Zuber Sheikh, Managing Director, Rank My Business

Zuber Sheikh is the Managing Director at Rank My Business. Specialized in Project Management, SEO, Web Analytics & Digital Marketing. Zuber has over 10 years of experience spanning across B2B Marketing, Direct Marketing, Client Servicing, Project Management and have delivered at both strategic and tactic levels. He has consulted various brands on Website development, Email deployment, Web analytics, and Microsites for promotional campaigns. Zuber completed his engineering in Electronics & Telecommunications and Masters in Media & Communications.

 

The ongoing pandemic has turned life, and everything else that we know, upside down. And as a digital marketer myself, I certainly have a lot of rethinking to do, in how I can keep my clients not only stay afloat but also navigate through these unchartered waters successfully.

As I’ve said earlier, there is definitely a consensus on the fact that going online is the only way out.

The last year has witnessed large scale digital migration – both by businesses and customers. Millions of people across the world have made their very first ecommerce transaction in this period, and it wouldn’t be farfetched to say that there is a marked shift towards online shopping, and that it is likely to stay. Consumer sentiment surveys by McKinsey also show that customers across the globe are more likely to increase their online purchases even after the pandemic passes. This highlights an important mindset evolution in consumer behaviour towards purchasing online, and digital sales are all set to become the new normal.

This has left companies and marketers scurrying to adapt to this new reality. Those who do not have an online presence are actively looking to build one, whereas those that already have a presence are trying to further bolster it, in an attempt to find new ways to connect with consumers. But it isn’t merely enough for a business to be present online. Whether it is retailing on existing ecommerce portals or building one’s own platform, there needs to be a proactive strategy to make the most of this opportunity. After all, it is getting rather crowded in the online world as well, with most of your competitors vying for the same share of mind space and wallets.

So you might wonder, what next?

The answer is simple.

Effective digital marketing is the way to make your online presence work for you.

Digital marketing, when done right, not only ensures business continuity, but can also bring about revenue stabilization and growth. And I’d like to share some proven digital marketing tips for marketers looking to milk their online sales.

1. Optimize online presence

This entails looking at all of the online places where your business is listed or featured, such as your own website, blog, Google My Business and other directory listings, social media platforms and the like. You need to ensure that these are all claimed and optimized well with the right set of keywords and up to date information, and reflect your business correctly. You could also look up mentions of your business on review sites, and in case of negative reviews, seek to respond appropriately.

These mentions can often come up in search engine results and can be often the means for prospective customers to find you. You want to make sure that you create a good first impression, because, let’s admit it, it can make the difference between them reaching out to you and moving on to your competitor.

2. Create a consistent online experience / Synergize your Digital Experience

Your customers might likely use different digital touch points to connect with you, even before they make a purchase decision. This could include search, social media, news, influencer recommendations, app interactions and more. Moreover, with the recurring lockdowns compelling people to stay more at home, and the increased use of smart connected devices, businesses will need to find a way to seamlessly interact with their customers in a home environment, without

However, over 50% of these customers feel disappointed with their overall experience, as they do not find it consistent across these touch points, and there is no synergy among them. This can not only create confusion, but can also erode credibility. As a business looking to ramp up digital sales, it would help to create some uniformity and connectedness across these various touch points, for a better customer experience.

3. Go Social for Sales

It is always a good thing to stay consistently connected with your customers, and social media offers an easy way to do that. But social media today, is so much more than just a place to build your brand and engage with your fans. It has become the new shopping store, with more people choosing to buy from recommendations they see within their social networks. Social Commerce, as this is called, is on the rise.

As a business, apart from maintaining an up to date social media feed with the latest updates, you could also look to enlist the right type of online influencers to speak about what you have to offer, and be credible spokespeople for your brand. If done well, this can create a far greater impact than paid promotions.

4. Data Analytics

One way to ride the new wave is to be on top of data – both in measurement as well as analytics, and design campaigns and activities around that. Marketing data analytics can help you observe and identify changing customer preferences and behaviours during the pandemic, and also allow you to respond to these changes in real time. Data is increasingly being used as an accurate predictor of customer sentiment and behaviour, and can prove to be a powerful tool to make your digital marketing efforts more effective.

Depending on past performance and newer patterns, one could choose to tweak their digital marketing plan and online shopping experience, as well as personalise your communication and offering to niche segments, add new channels or even target to a newer audience altogether.

So, to sum it up, one thing is increasingly clear. Businesses should continue their digital marketing efforts, and only look at different ways to make it more effective. It is one stream of certainty amidst all the uncertainty created by the pandemic. Being alert and sensitive to the changing scenario outside, and being empathetic will certainly help businesses tide through this wave.

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