With today’s constant growth in consumers’ use of digital channels to gather buying information, digital marketing must be a component of the growth strategy for businesses of any size.
For small to medium-sized businesses that want to grow revenue from their existing customers, eRelevance Corp. is a marketing automation service generating leads through six digital channels, including branded email, text messages, push notifications, targeted Facebook ads, web landing pages and automated conversational content on a smart phone app.
Whether you have the resources to manage multi-channel marketing on your own or you engage the services of a professional, here are some important considerations for success:
Your customers are busy. They want to make appointments and get information on their terms and schedule. They are not always available during your business hours. Provide ways for customers to make appointments or ask questions online, and offer easy links to do so from your email and landing pages—even through texting from smartphones. People also have preferred channels of communication, so multi-channel marketing is essential to reach the most possible people.
You establish credibility when you regularly communicate valuable information to your customers. Set and stick to a regular schedule. But don’t over communicate or you’ll find your open and click-through rates will decrease. The best way to determine the right schedule for communicating to your customers is to test and measure results. Weekly communications are a good place to start.
Before you begin your digital marketing program, you should clearly identify the metrics by which you will judge success. If it’s customer appointments you want, ensure your marketing campaigns provide a clear path to make an appointment. You will also need an easy way to monitor and track results, and tie them to particular efforts. You want to know what works so you can continue to do more of the right things without wasting money on what has shown to be unsuccessful.
When to Outsource
If you want to grow your business through marketing to your customers, you have to first determine if you have the internal resources and expertise to do it on your own. While an initial investment is necessary if you outsource, the most cost-effective path may be to hire an expert. An expert familiar with marketing best practices will likely yield results much more quickly than an overburdened and inexperienced staff member through trial and error. With outside help, those internal resources can remain focused on other important business operations to help your business.