Delivering Value Through Digital Marketing And Social Media

Delivering Value Through Digital Marketing And Social Media

We are often challenged with statements like ‘prove to me there’s value in spending time in social media’ and ‘I can’t see the point of social networking’.

Rather than wheel out a heavyweight marketing textbook packed with jargon, science and theory we thought it would be helpful to visualise a simple pattern of thinking that can help move your business forward at the same time as ensuring that it develops a key role in its social community.

There is no getting away from it. Every business in every sector is part, whether it wants to be or not, of a social ecosystem. Customers, suppliers, buyers, media and employees are all players in a complex web of digital communication and it often seems difficult to see a link between such communication and business growth.

So here is a simple process that we can call a Digital Strategy to help you focus your time and energy where it really matters, on doing things that will help to deliver increased numbers of profitable, loyal customers and sustained repeat sales.

Step 1 - Set your Goals
Think 3 years ahead and what your business needs to look like and how much revenue you are expecting. What types of customers you will need and how many of them will you need to achieve those goals. Remember, business growth = number of customers x value of sales

Step 2 - Prioritise Profitable Customers
Not all customers are the same. Build really clear profiles of the personas of your most profitable or important customers who will help you to deliver those revenue goals. Really picture them and get to know them, their likes, their needs and not only from a business perspective, think about their interests, their location and the kinds of brands, products and services they like

Step 3 - Build Awareness
You need to find these customers and engage with them through digital tools like website, social media and email. If you know what they are interested in and what they like then talk about that as well as your products and services. This is talking on their terms and they will be more likely to listen. Balance this with a little about you and your business. We call this the rule of thirds (one third about you, one third signposting to things they like, one third about your products and services). Remember to select only the digital tools that these target customers use already. You need to go and find them where they are rather than expect them to come to you

Step 4 - Conversion
You have those goals to meet so see how many of these newly aware customers you can convert into real paying customers. Use appropriate digital tools to turn their hopes into faith in you and trust in your business or brand. Appropriate tools may be very different to those you used to get their attention when you built their awareness. This difference is what we call the customer journey, a step by step hand-holding of the customer to the point of a confident purchase

Step 5 - Retention
Using the same rule of thirds but maybe different digital tools you take your customers into the retention phase of their customer journey. Encouraging up selling or cross selling of other products and services you begin to generate some real lifetime value from each customer at the same time as building their loyalty. Stay close, give value, remain personally connected and social. They may then become advocates and market on your behalf, encouraging more profitable customers just like them into a customer journey with you

Step 6 - Measure and Improve
Using a digital dashboard like Social Report you can keep a check on how you are doing across all of your digital tools. Make sure you are getting the right message out there, check your customers’ interests are what you think they are, make fine tuning updates of content, tools and tone of voice and do more of what’s working best and strip out the things that make no difference. This is the point where you’ll see if you are getting the revenue you need from the customers you wanted and importantly if those customers are advocating you so that your business and its sales continue to grow towards your goals.