marketing 

How Many Touchpoints Does A Customer Need Before They Buy? Part 1: Online

Back in the day, the rule of thumb was that a customer needed up to nine brand touchpoints before they brought a product or service!

These touchpoints could be all manner of marketing and sales tools.  From a phone call to an email, a TV advert to a leaflet; it didn’t matter as long as the potential consumers were the right audience for your brand.

These days, with social media and more ways to get in front of your audience, it is safe to assume that a brand has to work much harder to get under the skin of a customer before a relationship turns into one of a seller-buyer.

In this blog are going to go through some of the online touchpoints that are vital to modern day businesses. In part two we will cover offline and traditional methods.

As we go through each point, think about how much time you have to dedicate to carry out each activity. If time is a luxury you don’t have, think about how much budget you need to set aside to outsource some of these tasks.

Online touchpoints

Website:

A website is usually the largest marketing project that a business undertakes. Therefore it is crucial to get it right. The look, tone, and information have to be relevant to entice your audience to want to know more and keep them coming back.

Getting people to find your website is not an overnight job. It is a long-term, on-going commitment to your digital presence. Today’s websites are entirely different to those two years ago. The needs of users have changed. While aesthetics is vital to getting people to take a second look, responsiveness, speed, user experience (UX) and unique regular content is essential to keep them coming back.

A strong brand can only take a business so far if the website doesn’t work properly. It is vital to ensure that your website is maintained, refreshed, and regularly updated to keep people (including the search engines) coming back and browsing. This requires businesses to be producing engaging content that can be shared to draw in the audience. Content could be videos, blogs, reviews, case studies, etc., and they all need to be scheduled in, written/filmed well, optimised, published and shared.

Email Communication:

Let’s face facts; some businesses have started abusing email communications. Inboxes of customers are full of ‘sales’ messages on a daily basis, so what are you going to do to stand out and not get ignored?

The first thing to think about is the content that you are going to share. Will the reader care? Will that encourage them the take action? Then make sure that the subject is so compelling that people click rather than delete. Emojis are the new favourite in subject titles, but are they relevant to your content and right for your brand? Make sure that the topic isn’t misleading; this will be a one-way ticket to the junk box or, worse, being reported for spam!

There is an argument for and against personalising emails. Making the reader feel special can help them have a deeper connection with your business. Then again do customers really believe that you have sat down and penned them a personalised email? Everyone is different, so do some research, ask, segment and evolve.

Guest Blogging & Online PR:

As an expert in your field, you may be able to contribute your knowledge via online publications or as a guest blogger on a well-known website. Seek out opportunities, sign up to a Press Office service or ‘pitch’ your expertise, all PR is good PR!

Also keep an eye out for #journorequests on Twitter, these often have opportunities for businesses to get into the media (online and off) without having to do too much legwork.

Regardless of what you do, make sure that you research where the article will end up. If a website has poor ‘domain authority’ (DA) and it then links to your site, it may do your online marketing efforts more harm than good. Also make sure you ask how many unique visits they get per month, how they push your content and for the stats once the piece has been out for a few weeks.

Social Media:

If your business isn’t harnessing the power of social media, you need to take a serious look as to why!

You don’t have to be everywhere. Research at where your target audience is. Find where your competitors are. See if your website is already getting traffic from any sources then ensure that you have a consistent professional presence. Over 45 million people in the UK alone have active social media accounts and spend on average 110 mins per day on these networks. How are you going to make sure that some of that time is spent interacting with your brand?

Choose your platform wisely and look at your brand identity to put together some guidelines on how you want to be perceived and what content you’re going to share.

Online Advertising:

There are many other ways of advertising your business online. Social advertising is a continual growing area with spend experting to increase 7.4% year on year until 2023. Social advertising allows you to promote your business on social media platforms with laser focus targetting.

AdWords, and other search engine advertising, is another area that businesses often depend on to generate website traffic. These are adverts created via Google to allow your site to jump ahead of the queue for selected search terms and keywords. But it isn’t as easy as that. Your on site SEO and off site SEM need to come together if you don’t want to pay through the nose for bids and want conversions.

In most instances, you have the option to display your advert on third party websites. This is why you see that item you have been umming and erring over pop up where ever you go. Clever hay! It is all based on your search history and tasty cookies that are tracking your every move online.

These are the primary online touchpoints that business tends to use. Here at the Typeface Group, we firmly believe in companies putting together a sales and marketing plan that takes into account all the resources they have available to them, on and offline. Also, doing a few of this touchpoint activities very well is better than trying to do them all half heartily. So if you don’t have the expertise in-house, outsourcing is a great way to get going.

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