How to use digital to reach customers – before the competition does

How to use digital to reach customers – before the competition does

Advertising is moving as quickly as possible away from traditional media and toward digital formats, with businesses for the first time spending $100 billion a year on ads online. At the same time, mobile has overtaken desktop as the preferred place to view advertising.

That’s useful information if you run the advertising campaigns for Proctor and Gamble, Ford or Walmart.

But what does it mean to small and mid-sized businesses? We provide some ideas in this article.

Go mobile as fast as you can

If you haven’t “optimized” your website for mobile, you need to do it as soon as possible. Too many potential customers are surfing the web on their phones; you can’t ignore them. Optimizing means your website automatically rearranges the important information so it can be quickly consumed on any phone or tablet. Ideally, all your important information, including videos, can be accessed seamlessly while someone is sitting in a coffee shop and conversing with a friend who mentions your services.

Advertising delivered on mobile devices now make up 65.1% of total internet advertising revenues, according to a report on 2018 spending conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). The report documents that advertising revenues delivered on mobile devices totaled $69.9 billion in 2018, a 39.7% increase from 2017 revenues.

Make your website work for your business

You can get new business two ways: Through word-of-mouth and via advertising. Happily, the internet hasn’t yet replaced all face-to-face interaction. But you are missing out on revenue if you aren’t engaging people digitally, because that is where many of your next customers are living.

To be successful with electronic communication, small and mid-sized businesses do not need to conjure up gimmicks that go viral. Instead, it’s important to let consumers know you are available when they need you. That means, when someone googles the type of service or product you sell, they see your website at or near the top of the search list. They click on your site, read about you and what you sell, and realize they need to contact you to discuss their situation and ask more questions.

You are more likely to rate high on Google search when you update your site regularly with new content – blogs about subjects that provide useful information to your potential clients or educational materials about what you sell. When you consistently demonstrate your expertise, more people will find you.

You should also manage social media, with robust sites for your business on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can include advertising to audiences that match your existing pool of customers.

Keep innovating

With the internet, things don’t settle down.

You have probably heard that video is big now. Perhaps you should have a short video introduction of what you do and why it’s better than the competition. And as the IAB survey pointed out, players like Facebook and Google continue to add features, making it easier for advertisers to target audiences ready to buy and convert searches into purchases.

The survey continues, “Combining the use of data in new and innovative ways with continuing advancements in AI (artificial Intelligence), publishers and advertisers alike are able to extrapolate lucrative insights across the complete consumer journey and create a unique opportunity for advertisers: ad targeting according to anticipated purchase intent.”

You don’t need to be the first to implement the newest innovation. But you should be aware of what’s happening — or find someone who will tell you about it — so that you can decide whether the newest method will help you find more customers. That is, before your competition does.

“Surpassing $100 billion in annual revenue is a watershed moment for the digital advertising ecosystem—one built on its power to build direct relationships between brands and today’s consumers,” said IAB president Randall Rothenberg. “Innovative platforms like over-the-top television, podcasts, virtual reality, and augmented reality all have the potential to help marketers forge even stronger ties with audiences, as brands navigate the new ‘consumer first’ playing field.”

Don’t get nervous. For now, it’s enough to make sure your website is inviting, clear and web-friendly.

Does your website need refreshing? Do you have questions about how to make it look great on a mobile phone? Call us at (203) 491-2814 or fill out the form on our website.

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