The last few months have been difficult for many business in Thailand, with small businesses perhaps finding it more challenging than anyone else. It used to be new businesses worried about how they would get their first customers; now everyone shares the same concerns. Traditional forms of advertising such as print media, coupons and even billboards are now obsolete and relying solely on the loyalty of friends or word of mouth is unlikely to yield the rewards that you are hoping for.
As one of the leading digital marketing companies in Bangkok, we always try to emphasise the power of the internet and online media, demonstrating that it now essential for all businesses to have an online presence. The internet and social media allow you to access a global audience rather than merely a local one. While you may not be a fan of Facebook Marketing or Instagram personally, it could be what steers your business to the heights you deserve.
What are the benefits of online marketing?
The most significant advantage, which we have already touched upon, is that you are reaching out to a far larger audience which will inevitably increase your chances of success. In comparison to advertising in local print media, it is surprisingly cost-effective, and you can even measure the results, which helps you to utilise your marketing budget more effectively.
By using digital media, you can interact with you prospects at any time and any place. You can answer their questions, offer advice and generally build some rapport which helps breed confidence. You will be able to understand and get to know who and what your audience are. Allow them to know something about you personally, your interests or what you enjoy doing, and this will make potential clients feel comfortable and ultimately, create some brand loyalty.
Are you delaying using digital marketing in your overall strategy?
Although most business owners nowadays accept that they should use digital marketing, many keep putting it off with various excuses for doing so. Procrastinating won’t get you anywhere and excuses such as “not having the marketing budget” or “haven’t got the time” are lame reasons which will prevent your business from being successful. Gone are the days when you could just let your business evolve; you now need to be proactive and use the best forms of available advertising.
The only way your business will survive, never mind prosper, is by attracting new customers and retaining the ones that you have. While this is nothing new, competition in the modern world is becoming increasingly cutthroat and just waiting for things to happen is a perilous strategy, and there is very little evidence to suggest that it works.
The majority of your customers will be online
According to Statista, 4.66 billion people (around 59% of the world’s population) are online, and 4.08 billion are active social media users. As it is highly likely that your potential customers have internet access, you need to be targeting them, and the most effective way to do this is via digital marketing. Your customers and potential customers might be searching for a product or service like yours right now, but they will choose someone else if they can’t find you.
In reality, this is how modern business works and reiterates the point about everything being more cutthroat now than a generation ago. When people want to buy something, find out about a product or research a brand, almost everyone will use Google. They want answers, products or services, and want to be the person who comes to their aid.
The vast majority of people will expect you to have a social media presence and a website with an increasing number of people trusting online reviews. If they can’t find any reviews or feedback, or worse still, they can’t find you at all, they are likely to be nervous about doing business with you and concerned about your legitimacy. With so many alternatives available around the country or world, why would they risk a company that was effectively an unknown entity? Once you have lost that opportunity, you are unlikely to get another chance.
Your main competitors are online
Whatever your business, regardless of whether you operate in a niche or have a wide general audience, you will have some competition. You should always know what they are doing and what marketing strategies they are adopting. You can learn from what they do. If it is good, replicate it, if it is bad; don’t fall into the same trap. While you want to be better than the competition, never fall into the false sense of security of believing that you know everything and they can’t teach you anything.
We would suggest finding out what marketing strategies they are adopting. Are they using blogs, videos or infographics? How do they communicate their message and what makes them stand out from the competition, including your company? Do they have a well-established web presence and do their adverts appear when you are browsing? Try to find out how they engage with their audience and improve on it to become the website that they click on.
If your potential customers can find your competitors, but they can’t find you, then you won’t get their business. To put it simply, if your prospects don’t know that you exist, they can’t choose you, so your competitors have immediately seized the advantage.
Your customers expect you to be accessible
Regardless of if you are searching for a pair of socks or plastic surgery, the average customer will look online before they go anywhere else. You must have a visible presence online, and this is where SEO Services come in. If you have a website, but it doesn’t show on the first page of Google for your main keywords, you will not compete with the sites that rank highly. It is almost as bad as having no website at all as it isn’t fit for purpose.
It should be straightforward to find what your prospects are searching for and the search queries that they enter. Your potential customers will want to know everything about your business such as location, opening hours and the products or services you provide. They are likely to make a comparison of websites and decide which one best addresses their needs. If they can’t find the basic answers, then once again, your competitor has forged ahead and will almost certainly take your prospect.
It should be easy for customers to come to you
In a similar way to being accessible, you must ensure that your potential customers are aware of you far beyond your own street. You can now reach out to anyone in the world, assuming that this is your target audience. A website means that your business is effectively open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year.
You want to create the impression that you are omnipresent, and you are continually available to help them. You can make your business known to people who can’t physically visit you and this in itself opens up a whole new market.
You must know and understand your target audience
Your digital marketing will allow you to reach out to your target audience, but to do this, you must know who they and what they really want. Ideally, you want to have built up a model of who they are before you begin any campaigns, but you must accept that tweaks will always be needed. Always engage in dialogue with prospects and respond to feedback regardless of if it is good or bad. Take note of what is said and make an effort to ask questions about how you can improve.
It more you interact, the more you will understand your audience and what they want or what problems they need addressing. Never try to guess what your target segment wants always ask or use the vast array of available tools. You need to know who your customers really are and what makes them tick. In this way, you will build trust and respect, and this will mean that they are more willing to buy from you than one of your competitors.
Digital marketing is cost-effective
There is no other form of advertising that is as cost-effective as digital marketing, and you can begin with the smallest of budgets. Print media or advertising on the TV or radio will be far more expensive and not reach the same audience.
Word of mouth is arguably the best form of advertising as it usually is free, but it doesn’t reach out to the same audience, so it will limit your potential success. No matter how you plan to market your small business, can you really afford not to have a digital presence?