We live in the age of technology where information is immediately available and we can be instantly connected to customers across the globe. Most everyone has a smartphone, tablet or laptop, and the first place they search for information is online. People expect information to be delivered quickly at their fingertips, and the digital age doesn’t disappoint. Because of this, the world of online marketing has exploded.
Businesses have an opportunity to capitalize on this marketing avenue to capture and retain customers all across the world. However, there is a limited window of time to reach your potential customer once they land on your website, social media outlet or on content created by you on other platforms. You want to create content that instantly connects and engages customers.
Taking the time to focus efforts on creating quality content as part of a strong online marketing plan increases your chances of maintaining a connection with prospective and current customers. Maintaining online connections with customers encourages repeat sales and long-term relationships that benefit your bottom line.
There are many options to consider when determining where to direct your online marketing efforts. Once you determine the best place to digitally position your product or service on the internet, the next step is to find ways to keep your online content strong and effective.
The following are nine ways to maintain a strong and effective presence with online content:
- Keep it fresh and new: Content should always feel fresh and provide information that customers want and need. Frequency is key. Digital content should be updated on a regular basis and focused on delivering information that is relevant. Staying aware of current events and trends allows you to deliver content that stays on the cutting edge and leaves a positive impression on customers.
- Be concise and easy to understand: Have a goal of giving your audience information in a package that is easy to understand and digest. Long articles with a lot of technical or irrelevant information will lose your reader. Shorter and more frequent blog posts or articles with two or three main points are more effective and are more likely to be read in their entirety. Determine your message and deliver it in a clear and concise manner.
- Stay aware of social media trends: The social media outlet that was popular with your target audience yesterday may not popular today. Stay on top of what is new and exciting. What social media platforms do your target audiences use, and how do they use them? Having this information will help guide you in making smart decisions about where to invest your time and resources.
- Remember customers have a choice: There are a plethora of choices when it comes to where people spend their time and money, especially online. If your content isn’t engaging, relevant and easy to find, then you may lose customers. Keep in mind that consumers have a choice, and do everything you can to encourage them to choose you.
- Know and connect with your story: Everyone enjoys a good story and every business has a story, so share yours. People are more likely to engage when they know your story and can identify with one or more aspects of it. Emotional hooks are keys to making connections with customers. Keep your story in mind as you create content across all platforms, and make sure your content is congruent with the emotions you desire to convey about your business.
- Know how your competitors share content: Make a point to know where your competition is online. Be aware of the platforms they utilize and the information they are sharing and offers they make. Take note of approaches you think are effective or not, and use that information to strengthen your efforts.
- Engage and interact with your audience: Create opportunities for your customers and potential customers to engage and interact with you. Offer platforms to invite customers to share suggestions, comments and feedback, and then respond quickly and professionally to all you receive. Whether it is asking a question on Twitter or inviting customers to be guest bloggers, look for creative ways to give your customers a voice.
- Acknowledge mistakes and make things right: If your business makes a mistake or if a customer is unhappy with a product or service and shares that information on social media, then acknowledge the situation and make things right. Responding to challenging situations is a key component to having a strong online presence. Be professional in the way you handle tough situations, and don’t be defensive. Learn from your customers and recognize opportunities to do things differently next time. Your customers will appreciate the honesty and you will build credibility in the process.
- Be creative: Brainstorm creative ways to reach your customers with your online content. Sponsor contests, create special offers for people active on a specific platform, think of imaginative ways to generate referrals or suggestions and invite feedback from blog posts and articles. Consider hosting opportunities for customers to contribute content as guest bloggers or reviewers. The more your customers are engaged and feel like they are part of your team, the more loyal and satisfied customers they will be.
The amount of information that is available online increases exponentially each day, and the connection to our devices only strengthens. Strive to be the “go to” source for online information in your target market. Making smart decisions when it comes to creating and delivering quality online content will help your company recognize stronger sales, a more loyal customer base and experience more success overall.