Digital Marketing and Ecommerce for 2015 – Part 3

james bradburyIn this final instalment, James Bradbury of DSN Marketing is looking at social media, Google Shopping and working with agencies .

Be social and make new friends – Social Media in 2015
If you’re not social yet, 2015 is the year to start. It’s a common complaint of CEOs and Directors that social media doesn’t have a tangible ROI – while this may contain a modicum of truth (to an extent), it’s actually an attitude that misses the point of engaging with social media.

The first reason you should be using social media is because your customers are using social media. Depending on what you read, various reports and statistics suggest that between 50 and 75 per cent of prospective customers use social media to check out a brand before making a purchase – even if this figure is on the high side, it’s still an amount worth engaging with, especially if you’re trading on your brand name. And of course, a bit of well thought out social media is great for brand awareness!

Secondly, social media is a brilliant customer service tool. Yes, you might get someone complain publically, but you can use this to your advantage – deliver brilliant customer service for the world to see, and you’ll reap the rewards for your brand. If you’re worried about people taking advantage of your good nature, don’t be – it’s only a really small per cent of online consumers who complain when there isn’t a problem.

A golden rule of social media is to not be too product focused; you’re not really using social media to stuff products down the throats of your audience. Sure, it’s worth showing off some of your new SKUs, but you don’t want to drive your audience away. Instead, stick to things that are interesting and relevant – link to articles or blog posts, include videos and pictures that you like – try to serve content that people want to read. When people look at your brand on social media, they’re not just looking to see your product catalogue, they want to see the human side of your business. We usually recommend to our clients that a good ratio for social media is one product posting per ten posts.

Shop ‘til you drop! – Google Shopping
This should have no or very minimal effect on your business, but it’s worth watching this space just in case. Google are rolling out changes to the Shopping Content API in February, and this might have a knock on effect if you’re using a third-party system to manage your Google Shopping – they may well have already been in contact with you to inform you of this! It’s possibly worth firing over a quick email or checking their update releases just to make sure everything is in hand though.

In general, Google Shopping (which replaced PLAs) is a really great tool that can offer you fantastic conversion rates by displaying your products at the top of Google Search with a product image. They’ve also just released (November 2014) a host of updates designed to give much better metrics and diagnosis, which will give you greater control of your Google Shopping account.

If you’re not already, it’s definitely worth looking into Google Shopping. While it can be a bit tricky to get the product feed set up with the right level of customisation and detail to match your needs, it’s also a great way of getting extra conversions and has a very good ROI.

Test the water – Working with an agency
Ok – we might be slightly biased here, but we think using agencies can be a really great way of giving some of this a go – by working with an agency, you usually get access to a lot of talent and expertise for a much smaller cost than taking this on yourself. Try and work on a trial basis initially, and make sure you work with an agency that suits your needs and understands what you are trying to achieve. Ultimately, if some of this goes really well, you may end in the position where you can expand your workforce and bring the talent in-house. In the short term, agencies are a great option to consider though!

Thanks for taking your time to read this; with any luck it has been helpful! We hope to be back in the future (if we’re invited back) with more detail on some of these ‘resolutions’. If you’d like to find out more about what DSN Marketing can offer you, please leave a comment below or contact us at info@dsnmarketing.co.uk.