Digital marketing is a free strategy that builds more trust in your brand and opens up wallets. There are many ways to influence buying decisions online, which include brand awareness, thought leadership and targeting the right audience.
Gilbert Kumpukwe, Senior Campaign Manager at Version.Eight Media, a digital advertising- and social media marketing agency in Johannesburg outlines all the reasons you should be marketing online.
1. Market directly to your potential customer
We’ve all seen some form of traditional marketing such as street poll ads, a magazine or newspaper ad. A lot of small businesses cannot afford to place their business in mainstream media because of the high placement costs.
Digital marketing however is not like that, you can start advertising directly to consumers without needing any third-party involvement. This is what is commonly known as direct-to-consumer advertising.
You can design a piece of creative such as an image or short video, go onto a platform like Facebook, setup an ad and start running the ad with as little as R50 a day. And even if you did not have R50 a day, you can still go and market on social media for free!
The difference with running a paid ad is that your ad campaign can reach hundreds of people. Marketing for free is just a matter of going on social media and posting organically, you can still market your brand this way without paying a cent but it’ll probably take three to four times longer to see the desired results you would from paid ads.
2. Build a personal brand
Social media allows you to brand yourself, your business and what you have to offer in a way that’s more experiential and goes beyond just a buy-sell relationship.
Traditional marketing and advertising practices are generally one-way communication [to share a message with an audience] like billboards, TV ads and radio ads. However, with social media you can go beyond that form of communication and actually build a community of followers or a tribe for example, you can engage in ‘conversation’ with people and make them fall in love with you or your brand through digital experiences you cultivate using content.
What’s more, you can take these offline, think Pop Up events or stores that emerge to further enhance how people engage with your brand.
Learn to build and use your personal brand to create trust in your business
When you decide to use individual social media platforms to help build your brand, consider choosing a platform that 1) Your audience and potential customers are on, and 2) One that you feel comfortable on to market your brand.
Remember, each platform is different (and requires a bit of learning). If you are not sure, test each platform for a month and see what works. What happens when you create a post, do you get more engagement on Twitter or Instagram?
3. Measure and track what’s working
The power of digital marketing lies in the fact that you can track almost everything you do, whether that’s when you start running an ad, post a video or promote your e-book, you can measure the effectiveness of what you do through data and analytics.
Google Analytics is one of the most popular analytics tools (and highly recommended) because it tells you exactly where your traffic is coming from, how people are engaging with your site and what actions they are taking.
When people visit your site, are they reaching your Contact Us page and enquiring? If not, why? Google Analytics can help you understand why and where people are potentially falling off.
A clear understanding of the journey a potential buyer takes will help you understand what or where you might need to improve to see desired results.
There you have it – use social media ads (Facebook or Instagram) to test out small budgets that won’t break the bank. Learn to build and use your personal brand to create trust in your business on platforms you are most comfortable with and measure everything.