Online Marketing Channels for SMEs & Their Values

During research for Online Marketing Channels, we have encountered various types of mediums that can mainly be divided into two groups. They are – channels those can be used with minimum expertise or resources (in some cases, free/requires no expertise), and channels those usually require a higher level of expertise and/or resources to execute. In the first blog, we will be looking at the online marketing channels that are comparatively easier and / or cheaper to use.

Website: Nowadays, almost all businesses operates with a website. A website is an opportunity for any business to showcase why they are different from their competitors. You can also give additional details about your products and services on the website that help a consumer in their purchase decision making. It also works as a low-cost advertising platform for your own business. Additionally, it makes your presence more visible on the internet and allows customers the accessibility that they need for their buying journey. Some companies’ websites have online store, and this facility allows your potential customers to make the purchase directly from your website which can prove to be much more effective for customer conversion rate.

Social Media Marketing: Another mostly cheap yet very effective form of online marketing is advertising on social media. Many businesses surged their growth via only using social media for their point of contacts and sales. This ranges from selling everyday item to luxury goods. Having a solid presence on social media platforms increase your brand recognition and improve brand loyalty. Which also opens the door for more opportunities to improve the conversion rate. It can also help to decrease the overall marketing costs and enhance search engine rankings. On social media like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn & Pinterest, Wechat, people often share their views regarding a product or service. This becomes an opportunity for a small business to find the insights from the actual users and use this knowledge to further improve the products and services.

Email Marketing: By some study, email marketing has been proven as one of the most effective tools of digital marketing for getting the message across and converting interested customers to actual ones. It has a great return on investment among all digital marketing tools. This form of marketing has been even considered more effective than social media marketing specifically for customers acquisition. This is a very convenient, simple and efficient method of online marketing. In many cases, you will need to write one email and use your database to send the email to all your current and potential customers. However, when needed you can also curate those emails to personalise and make it more appealing to your customers. Another great advantage of sending emails is the results are measurable. You can check how many emails have been opened and read as well as how many led to website viewings. Furthermore, people usually set up their emails on their smartphones and laptops. So, using email marketing paves the way for a direct connection between the seller and the buyer.

Content Marketing: Conventional marketing has been in decline in the recent years as far as the use and marketing effectiveness are concerned. Forward looking marketers have been searching for something better. So, there is content marketing. Briefly, content marketing is creating, publishing and distributing contents online to a focused group with a particular aim. For example, some contents are there to be creating brand awareness and others to educate the targeted customers. There are various types of contents that can be used to drive traction and sales. However, which one of them is the most suited depends on a specific business type. For instance, some people prefer to read and for those audiences it’s better to write blogs than probably creating podcasts. Then there are webinars that involves both listening and visuals. Some people may also prefer only listening and for that purpose, there is podcasts. Additionally, people love to read inspirational quotes in an image form and save them on their devices. Then people upload slideshows and tutorials which mainly aim to share knowledge or educate the audiences.

Chatbots: We all have at one point experienced the slowness of the customer service and probably also complained about it. Chatbots have been used by many companies including small and medium organisations within the last decade, and its popularity growing at an exponential pace. The type of chatbots can vary though. There are chatbots for example which are dedicated for social medias only, in addition to also certain chatbots that are available for company websites. Chatbots can be greatly beneficial to customer service department as it is able to recommend products as well as engage customers via focused marketing campaigns. It can also fix certain issues that it has been trained for. For instance, if a customer has an issue with how to use a product, a chatbot should be able to answer that query and resolve the problem as long as that has been trained on that particular query. One of the other great advantages of chatbot is that it can respond to a question quicker and be less invasive compared to human advisors.

And, if you are still at the early stage of your digital marketing space, you may want to explore these areas further. Then find an optimum strategy to grow your business.

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