Dos and Don’ts of Online Marketing Communications
Online marketing communications is the new way to market your products or services. As a business owner, one of the ways to stand out on Instagram is by creating content that speaks to your target audience in a way that is engaging, relatable, and actionable. It is not enough to create content, you must create content that “speaks the language” of your target audience.
One of the important components of the traditional marketing mix is “promotion.” It includes components like public relations, advertising, direct marketing, sales promotions, personal selling, and so on. Two decades ago, sticking to the traditional ways of doing these would have been sufficient to keep you in business. However, the advent of the internet has switched things up, bringing us a new concept known as online marketing communications.
Online Marketing Communications Explained
Online marketing communications is the interaction that occurs between a brand or business and its customers (which may be other businesses) via digital channels. While there is a temptation to stick to the old methods, business wisdom requires that entrepreneurs follow the trend and avail themselves with online marketing tools. The internet gives entrepreneurs access to a whole new world of opportunities.
Now you can interact with individuals on continents you have never and may never step a foot on. You can package and sell products online without leaving your home. More and more, it is becoming evident that small business owners need to understand how to maximize online marketing communications to improve their business processes.
Below are two charts showing what happened on the internet in 60 seconds in 2019 and 2020. The information on these charts should provide you with a clearer picture of why you should adopt digital tools for your marketing communications.
The remarkable rise in online activity between both years (mind you, the chart for 2020 is just for the first quarter) shows that your target market spends a lot of time online. What this implies is that if you want them to see you, you must be able to use online marketing tools effectively. The mistake many businesses make is that they are too eager to reach their target market and make a profit that they neglect the basics.
Getting knowledge is key to doing things right and when you do things right, keeping your business profitable comes naturally. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you maximize online marketing communications for your growing business.
Know your customers
Any marketing professional will tell you that this is the key to a successful marketing campaign. Who constitutes your target group for your marketing campaign? A clear understanding of who they are helps you develop successful strategies that will pull them towards your brand. As they say, the customer is the king. To attract and serve the king, you must first know who the king is.
Connect with your target market on their favorite platforms
One of the advantages of knowing your customers is the fact that you know where to meet them. Different online platforms appeal to different customers. For example, LinkedIn is a great place to reach out to entrepreneurs and career intellectuals while Instagram is perfect for finding young individuals who love to be entertained. With this understanding, you can connect with them on a personal level. This gives you a better chance of earning their trust and loyalty.
Invest in a business blog
You are probably wondering why this is important in the first place. Why not leave the blogging to writers? There are two major reasons why you should have a business blog. First, knowledge is power and power attracts. Your customers want to know how much you know about your business and industry. While the blog will attract traffic to your website, it will give your customers and prospects an assurance that you are up to the task of satisfying their needs. Secondly, a single update in social media algorithms and all your social media structures could come crashing down. Why put all your eggs in the social media basket when you can create a basket of your own?
Integrate personalization in your marketing campaign
The role of personalization in a marketing campaign cannot be overemphasized. Here’s a simple example to help you understand this better. Let’s say you receive two emails from two companies providing the same services. One addresses you as “Dear customer” while the other uses your first name. Who are you likely to pay more attention to? Exactly, the second one. This is why you should gather sufficient information about your customers and relate with them on a personal level.
Don’t choose volume over quality
Remember this, quality has more power than volume, especially when it comes to online marketing communication. Rather than stock your blog or social media pages with loads of average content, invest in quality content. Low quality will only chase people away and this is the exact opposite of what you want to achieve.
Don’t forget that customer experience is as important as your brand
One of the most important tools of marketing is word-of-mouth. You can’t give yourself referrals, only customers can. While it is impossible to satisfy every customer, ensure that your customers have a great experience each time. Being acquainted with individual needs ensures that you can give your customers the best in this regard. You also need to view your services from the customers’ standpoint. One bad review can tear down all you have built over the years.
Don’t ignore emails
Many Nigerian businesses make this mistake a lot. This is probably because they consider this method of communication archaic. Just so you know, email isn’t archaic. Likewise, you will still have customers that will connect with you via archaic channels. It is part of your responsibility to respond to them. This doesn’t apply to emails alone, calls, text messages, messages via social media platforms, etc. are part of this list. Your prompt response shows that you care about your customers and you are ready to assist them.
Don’t be scared of seeking professional help
No person is an island of knowledge, the internet space can be quite daunting and it is ever-evolving. Some individuals are professionals in handling online marketing communication campaigns and they know far more than you do. Instinct pushes you to waste time groping in the dark trying to figure out how things work. Instead of doing this, employ the services of a proven professional to handle your marketing communications. This affords you time to deal with growing your business and becoming more successful.
Online marketing communications is the key to successful marketing campaigns for any business today. This is why you should figure out how to navigate this path. While it may be a huge challenge getting it right, this list should help you learn the ropes better.