If you've been listening in to our webinars, you'll know by now, as any good marketing expert should, we love a good statistic or two (1.4 on average...)! Our clients most often ask "where are my customers and how do I find them?". See if any of this helps.
Ask yourself "What's popular these days?". Facebook would be near the top of many lists, as would smartphones. You'd think just those two alone would get businesses thinking how they can interact with their customers, but many don't. 20% of brands still don't have a mobile site and only 18% describe their understanding of the mobile user experience as excellent or good.
If you think that doesn't include you or your business you may very quickly find yourself falling behind, the mobile web gets 217 new users every minute. In that same space of time you'd also get 47,000 downloads from the Apple app store, 571 new websites, millions of Google searches, not to mention hundreds of thousands of tweets, Facebook shares/links and likes.
You have to look before you leap head first into this 21st century social world though. At the same time almost 70% of users dislike using websites that integrate Facebook's API to share their personal information. I know, I'm one of them. You need to be smart about your customer engagement in an online world where there is so much on offer and opportunities aplenty to find new business. Facebook users don't want someone doing the hard sell on them, at most they want to chat with their friends about their experiences.
It's something that businesses can tap into, as by engaging with your consumers and showing your "human" caring side, you can start to generate more leads and sales as a by product of this interaction and be seen as a credible and trustworthy business to know. Getting the most followers, fans or likes is not the be all and end all.
In any online marketing strategy you have to stay on top of what's popular and what works for your business. Sony for example recently revealed that their 2300 followers on Pinterest drove 2.5 times more traffic than their 80000 twitter followers. Review sites are gaining importance and credibility too. The main reason why 90% of people leave online reviews is to help other consumers make good decisions.
All of that may mean precious little to you if your business survives on local customers and you just want the phone to ring more often. If you are then sorry, but there's another stat for you here. 72% of users actually search for a business or product within 25 miles of where they live. This proves despite the Internet seemingly giving businesses and consumers global reach, that many prefer the one to one interaction that you get from a "local supplier".
Businesses can make clever use of marketing techniques like Google+ Local to make sure that, when their products or services are being searched for, their business appears as high as possible on search results to grab user attention away from one of their competitors. There are even tools that can help you track and monitor how many phone calls you get. Having an online marketing strategy is crucial for businesses, as you have to make sure that you have the right blend of information available about you in the right places to help you attract your ideal customer.
Nobody will tell you it's easy; it's an ongoing process that you need to stay on top of in a fast paced online environment that is constantly changing how we all interact. It almost wouldn't surprise me if most of what I've said here is out of date by this time next week...