In the current digital landscape, ‘electronic’ word-of-mouth spreads so fast that a business’ reputation can be built or tarnished in a split second. The power of the masses now resides in the digital platforms making the business reach to consumers easier and cost-effective.
“I think now 90% of businesses understand the importance of having an online presence, but might not understand the essential online marketing tools they need to use to attract clients and customers in 2021”, says Mkhuseli Vangile, Managing Director of Dynaste Communication Firm.
Vangile advises these four digital marketing essentials for South African businesses:
1. Featured snippets
Featured snippets are the search results that appear above Google’s organic results and below purchase advertisements. Businesses should improve their search engine optimization to have featured snippets.
2. User-generated content
This is any form of content that is produced and distributed by users based on their experiences, views or reactions. This is important to enhance two-way communication with your audience. An example is user reviews on Google. When you search for a company on Google, results come up with reviews and star-rated by the users. The more reviews and more stars a company gets from users, the more their Searching Engine scoring grows, that places a brand on top of results for search engines.
3. Video marketing
Two years ago it was still a challenge to use video for online marketing, because data was very expensive. Now in South Africa, 2GB of data costs around R150 to R180, which allows a lot of consumers to be able to watch video content that is between 30 seconds to 3 minutes. This tool is affordable, simple and straight to the point, does not require sophisticated video editing software to create professional short videos.
4. Digital ads
Facebook ads are the most affordable ads online, they start to as little as R10 per ad campaign. LinkedIn ads are expensive but very effective especially to companies that are trying to reach professionals such as management, directors, CEOs etc. Google Ads now require more work for them to bring results, especially if a business wants to receive leads from Google campaigns. Creating and posting a Google Ad will not be enough to get those leads, it will only be good enough to get your campaign impressions and not leads or conversions. Twitter and LinkedIn are two social media channels that are very good at reaching lots of people and getting engagement.
“Marketing your business digitally was made a necessity on 26 March 2020. To get new clients for any business, you now have to invest more in the digital marketing essentials because that is where most people are. Traditional marketing is not dead and is still fully effective, but it is not as effective as digital marketing ”, concludes Vangile.