How SMEs leverage the power of digital to engage and influence customers

· Advertising,Marketing

No matter what sector or business you’re in, you may or may not be aware that the competition in your industry is fierce. However, if you leverage the power of digital technology in the right way, you'll be able to cut through the noise and grow your business.

As digital technologies continue to grow, there are more ways than ever to link your target audience at a highly personal level through channels, media, and touchpoints. You stand to build brand awareness while driving the growth of your company by establishing goals around these touchpoints.

Here we look at ways ambitious SME leaders, like you, can harness the all-encompassing power of digital to engage and influence customers.

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Always focus on your marketing effort

Time is always crucial when you're in the midst of running a busy SME. So, the basis of your success in digital marketing will lie in your ability to choose the marketing platforms that are likely to create the greatest impact.

For example, you may decide to dive deeper into your email marketing communications and your Instagram channel in addition to your website, which is basically the headquarters of your company. Besides, you may also want to include third-party eCommerce sites and landing pages, as opposed to spreading your efforts through many social media channels.

Of course, digital never stays static, so these decisions will evolve over time and as the business expands, so the reach can extend your marketing efforts. But, initially, you'll be able to create a concentrated awareness, potentially attracting massive numbers of new prospects to your brand by developing campaigns across two to three key marketing platforms.

Based on this concept, we’ll now discuss four main areas that you can use to the benefit of your SME-starting with social media.

#1 Go Social

In 2020, there are almost 27 million social media users in Malaysia. It’s important for SMEs to squeeze optimum value from their business’s social media marketing efforts, They should take ample time to decide on one platform on which to focus the majority of their marketing efforts.

In the Malaysian context, Facebook and Instagram are the most dominant social media platforms. Depending on the nature and mission of the business, different platforms will appeal to different audiences.

For example, Facebook is still a tried and tested market leader and Instagram is enjoying exponential growth, with its visual nature appealing to younger generations. And, then there’s Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, as well as dark social outlets such as WhatsApp, and the list goes on.

To begin, businesses have to understand their audience on a deeper level to create a buyer persona. Next, study their competitors’ social media efforts to see what resonates with their audience the most and they will be able to make an informed decision on their business’s primary social media platform.

#2 Optimize your Email Marketing Efforts

While many regard email marketing as somewhat of a lost art, it couldn't be further from the truth. Email can be a golden asset to any budding SMEs if it is used effectively. It has the power to engage and influence consumers in a big way.

Although social media is dominating the digital marketing world, there are still people who prefer communications from businesses through email. To build a successful email marketing strategy for a business, they will need to consider the following elements:

Understand their audience.

Plan their goals and campaigns.

Choose the right email marketing tools and software.

Create engaging, relevant and value-driven content for their audience.

Monitor, track and measure their results.

#3 Target Small-Scale Influencers

Influencer marketing, is a successful way to extend their commercial scope and grow your audience in particular for SMEs. Usually, it is done via blogs and social media platforms mentioned above.

While it is a pretty simple job for big-budget brands or organizations to recruit internally renowned celebrities for ad campaigns or projects, it can be tough for SMEs.

So, by working to forge relationships with smaller-scale digital influencers in their niche, they stand to cut through the noise and connect with prospects that are likely to be highly engaged in what they have to offer or what they have to say most of the time.

#4 Embrace Paid Advertising

Paid-advertising is another business-boosting approach businesses can take as a SME. They will be able to communicate with a larger online audience by embracing the value of pay-per-click (PPC) across outlets such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

Sometimes, people who click on paid ads would say that search ads make it easier to find relevant information. Based on that notion, a well-targeted paid ad has the power to encourage a healthy level of conversions.

To sum up, the possibilities for producing entertaining, inspiring marketing campaigns are limitless in the digital age. By taking the time to connect with their prospects on a deeply personal level, focusing your efforts and taking a strategic approach to their business activities, SMEs can set themselves apart from the pack, cementing their success for many years to come.