As a business owner, it can sometimes be hard to keep up with the latest digital marketing trends and manage your business at the same time. So, during our recent webinar, Funding Circle’s Director of Growth for Europe, Brian Draggoo, talked through 5 ways to develop a cost-effective strategy which could help you win new customers through digital marketing. Watch the full webinar or you can read his low cost tips below.
What is marketing?
Marketing is the art (for example, the words or imagery you use) and science (the items you’re testing and metrics of how the test has performed) of engaging a target audience to convey the value of – and ultimately sell – a product or service. To be effective you have to have a mix of this art and science, and find the right balance of both for your business.
To get started, ensure you’re matching your product or service with the messaging you’re using to target customers by asking yourself:
- Who are we trying to target?
- What message or communication should that customer receive?
- What time do you want to contact your customer?
- Where should your customers see your message?
1. Define your value proposition
Understanding what makes your business attractive to customers is key to effective marketing. For example, Funding Circle borrower, the Suffolk Canine Creche, sets out their value proposition on their homepage stating, ‘Personalised pet care in an environment that is clean, safe and fun.’ It’s not a slogan or catchphrase, but it simply encapsulates what they’re offering customers.
Once you’ve identified your value proposition, it should be integrated into every part of your customer’s journey and used to target different segments of your customer base. Once you’ve got the hang of it, try to tailor your message to the particular subset of customer you’re targeting.
2. Create a good first impression with a straightforward website design
Your website homepage should be simple, easy to navigate and drive customers to the next step of what you want them to do within 3 to 5 seconds. The simplest way to do this is to have a clear call-to-action, for example ‘Shop collection,’ above the fold (in the top section of the page seen by visitors when they visit the page).
Many websites also ask potential customers to self-identify themselves in order to tailor content, for example if you’re a bike shop you could ask whether your visitor is looking for a racing, mountain or city bicycle. This will also help you understand your target audience better, because if 50% of the traffic coming to your website is looking for racing bicycles you should look to tailor the information they find accordingly.
Even if your customer isn’t ready to make a purchase or get in touch, they might be willing to leave their email address which means you can contact them in future. If your customers scroll to your footer, it’s likely they haven’t found what they’re looking for so it’s important to have contact details or social media links so they can continue engaging with you.
3. Create useful content to support your value proposition
Before you start investing time and resource into writing content, take a step back and think why it might be important to your business. Even if you create fantastic content people still might not come and read it.
To create successful content, it should be genuinely interesting to your audience, rather than a blatant promotion of your business. This isn’t the time for a hard sell! Whether in your blogs you’re looking to show a bit of personality and build your brand, or you’re looking to convert readers into customers, it’s important to have a clear path for visitors to easily click back to your website.
4. Use social media to drive traffic to your website
You’ve created fantastic content, which answers all the questions your customers normally ask, but now you need to think about how you’re going to drive people to read it. Social media can be an effective tool to do this as long as it’s relevant to your brand and business goals.
Ensuring you’re genuine on the social media channels you choose can help you engage with customers and more engagement can ultimately improve your search rankings, but again remember to create an easy way for your followers to click back to your website.
5. Strengthen your customer relationships with effective marketing emails
You’ve collected email addresses on your homepage and created a database of leads which you’re ready to start emailing.
To create successful campaigns, your emails should always:
- have a purpose, for example you could send a thank you email once an item has been purchased or promote something relevant, like swimsuits in the run up to summer
- have an eye catching subject line as you’ll be competing with lots of other emails in your potential customer’s inbox
- have a clear call-to-action that your reader can see as soon as they open the email, for example ‘Shop now’ or ‘Download guide’
- include social media links so that customers can stay within your ecosystem
- be optimised for mobile. If 75% of your customers are opening your emails and visiting your website on mobile ensure you create a simple path to conversion
To help you get started you can also read our 6 free tools to give your email marketing a boost.
We hope you found these 4 top tips useful. Remember, the key to winning new customers is to find the right customer, with the right message, at the right time, on the right device. Simple!