In the course of our workshop at DigiZ in Schwäbisch Gmünd, we were allowed to write an article for the IHK magazine. Read now how you can get started with online marketing in the Ostwürttemberg region.
What benefits can online marketing represent for my company? If you have already asked yourself this question, you will find a multi-faceted answer in this article. Many companies in the retail and B2C sectors want to increase their customer base, generate more customer inquiries or improve their external perception. By using targeted online marketing strategies, these goals can be realized quickly and measurably. The relative impact of online marketing is often even greater in the region than in urban areas, this is mainly due to the inactivity of your competition. The best time to use online marketing as a tool for your business is right now.
Apparent technical complexity, a supposedly high workload and a lack of strategy make many companies in our region shy away from targeted online marketing. Of course, communicating via social media or the company website requires a certain background knowledge. However, if you develop a digital roadmap and let technology work for you, supposedly complex and elaborate processes quickly become routine, simple activities. The advantages of digital marketing channels, especially compared to traditional channels, speak for themselves: target groups can be precisely determined and addressed, all performance metrics can be measured, content can be duplicated with little or no cost. In addition, there are further characteristics: Instead of one-sided communication, interactions between companies and consumers take place in social networks. In the process, consumers often set expectations or publicly share their (negative) experiences with a company. These differences from traditional media can quickly become a problem for companies. A certain adaptability is indispensable for the desired digital success. You will find important tips on this in the next sections.
Have you also already despaired over the question of which posts you should publish on your company accounts in social networks? The following 5 points form your basic framework for success on channels like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
If you follow these points regularly, nothing will stand in the way of your success in social networks. Of course, as a company you can spread your messages online even better for money - with online advertising.
Nowadays, potential customers want to be addressed individually. Aimless mass advertising is part of the past. The possibilities of online advertising for your company are wide-ranging. Via advertisements on social media such as Facebook Ads, you can pursue a wide variety of goals and define all criteria such as demo-graphic characteristics or interests of your target group. This allows you to spread advertising messages in an extremely targeted manner. At first glance, these ads are indistinguishable from normal posts and thus avoid the "banner blindness" effect of classic banner ads. At the same time, they are inexpensive, have a high reach and are measurable. If you offer products and services that are directly searched for, advertisements in search engines such as Google Ads are a good choice. Here, you define specific search terms for which your ad will appear, for example, when people search for "restaurant" within a 20 km radius of your location. With this type of advertising, you only pay if your ad is clicked on and thus avoid wastage.
In a search engine, of course, your website does not appear only by placing ads. Similar to social networks, you can also be visible in search engines without having to place ads.
Search engines like Google constantly search the web for websites and categorize them according to their value for certain keywords on certain positions. Naturally, you want to be as visible as possible with your company website. Search engine optimization (SEO) deals with exactly this area. Where your website shows up depends on a variety of factors. These include web page content, meta descriptions, visitor dwell time, optimization for mobile devices, load time, and the authority of your website. The good news is that you can greatly influence most of these factors. Through targeted SEO, your website will quickly gain visibility and therefore visitors. The next step is to convert those visitors into customers. Ways to do this include page structure and calls to action such as contact forms or special offers. In any case, make sure that visitors can find the most important information about your business, such as opening hours, assortment and location, without much effort and even on their smartphone.
With the right strategy for your website, you can transform it from a digital business card into a platform you control for new customers.
If you want to do really good online marketing, it's best to implement several strategies at once and benefit from the synergy effects. For example, you can run ads on Facebook that drive traffic to your website. Or you can collect leads (potential customers) through your website, which are then stored in Facebook Messenger (Facebook's messaging platform), where they are segmented and nurtured. Online marketing offers a wide range of opportunities for businesses. Use these effective channels and don't miss the opportunities of online marketing - start at one point and expand your activities step by step.
- Fabian Aldinger, M.Sc. Marketing
Here you can go directly to the IHK magazine 06/2019 as PDF.
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