5 Marketing Tips for the Digital Age
The Game has Changed
In 1990 the Internet became the recognizable online world we surf everyday. For the past two decades digital convergence has changed the way business is done, and the way consumers live. Everyone uses the internet. Everyone has a smartphone. This convergence has changed the way marketing and PR campaigns work.
Business is done differently. The days of sending out a scattershot press release to media companies is over. The door to door salesman is obsolete.
In the millennium age, small business has replaced the outdated methods. A new era of influencing customers in appropriate ways has taken over. YouTube is the new Television set. Blogs, forums, and social media are the new newspaper. Media has evolved. Small business owners inside the pet franchise and out, must adapt to a brave new world.
Reaching your customer base is all about communication efforts. The first start is finding out who your target audience is. Then create a customer profile based on this. What are your customers key traits, preferences, and behaviors?
The Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique average customer is probably someone who loves their dogs like a child. They want to leave their pets with someone they can trust. Someone who will be loving and provide excellent service. They want their pet’s diet to be the healthiest premium option. This customer is new and expanding the pet franchise.
There are a variety of tools one can use to establish their customer profile. Marketing analytic software finds the demographic you are attempting to reach. HubSpot, Marketo, Moz, and Google Analytics are all great choices. Vigilantly tracking SEO (search engine optimization), and the effects of your posting should be handled internally. Use of this software paired with strong media will boost your google search ranking.
This is key. Where does your company’s website appear in a Google search? Studies show that customers do not click outside of the first page. The closer a company is to the top of the list, the better the results. This is basis for ranking. Companies should aim for highest ranking possible to influence customers. Partnerships with links to your site from various media outlets increases rank.
Quick and Impacting for the Skimming Eye
Marketing analysts all agree that in the digital age, everyone skims through content. Internet surfing is colossally involved and some customers are using their phones to do this. Advertorial campaigns need to be crisp, hard-hitting, and easy to read.
Website and graphic design is important. The most impacting websites feature one strong visual. Followed with a tab for a drop down menu to access further information. You should use eye-catching videos and infographics to disseminate large amounts of information quickly. Just as your storefront is an engaging place, you want your website to be equally as engaging.
Think of your business as a meal you are trying to sell to customers. The story of your business is the entree. Your PR, marketing, and content are the appetizers. The best way to reach and influence customers it first provide the appetizers. This generates interest for the entree–main content, sales pitch, etc.
Influences with Clout
Business PR and marketing strategies now use what is known as “influencer marketing.” This is when a partnership is formed with already trusted media “influencers.” Forging business relationships with an influencer with high internet clout is strategic. “Influencers” already have social media following. They have an established trust with consumers. Any sharing done by this “influencer” is endorsed by the digital collective conscious.
Gawker, started by Nick Denton, is an example of a blog that is an “influencer.” Blogs published by Gawker are trusted by readers. Blogs like this are the contemporary version of journalists.
In the pet franchise this translates to partnering with rescues, local media platforms, and bloggers. These strategies are being handled daily at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique. The founder and CEO of the company is a pet business coach, with already established clout. This is opportune when observing competitors using third party marketing companies. Splash and Dash already has built-in functions to improve service and boost rankings. Customers are prompted to voluntarily report on service, then share to social media.
A tool to do this for your own company is Klout.com (purposefully spelled with a K). Klout runs an analysis of your social media content. You are scored based on various categories giving you a Klout score. The features let you see what posts are receiving the most traffic, and what kind of followers you have. Google Analytics is an even more in-depth software program that tracks this.
The MVP Game Changer: Social Media
Establishing strong social media presence is imperative for small business. Small business owners don’t have a marketing team like the “big guys.” It is important to pull in revenue from free easy-to-use sources. Social media can be used for pitching, monitoring, and storytelling. It is a platform to craft the narrative your customers see. A relationship with customers, reporters, and other business is created, posted, and shared.
The advantage of social media is that it allows customers to see a more intimate look at your company. Your social media page is the “face,” you want to show customers. If your social media sites are unpolished, this is bad for company reputation. Without links or strong information this derogates your company’s image. Social media sites should be monitored and posting should be strong, relevant, and consistent.
In the pet franchise this poses a strong advantage. The intimacy needed for PR is an intrinsic part of business. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has access to customer satisfaction reports, cute pictures of pets, and informative pet care articles. Pet franchise businesses organically capitalizes on a shared love for pets. This is something owners will want to broadcast. Emphatic customer response is the goal. You want to show customers the depth of care put into your service or product.
Meet the New PR Metrics
Social listening is an aspect of social media small business owners need to know. This helps you share and amplify your story. Using different analytic tools helps you maximize the effect your social media postings have. Use social listening tools to see what’s relevant. Topics that are going viral, and pertain to your business, are always what you’ll want to focus on.
Pop culture trends are not restricted to the entertainment industry. Everything can have a PR spin. For example, a big Hollywood hit this year is Finding Dory. Small business owners can use a brand’s traction to potentially gain traffic. Seasonal themes, and this year being an election year, also affects the pet franchise. The trick is to find out what your customers are most interested in.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has the edge. The pet franchise service is being matched with its PR and marketing. Excellence in all aspects of business is what makes shop owners proud and passionate. It is what keeps customers coming in, and what makes doggies love us as much as we love them.