As the owner of any small to medium sized business (SMB) will tell you, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face, apart from the day to day management is growing your brand awareness and getting more customers through your doors (or website). Thankfully, digital technology has leveled the playing field to a great extent, with size or budget no longer the seemingly insurmountable barriers to success they once were in the pre-internet era. Nowadays, even the smallest garage start-ups can out-compete with the big guns of their industry, provided they identify a specific niche or gap in the market and target that niche through effective digital marketing techniques. To help get you thinking about the possibilities for your own business, we’ve listed below just a few of the latest digital marketing technologies helping smaller players find success:
Augmented Reality (AR)
Also known as ‘AR’ for short, Augmented Reality comes straight from the pages of a Sci-Fi novel and refers to a relatively new technology that can help bring static ads to life via a customer’s smartphone. A good example of AR in action would be a small fashion retailer who creates an AR-enabled app that allows customers to upload a photo of themselves, with the app able to show exactly how a particular item of clothing will look on them, including suggested matching pieces and stock availability. Naturally, the customer will also be able to order their preferred pieces directly online or click and collect from a nearby store at a time of their choosing. By giving customers the option to engage with their brand in this highly interactive way, SMB’s can leave a lasting impression that will only enhance their brand awareness and reputation.
A second highly effective and increasingly popular way for SMB’s to reach more potential customers and target their messages in a precise manner is through engaging the services of online ‘influencers’. Whether those influencers be social media stars with huge Instagram or Twitter followings, or a more traditional blogger with a loyal audience for their particular niche, influencers work via the oldest marketing medium of all – word-of-mouth. Using the example of a small fashion retailer once again, influencer advertising could work by identifying a fashion blogger whose personal style is a good ‘fit’ for their brand, before working out an arrangement whereby that blogger incorporates one of their pieces into their outfit in a regular blogpost. Influencer advertising tends to work well due to the high level of trust between influencer and their audience, who have grown immune to overt advertising messages.
What better way to engage your audience once they reach your site than through a well-designed piece of interactive content that answers a specific question or informational need. Interactive content also allows you to have fun with your brand and can be as simple as an old-fashioned quiz, such as “what dress colour is right for me?” to a dynamic infographic that changes based on personal information you provide. It’s worth noting we’ve made it easy to create a user friendly website with solid content thanks to our Get On The Web Digital Powerpacks that use standardised templates so simple, you or a colleague can build it yourself!
Given the rapid growth in social media usage within Australia over recent years, advertising your business across popular social media channels like Facebook and Instagram – which have 17 million and 5 million actively monthly users each – is an effective way to grow your brand awareness and interact with potential customers on a one-on-one level. True to our focus, True Local are pleased to offer an Online Promoter Digital Powerpack, which features an easy-to-use ad builder that allows small business owners to create impactful online ads that can be published across the web and social media channels at the touch of a button. Using intelligent targeting software, our Online Promoter powerpack will ensure your ads reach the right audience at the right time.
Last but not least, we can’t forget the data on which all good digital marketing campaigns are built. Whether it’s collected from your customer email/newsletter sign ups, from your social media channels or from Google Analytics data from your website’s visitors, data in the right hands can be used to not only work out exactly who your current customers are and how they interact with your brand, it can also be used to predict who your future customers might be and how best to approach them. For this reason, the rich data your business collects should be treated as a valuable asset, just as you would treat money in the bank or a detailed contact list!