Digital sales and marketing is the promotion of products or services using technological distribution channels to reach and convert consumers, resulting in a sale. Digital sales and marketing platforms include email, social media, and the web. Creating email campaigns, search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements, and blogs are also among digital marketing methods used to generate leads and conversions.
As a smaller company, your in-house marketing resources and skill-sets are probably limited, meaning you may struggle to create the necessary strategic digital marketing initiatives. You may think it's too expensive to outsource services to a digital sales and marketing firm, but the good news is smaller companies can outsource ‘a-la-carte' services versus purchasing an enterprise package suitable for a large corporation. Costs for small businesses can vary, depending on the services purchased, but they typically range from £300 to £5,000 per month. Unfortunately, you have to spend money to make money, and having a visible and well-positioned digital presence can quickly boost your sales.
The first step is acknowledging that your business could benefit from a digital sales and marketing agency that specialises in designing customised sales and marketing plans for organisations your size. The next step is determining what business products or services you want to promote. If there's a specific product or service you want to grow, this is a good place to begin. Or, if you'd simply like to expand your reach or you notice your customer base is changing as new generations have new ideas and more earning power, an agency can help you strategise the best digital methods to engage and convert new consumers.
Once you partner with an agency to grow your digital sales, it's time to select the services to best expand your business presence digitally. One area that is helpful to most business owners starting their digital strategy is to develop their organisation's ‘buyer personas’. There will be categories of people that do purchase (or could purchase) your products and each of those categories will go on their own journey with your company. By understanding the characteristics of each buyer category (persona), you can then develop the optimal and customisable user experience. These days, it's critical that businesses provide a positive experience because often that is the only competitive difference. There are lots of choices in the marketplace, so don't let customer experience be the reason they don't convert into a sale.
Another area that is wise to invest in is the research into your competitive digital space. What keywords do you need to optimise for your online content? What is the competition for those keywords? You should also take stock of your online search entries showing up on the first page of Google. Ninety-five per cent of consumers searching online will never go beyond page two, so it's vital that you have relevant, positive content on the first page.
If your company sells products, a solid review of your e-commerce platform is highly recommended. You may also want to determine if 'live chat' is appropriate for the type of products or services you offer. Social media is also a digital platform to keep in the forefront of your mind. Sometimes social media management is key for a smaller business to ensure a healthy flow of new customers.
The best benefit of partnering with a digital sales and marketing agency is that you get to concentrate on what you do best: talk about your business. From there, it's up to the agency to design a plan to achieve your goals. Once the direction of your sales and marketing digital initiatives is determined, you can then decide how you want to maintain the actions associated with keeping the campaigns going and updated.
Contact us to learn more about working with an agency and how we can help transform your business in the digital space.
Andy Barton is the founder of Catalystica and a sales & marketing technology leader. When he’s not helping his clients, you can find him researching the latest business & technology trends or watching F1 & MotoGP - he's a petrol-head at heart!