Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How I used Digital Marketing to grow my small business...

When I first started my business, I anticipated it to be a local business selling ethnic jewelry to people in my city. Two years later, I reached 1000+ customers across 23 states, 80% of who live outside my State..

This would not have been possible without the use of Digital Marketing strategies and Social Media tools to create awareness and generate Demand. What follows now is a few learnings I gathered along this Journey and strengthen my resolve to make a career a Digital/Social Marketing Professional.

The first few months of my business was mainly local. But then, through word of mouth and customer referrals I started receiving calls and emails from outside town. This prompted me to take my first step which was setting up a Facebook Business Page. I spent some time designing the page and uploading my products on the page and tagged my local customers and friends (with their permission of course).

Quickly it reached about 100 likes in span of 2 days and most people were friends and “friends of friends”. This is where I first tried advertising on Facebook. I had some free Facebook Bucks and I thought I would use them on Facebook ad’s to increase my LIKES. I spent $5 of those bucks and in 3 hours I had 2000 likes. And most of those profiles did not even seem real.

I stopped the Facebook campaign; painstakingly deleted the likes generated by this 3 hour campaign and started working on other means of increasing my audience organically.

Then I started tracking and analyzing the data Facebook provides for business pages. I started identifying which of my posts are generating customer conversations and having an impact on the popularity of my page. I also started tracking the sales, especially after specific posts/promotion.

After identifying what worked, I made it a regular practice to create posts that generate customer engagement – these included regular contests, giveaways and seasonal sales. I also created the ability for my customers to post their photographs wearing my product and that has very positive impact. I posted my product videos on YouTube and provided clickable links for my Facebook page and my website. I applied principles of SEO to add the right kind of key words into my website.

Over two years, I got my hands wet applying various Digital and Social Media Strategies, figuring out what worked and did not. I learnt a lot along the way. This experience demonstrated the power of utilizing these strategies to drive customer engagement and was one of the core reasons why I am currently pursuing roles in Digital Marketing & Media.  This is also the reason why I completed the Digital Media Specialist and Strategist Certifications in Cisco to support my practical knowledge with the science behind Digital Marketing.