The Relationship Building Problem
I recently had a discussion with a fellow small business colleague of mine. She had called on a couple of small businesses that had liked and commented on some of her business Instagram posts. When she went to visit these small business owners to ask about possibly furthering the relationship that had appeared to start online, they had no idea what she was talking about. It made me think and realize, they had someone else doing their digital marketing for them. These business owners had no inkling of what was occurring with their own brands’ digital presence.
The Rise of Local Online Search
Outsourcing of digital marketing is a big and growing business. However, the business owner is ultimately responsible for the marketing of their business both on and offline and needs to be aware of how the business is appearing in the public eye. Today, more than ever, people want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. The 2017 BrightLocal Consumer Review Survey found that 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online daily. With that being said, wouldn’t it make sense that a business owner who has outsourced their digital marketing would want to keep his or her finger on the pulse of this engagement? My answer would be an absolute yes. In my opinion, if you are going to outsource, you need to have a process to keep up with the results of this engagement, or it could lead to more harm then good.
The Relationship Conundrum
Put yourself in the shoes of the potential customer or business contact. You have shared information with them, or you have commented on their content, and when they take the next step to build the relationship, it is like they don’t exist. Why would they want to continue to build this fledgling relationship, when you have failed at common courtesy 101. I get that we are all busy, but we also need to put processes in place to ensure success. In the case of outsourced digital marketing engagement, here are a few ways you can keep yourself up to date with what is going on.
5 Ways to Stay on Top of Outsourced Engagement
- Have a process where your digital marketing company and you agree on a process similar to a red, yellow, green stoplight system to alert you to potential customers or businesses that you need to address the digital engagement.
- Have your digital marketing support team provide a weekly summary of the good and the bad and highlight who they are talking to so you start to get name recognition of super fans or businesses that are engaging with your business.
- Take at least one day a week as the small business owner to actually engage with the people visiting your social sites. People want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Give them a reason to.
- Video is predicted to be 80% of content by 2020. Work with your digital marketing team to schedule live video or even some recorded video so the face of the company is interacting with potential customers and the local community.
- Set up a monthly meeting with your digital marketing company to talk about the good and the bad of your social media engagement and come up with a plan and a strategy to get better every month. It’s a long game, progress, not perfection.
Digital marketing continues to evolve and the social media platforms and tools that small business owners are exposed to continue to change as well. Outsourcing will continue to grow as the demand for talented digital marketers rise. It is critical that small and medium-sized business owners that may not be able to have their own internal marketing staff understand the importance of engagement in a people-centric world.
Have you noticed a problem with customer engagement going from digital to in real life? What solutions do you use? Please share in the comments.