What methods are you using online to find new customers and keep your existing ones?
I have just listened to a webinar hosted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, of which I am a Member, about social media and search engine optimisation (SEO). The speakers were Oren Greenberg of Kurve and Gareth Davies of Waggener Edstrom.
The webinar examined the question “which is more important? Social media or SEO?”. Well, as I know already, they are equally important but they both offer different advantages and should therefore be used in different ways.
Social media is a great way to do the following:
- increase traffic to your website or landing page
- create a two-way conversation
- increase brand awareness
- gain insights into your market, your competitors and your customers
I would say that the last point is one of the most important and one that is often overlooked. Nothing is more vital than knowing your customer, their needs and the way they communicate.
The things which SEO does really well are:
- More targeted
- 60% of buyers research prior to purchase using online searches
- Easier to measure ROI
- Blogs/articles can include key words
However, search is a longer process as it takes time to build up your ranking. But, again, it is vital that you know your customer and what they are searching for. Too many businesses just assume that they know this.
One of the presenters, Gareth, used a really good case study of one of the agency’s clients, iRobot. They assumed that their key target market was what they called “The Modern Professional”, aged 40-55, living in the city, with high disposable income. They didn’t really have any precise data to base this on. Before starting on a campaign to attract new customers, Gareth and his team wanted to be sure that the target market was actually this “Modern Professional”. The agency undertook a small paid social media campaign to reach out to a number of audiences based on interest and different ways of shopping (eg online). The results were surprising. The feedback on social media showed that the most engaged target market for the iRobot was actually “The Young Family”, age 30-35, living out of town, with middle disposable income. How different was that! What this meant was that Gareth and his team could then create content which would appeal to this new group and use the most appropriate channels to communicate with it. The results have been impressive and have led to increased sales across Europe.
Defining your target markets is crucial
I hope this example has shown how important it is to really understand who you want to sell to before you launch into a full-blown campaign. This is why I always put together a marketing strategy with my clients before we start to look at suitable channels and content. This really is money well invested – just think of how much you could spend on the wrong type of content and the wrong channels if you don’t know your clients. Not to mention the fact that you will get disappointing results.