Alternative marketing options for SMEs

Tuesday December 01 2020
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97 per cent of marketers are using social media to market their products. PHOTO/FILE

The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted life. But even in such unprecedented times, some businesses continue to flourish lending credence to the old adage,  “Even the darkest clouds have  a silver lining.”  There is never a better time than now, for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to explore alternative marketing channels. In this article, we take a look at some.

Social media marketing: This is the use of social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and much more to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales and drive website traffic. It is equally an important tool for customer engagement and customer retention. Social media marketing requires both strategy and creativity. While it may seem overwhelming its importance cannot be overstated. It is so important that 97 per cent of marketers are using social media and 78 per cent of sales people outsell their peers by using social media for their business. Plus, its benefits extend far beyond increasing sales.

Email marketing

This entails sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. Emails can be used to send advertisements, request business or solicit sales. Designing content by adding an appropriate call to action is crucial after all, if brands are taking up subscribers’ time and in box space, with another email, every message must have a point to it.

Search engine optimisation

 This is the practice of increasing that quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. When your site ranks highly, you will consequentially see an uptick in conversions and revenue. The more people look at your website; the more opportunity they have to find a product or service that interests them. Search engine advertising is part of an inbound marketing strategy where an advertiser bids on certain keywords that users type into search engines, in order to display a related ad to those users, hopefully drawing them in to the advertiser’s site. For instance, a key word such as investment club opportunities can be considered and if this key word is placed into a search engine, should drive the user to the dfcu bank website hence the user clicking into the website to look for the required information.

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Pay - per – click:

It is another model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ad is clicked. Essentially, it is a way of buying visits to your sites, rather than attempting to “earn” those visits organically.

By and large, online marketing strategies have to be adopted during these unprecedented times of Covid-19 to maintain engagements with potential customers, create brand awareness, drive sales, and lastly strengthen customer relationships.  

The author is the marketing logistics officer at dfcubank.

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