Today’s consumers do the majority of their own research online before they even step foot into a store or speak to a sales person. Buyers today are more empowered than ever before. Within several seconds they can discover anything they want to know regarding product quality, availability, and value. Google Think Insights found that 48% of consumers start their inquiries on search engines, while 33% look to brand websites, and 26% search within mobile applications. Businesses have to be ready and willing to engage with their customers on every digital platform and device imaginable.
Social media has become the foundation for most digital marketing efforts. It is easier and remains the simplest platform and usually costs close to nothing using them. Promoting brands, products and services online and through mobile applications is quickly becoming the norm but it is just a fraction of the possibilities available at a marketer’s disposal. Marketers therefore need to discover that impactful digital strategies are now a requirement for building a successful business. Search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and conversion rate optimization techniques work hand-in-hand to decode consumer behaviors, capture customers’ attention, and turn people from potential customers to loyal buyers over time.
Social media, a major piece of the digital marketing puzzle is the easiest piece to use. In today’s world, growth and relevance of any brand is dependent on the effective use of digital marketing platforms. Thus a platform like social media offers businesses the platform to engage with customers, build relationships and provide prompt solutions that suits the customer’s fast paced life. With 36 million Ghanaians owning mobile phones, more and more people are now opting for the use of mobile as means of buying and selling products as well as attending to customers’ feedback and queries.
For many businesses, using social media to market their brand has been a challenge. People have not only grown savvy online, but has also almost become immune to brand tactics. Ads, leaflets, direct mail and email just don’t have the same impact as social media which has put the billboard in the pocket of everyone. This awareness therefore calls for brands to create content that impresses and wows consumer every single day. One thing’s for sure: by using social media, brands have the chance to create a strong media presence by interacting with customers online.
To do that however, it is key not to fall in the same trap as with traditional marketing tactics – repeating the same old strategies over and over again. Businesses need to harness the possibilities online platforms have to offer and present the audience with fresh and original ideas. It is important to consider that, after several years of social media; people have grown accustomed to the new media.
What’s clear is that as part of the ongoing quest to stand out from the competition, companies must listen and learn from their audience and have to map their findings against what else is going on in the social media sphere.
Social Media Week Independent Accra, which is an offshoot of a global conference on social media, can serve as a major platform for businesses, brands and professional to shape their mindset and strategies on how to effectively understand the dynamics of digital marketing in general and how to apply it effectively within the Ghanaian market. It comes off from Sept 11- 15 in Accra. Visit SMWiaccra.com for more details.