Online Marketing For Small & Medium Businesses

As a marketing personnel, there are a gazillion things to do, to plan and to think of. It is vital that you take time to plan out what your business goals are and at which stage of the customer purchasing funnel that you need to focus on. In our previous post, we shared the ‘customer purchasing funnel’ that shows the stages that a customer goes through from Awareness, Consideration, Transaction, Loyalty to Advocacy. The last few posts have been more tactical for implementation. Today we’ll focus on the bigger picture.

For small and medium businesses, you would need to figure out which stage of your marketing needs is the most critical. If you are a business just starting out, getting people to know about your brand and your product ought to be your main focus i.e. the Awareness & Consideration stage.

Stage 1: The Awareness Stage

Getting more people to know about your product, service or brand is the first step to having them as customers. Here are the campaigns that you can take to grow your audience and leads.

i. Events – doing events are a great way to showcase your product to a wider audience offline. Be it food items, clothing or accessories, participating in outdoor events or trade shows is a great way to get your brand name out and gather email leads from those who stop by your booth.

ii. Social media – Set up a Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn page for your business. These are very cost effective way to get organic growth for your business. Based on the research done by We Are Social agency, there are about 880 million active social account in Asia Pacific, this number is set to grow on a 20%  year on year. We recommend that you start early with your social media accounts, to engage this pool of audience.

social-media-facebook

iii. Video – create a 3 mins video of what your business is about. Share your video on the various social media channels.

Stage 2: The Consideration Stage

While you spend the bulk of your efforts and energy on growing your leads through those online channels, you have now gathered a significant amount of leads as emails, fans and followers. These audience are aware of your product and brand, but why should they make a purchase from you? Quality, price and promotions are key to winning a customer’s spend, keep these themes in mind for campaigns. For example, send out a promotion campaign such as a discount code via email, or run a ‘Refer-a-Friend’ campaign in exchange for a freebie, share 1 or 2 interesting facts about your product, and follow up with customer query promptly.

Stage 2: The Transaction Stage

This is where businesses need to make the payment process as seamless as possible. Make sure that your purchasing cart is integrated with local payment solutions that are easy to use. Shopify for example has a good variety of payment solutions option for SMEs, via Visa, Mastercard and Paypal. According to Econsultancy.com, purchase cart abandonment rate is as high as 67%, 40% of potential customers who abandon the cart did so because of hidden delivery charges. Be as transparent about your delivery charges as possible on your product page, otherwise you will lose your customer confidence as fast as you win it at the ‘buy-button’, include the delivery charges on your ‘product-page’. As for customers who abandon the cart, follow up with either a promotional code or find out why through analytics.

Stage 4: The Loyalty Stage

Do you know that it cost 5-10 times more to convert a new customer, than getting a repeat purchase? Your first-time buyers are precious, but your second-time buyers are gold. Be sure that you keep the relationship going with your customers who have made the first purchase. Sending a birthday card with a promo-code is a good personalized way to keep in touch with your customers.

Stage 5: The Advocacy

To turn your customers into brand ambassadors is a work of magic. There is no hard-sell rule here, the most simplest way is to get feedback from customers. For example you can send a monthly survey to your customers to get feedback on new products, site upgrade or the latest purchase they made. Make sure that the survey itself is very simple to respond to, for example you can use ‘star-ratings’ as a respond method to your survey questions.

star-ratings

These are the five stages which you can start with and keep in mind when planning your marketing campaigns. With these stages, you can outline the goals, in terms of ‘reach’, number of people who has seen your campaigns, number of people who shares it, and number of email subscribers. Next step would be to keep track of these numbers and find out how you can improve your campaigns to keep your customers happy.


Zee Ng

Zee is a digital strategist who have worked in a number of online enterprise. She believes in technology and creativity that change lives for the better. When not blogging, she enjoys cafe-hopping, nature trails, being near the ocean and discovering films. Get in touch, for collaboration.