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  • 09 Thu

    Online Marketing Mix Approach for SMEs

    2014 digital marketing strategy

    The beginning of new year brings new goals. We are sure most of you already have set your 2014 business goals, so we thought this an opportune time to discuss ways of expanding your business reach in 2014.

    Do you have enough customers? Could you benefit from engaging with a larger audience?

    An effective online marketing mix is proven to increase reach for all businesses, from SMEs to International Corps.
    We only have to look at the numbers to develop an understanding, as research shows that:

    •  We spend 30% of our free time connected to the Internet
    •  1.2 billion people live their life connected

    If this research were to be repeated just one hour after you read this article, the results would increase again. We know this because:

    •  At the start of 2012 there were more phones sold per day than the number of people born per day, and most phones are now smart.
    •  Over 400 million people use their phones to interact in the online environment.

    Digital Marketing is a vast area but recent trends emphasise the value of social media, mobile marketing, email marketing, corporate websites, content marketing, and search engine optimisation (SEO). The recipe for optimum success is to have an integrated, 360-degree communication strategy and never overtly sell to your communities! The sole objective is that your business takes a personable approach and that contact with the audience flows naturally.

    Social Media
    Social media is your virtual audience pool. The 1.2 billion people that stay connected provide an effective starting place for any communication strategy. This is where your brand will form communities and interact with followers. Most importantly though, is that this is where your audience will display their most natural online behaviour. For a successful campaign, your presence should be felt on as many (relevant) platforms as possible- the higher the exposure the better. As this continues to build trust from your audience as they continue to encounter a solid message from your brand.The major advantage with most social media platforms is that they have targeted advertising tools, which will help you reach an explicitly targeted audience. More on social media tailoring can be found here.

    Mobile Marketing
    It represents the future of the marketing environment. It is based on mobile applications, which are used to push content towards the user and it is a secondary gateway into Social Media.The major advantage of having a mobile app for your business is that your customers become available anywhere they are.

    Email Marketing
    Email Marketing is a practical method of keeping your followers informed. Often, offering free resources or discounts through email marketing increases engagement. The main use of this digital marketing tool is to maintain brand awareness and increase loyalty.An important point to remember is that email marketing is best used when content is balanced harmoniously with the user interface.

    Corporate Website
    A must have for any business, probably before anything other marketing is arranged, should be the corporate website. Your website is your virtual shop window, and should display important details such as who you are, what you do and how you do it. To ensure maximum impact it’s imperative that your website is carefully designed, paying close attention to both your brand aesthetic and the user’s experience. Following design trends, an intuitive system and a clean display of information will make the difference between failing and winning. A user decides whether to engage with a website within five seconds of arriving at the page.

    Content Marketing
    Once all of your online platforms are in place, you’ll need a voice that can be heard and an engaging brand personality to go along with it. Content Marketing is your online personality and will create the consumer perception of your brand. How, when, why and to whom you are saying it, will attract different types of customers. If this is done right it will attract the desired audience. The major advantage is that content marketing is flexible. It can always be tweaked so that you get the highest rate of engagement.

    Search Engine Optimisation
    Last but not least is your SEO practice. SEO is the process that ensures your personality and presence is felt across the online environment. With the same degree of importance as the rest, SEO will insure that your content marketing is relevant, targeted and as high within Google’s listings as possible. Professional search engine optimisation will fight to put your Social Media, Mobile Applications, Corporate Website and Content on the first page of search engine results.

    Digital marketing is an area worth investing in as it provides such a fruitful return when approached correctly. Every company should start adapting to different online strategies. Remember – integrated and all-round.

    Have you given your business the amazing opportunity of digital marketing?We’d love your feedback on digital marketing dos and don’ts!

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