As tech giants have the power to suddenly change their technology, it makes sense to have a multi-channel approach to your digital marketing strategy.
Facebook’s move to prevent users from sharing news in Australia earlier this year in response to Australia’s proposed news trading code may have been temporary, but it gave many businesses cause for concern.
The incident was a high-profile case, but certainly not the first, of a sudden change by a tech giant affecting large-scale companies.
For example, Facebook’s 2018 change to its newsfeed algorithm accelerated a long-term decline in “organic” (non-paid) visits to business pages; and regular changes to Google’s algorithm result in some organizations’ web pages degrading in search results.
While the changes may be designed to benefit users, businesses are often hit the hardest, with thousands of dollars spent building a social media presence or search engine optimization (SEO) wasted overnight. in the morning.
The solution is to take an integrated, multi-channel approach to digital marketing.
1. The direct approach
Perhaps the best way to reduce your dependence on third parties is to communicate directly with your current and potential customers. You will need a contact database to do this, starting with your existing customer base.
The database can be as simple as a spreadsheet, but once you’ve created it, you’ll need to grow it, keep it up-to-date, and use it effectively.
This is where a customer relationship management (CRM) system like Salesforce or Less Annoying CRM can help by making it easier for you to track your communication efforts.
The collection and use of customer data is subject to privacy laws, and the Australian Information Commissioner’s Office provides guidelines for organizations to follow.
2. Attractive email newsletters
Once you have created your database, you will need to find the best way to communicate with the people in it. An email newsletter is still one of the most effective ways to do this. In fact, 78 percent of marketers in 2020 saw an increase in email engagement in the previous 12 months, according to research from marketing platform HubSpot.
Email newsletters can be easily created and distributed using an email service such as Mailchimp or Sender, which offer pre-designed email templates and can automate the email sending process. Your newsletter will compete for your customers’ attention with many other electronic communications, so content is critical. It can range from promoting new products or special offers to offering helpful tips or thought leadership articles, depending on your market.
3. Incentives to clients
Creating and growing a customer database is not easy. Fortunately, there are many tools online that can help you incentivize customers to provide their details and increase repeat business.
You can create contests and surveys with companies like Woobox and SurveyMonkey, and you can offer exclusive discounts for email newsletter subscribers. Platforms like Goody allow you to set up your own coupon and rewards program, integrating with e-commerce and point of sale systems.
Those targeting commercial buyers can offer incentives such as ezines with helpful articles or closed content with detailed industry and market reports.
4. Advertising alternatives
SEO and social marketing can be very effective, but to reach new customers quickly, you probably need to advertise.
Google AdWords dominates the digital advertising market, followed by Facebook ads, but there are other advertising platforms for alternative search engines and social networks, such as Microsoft Advertising and Twitter Ads.
Third-party ad networks, like Magnite, might also be worth a try. Of course, you can advertise directly with publishers or even use traditional offline advertising.
5. Wider social options
Many customers expect businesses to have a social media presence, and Facebook, its longtime companion Instagram, and YouTube remain clear market leaders. However, there are alternatives that may be suitable for your market.
For example, TikTok and Reddit are popular with younger users. Both achieved double-digit growth in users during 2020, according to research by social media agency We Are Social. Pinterest also grew rapidly, in large part due to its strong female user base.
LinkedIn remains the most popular social network for business, while newcomers and newcomers like Clubhouse are not lacking.
6. A revamped website
When you acquire new leads, they need some way to communicate with you. To maintain full control over the digital destination of your business, that should be a website. Surprisingly, many small businesses do not have a website, according to CPA Australia Asia Pacific Small Business Survey.
Your own website gives you full control over what you tell customers and prospects, how that information is presented, and how you interact with them.
The website is where you can acquire newsletter subscribers, learn more about your customers through contests or other incentives, or even sell products using e-commerce tools.
However, if your website is old and unkempt, you could be doing more harm than good. Your business website should look fresh and modern. It should be mobile friendly, easy to navigate, well written, and most of all, provide prospects and customers with the information they need.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of options, from a simple website builder like Wix or Mobirise to custom sites created by digital agencies.