When done smartly, your online marketing plan will integrate seamlessly with your traditional tactics, won’t cost a fortune and will expose you to a market that you had previously been invisible to. Here are six more reasons why you should be online:
- Your market and competitors are already there. If you market and sell products or services to a middle-class clientele, you need to extend your strategy
- Web users expect the highest convenience and information at their fingertips. All companies need a website as their central point of contact. If your details don’t come up in a web search, you will be overtaken by those whose details are available.
- Customers are fickle. They will not expend a lot of energy to find you. Even worse, if your competitor is easy to find online, your potential customers will happily turn to them.
- Since South Africans are using, socialising and buying on the web now is an excellent time to move your marketing into the online sphere and capitalise on a new and connected platform.
- Audiences want to interact with and converse about your brand and products. Give them the opportunity to do it in a mediated space and become part of the discussion.
- Online marketing is almost always cheaper and more targeted than traditional marketing. You can reach the best customers more cost effectively.
Educate yourself why you need to be online
Despite its seeming ease and accessibility, digital marketing is not something that just anyone can do without formal training. The online space is full of cultural, legal and financial pitfalls. Traditional strategies don’t translate directly onto the web. Customers have different and challenging expectations. The way that you spend money and schedule your campaigns can work very differently. Along with the plethora of new developments, tools, protocols, strategies and approaches, it is impossible to keep up with everything on your own. Keeping yourself educated and informed is the only way to ensure that you stay relevant and innovative. There are two parts to this: first, learning the basics and the principles of the field; and second, keeping up with new developments.
Remember the realities
When marketing online in South Africa, it is important to keep certain realities and risks in mind:
- When compared to the overall population, relatively few people are online, and those who are usually have limited data and slow connections. Anything that you put online has to be accessible to the lowest common denominator. Many South Africans browse the web on their cellphones or tablets. Therefore, try to keep your marketing mobile friendly whenever possible.