Using Digital Marketing to Find New Customers

Using Digital Marketing to Find New Customers

Ellen Mikals, Commercial Manager at eBay, discusses how electricians can use digital marketing to find new local customers.

Listings in the yellow pages and ads in the local papers were once two of the most effective ways to reach new local customers, but this is no longer the case.

Over the past 15 years, the internet has become the first point of investigation for those who need outside help – whether for a rewiring project or a refurb – as well as where people go to read the local headlines.

But many small businesses struggle to effectively advertise their services on the internet.

You need a digital mindset and a different set of skills compared to the analogue days – but it’s not as hard as some people imagine.

With a bit of time, patience and determination, you can learn how to best reach real customers in a virtual world.

Here are some top tips to help those in the electrical trade find new local customers online and grow their business, whilst getting the most from their money.

  1. Identify your audience

If you place an ad for your services in a local paper, this helps you put your business in front of people in your area.

But when advertising on the internet, there’s a whole new world of possibilities, thanks to data and the variety of platforms available.

Pinpointing your prospective customers is a key starting point for anyone looking to kick off a digital advertising campaign, as it will help you work out what data you need in order to find them and where.

Rather than being tied to just advertising on a local news site, you can work with websites and platforms that allow you to select  who you show your advertisement to, based on age, purchase search or location data, allowing you to cast your net much more widely.

For instance, if you chose to collaborate with a large ecommerce website, such as eBay which has 24 million users across the UK, you could show your ad to people who live in your area, are aged between 30 and 80, and are searching for plug sockets or light fittings – people who might be in need of an electrician’s services.

By doing this right, as well as reaching people who are currently interesting in your services, you can get in front of those people that could be interested in the near future, expanding your pool of potential customers.

  1. Get your message spot on

Once you’ve identified your audience and the platforms you will use to reach them, you need to create your digital ad.

A good advertisement should meet three basic criteria:

a) It contains a relevant message for its audience
b) It contains a clear call to action
c) It’s attractive to look at

I’d recommend taking a look at the ads you are served with when you are on the internet and seeing if they meet the criteria.

  1. Put it to the test

Not many people consider that different advertisements should be tailored so they work well for their distinct audience.

Whether it’s someone in their 30s who’s bought a fixer-upper or a couple in their 70s who need to update their wiring, they may respond differently to the same message.

Choosing exactly the right ad isn’t always easy and even professional marketers won’t always get it spot on the first time around.

That’s why it’s worthwhile to test different ads and audiences in order to see which work well together.

By systematically serving a few different advertisements to a couple of the key audiences to test the waters, and measuring the results, you will be able to work out which advertisement should be most successful in a longer campaign and be confident in placing more budget behind it.

  1. Measure your campaigns

Not only is measuring the success of online advertising critical to testing, it also allows you to track the performance of your longer running campaigns.

And, if you make sure to monitor the campaign whilst it’s running, you can make adjustments as you go and learn what to improve for next time and what to keep the same.

There’s a variety of ways to measure the success of your campaigns and the metrics will depend on the platform you’re using.

But some measures are more valuable than others – such as click through rate (how many people clicked on your advertisement), conversion rate (this might be the number of people that asked for a quote after seeing your ad) and site visitors (how many people have visited your website).

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