In an era where news can be consumed in just a click of a button, where brands are propelled into success through the voice of consumers behind screens, startups are even better positioned to flourish and grow. Digital marketing is no longer an exception, it is the norm for those aspiring to take their products out there with minimal effort, and yes, budget when done right.
There is no better time to emphasize the power of the World Wide Web than now. According to a report by Smartinsights.com, 78% of companies now have dedicated social media teams, with 71% of businesses expressing to increase their budgets for digital marketing on 2015. Content creation and management is also the second-largest slice that takes up most business models’ digital marketing budget pie.
This trend is understandable, with thousands of brands fighting to get people’s attention on a daily basis. For startups, especially the bootstrapped ones, going digital can have good and bad sides. Either they take the right road and be recognized above the rest, or they can be swallowed by the rest of the tide.
So how should you approach digital marketing, especially if you are planning to undergo company formation in Singapore with its rich and prolific business landscape? We have previously explored the Singaporean consumers and their digital media habits.
Read below to get a grasp of the world of Digital Marketing and give yourself a leg up on the rest of the competition.
Stay Focused and Know Your Brand
Cling to your unique selling proposition and make it your mantra. No amount of knowledge in marketing can keep you afloat if you will just get swallowed by your competitors. A solid business identity is critical because it will supply the answer to the most important questions that you will need in building your digital model. Who are your target customers? What will be your approach? Will you be focused on building a good social following or is your marketing plan set on converting to hard sales? Your brand’s identity will lay the foundation to your digital presence and give you your niche.
Talk to your customer
A lot of brands simply use their social media presence for promotion. While this isn’t exactly wrong, it doesn’t mean it is effective either.
Remember, it is not about you. It is about your potential consumers. According to the findings of the Nielsen Norman Group, web users leave websites in a span of 10 to 20 seconds if the content does not have a clear value proposition. Your audience only has the spare time to read a quarter of the text of your content, so be succinct, focused, and provide meaningful content to keep them immersed on your site. How can you do this? Talk about something that they will care about. Contribute to their knowledge.
Amplify your website through all your social media channels. Beef up your blog with meaningful and industry-relevant information and provide a sneak peek of it on Twitter or Facebook. When doing the latter, make sure you frame it in a way that you tease your customers without exactly divulging everything. Remember, your aim here is to have them click and stay on your website. Learn the art of content marketing.
No matter how useful your content is, nobody likes a boring teacher. Talk to your audience through various approaches, like posting an image and asking for your followers’ comments. Launch Facebook campaigns that will have them sharing more about them and their behavior as consumers. Not only will this make them feel that they are important members of your brand, you can also use their responses to know more about their preferences. Ask questions and take their answers into account.
One danger of being active in social media is that it makes you vulnerable and more exposed to criticisms. A single negative feedback, when exposed to thousands of followers, can be detrimental to your business. The key here is to not be afraid of social confrontations. Listen to them and approach the situation with a solution. A complaint is an opportunity for you to show how strong your customer service is.
Going digital does not necessarily mean you should forget about building partnerships. If the opportunity arises, align yourself with an established brand to reach out to a wider pool of followers. Businesses with complementary services to yours are the perfect candidates. You can approach them with an offer for a referral fee (on both your sides) as well as a feature to all your social media channels.
You can also leverage your digital marketing campaigns to your community. The digital newsletter of a community college is perfect if you are targeting the millennials while your trusty downtown bar’s Facebook page is the right channel if you’re after the working class. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to tap other channels.
Nowadays, consumers no longer hide behind computer screens. A huge bulk of them browses using their trusty smartphones. Create a website that’s optimized for mobile browsing, whether your focus is just displaying images or e-commerce.
When doing this, remember that your content should follow mobile trends. Mobile browsing demands a more limited data entry and a different approach to sign up forms and online purchases. Your design and layout should also be responsive to mobile browsing. Think screen sizes and buttons.
Understand Your Performance
An effective digital campaign means nothing if you can’t understand the numbers and trends. A lot of free tools like Google Analytics can help monitor user behavior, like the number of clicks you get on a day, the website section that your followers spend the most minutes reading, and how long they stay on your website. Other optimization software like MailChimp can help you understand your e-mail marketing campaigns better, like how many subscribers you get in a day and how many you lose as well. Use these results to better tweak your marketing plans.
Running a startup is a challenge in itself. But fighting for brand leadership is a different beast to tackle especially if you have a shoestring budget. Capitalize on the digital opportunities by creating your own niche and winning at it.