The virtual space is the new real world for marketers. The marketing warfare, therefore, needs to be different from that of the times of our fathers, and it is only going to be more complicated. So, what does it take to succeed in this new arena, especially for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)?
Most SME marketing executives tend to believe that once they have covered the digital media and the Facebooks of the world, there is nothing more to be done. Planning is fine and sticking to it also is important but it is critical to own the moment by identifying the latest trends and using them to boost public image, content and create a buzz.
Put yourself out there
Executives can also own the moment by grabbing their smartphones by posting responses and comments, tagging others and sharing their whereabouts with those they are tagging for more brand awareness.
It is important to achieve the goals and objectives. The executives need to know what is working in their plans and what is not. Spending effort on something that is not bringing them closer to the desired outcome is not only a waste of time and resources but also delays reaching the goals.
Keep a tab on the posts and content that works for the brand and also conversations that generate lots of comments. While this type of measurement may be less than accurate or scientific as far as return on investment (ROI) is concerned, it can pay dividends in more shares, likes, pluses, comments and engagement. These are some of the critical success factors for digital media.
To lead digital reality, marketers need to be even more real. It is certainly not about washing your or your competitor’s dirty laundry on air but it is about making the readers feel your brand’s real self.
One of the reasons why Dove found success in the digital arena was this connection to reality. Social marketing has the pitfall of lack of authenticity but brands and people who are faking it will not last long in this space.
By being real means meeting customers and prospects in a way that resonates with your brand values and positioning, so that the relationship and trust are extended to the digital arena as in the real world.
Another critical aspect of digital marketing a marketer should be aware of is being optimistic. It is best to offer your brand comments positively even if you disagree with a post. There is no way your company can afford a distasteful or negative comment.
Remember that you and your brands are being watched by your prospects, clients, customers and competitors. So keep your cool when you post some replies or comments, and watch what you say and how you say it.
It’s a long haul
Once you reach your initial set of goals, you should then do a SWOT analysis and a Medici Effect session with your team of marketing executives and social-media planners.
Identify the three most critical issues and solve them using the Medici Effect way of intersectional innovation. This will involve connecting with various related ideas and issues, learning from past successes, and improvement of your content and finding new-to-social-media ideas.
You need to be prepared for the long haul. There is no way you can dictate the speed of change in this arena as compared to other media channels. Hence, devise new means of driving this media constantly. Remember your customers are in control here.
Not all publicity is good publicity
An interesting thing about digital warfare is that the arsenal can be built not just with money power. Here the heavyweights of the regular media may not be able to get visibility just by spending money. However, building visibility and muscle is directly proportionate to getting things right in a smarter way.
It needs practice, experience; a lot of judgement, trending and the rest is perseverance.
Articles, seminars and blogs are aplenty to advise you on how to use digital media, internet marketing and social networking. Some of these make sense in terms of ideas but some are just wishy-washy.
You will find an ocean of information online, try not to get overwhelmed. Some of them will do more harm than good to your brand reputation online. Remember, there are lots of ways to get noticed but not all of them are good. In the digital world, all publicity is not good publicity.
Whatever methods or ideas you are planning to implement, start with the things that are easiest for your team. It is important to focus on what is easier and important for you rather than focusing on something others do.
Many brands play with different platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and then choose one of them to start with. It could be the one you like the best or the one that works the best for your brand. No point in being everywhere at the same time. Once there is a new habit on one site, adding another site becomes much easier.Who will win and own the leadership position? It will be for those folks who master the above-mentioned skills. Do not hesitate to get professional help. It will save time and money—it is important to be smarter than a heavyweight advertiser in this medium.