Digital Marketing, How To Guide for American Express Merchants

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1 Digital Marketing, How To Guide for American Express Merchants americanexpress.com.au/merchant How to promote yourself online and successfully grow your business in the digital world 1

2 Contents 1. Introduction Pg 3 An introduction to Digital Marketing and its role in promoting your business 2. Building an Online Presence Pg 4 An overview of the Online world and the ways to benefit from it as a tool to promote your business 2.1 Why Online The Benefits Pg Building a Brand Website Pg Adding ecommerce Capabilities Pg 7 to your Website 3. Different ways of increasing your presence Online Pg 8 Analysis of the different channels available within the Digital Marketing mix and their various benefits 3.1 Organic Search Pg Organic Search Maps Pg Paid Search Pg Offer Providers Pg Partnership Marketing Pg s and Directories Pg Social Media Pg Summary Pg 15 A summary of the key channels and benefits available within the different channels discussed in Section 3 5. Glossary Pg 17 Summary of helpful terms and phrases used in this document and / or in the world of Digital Marketing (Glossary terms are in Bold and Underlined throughout the document) Also see our Social Media Marketing Guide at americanexpress.com.au/merchant for more in-depth step by step guidance on how to promote your business via Social Media channels. All information contained within this guide is correct at time of publication (January 2013). 2

3 1 Introduction Research shows that more Australians are purchasing online than ever before. The average connected Australian spends over 22 hours a week on the internet (1), keeping up with their social networks, browsing for restaurants, gift ideas and online shopping, so having a presence in the digital world really is key to connecting with new customers. This guide provides an overview of the Online world and how to best use it as a marketing channel. With step by step tips to get you started in a variety of digital channels, you can be confident that your business will be present, whenever customers are looking for you. Over the next few pages you ll find helpful hints and tips to get you started, as well as a steer on likely costs. There is also a glossary to help you understand, and talk with confidence about your business, online. (1) Nielsen The Australian Online Consumer landscape March

4 2.1 Why Online The Benefits More than 80% of Australians aged 16 years and above are active online (2) Growing Your Business 80% of Australian households have an internet connection. With the average person spending more than 2hr 12mins per day online (3), so the internet provides many opportunities for independent businesses to reach new and existing customers in increasingly personalised ways. Social media, partnership marketing and also allow smaller businesses to get closer to their customers than ever before, inexpensively and effectively allowing you to target potential customers and tailor products and services to large numbers of interested individuals. Of course not every Online channel will be suitable for every business, but the beauty of online is that it only requires minimal investment to get started, allowing you to test and learn where your audience is, what they want, and how to connect with them easily. Scale and Segments The scale of online audiences can be impressive, but what makes the internet such a useful marketing tool is the ability to segment large audiences into smaller, interested niches who can be targeted with specific sales materials, offers or messages at times when potential new customers are actually looking for them. For extremely targeted advertising, Social Media channels can be very effective for local businesses. Want to reach women in their 30 s working in IT and based in Melbourne? How about graduate men who love coffee and reading science fiction? No problem. Not only can you identify these audiences, you can also target them when they are looking for businesses like yours. (2) Nielsen The Australian Online Consumer landscape March 2012 (3) Roy Morgan June

5 2.1 Why Online The Benefits (cont.) Australia s internet users spent an average of 60 hours online per month in 2012 (4) Tracking and Measurement Being able to find your potential customers among the masses online can seem like a daunting task, however there are many online technologies to make it easier to identify potential new customers and connect with them. Unlike traditional and often expensive media such as print or television, online advertising allows you to track the performance of digital marketing campaigns as they happen, allowing you to monitor or divert your advertising spend instantly as you see what s working. Monitoring a campaign will help you understand seasonal shifts in customer purchase behaviours, as well as identifying times of the day or days of the week when users interact most with your marketing. These customer insights can help you to understand more about your customers and the best ways to engage them in future marketing activities. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights. These user friendly tools are designed to work seamlessly with most online media to give useful insights into digital advertising performance and customer search behaviours online. Google has several free tools such as Google Analytics and Google s Trends. These monitor customers historical searches online, so, for example, searches for the word flowers peak online in the days leading up to Mother s Day. This kind of information can help you identify peak times when users are actively seeking products and services. (4) Roy Morgan June

6 2.2 Building a Brand Website Total online shopping in Australia reached $22.8bn in the 12 months to June 2012 (5) Get a website With Australia becoming increasingly online, both at home and on the move, having a website is just as important to your business as a business card or your name above the door. However basic and however little you spend, some kind of presence is better than none. Things to watch out for A successful website does take some work to get started. Concentrate on creating text that includes the keywords that consumers will use to search. Photography is also extremely important: invest in a lightbox to make sure that your product images look their best on your site. Why use it? Over 87% of all internet searches conducted in Australia are on Google. (6) If you don t have at least a single web page containing your contact numbers and address, you are almost certainly missing out on potential business. Is it for me? Google processes more than 1 billion searches every day. Can your business afford not to be on it? (5) Roy Morgan June 2012 (6) Roy Morgan June

7 2.3 Adding ecommerce capabilities to your Website In 2012, over 6.3% of all Australian retail sales were made online (7) Selling Online Only 43% of Australian small to medium businesses have a web presence, of these the vast majority do not sell online (8) - and are missing out as a result. Adding ecommerce functionality to your website can give your business an extra income stream that is open for business 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Why Use It According to PWC, 9.6 million Australians aged over 15 will make purchases online in (9) The Australian and New Zealand Online Shopping report found that in 2012 online shopping in Australia will increase 17.9 percent to $16 billion, and is predicted to grow to $26.9 billion by McKinsey Consulting found that small to medium enterprises with a strong web presence grew more than twice as quickly as those that had minimal or no presence. (10) Things to Watch Out For Although it can be quick and easy to set up an ecommerce website, running one on an ongoing basis can be time consuming and having some knowledge of HTML code and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tactics can help. Letting a third party partner run your ecommerce can be a costeffective way to get started. Is It For Me? If you can send an , then you can probably set up an ecommerce website. Don t be put off. There are simple tools that allow virtually anyone to set up an ecommerce website quickly, regardless of your online proficiency. (7) PWC Digital Media Research July 2012 (8) PWC Digital Media Research July 2012 (9) PWC Digital Media Research July 2012 (10) McKinsey Global Institute May

8 3.1 Organic Search Australian visits to search engines rose to over 800 million in October 2012 (11) Organic Search Organic search means how your business or service ranks in free website listings that are returned by search engines. These website listings are returned based on the relevancy to the search term or keywords entered by users. Is it for me? Keyword and search term optimisation should be a consideration for any small business as organic search results are the first online touch-point for potential customers wanting information, researching or buying products. A high listing on search engine results will enable your business to drive higher levels of traffic to your site, which in turn will increase awareness and conversion to sale, whether it be online, a phone enquiry or a visit to your shop. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and volume of traffic to a website by achieving a higher listing on the search results page. Why use it? A high listing on search engines can potentially drive higher levels of traffic to your site. This may result in more online sales, phone enquiries or visits to your shop. Things to watch out for It can take three to six months to improve your organic search rankings using basic SEO techniques, but efforts in this area will increase overall traffic to your site in the long run. How to get started? For some quick wins, ensure that keywords relevant to a search for your business (e.g. yoga studio ) are present in the HTML for your webpage, text, textiles, headings and links. (See glossary) (11) Hitwise Experian, Search Usage, October Google Top Tip: Monitor your site s performance and traffic levels 8

9 3.2 Organic Search Maps 42% of people visited Google maps in the last 4 weeks, (12) 74% of Internet enabled phone users use maps it is the number one application used (13) Search Engine Map Listings People frequently use search engines to find locations and addresses. There are several free, map based technologies available that your business can use to publicise your bricks and mortar location and help drive footfall to your business. Adding your business details to Google Maps makes great commercial sense. The free-to-use platform gives you wide coverage and ensures people performing local searches can easily find you. Why use it? Google Maps is free and allows your business to capitalise on local searches. Adding a detailed map of your location makes it easy for customers to find you or contact you - your website, physical address, and phone number are also listed. The set up process also allows you to offer discounts or vouchers for online customers. Things to watch out for Map listings have a verification process that requires you to be the business owner. Add all the information required, include relevant descriptions and add flair with images. A thorough map listing contributes to your business being more prominently displayed than others. How to get started? To get started you need to open an account on Google places (www.google.com/places), register the address and the accompanying details of your business. This service is very intuitive and the steps involved are very easy to follow. Is it for me? This free tool is extremely effective if your business has a physical location(s). Your listing is complemented with pictures of your location and customer reviews. (12) Roy Morgan June 2012 (13) AUSTRALIAN MOBILE PHONE LIFESTYLE INDEX, AIMIA, Sept 2012 Top Tip: Add Maps to your website. Once created a straight forward copy/paste into your web site code is all it takes to add a map to your site. 9

10 3.3 Paid Search Almost a quarter (24%) of all advertising spend is on the internet (14) Paid Search (PPC) Advertising Paid search results appear on the top or the side of the results page after any online search. Your business only pays when a user clicks on your advert and is driven to your site. It also allows you to control targeting (e.g. geographical or demographic) as well as track the number of sales, leads or registrations. Use Google Adwords to attach your ad to specific search terms (eg. pet shops in Sydney ) and appear in front of potential customers who are ready to purchase. Why use it? Paid search ensures that your ads are targeted to the right people at the right time, as well as increasing your visibility in search results. The amount you invest in any campaign is flexible and easily optimised through the Adwords dashboard. You can also control targeting geographically and track the number of sales, leads or registrations to your website by adding a snippet of code provided by Google. Is it for me? Paid search is extremely flexible and worth the investment if you want to drive sales or registrations from your website. Simply set the amount you want to spend per day and the maximum bid you are prepared to pay for the keywords you want to trigger your ad. Things to watch out for Avoid using broad keywords such as pet shop. These keywords are very competitive and have expensive cost per clicks (CPCs). Keep your targeting local (eg pet shop Sydney ) for better results. How to get started? Google s AdWords Express caters for small businesses. The tool allows you to create the ads while the account is running automatically (14) PWC Australian Outlook on Entertainment and Media

11 3.4 Offer Providers 2.1m Australian internet users visited group deal or reward sites in June 2012 (15) Offer Providers In recent years, companies like Groupon and Spreets have grown in popularity, delivering discounts and offers from your business to a highly engaged, bargain hunting audience. Is it for me? If you have products or services that can be discounted, targeted and time specific offers can drive extra custom during quiet periods. Why use them? Short term offers and targeted discounts can be a great way to sell end of season stock or provide a short term boost to sales. Some platforms also push offers through smartphones, straight to customers while they are out shopping and close to your business. Things to watch out for Make sure you can fulfil potentially large number of orders quickly if your offer is a hit. Top tip: Make sure you can fulfil potentially large numbers of orders and that you don t forsake your margins for quick sales. (15) Roy Morgan June

12 3.5 Partnership Marketing Partnership Marketing Partnering with large, established third-party websites such as ebay will allow you to place your products in front of a large, established online audience without having to maintain an ecommerce site of your own. Why use it? Selling your products through some of the world s largest online stores is a great way of taking advantage of large audiences without having to invest in building your own ecommerce site. Partnerships can often help with payment processing and fraud protection as well as allowing you to sell to customers abroad. Is it for me? Partnership marketing is great for retailers who want to add ecommerce to their sales channels, without any of the technical hassle - help and support is usually available by phone or (though this may incur additional costs). Things to watch out for Make sure that your chosen partner can successfully market your products or service. Is it the kind of product that they routinely sell? Typically there are monthly fees attached to partnership deals, so be clear what you are getting for your money. How to get started? Established ecommerce sites will often give retailers the opportunity to list and sell products. 12

13 3.6 s and Directories 58% of adults in Australia sent or received s in June 2012 (16) & Directories Collecting addresses from people that visit your website is a great way to build engagement with potential customers and communicate services to them, when they need them. Also, getting listed in national and local directories can help to raise awareness about your business to people who are searching for the specific services or products you offer. Why use it? allows you to maintain a relationship with people who have previously used your services, as well as promoting your business to new customers interested in your sector. It can help with repeat purchases and keeping customers up to date with your news. Is it for me? The onus will be on you to collect addresses so a strategy for this will be required. Some solution providers can help you with this, other more advanced solutions may require a knowledge of HTML code. Things to watch out for Make sure you re aware of the different packages available and their associated costs before you agree to anything above and beyond a free listing. The key to featuring in directories is to make sure your listing stands out! (16) Roy Morgan June

14 3.7 Social Media Social media provides a vehicle to amplify your business messages, manage and develop communities as well as gaining deeper customer insights. Social Media Social media uses the connections consumers have online to market your business through the power of word of mouth and personal recommendation. Make the most of these opportunities by developing your own social media page on one of the key platforms - Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Of these networks, Facebook is the largest and the platform s built in advertising dashboard allows you promote your business direct to Facebook users with extremely targeted demographic information. Getting started For more information on using Social Media, please refer to the Social Media How To Guide for American Express Merchants, available at americanexpress.com.au/myb 14

15 4 Summary Digital marketing provides a significant opportunity for you to grow the reach of your business by targeting relevant audiences with appropriate messages in an engaging and trackable manner. There are almost no limits to the ways in which you can leverage online marketing to help grow your business. Key to success is defining which channels and platforms are right for you, based on your business type, size and budget. A test and learn approach in channels which allow small budget investment will provide beneficial learnings and allow you to see where best to focus your budget in the future, ultimately improving your return on investment and helping your business to grow. 15

16 5 Glossary Helpful terms and definitions Please note that terms in bold and underlined appear in this Guide. Page title tag The tag that provides the headline description of what the page is about. H1 tags This is the heading title on content your webpage. If you think about it like a book it would be the main title. Adwords Express Google tool to create paid search adverts on Google especially focussed on delivering locally targeted results for businesses adwords/express/ Affiliate 3rd party website that promotes your business for every sale they generate they earn a commission Alternative Text (Alt Text) Is text associated with an image on a webpage that serves the same purpose and conveys the same essential information as the image. Google cannot read pictures however it can read text so inputting keywords in this alternative text is key. Anchor Text Is the visible link that you can click on a webpage. Essentially it is a link that takes you to another destination. Commission Money you pay to a 3rd party for driving sales on your behalf CPA Cost per action i.e. the commission per sale you pay an affiliate. Usually a % of the sales value or a fixed cost e.g. $10 HTML code Code routinely used to build web pages Keyword A word used by a search engine in its search for relevant Web pages No Follow Tag The No Follow tag (rel= nofollow ) is a tag on a webpage that tells search engines to bypass the link when the engine crawls the web. To appear on Google your website should not have this enabled. To find out if this is the case right click on your webpage, click view source and then press F3 to find the snippet included above. If nothing is found your website will appear on Google search results page. If not then remove this tag. ROI Return on Investment Search Engines Collect and organise content from the Internet. Examples of search engines include Google, Yahoo and Bing. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the quality and volume of traffic to a website by achieving a higher listing on the search results page. CPC Cost per click i.e. this is the price that you pay for one click ecommerce The process of buying and selling goods online 16

17 American Express Australia Limited (ABN ); Registered Office, 12 Shelley Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia. Registered trademark of American Express Company. 17

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