The digital marketplace is much like any other, except that it’s a lot bigger and a lot busier. Real estate isn’t a problem, so more stalls are being set up every day, and it becomes increasingly hard to attract the attention of customers amid all the bustle and distraction. Which is why creating a strong online brand identity is key to any digital marketing strategy.
To continue with the bricks and mortar analogy, your website is the equivalent of your shop front- it should be a shopfront that will make people want to go inside. It should consistently represent the values and aesthetic of your business so you present a strong brand identity. Nobody should be in any doubt who they’re dealing with, or why you’re the best at what you do.
And like any other business, good customer service is vital. No matter how much amazing advertising you may do, in the modern world of instant reviews your customers have more power than ever to make or break an enterprise. If they go away happy, not only will they tell their friends, they may very well tell the Internet, and in the process thousands of others they don’t even know. If they go away unhappy… well, you can figure that out yourself. Just make sure they don’t!
Then you have to decide where to put your shop-front. Not literally, of course, but where it will sit in relation to other businesses. This is a dynamic process, as the digital marketplace is always changing, but can be accomplised by building associations between brands and subjects. In the same way that Amazon will offer you recommendations based on what you’ve previously bought, you need to watch what your customers are interested in and market yourself accordingly. This can be as simple as using hashtags on Twitter to piggy-back on relevant trending topics, or as complicated as conducting full-scale market research. Once you know what your customers are looking for and where they’re likely to be looking, you can place yourself so that they will either seek you out or stumble across you, see your beautiful storefront, and pop in for a browse!