When starting a business, you usually focus on how to get the first group of customers walking into your door. You may use traditional forms of advertising such as flyers and brochures. Or perhaps, placing big signs on the road or relying on word-of-mouth marketing.
All these methods may trickle your business. But, these strategies can take up too much of your time. So, why not get out of your comfort zone and try something new? Take advantage of using the internet for your marketing campaign.
How Marketers Can Better Promote Small Enterprises Online
Majority of the consumers can be found online and searching for answers and solutions. For the longest time, these technological advancements have transformed the customers’ thinking process. And, as a result, changed the way they behave as well.
Now, the challenge is, what type of digital marketing solutions is best for your business? So, we conducted a survey and asked few questions to some of the most digital marketing experts in the Philippines. Here’s what they have to say.
Consider the Level of Commitment
According to Dawn Jasmine Pangilinan, an experienced product marketer, “There are several factors that one must take into account when starting a business and going online is no different. Before making the jump, one must consider the level of commitment he/she is willing to take.”
She says, “These days an online presence is seemingly a prerequisite for almost any business type. From experience, I can tell you that it shouldn’t be. Think of it as jumping into a trend without checking if the clothes will fit and match the owner.”
“On any action, one must have the end in mind to go about the right means. You can’t just keep on moving blindly. Whether you’re the marketer, technical or the sales guy, you have to ask yourself about the impact an action generates”, she adds.
She also explains that “The marketer might say, “let’s go online – create an e-commerce site, SoMe, etc” The tech and sales guy might both agree but success rate depends greatly on all other factors such as supply and demand, business readiness. You might be able to launch online but you might not be able to sustain your demand because of the lack of supply which would result to an underutilized site because what can you sell if your supply can’t sustain both online and offline? Likewise, content can be hard to plan if you are short-sighted”.
Dawn also gives her advice to aspiring marketers. “Think of it as being invited to a buffet, all the offerings are enticing but at the end of the day, you can only take what you can consume. Lastly, offline before online and it is also always offline AND online. You cannot go online without managing offline properly. Omni-channel planning is critical. Most brands, MNCs and startups alike are failing because their efforts are not in sync.”
“I believe in simplified marketing – before any action, think about the ROI it’ll generate – you’ll know the best move after”, utters Dawn.
Social Networks are a Popular Choice
We also asked Ginger Arboleda, founder and CEO of Manila Workshops, and here’s what she answered. “It really depends on the kind of business that you have. Well, popular choices in the Philippines are Facebook, Google and Influencer Marketing.”
Mommy Ginger also adds that “it depends on where your market is. You need to target them where they are. For a lifestyle product, I invest heavily in Facebook ads. For complex product, content marketing works for us.”
Optimise All Digital Marketing Initiatives
Xyrus Salvador, a certified social media marketer and digital marketing specialist, also shares his expert insights. “If a business is looking for reach, speed and are looking to a rich market segmentation I would say that Social Media is the best as of the moment.”
“I would learn about the company by heart, audit and optimize social media pages, optimize social and website integrations, double down on content, develop sales pages according to best practice and run traffic from social media. I would also leverage paid traffic to speed up the process and optimize all digital marketing initiatives”, says Xyrus.
Target Specific Market
Founder and managing partner at RML Solutions Co. Ltd and Pandeli, Ruel Luna, agrees that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the best places to market a business. Ruel also says, “If you have a limited budget, just target your specific target market by age bracket, location and interests.”
Still, Content is King
Philippines’ Business Consultant and Co-Director Manila Summer 2014 at The Founder Institute David Elefant thinks that “Content marketing” the best digital marketing solution to advertise/promote a local business. David also adds, “ [By] Continuously adding relevant, and useful content to a company’s blog, and targeted social media sites, groups and forums” should be best implemented when promoting a business online.
Focus NOT on One Channel
“Generally speaking — a little bit of everything. If a business can run both FB page and an official website — I think that is more effective. The same thing goes with SEO and SEM. Local businesses should be well rounded and not focus on one channel”, says Victor Vera Acordon III, AVP – Digital Marketing at TGC.
When asked about the best way to implement a business promotion online, Victor answers, “I’d start with a Facebook page and build a decent number of followers and eventually create a website just to help my market focus on my brand.”
There is No-One-Size-Fits-All Solution in Digital Marketing
Gino Paolo Diño also shares inspiring insights based on his experience as a Content Strategy Expert, Online Editor and Pseudonymed Writer.
“While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, I think a combination of targeted ads along with inbound marketing and conversion optimization is customizable enough to suit most businesses’ digital marketing needs,” says Gino Diño.
“The ratio of advertising to marketing spend will differ from company to company, and will probably primarily rely on their stage of growth and technological maturity, e.g. newer businesses with more aggressive lead generation objectives might spend more on outbound advertising (retargeting and RTB PPC, social media ads, etc) while more developed companies with an internal team they can leverage might want to go for internally generated content marketing.”
“Either way, conversion optimization always plays a role somewhere down the line if the company wants to maximize their digital marketing efforts.” the content strategy expert said.
Modern Digital Marketing is On-The-Rise in PH
Gino also pointed out that the rise of modern digital marketing is trending in the Philippines. Implementing the best strategy “depends entirely on the local business and the customers they are trying to reach.” he explains.
“[But] I think what’s more important for local businesses in the Philippines is to educate them on modern digital marketing strategies because most still tend to think very traditionally and conservatively. I.e. when they think “marketing,” they might think of giving away flyers and putting up posters, and when they think “advertising,” they might think TV, radio, newspaper, and billboard ads.”
“So for the most part, when they take this line of thinking online, what they don’t understand is it simply does not translate well. It’s not their fault, of course. That’s why there are consultants like me. lol. Online, the effects of advertising and marketing can almost always be traced back to the effort. This means businesses need to identify more well-defined objectives (so they need to go from “place a billboard on EDSA where it will be seen by thousands of people a day” to “increase a specific webpage’s new views monthly by 300% in 2 months and try to convert 20% of all returning traffic”).
This also necessitates that they put more thought into their strategy and the process they put into place to execute it and really understand what sort of technology, platforms, and tools can maximize their digital marketing efforts (e.g. they need to know what Analytics is and why they need it, etc).
They need to understand content delivery networks and management systems—well, not completely understand them, but at the very least know how these work since these will form the foundations of what they want to do. The same goes for all other marketing tools and platforms, and there are a LOT of them now”, adds the veteran digital content strategist.
Gino also shares his experience when dealing with his clients. He says, “So the very first step to implement a digital marketing effort for a local business is to make sure the business fully understands what’s going to happen, not necessarily on a technical level, but to a degree where it’s clear what I require from them, and what they can get from my services. In my experience if this is not established upfront, there are going to be many problems ahead; the rest is just standard digital marketing best practice, really.”
Seasoned digital marketer, Carl Benedic Pantaleon, also shares his insight on the current digital marketing landscape. “Start local,” he said. “Outreach and target local audience through paid campaigns and surveys. Create or host an event related to your local business.”
Carl also adds some of his useful strategies on how to successfully implement the right digital marketing technique. He says, “First things first. Do some research (check competition, gather information, create a draft). However, my go-to implementation are social media campaigns (sponsored/paid campaigns), hosting an event / creating survey, and outreach influencer in your industry, coordinate with them and SEO for the long-term goal.”
Take Advantage of Social Media
Obviously, a lot of digital marketers agree that social networks play a vital role in promoting a business online. In fact, I.T. Romulus of Scroll Down and Read, says that “[using] Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google Plus, and Reddit” is a great way to pour down more efforts in terms of digital marketing.
Create Content that Target Your Audience
“I believe the best digital marketing solution to advertise/promote a local business is to create content that your target audience will find interesting and use ads or an influencers platform that have an audience within the area of the business”, says Tiwa Osifuwa, Co-founder and Director of Limitless Influence.
Tiwa also recommends, “Given the chance to promote a local business online, the first thing that we need gain is exposure. Obscurity is your biggest enemy.”
“To do this, Limitless would reach out to content creators that have built a strong community and content aligns with the brand’s message. We will then decide on which creators are most suitable and work towards producing content with the creator to create brand awareness and influence purchase behaviour.
As we track what type of content is performing the best on which platform etc, we can refine and improve our efforts to maximise efficiency and effectiveness. This would be the first step to promoting a local business using Limitless Influence, however depending on what the business is, our initial approach may vary”, explains Tiwa.
Invest in Paid Advertising
As a global marketer and growth expert, Tom James says, “Depends on the business. Most can benefit from paid advertising” when asked about the best digital marketing solutions for business.
“Firstly, it’s listings all around the web (like Google and Yelp) need to be spot on with as many nice images and as much good information as possible. Then, there needs to be a social media presence that gives value to potential clients. Then, I would pump some money into Google Ads and Facebook Ads to promote to the best audiences in the local area,” says Tom.
Furthermore, web marketing expert, Christian Morales, also suggests businesses to promote a website is doing a PPC and Social Media Ads. Christian says, “If I have a chance to promote my business I have to set the demography, location and set the number of impressions every day.”
Clearly, the advantage of utilising social media giants is now the most ideal place to promote a business. For Ghen of Lead Convert Media, she prefers Facebook Advertising while Irene Ruth Hernandez, a digital marketer, would go for LinkedIn Ads.
Know What Your Business Needs
“I believe that there’s no one solution for all types. It will all depend on what each of these businesses needs.” Jil Sepulchre-Lagayan, a skilled digital marketing strategist and data analyst, says. “If the local business would only need awareness, then Facebook is the best way to go. If it needs to be number one on one location, then it needs to focus on local marketing.”
“The one thing I learned about marketing that sticks is that for a solution to be baked, the problem or the goal needs to be identified”, says Jil.
Use Programmatic Marketing and Real-Time Consumer Intelligence
“From an advertiser’s standpoint, a solution utilizing a mix of programmatic marketing and real-time consumer intelligence would be the best insight/feedback system for a digital performance marketer. This will allow an organization to empirically adjust their marketing, brand, and product strategies in the most efficient way possible”, says John Pinto, Brand Ambassador at Coinmirror.co.
John adds, “I’d start with defining target audience cohorts and subsequently conducting UX benchmarking tests with them. This should undermine the digital marketing strategy for a brand going forward.”
Inform, Entertain, Entice Action
Being in charge of the management of all social media and online marketing efforts, Adellon Asnawi never fails to share some of the most amazing thoughts about digital marketing solutions.
He says, “There is no one size fit all solution for digital marketing but for local businesses, it is best to tap on the social media platform and maximize its potential.
Facebook and Instagram are the safest and cheapest way to go about the process. I always make sure to follow the three basic social media rule when promoting a business – Inform, Entertain and Entice Action. When starting up a local business this is a sure fire way to go.”
Moreover, Adellon recommends these tips when implementing a promotion for business online.
- Build social media visibility. In an era where people search for details of businesses in Social Media more, it is a must to complete all details on these platforms. Make sure you are searchable, key in important contact information and location details. This will allow your customers to connect with you easily.
- Build an awesome customer service experience. Add chat widget to your site and reply promptly to customers. Check tawk.to for easy and free chat plug-in integrations.
- Don’t be afraid to spend on paid advertisement. Check what social media platform drives more activities to your site and take off from there. I usually suggest that you start with the first suggestion, test out the platform, then go for paid advertisement.
- Constantly tweak your strategy. It is a simple process of planning, implementing, and evaluating. Always work wonders!
Digital marketing experts agree that there is actually no-one-size-fits-all solution is best for a business. But, using Paid Ads as the form of a digital marketing campaign is the most recommended solution. This includes Facebook Ads, Google Ads, PPC and more.
Moreover, Facebook continues to be the most ideal channel for the SMEs to promote their business. But, focus on understanding them and speak to them directly.
Get a digital marketing expert today for better marketing solutions to your business.