There is almost nothing we do today in business and marketing that can be separated from the continued march of technology. Everything from communication, sales, recruitment and more can now be enhanced by or carried out via new developments in technology. It’s impossible to encompass all the ways that you can use technology to boost your business, so here are some general areas to look into.
Social media platforms have enormous potential for a brand. Countless marketing campaigns are incredible social media-heavy and for good reason. Chances are, there is a whole untapped, and regularly active, audience for you to try and appeal to.
If you can learn to harness features and appeal to targets effectively, the difference campaign can witness can be enormous. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – all of these have the potential to build brand awareness on.
Your posts should do a number of things:
- Be interesting: There’s no point in posting updates that your followers or potential followers will not find interesting. A headline that draws in your audience and encourages a click. Videos are an effective way to get interest, because many users have autoplay enabled on Facebook and Twitter, so the video will play as they scroll down to them.
- Appeal to your audience: Find out who your audience is and aim your content at them, but not exclusively them. This is where data marketing and tools like Facebook Graph Search come in. You can use this to search for people who like your brand to see what else they like. Say you’re a clothes retailer, and it turns out lots of your customers also like Star Wars, then you can use this information to post Star Wars-related content.
- Be shareable: Shares are more valuable than likes, because it demonstrates a greater level of audience interest and satisfaction. They don’t just like this content, they want their friends and family to like it, too. Of course, it could also be controversial content – something that provokes discussion is more likely to be shared if users want to promote a dialogue with their Facebook friends.
- Be quality: Posts that your audience click that turn out to be poorly written or little do with the headline, will only serve to turn them off your brand. Your content needs to be well-thought out and written well in order to keep your audience coming back.
- Encourage sales: Social media, for retail companies, is all about converting likes and shares into e-commerce. Your aim is to bounce consumers from your social media posts to you or another online retailer selling your product or service.
Before the conception of wireless devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets accessing the internet, workers were very much rooted to their office. This meant that if they’d gone on a business trip or left for lunch, they were effectively cut off from the rest of the company until they got to a phone. This inflexibility has led to problems for several companies over the years.
Marketing has never been totally suited to staying in the office. With reps, managers and a wide range of other key personnel regularly out in the field, a nine-to-five behind a desk isn’t really the best way to go for many companies.
Now however, with almost everyone having a smartphone and several companies opting for business phones for each of their employees, staff remain connected to a portable workspace outside of their office. This means that your account manager is much more likely to be available to deal with a client’s problem, assess situations and conduct research amongst a host of other activities.
Smartphones have several apps, such as word processors, spreadsheets and email which allow your employees to stay in touch and able to do their job even when they’re not in the office. Cloud sharing apps like Google Drive facilitate collaboration, allowing employees to upload and download files to their colleagues. If you’re a business which relies on employees being out in the field, then you’ve got to take advantage of portable workspaces.
Portable workspaces mean that your employees are able to do even more with their time and ensure that clients and customers are much more able to get in touch with the colleague who will be able to help them most. This all means increased output and happier customers and clients.
Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines are ultimately the prime example of tech, marketing and business working together. It’s not enough to have a website. Unless you take advantage of Google (or other search engines) and the slightly odd ways they work, then your website is never getting anywhere near the front page of the search rankings and no one is going to visit it
Work out the keywords that you want to target. You can use several different tools to find out exactly what people are searching for in relation to your product or service. Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for keyword research, to see how many people are searching for this particular keyword and how fierce the competition is around this keyword.
Create interesting, unique and clickable content for your website to draw people in and try and bounce them to sales. Try and get other websites to link back to yours with your high-quality and popular content. Search engines like it when you have lots of links to your site.
There are an incredible number of ranking factors, each carrying various levels of weight. Theoretically at least, getting the majority of these spot on should work wonders for marketing efforts.
The Power of Apps
Look beyond Solitaire and Pokémon Go, apps have enormous potential to make your company more efficient and more productive. To-do list apps like Wunderlist will make sure that you or your employees don’t forget that meeting or conference call. Time management apps like Toggl will show you just how much time is being spent on each aspect of your work, allowing you to alter accordingly and make sure that time is always used effectively.
Mentioned above, but impossible to overstate, apps that allow employees to collaborate both in and out of the office, are absolutely invaluable. Slack and Dropbox are apps that offer a platform for employees to communicate and collaborate in group chats, ensuring that everyone remains on the same page.
There are apps for core business strategies like Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Keep track of all correspondence, meetings, deadlines and projects. An app means that your employees, even when out of the office, will never be in that dire situation where they need to recall important information from memory, while on the phone to a client or customer.
You don’t have to be on the downloading end of apps to take advantage of them. Companies make their own apps to help improve their customer experience, by making their service more streamlined, such as British Airways checking-in and flight booking app. You can also use apps to let customers take advantage of a reward scheme. You’ll have happier customers, as well as a platform to do targeted advertising on. It’s getting easier and easier to make your own app, there are several DIY-app builder programs which make it a much simpler process.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of ways to take advantage of technology to maximise your efforts and returns. Technology is making it even easier to reach consumers and empower employees and undoubtedly will continue to do as more advancements are made.
Tonia Baldwin work at A1 Connect. She has a background in technology and is passionate about how it can be used to improve businesses. With several years of experience in the business technology sector, she has helped a wide range of businesses improve communications and productivity.