Why do you think Digital Marketing has become such a focus for businesses?
Consumer habits are ever evolving, and technology has never been as ingrained in our everyday life as it is today. And this is just the start, with the internet of things (IoT) seamlessly integrating with everyday household items exponentially.
The fact that consumers are so accessible through technology means that brands now have a cost-effective way of communicating with their target consumer at mass through digital marketing.
Regardless of age, people are glued to their mobile phones – surfing the internet, online shopping, checking emails, checking social, instant messaging, using as a satnav – it goes on.
Given this importance of the connected consumer in today’s world, digital marketing is a must, giving you access to your desired audience not just in the UK, but worldwide.
Digital Marketing is such an “umbrella term”, which area of Digital Marketing would you say is most effective?
Every aspect of digital marketing plays its own unique role. First you need to clearly establish what your objective is – what are you trying to achieve through your digital marketing? Is it to generate sales, or drive engagement? Or both? Or to build a strong customer database to communicate for upselling?
Social media is highly effective for brand building, generating mass reach and engagement, allowing you to grow your brand personality. It is also effective in driving sales. Just always go back to your objective and ensure the creative treatment of your artwork does the job.
SEO is highly effective as an always-on below the line channel, which supports the high-impact brand building activity you are doing. This is a highly cost-effective way of converting to sale and should be used by every brand to maximise their bottom line.
How should someone decide how to brand their business?
As a brand, you must first identify your brand values and your personality. From there, a good graphic designer can make your brand come alive. Whether you are after low tier and fresh to the market, or wanting to appear as an established and professional brand, a good designer can interpret your brand as you envisage it Remember, first impressions are lasting.
General branding rules do apply however to specific sectors. For instance a courier service is a functional consumer need, so branding would need to reflect that through simple, clear branding.
A holiday site however is an emotional consumer need, where inspiration and personality in a brand is key. Therefore, bright colours and inspirational imagery would serve better to represent the brand.
This is where we worked very closely with The Business Influencer to evaluate their brand values and eventually decide on a brand image.
In three words, what are the ingredients to a strong brand image?
Website, Branding and Planning.
A website is your virtual shop window and is the backbone of your brand. It should be visually appealing, clearly explain what you sell (be it a product or service), testimonials & customer reviews and contact information. The customer user experience needs to be easy and user friendly. In addition 51% of people leave an online purchase if the site shows ‘Not Secure’ – that’s over half of your potential revenue gone straight away. This is why a professional website, that is up to date and fast is crucial to any business.
Your brand’s logo and artwork generate a lasting impression. Investing in a great graphic designer can rocket your business and create a much more professional persona. It can mean not only do consumers want to shop with you, other brands want to imitate you. These were exactly the same principles that we adopted when we worked with Nactural looking at their events website, and in particular The Business Influencer magazine.
Finally, if you don’t have a plan, you have nothing. You need a strong marketing strategy planned out, along with identifying your goals, expectations and budget you are willing to spend. Remember to stick within your selected budget, then as the brand expands you may expand the budget with it.
How would you suggest a brand approaches marketing if they have a very minimal budget?
People usually think that a small marketing budget means your options are limited, however this is far from the case. Social channels Facebook and Instagram allow you to boost posts for as little as £1 per day, as well as using popular hashtags and choosing your website metatags wisely for SEO. A low budget doesn’t always mean a low reach potential, you just have to hire an experienced and knowledgeable team.
Are paid ads really worth the money? If so, how much should someone expect to spend?
Absolutely. Paid ads are a way for your brand to be at the forefront of someone’s eyeline and push your brand out. Ads let you directly target people with certain interests, occupations, age groups and locations, so a great way to reach your target audience. When starting out, ads are about trial and error, so begin with a relatively low budget to what you would like to eventually spend until you see what works for your brand.
Can’t I just market myself?
Anyone can market for themselves. There are many web templates to help you build your own site. The Adobe suite is a must-have for only £49.94/month and a whole internet of people are only a click away to help advise you along the way.
Inevitably, using a digital marketing agency who hold years of experience, knowledge and practice this in their day-to-day life, hand-making each unique website from scratch without templates, teams of skilled graphic designers who create artwork for brands all day and SEO executives that are experts in finding you a space at the top of any search engines page, then of course the results would be of a higher quality. Anyone can learn how to fit a bathroom, but that doesn’t mean that you will get the same quality as a professional doing the work. Not to mention, you will have more time to focus on organizing your business affairs.
The average person’s attention span is 8 seconds. This has rapidly decreased from 12, 20 years ago. As people’s attention spans are deteriorating, how can brands keep a consumer’s eyes on only them?
You know the saying “Out of sight, out of mind”, well unfortunately this applies to most brands. With new competition always arising, there is no time like the present to focus on customer loyalty and marketing. Today’s average consumer has already made 70% of their buying decision before speaking with a sales rep, which is why businesses need to realise that marketing is a revenue growing sector.
Do you think marketing only works for first time buyers?
Not at all. There are so many ways you can market to repeat customers, the biggest being email marketing! You have knowledge of a customers interests after their first purchase, so they are the perfect audience for new launch emails. Also loyalty cards and point-schemes are a great way to keep people choosing you over your competition.
Dee Vadgama (Director) – firstname.lastname@example.org – 0121 794 0070