Virtual Business Has Changed The Landscape of Marketing: Here’s How to Adjust Your Tactics!
By Stephanie Ball
In the digital age, marketing your company is no longer about gift baskets, direct mail, newspaper ads, and schmoozy dinners with prospective clients. The phone call has been replaced with emails and “contact us” forms on websites. Face to face interactions are dwindling. Companies must adjust their marketing tactics in order to continue to gain leads. Here are some ways business practices have changed and how you can use them to your advantage.
Change 1: Marketing events have been taken online, and people are telecommuting. Zoom meetings and online seminars have become the norm.
Response: First, invest in good digital media that you can easily share via email, your website, and through online presentations. Get comfortable with video conference platforms like Zoom. Make sure to design your physical space around your web camera view. Examine what the person on the other end of your virtual meeting sees, and make it look professional. Clean up the piles of papers and put the dirty laundry away. Set up an appropriate background and attractive lighting. Ditch the business cards. If you’re not meeting people in person, you have nobody to hand a physical card to. Put your contact information on your web pages and in your email signature.
Change 2: People rely on text messages, emails, websites, and social networks instead of phone calls and lunch meetings.
Response: Set up your smart phone to alert you to new emails immediately, and respond quickly to messages. Use people’s impatience to your advantage and create a Call to Action in as many messages as possible. Choose wording to elicit a response. Maintain transparency and individuality in your messages, to simulate a face to face conversation. By writing conversationally, (but still professionally!), you can develop interpersonal relationships with people even without meeting them.
Change 3: Many brick and mortar locations have closed up shop and become web-based businesses instead.
Response: Make sure your website is Search Engine Optimized so that your site is found when people are looking for services that you offer. Design a clean, user-friendly website that is updated regularly and is consistently manned so responses to inquiries are handled immediately. Once you get a client, it is up to you to KEEP them.
Change 4: Customers avoid the “hard sell.” Potential customers screen calls. Email servers and smart phones have Spam blockers. People research purchases online before approaching a sales person, if they ever reach out to a person at all. Technology prevents us from effectively practicing Outbound Marketing, which is designed to interrupt your demographic with content they didn’t ask for.
Response: Practice Inbound Marketing tactics. Attract customers by creating helpful content and experiences for the customer like informational blog entries and web seminars. When you help customers with problems they already have, you are forming connections and relationships with people and businesses. You are proving your knowledge and abilities. You are inspiring them to pay for your services or product on their terms.
Change 5: Businesses are going paperless and individuals recycle their direct mail advertising items without reading them.
Response: Instead of sending out a mail campaign, or publishing print marketing, focus your efforts on other ways to reach your clients, like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram ads. Consider an email campaign consisting of helpful information and using an ethically sourced email address list.
With the exciting technological progress our world has made, we, as individuals and businesses, have to grow with it. The success and growth of your business depends on it.