Essential Digital Strategy

6 Essential Digital Strategies for SME's

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In India, it’s unfortunate that even today, a lot of companies (especially the ones that have been around for decades) still shy away from the word “digital”. This is understandable if you’re a small kiraane ki dukaan  if you’re looking at expanding your consumer base locally, you’re missing out on a lot by not being active digitally.

Keeping aside the regular excuses of “I’m already doing good business without digital marketing” and “I don’t even know where to begin”, there’s a reason why companies are pumping in lakhs and crores of money into digital marketing – because it works.

Sure, traditional marketing is one way of going about things, but don’t forget the fact that digital marketing is cheaper and it allows you to track the efficacy of your strategies in real time.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way and this article will show the 7 digital strategies one should focus that could be effective for your business.

1. Your Website is your virtual identity – Don’t ever ignore it

And that’s why you should spend good money on primping it and ensuring that user navigation through your website is smooth. Most businesses don’t even bother with a website, or the ones that do, the website looks like something that got developed in the last century!

How are people supposed to look you up? Through the telephone directory? Seriously? People use Google to search for products they would have traditionally asked their friends about. For example, if one were to search for “industrial glue in Delhi” it will show up all places in Delhi that deal in that particular product. Chances are high the business with the better looking and informative website is likely to get the enquiry.

Do you think it matters to if you have the best industrial glue in India? Because if people can’t find it online, you’ve already lost a prospective customer.

See how having a website works to your advantage? It also helps you share your success stories, help clients connect directly with you, share reviews and testimonials and what not. Your website is a 100% free 24×7 super salesman! , and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

2.Invest In Good Content

There’s content, and then there’s content. Confused? Yeah, I don’t blame you. A lot of businesses believe that simply posting text about themselves is good enough for their clients, and boy, they’re so wrong.

Why?

Because content (and content marketing) is an art. It’s got be targeted to the correct people, through the correct channels and at the correct times. And please don’t be boring with your content. Case in point?

Remember your website is your salesman. Would you equip your salesman a brochure that doesn’t talk well about your business in the right tone and style?

So make sure your content is catchy, engaging and most important of all, relevantto your intended audience. That’s because clients respond best to content which is most relevant to their needs (and isn’t lengthy and boring to go through).  Your products and services come later. Pimp your content by making generous use of dynamic content (blogs, videos, polls, infographics) to keep your clients engaged.

3.Push with Mobile Marketing

A report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and consultancy firm KPMG states that the number of mobile Internet users in India will increase from the existing 159 million to 300 million+ by 2017. And it’s not just school and college students who are stuck to their mobiles; if you’re working in a business, you know how important it is that your mobile or tablet is right by your side whenever you’re on the move.

Ensuring that your website is as easily viewed and experienced across mobile phone and tablets is critical to succeed with the next generation of buyers. Every business depends on new buyers to keep coming to them. New buyers are likely to be using a smartphone or an IPad to access the net.

How does your website super salesman look one any of these devices? Would you prefer your super salesman looking good only on a desktop and look bad on a mobile phone?

Push the envelope while you’re building your site by making it responsive across both desktop and mobile phones.

It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.

4.Figure out where your audience is online.

Imagine spending your valuable time and money on Facebook when most of your prospective clients are on LinkedIn or Instagram! All that money gone down the drain. Damn, huh?

So, what can you do?

If you’re in a B2B business, chances are high that your audience is on LinkedIn and if you are a B2C firm, they are definitely there on Facebook. If your audience is younger, you might want to add Instagram in your media mix. If they are chatty and tech friendly, add in Twitter too.

Keep a tab on your clients as well as your competitors. This will enable you to have a clearer picture of what’s going on in your industry and how people are responding to it. Pay attention to the tactics employed by industry leaders, and replicate those that give good results. Case in point? Their blogs and social media profiles.

You have to be smart enough to figure out who your audience is and what they respond best to. As already stated in point #2 – content has “to be targeted to the correct people, through the correct channels and at the correct times where they’re active”

5.Connect your ideas with the world through Social media

Gone are the days when Facebook, Twitter and YouTube were for “velle log”. Today, these three platforms are amongst the top B2B and B2C revenue earners, with Facebook itself expected to reach $14.27 billion by December this year.

Yes, that’s billion with a capital B.

Having profiles and being active on social media is an excellent way to boost your company’s visibility online (and create a positive buzz around your brand for free). Remember – share content that’s relevant, engaging and targeted to the people you want to connect with.

Engagement is the key here. Not getting more and more likes! If you were running a temple or a mosque or a church, would you prefer having people take a‘darshan’ from outside or actually walk in and take the darshan? Going after ‘likes’ is much like the former!

6.Paid media: Hit the right spots.

Content and social media marketing are long term strategies which take time to take off. If you’re impatient (or aren’t looking for long term benefits and results) then opt for paid marketing instead. Pay for promoted tweets and Facebook updates so that you can cast an even wider audience net. And that too for as low as INR 100 per day!

For content marketing, there’s paid guest blogging or even featured posts (backlinking to your website) to reach more people, but with the same interests as your target audience. So for example, if you’re selling keychains, you can have your post featured on blogs of companies that sell gifts, keys or even locks!

Then of course, there’s Google AdWords which allows you to place a bid on the keywords that your audience are looking for. When people search for those keywords, your website immediately pops up on one of the top 3 paid results on the Google search page, and you will pay only when someone actually clicks on your link to visit your website. Cool, huh?

As in any other marketing form, there are no right or wrong ways to go about implementing digital marketing. The only way these tips can work for your marketing is for you to find the correct combination (by trial and error), and then stick to it. Analyzing and implementing those statistics is the key. Get ahead of your competitors and make hay while the sun shines. Invest in digital marketing NOW!

About the Author:

Rajesh Menon is the Managing Director of Impact Marketing – a digital marketing firm that works with SME’s in helping them navigate the digital waters. He is also the CEO and founder of Agencyonnet– a B2B platform that helps SME’s find the most cost effective marketing service providers.

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