Ashley Smith on The Buyers Journey and Mobile Responsiveness

Ashley Smith ReachLocal

Ashley Smith is Partner Development Manager at ReachLocal and she specialises in PPC & Display Advertising, Strategic Account Planning, Program Development.

Ashley joined a panel of expert speakers at the WSI Digital Summit held in Cheltenham and Gloucester in July of 2015. She joined speakers from WSI, Google, Bing, HubSpot and many more to discuss the world of digital marketing, it’s effect on business and how to harness it’s power to grow your business.

In 2015 we no longer ‘go online’ like we did 10 years ago. Now we live online. Tablets, Smartphones, Smartwatches and such devices give us the ability to be online everywhere all the time. Client interactions no longer only happen on your website, now they take place all over the web. Interactive discussions about your product or brand can be happening on forums or social media all the time. This means your potential customers are active 24/7 and you need to be ready to engage them every minute of every day. If you’re not there your competitors will be.Digital Summit ReachLocal

Gone are the days of reaching out to customers before they’ve got all the information they need at hand. By the time a customer contacts you they will have at least searched about your product or service, probably compared your product to others, read reviews etc. To keep up in this modern world your marketing strategies must embrace all these changes.

The majority of consumers will refer to some sort of review or comparison before they ever contact you directly. This means you need to be proactive in managing your reputation online in all of it’s facets. Social Media, review sites, search results and so forth.

Local searches via smartphone have risen by hundreds of percent in the last 5 years. This means that having a mobile responsive website is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.

87% of smartphone owners use their phone to access a search engine and make a query at least once a day. Having a website that is properly optimised for mobile and that is well reviewed is vital to attracting new customers from local searches. Google now penalises sites that are not Mobile responsive.

ReachLocal Digital Summit

Over 80% of time spent using Smartphones is spent within Apps. This means developing an App or ensuring compatibility with third party Apps can dramatically boost your brand visibility. A bespoke App helps with customer retention and repeat business as it makes the customer’s experience far easier. Who wants two Apps that do the same thing? Make sure a customer downloads your App first and they’re going to keep using it.

The fundamentals of digital marketing haven’t changed so much in the last decade. It’s still about understanding your customers, what attracts them, drives them and in the end what converts them. Considerations of location, seasonality, the big ‘why’ questions etc. These are all still fundamental to understanding the buyer’s journey and keeping them satisfied.

With all of this emphasis on Apps and local searches on the go it might be easy to overlook the classic marketing tool of the call-back. However despite some changes to marketing some things remain the same.

50% of customers will do business with the first company to call them back.

Emailing a new contact within 20 minutes boosts conversion rate by 49%. Generating leads is one thing but without proper follow up you risk wasting marketing budget as leads don’t drop down the funnel to become customers.

Utilising Retargeting allows another layer of brand reinforcement. Retargeting can add value at all levels of the Buying Funnel and across various channels, Site to Social, Search to Behavioural.. It must be a part of the greater digital marketing strategy, Retargeting doesn’t work if it’s an afterthought and not properly implemented alongside SEO and PPC.

Mobile Smartphone Tablet

To summarise the talk into 4 Key Points, this is how to maximise your Digital Marketing ROI:

  • Be mobile responsive!
  • Keep your details up to date! (Maps, Reviews, Contact)
  • Track Calls and Call Back!
  • Retargeting must be an integrated part of your strategy, not an afterthought!

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