Good internet marketing takes work, and there’s no one size fits all solution for how to succeed. But, with 77% of adults in Great Britain buying online in 2017, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Social media takes a leading role in convincing customers to buy online as it’s where lots of people spend a high percentage of their time when connected to the internet. For good internet marketing in your business, you need to get familiar with your customers online habits and target them there.
There’s no sense in spending lots of time and effort developing a detailed and exciting Twitter feed if your customers spend their time on Instagram. The best online marketers hit their audience with the right content at the right time and on the right digital platform.
So, how do you get started?
You’re going to need to do your homework. Dive into your customer personas, head to your social media pages to see what people have been reacting to, and pull information out of your analytics tools. The internet is full of wonderful ways you can learn more about your target market’s interests and behaviours.
To help you get started with your research, have a think about the following questions:
- Which of your social profiles currently get the most attention?
- What type of content are your customers enjoying – blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, etc…
- What time of day do you usually post? Does it make a difference to your responses?
What social profiles do your competitors use? They’re targeting the same market as you, so they’ve probably done their research too so know where they need to be.
- Look at the typical demographics for each social site. Does it match with your target audience?
- Do the people on your mailing list have social media? Which sites are they on? Make sure you follow them when you get your account set up!
- Do you have social sharing embedded in your emails? If so, take a look at where your customers are spreading the word about your messages.
Now put that knowledge to the test
Now that you’ve got an idea about what your target audience is interested in, you can start interacting. Good online marketing puts that knowledge to the test to help you to stand out and start to build a community online.
Once you know what social media sites your customers are on, you can start developing your profiles there too. Make sure your profile and banner images on your accounts are all sized correctly and look great, because your customers will be put off if things look stretched or don’t sit nicely in boundary boxes. Your social profiles are an extension of your brand and you want to look professional and trustworthy. Link back to your website on each of your profiles too, so customers can easily find out more about you online.
Once you’ve got the basic profile sorted, you’ll need to start posting and connecting with customers online. The tips below will help you get going.
Create and join online communities
Online communities are great for your social media marketing and for raising the profile of your business. To start, you should get stuck in to other online communities that already exist and join in the conversations that are happening there. For example, if you’re a Yorkshire tourism business, you’ll want to jump into the online chats about the Tour de Yorkshire using the hashtag #TDY.
Or, if you head to a conference or networking event, check in online and use the event hashtag when you post to make it easy for people with similar interests to find you. Keep your eyes peeled on what’s happening in your industry and join in the conversations online. By joining in with conversations, potential customers can then see you’re active online and can offer them something useful, and you’ll start gaining followers.
Create your own hashtag. You’ll be able to keep track of conversations that are happening about you when customers use it. Keep them short if you can, they look better in posts and don’t take up too much of people’s precious character limits.
Offer something valuable or entertaining
When you post to your page, if doesn’t offer something to your customer, they’re not going to pay attention to it. Think about an interesting blog post or handy infographic, a how-to video, or discount coupons. Good internet marketing puts the customers’ needs and interests first and promotes your business second. Offering something interesting or valuable that they can then associate with your brand is infinitely more useful than repeatedly posting about your offer.
Make your posts stand out
Posts on social media disappear so quickly that you need to work hard to grab people’s attention and even harder to hold it. Overt sales content typically gets ignored in favour of something that interests or entertains. Videos, infographics, quizzes, podcasts, case studies…these are all more exciting for potential customers to engage with than a tweet telling them about one of your services.
Make sure you always include images when you’re posting online. Humans are very visual creatures, and a great image draws the eye in a way text can’t. You know exactly the type of person your target audience is, so use images of people similar to them so they can more easily identify with your posts.
Videos are even better than images because the movement on screen attracts attention. If you’re going to use video though, be sure to include subtitles. Not only will they make you more accessible to customers with hearing impairments, but it also increases your visibility to search engines and allows people in sound sensitive environments to consume your content.
Of course, you can pay to boost your reach
Lots of business owners pay to make their posts reach more people online. But, if you’re going to start putting money behind your posts to help spread the word, you’re going to need to make sure it’s engaging. Before you start to pay, outline the goals you want to achieve. Are you looking to gain followers, raise awareness for your offer, do you want to make sales then and there? You need to be able to measure how well your paid adverts are working and tweak them if you’re not seeing the results you want. Carefully select the audience you want to target online and tailor your paid advert to them to increase your effectiveness.
Keep at it
Social media isn’t something that will bring rewards overnight. You’ll need to work on it a little bit every day to start seeing an impact. Chat with your customers, like their posts and comment on things that are relevant to your business without actively pushing your sales goals.
Remember, people buy from other people. Show you’re not just another faceless business when you interact with potential customers online. Good internet marketing connects with your customers on a more personal level and raises their opinion of your business.
To sum up
Good internet marketing will depend quite heavily on the quality of your social media. If your profiles don’t look great and reflect your business, you’ll struggle to get attention online no matter how much you put behind your paid advertising. Think carefully about the types of content your customers are interested in and post regularly. Start conversations online and join communities to show potential customers that there are real people running your business.
If you’d like a little help with your advertising, let us know. We offer a range of different services to make sure your business stands out. From branding materials, to print design and advertising sales, we’ll be able to help. Click here to contact the team.