Whether you like it or not, marketing is quickly moving from traditional to digital, which means if your business lacks a coherent digital presence, you are quickly falling behind the competition – and your revenues may soon follow.
Marketing has always been a crucial aspect to any business, whether it has been for a restaurant or a hospital. In the past, traditional marketing has gotten the largest piece of the pie, but this trend has recently started to change. Since the advent of the Internet, and particularly social media, digital marketing has changed the way that businesses relate to the rest of the world. Whereas in the past businesses had to spend precious dollars on advertising, they can now use new, innovative strategies, such as social media and SEO, to publicize their services in a cost-effective manner.
In reality, the term “digital marketing” has increasingly become more and more ambiguous; different social media platforms pop-up every day, trends come and go and things that might be super-important now today might fade into obscurity tomorrow. Regardless, there are some tools that every company, regardless what industry they might be in, should take advantage of.
Here are a few digital marketing strategies that your business should be taking advantage of to reduce your bottom line:
A coherent website
Your website is the face of your company. A few years ago, you needed to have advanced knowledge in coding to create a usable website. These days, all you need is spare time, patience and maybe some design skills to create a seemingly professional site. Services such as WordPress and Squarespace provide excellent platforms that people without any computer expertise can figure out. Businesses can choose a template of their liking, buy a domain name and have a great website for under $100 per year. This initial purchase, if done correctly, should pay for itself.
Like your website, local listings can greatly effect how your business is seen to your potential consumers. Websites such as Yelp!, FourSquare, Urbanspoon and Yellow Pages all help shape how you are portrayed to the rest of the world. Ten years ago you could probably get away with a few unhappy customers or the occasional bad service. These days that is next to impossible. According to Mashable.com, 90 percent of Yelp customers say that positive reviews affect their choices. Considering that there were 94 million unique visitors in November, this statistic becomes even more important.
Social media is a very loose term these days. A few years ago the term “social media” meant Facebook, Myspace and maybe Twitter. Now the list seemingly never ends: Facebok, Twitter, Youtube, Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, and everything in between.
Obviously, depending on what type of service you offer, you don’t need to be on all of these channels. Although social media costs nothing at the front end, it does consume a good amount of time, and time is money. If you don’t need it, don’t use it. For instance, if you are one of the New Orleans banks, you probably don’t need a Instagram or Tumblr. At the same time, though, if used properly, it can be extremely beneficial. With social media you can shape your brand, connect personally with the consumer and control your perception, all without spending a dime.
Technology as a whole has made streamlining you finances much more manageable. Though these solutions are all extremely cost efficient, they only work if you know how to manage them. Because of this, it becomes even more crucial that you stay ahead of the curve.
This guest post was written by Patrick Rafferty in association with Hibernia Bank. The views expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of any financial institution or bank. This article is intended to provide those reading it with information about matters of current interest. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice concerning a specific topic and should not be acted upon without contacting the appropriate professionals.