The Little Guide for Digital Marketing
The Little Guide for Digital Marketing
Why should I take my business online and where to begin?
The Revolution of Digitalisation
According to the Finnish Bureau of Statistics study over 70 percent of 16 to 74 year old Finns use the internet several times a day, and 50 percent of them have bought something online in the last three months.
So, it is obvious that your customers are online. The consumption process has changed significantly; people don’t just walk into a store and buy whatever the sales person recommends – they do research and compare the products and companies online before the buying decision.
What happens, if your customer doesn’t find the information they need about your products and services when searching them? Well, they will go and buy it somewhere else. Nowadays it is necessary to be online and ready to answer to your customers questions.
Don’t underestimate the revolution of digitalisation. Be a part of it – or die.
Change your attitude
Marketing can be roughly divided in two; outbound and inbound marketing. Outbound marketing is the “old and traditional” way of marketing; advertising, shouting out loud, running after the customers. It is quite short sighted and focuses strictly just to the sales. The main goal is to tell everyone about your product and try to sell as much as possible. Most customers consider the traditional outbound marketing with all the ads and purchase pressure very irritating.
Inbound marketing is more sneaky, but also much more pleasant to the customer. The goal of inbound marketing is to lure the customers to you and eventually turn them into promoters. But none of this is irritating for the customer. The secret is to create value to the customer and give space to the customer to make the decision “all by themselves”.
Below you see a great infographic of how inbound marketing works. The first step is to get strangers to visit your website by offering them interesting content and f.ex. some useful information. Next step is to make those anonymous visitors to leads. This can happen f.ex. by offering an interesting e-book or participating to a lottery by leaving an e-mail address. Well, now our visitor has a name.
The goal of every business is of course to make sales. So all those people visiting your website should be turned to customers. Now, when we have the contact information, we can take a little step toward the traditional marketing and approach the customer. It’s just much easier now, when the customer already know who we are and is potentially interested in what we do!
After we have the customers, unlike in outbound marketing process, the inbound marketing process doesn’t end here. It’s important to take care of your customers even after purchase; to ask their opinion, to offer them interesting content, to continue building the brand image. With successful aftercare there’s a great chance to turn customers into promoters – and that’s how again more strangers turn into potential customers!
Where to be?
Okay, so you’ve finally decided to go online and get closer to your customers. But whoa, there are so many different channels! How on earth can you decide where to be, or do you have to be everywhere?!
First of all, it’s good to take a look at some statistics. The most popular social media channels in Finland are Youtube and Facebook, which both have almost three million monthly users in the age group from 15 to 64 year olds. To compare, Snapchat has little over 600 thousand monthly users in the same age group.
But the big picture doesn’t really tell it all. You’ve got to know your customers and what channels they use. For example, an average Snapchat user is a 18-24 year old female. So even though in the big picture Snapchat doesn’t seem like a very useful channel, if the average user looks the same as your average customer, it might be just the right channel for you.
There’s no sense to be everywhere. You just don’t have the time and energy to create good content for several different customers to several different channels. So when choosing your few channels, of course, think about your customer, but also keep your comfort zone in mind. It’s good to start with something familiar and rock that one particular channel first, and after that you can seek out for new opportunities.
Plan your way to success!
Posting on social media seems pretty easy and you might not feel like it doesn’t need really planning or strategies. But I dare to claim, you are wrong with that, and I also assume that in few months you will also notice the same thing, as it becomes more ja more difficult to quickly create new ideas for posts and easily the posts time gap will grow.
Customers search the internet looking from information, conversation and entertainment. Companies online channels offer mainly information, but just the informative content isn’t enough to keep the customers interest, as they also search for conversation and entertainment.
To create great content you’ve got to find the reasons why your customer will return to your page over and over again. What are these people interested about? What are their values? Can I offer a little something extra for them? Can I offer solutions to their problems?
Content marketing with good content is actually very cheap way to engage your customers. But it demands time and effort. Good tool for creating content is to build a content strategy; who am I talking to, where, when and why? Don’t be afraid to open a conversation with your customers and directly ask about their interests.
Very handy tool is also a social media post calendar. By planning your posts f.ex. a month ahead, it will save your time and effort when you don’t have to try and figure out a new post every second day.
Eat, sleep, analyze – repeat
Many entrepreneurs think that they know their customer and produce content that they think their customers enjoy. But as we know, nobody can read minds. You might think that you just posted a kick-ass update, but why doesn’t it get any reactions?
Please, stop guessing and find out the facts. Maybe your update came out the wrong time; when nobody was there or when ten other companies posted on the same minute. Maybe your customers aren’t just quite as passionate about your products technical features as you are.
All this you can find out by following your analytics. The data tells you f.ex. what time your page has the most visitors, what posts your audience enjoys the most and who actually follow you. Simple as that. Almost all social media channels offer their own analytics and on your website you can easily connect f.ex. Google Analytics.
Now all you have to do is post away, follow the data, develop your content – and repeat.
Be friends with the Search Engines
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means improving your ranking on search engines, such as Google, so that your website will be found as high as possible in the search results.
SEO can be bought; you can pay for better ranking. In my opinion, this option is quite short term of happiness, if it’s done on it’s own. The real question is, how can you make your whole website and all of your content search engine friendly?
SEO is a process, which is never complete. Google algorithms change all the time and over one night your ranking can switch from 4th to 57th. Also remember, that if you visit or Google your own website often, Google will rank your website higher for your IP-address – not everyones. That’s why you only see the true ranking of your site by using f.ex. Incognito-mode on your browser, which makes your session private and doesn’t show your previous search history.
Making you website and content more search engine friendly is actually pretty easy. First of all, you’ve got to choose your keywords. Not too often searched, but also not too rarely. Good tool for keyword analyzing is Google AdWords. After that, add the keywords in your content, but keeping also your text quality good. A good guideline is, that include three times your keyword to a text of 300 words. Always remember to add your keyword to your page title and url!
Google also loves links in and out from your website, photos and videos (remember to add keywords to their descriptions also), and of course – visitors. So try and create as much traffic to your website as possible – good ways for this is as writing a blog on your site and linking the posts to all of your social media channels.
Might sound a bit challenging, but help is easy to find. There are also available many different plug-ins to add to your website helping you to make your site search engine friendly, f.ex. Yoast. To find more information, Google it!
Find the right people around you
Did you know, that 44 % of 15 to 65 year old finnish people follow domestic blogs and 21 % say that blogs have had something to do with their consuming. Also nearly 50 % of under 35 year old tell that an influencer, just as a blogger, has affected their vision, opinions or thoughts. But these numbers seem rather small next to the fact, that 83 % of people trust a friends recommendation – or someones they consider as a friend!
The percent covers quite a big mass of people. Bloggers, vloggers, celebrities, Snapchat and Instagram fames and other influencers have thousands of followers who admire them and almost feel as they were their friends.
Influencer marketing is a part of inbound and content marketing. You carefully implement actions that make your customer want to buy your products or services thinking that they figured that out all by themselves. Influencer marketing means marketing something through a chosen influencer, usually the influencer recommending your products or services.
Influencer marketing has grown massively during past few years and the influencers have learned their value. Before it might have been enough to offer the influencer free products or services for recommending or describing about them after, but now influencers have learned that they can add a price tag too – also quite a big one.
Even though influencer marketing can cost a big penny, it might still be worth it. The most important thing is to find an influencer who shares your values and suits your company together with their followers. With right choices and right timing influencer marketing can pay itself back multiple times.
The Big Picture
Branding and marketing is something that every company has to know and do something about. The picture is just so big! How on earth can you survive in this world that is also constantly changing and developing?
The first thing is to realize that you can’t know how to do everything. And that’s why you have to find the right people around you – the importance of networks isn’t some bullshit.
Even though you wouldn’t have the time or interest to become a marketing guru, it’s good to understand the big picture and how actions effect on each other. But remember – marketing is an intriguing world – be careful that it doesn’t sweep you off your feet!
- Aaltonen, Jani. Sales Communications Blog. Ostoprosessi on muuttunut & asiakkaan “Illusion of Control”. https://www.salescommunications.fi/blog/ostoprosessi-on-muuttunut-asiakkaan-illusion-of-control. Published 20.9.2015.
- Aaltonen, Jani. Sales Communications Blog. Vertailu: Inbound-markkinointi vs. outbound-markkinointi. https://www.salescommunications.fi/blog/vertailu-inbound-markkinointi-vs.-outbound-markkinointi. Published 12.11.2014.
- Agrawal, AJ. Forbes. Why influencer marketing will explode in 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/ajagrawal/2016/12/27/why-influencer-marketing-will-explode-in-2017/. Published 27.12.2017.
- Dagmar. Vaikuttajamarkkinoinnin tutkimus. https://pinghelsinki.fi/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Ping_tutkimusraportti.pdf. Implemented 04/2017.
- Hubspot. What is inbound marketing? https://www.hubspot.com/inbound-marketing. Read 7.8.2017.
- Jones, Maggie. Marketo Blog. Why you need and editorial calendar for social. https://blog.marketo.com/2014/08/why-you-need-an-editorial-calendar-for-social.html. Read 7.8.2017.
- Makkonen, Miina. Y-kampus, Tampere University Of Applied Sciences: Modern IT-communication course material. 2017.
- Marketing-Schools. Influencer marketing. http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/influencer-marketing.html. Read 7.8.2017.
- Seward, Zachary M. Quartz Media. The average Snapchat user. https://qz.com/901973/the-average-snapchat-user/. Read 7.8.2017.
- Tilastokeskus. Internetin käyttö mobiilia, laitteet henkilökohtaisia. http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/sutivi/2015/sutivi_2015_2015-11-26_tie_001_fi.html. Published 26.11.2015.
- Vähä-Ruka, Eveliina. PowerMarkkinointi Blog. Miten inbound-markkinointi eroaa outbound-markkinoinnista? http://www.powermarkkinointi.com/blogi/miten-inbound-markkinointi-eroaa-outbound-markkinoinnista. Published 22.10.2015.