Conducting business in retail today means competing with the entire world. This is why it is important to have a strong digital footprint to help connect your business with potential and existing customers. This may seem straightforward: You have your website setup, right? But can you really be sure that you are making the most of what you do digitally?
To find out, we asked Infinity’s in-house expert, Scott Minihane, who gives us five top tips on how you can maximise your business’s digital impact.
That way, whenever a potential customer searches for your business, Google Search Results will display a box to the side containing all of the correct details. And if you want customers to visit you, it’ll ensure that you are listed in the right place on Google Maps. Even Google’s voice assistant will use this information. So just a few minutes of maintenance can really pay off.
2) Make your newsletter something customers look forward to
Your business will, of course, already have a mailing list. And this is great, as persuading an existing customer to return is much easier than acquiring a new customer. But are you really making the most of what you are sending out?
Given how stuffed the average inbox already is, getting any engagement beyond a tap of the “delete” button can be tough. This is why you should think about your mailing list as more than just a vehicle for links back to a shopping cart.
The rapid rise of services like Substack reveal that there is a huge appetite for content beyond the frenetic pace of Twitter and social media. Blogging is back, and email has given a safe space to longer forms of writing. So instead of just using the newsletter to sell, sell, sell, use it to build a community around your company and your brand. Share stories. Make people curious. Tell readers something they didn’t already know. Offer them a new perspective. Make your newsletter an appointment to read. And then when it is time for that all-important call to action, a more engaged readership will be more likely to not just read, but click.
3) Optimise your videos for the YouTube algorithm
Producing video content is a great way of driving new customers to your business. YouTube’s own search box is the world’s second largest search engine (after Google itself) and receives 3 billion queries every month. The only problem is that there are 500 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, so that’s a lot of competition.
So we need to beat the algorithm. YouTube search rewards engagement, such as comments and “thumbs up”, and it rewards watch time: The longer you can keep someone watching your video, the more your video will be recommended to others.
Don’t over-promise and disappoint the viewer, as that will lead to negative reactions. Think carefully about how you structure your videos. Offer a clear hint of what the viewer can expect to see in the video - and then deliver on it, making sure that each video has a suitable pay-off that makes viewers want to see how it turns out. For example, imagine that you are an interior design firm creating a video about renovating a room: Show the viewer the “before” pictures at the beginning, but save the “after” pictures for the big reveal at the end, so they have to stick around to see what happens.
4) Understand how customers are using your website
Having a digital footprint is good. But understanding your digital footprint is better. Make sure that you are using tools like Google Analytics to truly understand how customers are finding your business, and how they are using your website. Can you reduce the number of clicks before check out? Can you better understand what exactly it is they are looking for? What does the average visitor flow look like and how can it be optimised? Do you know if they are finding you through search or social? By keeping close track of this data you can make sure that your business is spending more time doing what works, and waste less time doing what doesn’t.
It’s also worth checking how much of your existing tech stack can integrate with the Google suite, as well as any you are considering. Joining up all of your data sources will help you improve every step of the customer journey and optimise your digital estate.
5) Connect online and offline conversations
And finally, while a customer may start somewhere digital, they may not convert there. For many companies, it is that human connection that finally resolves a customer’s issue or nails the final sale agreement on a major order, and the quickest way people look for that human connection is often via the phone. But unlike traditional web analytics, the phone ringing doesn’t tell us anything about how or why someone is calling. This is where call tracking steps in.
This is a powerful technology that will enable you to connect your business’s digital footprint to incoming calls and queries. Meaning that even before you answer the phone, you’ll know more about why someone is calling.
For example, Infinity will generate unique phone numbers that you can use on your marketing materials. Different keyword searches on Google, or different pages on your website will display different numbers to the customer. So that you can see in just a few calls which marketing strategies are proving the most effective for your business. You can even have dynamic phone numbers appear so that each website visitor can be connected to a specific number. All of which will mean unrivalled insights into how your business’s calls are performing, and a better handle on exactly where your digital footprint is making an impact.