When I started my F&B business few years back in Singapore with my friends , my concern was how to get regular foot fall of customers as location was not easy accessible by public transport .
We started tie up with few event organiser where we use to showcase our cuisine and batter with free food for the event organiser staff. It was not a smart way and we found a smarter way.
SMM was gradually picking up at that time and so decided to go the Digital way too. And it paid off.
Digital Marketing is a better and easier way to grow your business. Small businesses should consider the huge marketplace of prospects online. Why ?
Look at the number of internet users and the projection in coming years (based on data available online)
Number of internet users in Singapore from 2017 to 2023 (in millions)
Also there is tremendous amount of increase in the number of mobile phone users in Singapore.
Number of smartphone users in Singapore from 2014 to 2022 (in millions)*
The group of potential customers that are found online is a much larger group of people than you are likely to be able to attract locally. Using digital marketing, you can reach an enormous audience in a way that is both cost-effective and measurable.
What are the benefits of online marketing I see as a business owner:
- You reach out only to the people who will be interested in your product/services
- It gives you opportunity to interact with your prospect customer , understand their requirement better
- Your reach in marketplace. You are visible not only locally but globally.
- Return on your investment done on digital marketing is high when compared to traditional marketing methods
- Easy to build a rapport with your customers using Social Media Marketing and retargeting those is easy and cost effective.
- Your marketing campaign is tracked real time and can be fine tuned to get most out of your money
In nutshell , it is COST EFFECTIVE AND MEASURABLE
So, Do I need Google or Facebook to grow my business ?
This is a very common question that comes to person mind who is new to digital marketing.
Let me explain in a one simple line:-
Google :- Prospect customers looks out for your business
Facebook :- Your business go out to look for prospect customers
To elaborate , let me explain with an example :-
A person new to Singapore is looking for School for his Son who is currently in Playschool. He Googles it and looks for Kindergarten School in Singapore and looks for the top search result based on his search.
Here School ( business ) is on the Google 1st result page and the smart salesman which is School’s Website is available 24X7 to bring in new admissions.
But when School is looking for new admissions , it can leverage the power of Social media where It can show case the value it brings for child future and keep parents and students engaged by running regular campaign highlighting student achievements results , testimonies of parents, events for a social case etc.
So, Social Media such as Facebook if followed as a religion can bring results (admissions in this case) and leads can be directed to Website for conversion.
Long story short, need to have both Google and Facebook with the right mix. It is more of a cyclic process.
This makes sense for my business to kick start , stablise and scale ,
But, what exactly do I need to do ?
Digital Marketing is a vast field in itself and has many verticals. Let me briefly touch base each one :-
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
It is a type of digital marketing which uses the benefits of social networking sites (Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn etc) as a tool of promoting websites, thus increasing traffic towards them ,learning and improving from users’ direct reactions.
This is the most important part of your Digital presence
You would need to ensure that your website and all corresponding pages have the ability to pull in any prospect that visits your site.
It is a salesperson that efficient , punchual , hard working , knowledgeable available 24X7.
Email campaigns will help you to be in regular touch with your customers , and establish rapport/authority while working the prospect toward purchasing your product or service.
Building a email database is a very crucial part of your digital marketing strategy. You want to take every opportunity to get their email address which could be in form of promotion, free download, blog etc . Getting email ids and then capitalize on it by converting them .
PPC (a.k.a Pay per click)
You can set up your PPC ads to land on any number of lead magnets from downloadable content to buying your product or service .
Let’s use the previous example of the School . If you are running a PPC campaign you will have a good chance to convert people who are in need of their kids’ admission. So not only are you spending less money but your money is translating into hot prospects.
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is all about generating organic leads through content. It is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website to users of a web search engine. SEO refers to the improvement of unpaid results, and excludes direct traffic/visitors and the purchase of paid placement (PPC).
It is a long term cost effective process and has far more better results compared to PPC. It can be compared with a marathon whereas PPC is expensive and gives instant result is a sprint.
It involves the creation and sharing of online material such as videos, blogs, and social media posts that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to build or stimulate interest in its products or services.
It builds trust, generate leads, and cultivates customer loyalty, and it has become the new normal from the consumer side. Using content marketing, you should be striving to change and enhance your customer’s behaviour toward your business in a positive manner.