending a small amount,” suggested Carole Cross, CEO, Mobile Marketing. “Google local advertising is new and it allows you to elevate your Google Business listings for a very low cost.”
Cross also said to consider adding a text and email campaign via applications such as Samplesapp—a new option that creates a simple, two-way communication between your business and potential customers. “As budgets tighten up for consumers, financing options become more important for higher-dollar purchases, so look for opportunities to leverage financing.”
With the bit of breathing room provided by slowed sales, this can also be a good time to follow up on phone leads, according to Cross. Dealers should also use this opportunity to reevaluate their website to make sure they’re providing customers with a good web experience. “Look at your web presence— edit some of the content on your website to improve your SEO,” Cross explained. “People will continually be looking for deals, so make sure you’ve got those prominently displayed on your site. Evaluate your internal operational processes surrounding your website and web updates and work on streamlining that process.”
Communicate and differentiate
In today’s 24/7 electronic world, it’s important to keep in touch with customers (both past and future potential clients) on a regular basis. “Communicate regularly with your customer list several times per month via email,” noted Jim Armstrong, president and owner of Flooring Success Systems and regular FCNews columnist.
However, like most things in life, moderation is key. “Don’t blast them with advertisements,” he stressed. “Instead, make sure your messages contain 90% fun, informative, welcome, relationship-building content and only 10% information on flooring. Every prospect searching online for a flooring store has an unspoken question: Why should I choose you instead of your competitors? Make sure you’re answering the unspoken question in all your digital marketing efforts.”
Create a user-friendly website compatible with mobile devices
According to Ibatta, a mobile technology company, 47% of consumers now do more of their shopping via a mobile device than going to a brick-and-mortar store. “It’s no shock that we’ve been seeing a huge increase in phone usage—especially when it comes to ecommerce,” Aerin Ogden, director of marketing, QFloors, noted.
To increase your odds of success, Ogden recommended taking the time to work with a web developer or marketing agency to ensure your website not only delivers a good customer experience for computer users but mobile users as well. “With how quickly technological developments are now occurring, you’re going to miss out on a big chunk of revenue and market share if you don’t adapt,” she warned.
Create content that matters
“To really get attention, you need to grab your audience with messages that they care about,” urged QFloors’ Aerin Ogden. “Don’t copy the blog post your competitor across the street posted; do your own thing! The more unique your content and messaging is, the more it’s going to stand out to customers.”
When it comes to creating content, Ogden suggested asking questions like:
- What are your clients’ emotional attachments?
- What are their most bitter pain points?
- What can you provide as a business that will bring more meaning and value to their lives?
If content creation isn’t your strong suit, Ogden suggested outsourcing that function. “Just know that your customers and prospects will always prefer quality over quantity when it comes to content,” she said. “Don’t write or post content to just post content. Rather, utilize your content to educate, inspire and influence your customers.”
Analyze your ROI
When it comes to gauging the impact of your marketing spend, it usually boils down to weighing the return on your marketing spend investments. “Analyzing that ROI allows you to make the best decisions on how and where to spend your advertising dollars,” said Chris Ogden, communications specialist, QFloors. “Digital marketing actually makes it easy, because you can set it up in a way that you are able to view reports each month and tell how many people came to your website from that particular ad. If you have your ERP (business management) software (like QFloors) tied in, you can identify where the lead initially came from (social media, website, other lead-generating sites, emails, etc.) and follow it through to closed sale. That way, you not only get an idea of how many visits to your website your ad spend brought, but how many actual sales [were generated as a result].”