Internet marketing is the talk of the industry. How to increase search, be number one on Google, retarget ads, convert social to sales, etc. These are all important practices for any retailer, and consistent effort in these areas will help you improve and reach wider audiences. However, focusing on just one aspect of marketing in today’s difficult business climate produces mixed results. The process of developing your online presence should include a strategy that integrates online and offline media with one comprehensive message throughout. This will help you achieve a successful ad campaign with the greatest reach and return for your efforts.
Your customer is bombarded with more than 3,000 branded messages every day. This does not mean there are 3,000 opportunities for your message to be heard, it means there are 3,000 opportunities for your message to be lost. Without a way to easily search, create and share content about your business, customers will lose interest and eventually your message will become background noise as just another one among the many. That is why a marketing strategy that bridges traditional and online advertising methods will help you reach your customers in all the venues where they spend their time and prefer to shop.
How do you start the process?
When building your marketing strategy, focus on these three things:
1. Storefront = Online Storefront:
Your online properties (website, social media, Yelp, Google places, etc.) will likely be the very first impression a new customer has of your store, so you need to ensure that you online presence reflects your physical storefront. Using the tools these online properties provide (pictures, videos, tours, etc.) will help you with online search success and attract customers. By equipping your business with the most current online properties you’re giving your business a real chance at attracting customers via online search.
2. Online = Offline:
Synergy between online appearance and offline messaging is more important than ever in today’s market. You need to make sure the same messages you promote in traditional media also speak loud and clear on your online properties. Just as it is important to select the right traditional media to spread your message, choosing the proper online outlets to reach your target audience is key to making your message memorable. In a survey done by BrightLocal (an SEO research company) 88 percent of consumers indicated they have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business and 39 percent of consumers revealed they have read reviews on a regular basis. If we as business owners aren’t monitoring and claiming our online properties then we have no chance at controlling our brand message. Any blip in this synergy can lead to a possible lost sale.
Do you make it easy for your customers to share your brand message via their smartphones? The audience controls your messages the moment you promote it, and you need to give them every opportunity to share it with their social community. Direct your audience to the proper online channels and make sure your message is clear and can be shared easily. Each customer who shares your message with her network creates that many more possible sales.
You can’t build a house from the roof down, and you can’t start converting online consumers to your customers without setting the foundation for success. Begin your integrated approach and watch as customers become ambassadors for your message.