A crucial part of business development is having a digital strategy, however some business owners are scared to jump into new digital platforms because it can be largely unknown territory and may be difficult to measure the success of it. That being said, there are still plenty of ‘niche’ alternatives that have survived for years, and when paired with more ‘established’ platforms, could really assist in driving traffic to your business. Here are some platforms that you may not have considered before:
Practice unexplored mediums
You can focus a large part of your marketing strategy on traditional social media methods such as pictures and tweets, however there are other mediums you can integrate that could be assist in reach to your target audience. Video content has advanced rapidly in the digital age and now harbours huge business advantages. One example could be ‘live videos’ which are a new wave of video content gaining popularity on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, allowing followers to see what you are doing instantaneously. One of the biggest perks of live videos is that all of your followers are notified when you are creating one.
Integrate content sharing platforms
With more than 1 billion users, as AdWeek state, YouTube has “300 hours of video uploaded every 60 seconds”. A large majority of those videos are either ‘product reviews’ or ‘how to’ videos, which both carry significant weight in the business world. The potential to reach new audience members through a channel like YouTube is palpable. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits you’ll see is that YouTube videos are highly valued by Google which will assist in your SEO ranking and acts as free advertising. As an alternative, Vimeo is also a fantastic video sharing platform that thrives in a more niche community. Still with a significant audience of 280 million; it presents an opportunity to have your voice heard in a more close knit community.
Consider the prospects of paid media
Promoting your brand organically can feel relentless and sometimes it doesn’t offer the results you had hoped for. However, through employing paid media into your digital strategy, you can ensure that your content is reaching your audience. Paid media is in essence just advertising, which may seem expensive, but there are paid media tools out there that work within budget. Google AdWords is a service where you can pay for keywords to ensure that your website appears when those words are searched. The best part, however, is that you are in control of your budget and only invest as much as you want.
Portion some of your budget to influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is making a large statement in the business environment as it has been shown to fuel business growth. Iconic Australian brand Frank Body began as a $5000 start-up, but “they now make nearly $20 million a year in revenue” thanks to successful endorsement, mostly from Instagram models. Influencers are certainly becoming more aware of their power and leverage they command in the digital marketing sphere. Subsequently businesses are allocating larger parts of their budget into influencer marketing. Influencer marketing means you can receive a near immediate response from audience members and a new opportunity to stimulate business growth.
Assess your target audience
As you continue to take new avenues to drive your brand’s exposure, you will need tools to assist in measuring your business success. Google Analytics is a free online tool that allows you to track website traffic. Probably one of the most exciting and useful features of Google Analytics, is that you are able to monitor where a large sum of your audience comes from on a world map. You may find it surprising to see how well your business is being received on both a national and international scale.
Acknowledge your audience
Third party platforms such as Yelp or Tripadvisor are extremely useful for analysing individual feedback from your audience. These services allow your customers to praise or suggest feedback for your business. There are also tools available for you to respond to them – acknowledging your audience is extremely important in the online environment.
Digital integration might seem daunting because many of these platforms offer different services that could be useful to your business. However, if you can spare the time, researching what the perks are of each platform could serve a multitude of advantages to your business. That said, if it is proving to be too much then I would not rule out consulting a professional about the digital options you should utilise.
 Sullivan, R. 2017, ‘How two women turned a $5000 coffee scrub start-up into a $20 million dollar beauty brand’, News.com.au, accessed < http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/face-body/how-two-women-turned-a-5000-coffee-scrub-startup-into-a-20-million-beauty-brand/news-story/4c883c122eb172a66132ae3fe4351ac3>