The race to digitise business is on. In the UK alone, more than 85,000 businesses launched online stores or joined online marketplaces during lockdown, according to new research from Growth Intelligence.
With millions of people now shopping online for products and services they’d ordinarily buy from a physical shop, a restaurant or a gym, it’s likely this trend will continue as restrictions begin to ease.
Even in a B2B world, with conferences and in person events cancelled for the foreseeable future – there’s no going back to the old normal.
But as businesses start selling direct to customers for the first time Mark Ritson’s recent column cautions, moving from physical interactions to virtual engagement isn’t the nirvana it may seem.
Massive competition awaits.
So, how can you transition your business online and stand out from the crowd?
By using content marketing.
Love or loath that expression, there’s no doubt that online inbound marketing really works.
For the fast-growing tech start-up companies we work with this is the only way to stand out and be noticed.
So, how do you do it?
It all starts with the audience.
Everything we do is focused on helping the audiences we’re trying to reach. The content we create aims to solves their problems and challenges.
The content’s not salesy. It’s not about our clients, their products or their services. It’s about giving the audience what they want: #workhacks, #lifehacks and downright useful information.
And here are some of the content mediums we’ve been using..
Free live online events
No doubt you’ll have been invited to so many webinars recently, as they’ve been the popular choice in lockdown. These are great live-events, which don’t cost a lot to put on. The bonus is, if you record the session, you’ll be able to repurpose the content on other channels at a later date too.
We’ve also helped clients take their in-person events online. The key to success has been planning, promoting, and personalising. We’ve been using Microsoft Teams to host the events but we’ve seen businesses using Facebook Live to great effect too.
In fact, a local cheese monger has been hosting live wine and cheese tasting sessions every Saturday night on this channel. They’ve done a great job pivoting their business during the crisis and using digital channels to reach their customers in new ways.
An oldie, but a goodie. The blog serves several masters. It’s a great medium to impart knowledge. Quick, easy reads that are useful really do help the audience. But they also help the Google bots too.
Publishing regular, relevant and reliable content will not only push your site’s visibility higher up the organic search engines. It will build credibility with your audience too.
Customers are constantly looking for recommendations. For proof that the product or service they’re considering purchasing works.
Case studies are so important and are invaluable for people in their decision-making phase. A recent study by Gartner has found that people working in B2B are relying more on independent research and off-line recommendations than sales reps in order to help them make a decision on whether to buy or not.
We work closely with our clients to uncover their customer stories – to tease out what the customer’s challenges were, and how our client’s solutions helped solve these.
There are a variety of ways to use social to get noticed. Instagram is a great tool for brand recognition. Creating a look and feel that will resonate with your target market.
I particularly love how a little independent children’s retailer in London is using Instagram. Molly Meg’s Insta account is fab. It has a distinct style and beautifully curates their stock in an eye catching way.
Plus, their Insta stories have added extras like crafting ideas and mini workshops perfectly aimed at their target market.
Twitter is good for sharing tips as well as joining in the conversations being had on this channel. And LinkedIn is a good medium to build credibility and thought leadership with decision makers.
It’s good to have a presence on Facebook, although you’re competing with family and friends on this channel – you’re better off paying to play if you want a chance of being noticed!
We create content strategies and content marketing programs for some of the fastest growing tech start ups around the globe.
Our team of experts are here to help you. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you reach your audiences online.