The pandemic is changing the way the world does business. Every interaction and transaction, both personal and professional, has been moved online, and the world is now even more reliant than ever on screens, strokes, scrolls and clicks to get things done.
If you’re already running an online business or your previous bricks’n’mortar operation is having to be nimble, dexterous and responsive to changing customer circumstances and demands, then fear not; with a captive audience comes the chance to capture the attention of an ever bigger market segment.
You’re going to need the right tools to get that done. With this in mind, here are 5 of the best online marketing tools to capture the attention of new customers.
They say that first impressions count. And it’s estimated that people make a judgement about someone within the first seven seconds of meeting them – deciding instantly whether they are likeable, trustworthy, and the rest.
Here’s the thing; these first impressions aren’t only made during physical interactions; this also applies to your website – in fact, the judgements people reach online can be even quicker, more decisive and long-lasting.
What this means is that if your website looks out of date, confusing, badly designed, or worse, sketchy, that’s the impression potential customers will have of you and your business. As such, having a professional-looking website is important in order to portray the image that you want; at a most basic level, of trustworthiness, but also of a brand which customers want to pledge allegiance to.
Try and keep the design clean, the tagline concise and the navigation intuitive. It’s also important to select high-quality and appropriate images, whether that’s of your products or a relevant feature of the service you provide. Run some usability tests – even just with friends and family – to get an idea of how easy it is for people to use your site and what image it gives off.
Though it’s all well and good having an online presence established via a page on Facebook, a channel on Youtube, a shop on Etsy or a posting on Gum Tree, remember that these platforms have control over the look and feel of any interaction within their parameters. If you want to dictate every aspect of how your company’s first impression comes across, focus first on your website.
EMAIL MARKETING TOOLS
An email marketing campaign is a great way to generate leads and get the attention of highly-driven potential affiliates, customers or even colleagues. A great email marketing tool must be able to capture customer email addresses, organize them, manage email schedules, analyse engagement and tick all legal boxes concerning General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
There are great email marketing tools that allow you to use their service for free, though if you want to avail yourself of their more advanced features, you’ll likely have to pay a monthly subscription.
That said, this is one area that you don’t want to cut corners on. Digital Marketing expert Simon, from ecosecretariat.org, believes that lead generation is the key to any marketing strategy for businesses both based online and those with a physical presence, too. And so often, the leads which boast the most loyalty and longevity are generated through email marketing.
You’re going to hear a lot of terms like ‘analytics’, ‘traffic’, and ‘optimization’ when you’re monitoring your website’s performance.
However, an analytics tool doesn’t do anything aside from giving you information. If you’re not going to act on the information or you’re not applying smart decisions to newly found knowledge, then there really is no point investing time and money into analytics.
Google provides a free tool to help you see traffic and engagements, and you can use this to your benefit, identifying factors that contribute to conversions. Traffic might be good but if it’s not converting those visits into sales, then you might need to consider new channels or diversify your offering in order to get those conversions. Yes, analytics tools are important but learning how to read the data and acting on it is what makes it effective.
There were over 2 billion digital buyers worldwide in 2020, and many of those rely first on informative content to make educated decisions about their potential purchases.
Content plays a major role in this reach. Ideally, you want to create your content through a variety of media channels, be it a podcast, video, or blog, but it can be difficult to whip-up something unique and engaging each and every time.
This is where content curation tools come in handy, allowing you to entertain and engage your audience, subtly directing them to your products in the process. One tool, Kapost, has an intelligent function that matches the stage of the marketing cycle that the customer is in. This ability to understand and act on the rhythms of the consumer can be invaluable.
And while we’re on the subject, why not check out our guide to these 4 of the best blogging practices for content producers.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TOOLS
Social Media – it’s one of the most influential and important things to get right for any business. If you don’t bother capitalising on the power of social media, then you may as well shut up your online business right now.
The school of thought on how to best utilise social media to your advantage differs depending on who you speak to. Some say that you should cast your net far and wide, using different platforms to help you reach as diverse an audience as possible.
Others, however, believe that you should invest your time in just a couple of platforms to maximise your engagement in a more targeted way. Ultimately, it depends on what type of business you are and who you’re trying to reach. If you’re a fashion brand after millennial shoppers, Instagram and Snapchat should be your go-to space. If you’re looking specifically for professionals, then connecting with people on LinkedIn might be a better move. Hey, we’re only here to advise, rather than make your decisions for you!
When it comes to capturing the attention of your audience, don’t just promote your own brand all the time. Speaking about yourself gets boring fast – and a certain amount of chemistry can be lost self-promoting constantly. Of course, it’s a space where you should share your services, but you need a good balance of other content. For example, hosting your own AMA sessions (ask me anything) can generate intimacy being company and client, as can hosting polls and quizzes. Diversify your offering on social media, and make it a two-way conversation, and you’ll see just how much your customer engagement and company loyalty grows.