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Moving to Digital

Jul 09, 2012
In today’s digital world and with technology developing at an ever more rapid pace, some companies are being left behind in the race to promote their business. By Natasha Robson.

Well established and respected removals firms are finding themselves being overtaken by smaller ‘one man bands’ or unheard of competitors that have surfaced overnight.  Natasha Robson is Account Director at Wildfire PR and Marketing, a specialist in the promotion of removals firms.  She discusses how companies need to embrace the digital age or risk falling too far behind to catch up.

The way consumers access and interact with companies is changing so fast that the process of digital marketing can feel overwhelming.  But to simply ignore digital media and all it has to offer – interactivity, social media, mobile apps – can be a regrettable mistake. The reason is that while your firm maintains the status quo, your competitors will be seizing the opportunity to get ahead. 

You don’t need to over-think your digital marketing strategy, but you do need to have one.  Marketing is all about perception and consumers normally know what they are looking for – and the fact is that more and more people solely use the Internet to find it.

There are a growing number of review websites where customers can rate and review your company for all to see.  It is worth taking the time to check if your firm has any reviews and if so, what they are like.  While you can’t remove negative comments, you should respond to them and give your side of the tale.  All customers know that companies will get the odd irate customer, but how you respond to it is what is important.  You may also ask satisfied customers to leave their own reviews to help spread the word of your excellent service.

Social media too is an excellent tool for savvy customers to do their homework.  Tales of customer service– sometimes good, normally bad – are increasingly likely to end up on people’s Facebook or Twitter updates.  Often these comments will spark a string of replies with people sharing their own experience – and if these users’ accounts are not set to be private, anyone in the world searching for your company can find these.  It is harder for businesses to respond to social media posts than reviews, unless the comments are directed at your company’s own social media page.  What you need to do is make sure you are getting enough of the right messages out into the public arena.  If there is a vacuum of information and you are not making enough noise, your potential customers will listen to whoever is.

For the majority of consumers, their first point of contact with you will be your website, so Rule 1 – you need to have one.  Your customers expect you to have a website, and if you simply appear on web directories with an address and contact number then alarm bells will start ringing.  Rule 2 is to make sure your website isn’t a bad one.  For customers, a website that is cluttered, slow to load and difficult to navigate can sometimes be more off-putting than none at all.   A site one of your friends built for you 10 years ago won’t cut it anymore.  Your website needs to reflect the public image of your company and if it looks cheap and nasty, people will assume your service is too.  You wouldn’t let your crews go to work in ripped jeans and tatty trainers, so you shouldn’t scrimp on what can be your greatest marketing tool.  Take a look at what your competitors are doing online and make sure your site stands out for the right reasons.

So now you have a stunning and informative website, you want the world to see it.  Not just people who are familiar with you already and searching for your company name, but anyone who wants removals services.  If you search for removals in your local area, you are likely to find several pages of the search engine filled with companies who aren’t even based in your region, or small firms that can’t offer anything like your standards of service.  This is because they have invested in search engine optimisation (SEO) and you need to as well to compete.

SEO helps identify which search terms your customers may use to find you and helps you to rank more highly for these phrases.  It is a complex and ongoing process that involves the structure of your site, the coding behind the pages and the content on the pages themselves and it needs an expert to make sure it’s done right.

With a little help and creativity, the Internet can be your company’s greatest ally, helping you to reach an unlimited number of new customers and helping your company to thrive into the future.

For more information e-mail questions@wildfire-pr.co.uk or visit www.wildfire-pr.co.uk

Natasha Robson

Natasha, a former journalist, has an MA with distinction in Marketing and Communications and has worked with numerous clients at both agencies and in-house roles. Over the past two years she has worked closely with a national and international removals firm, focusing on home moving, business moving and international relocations.  Her company Wildfire PR and Marketing now handles all the firm's publicity, including media relations, corporate literature, website management, search engine optimisation, full social media management, e-communications and advertising design and booking. Natasha also manages full proactive marketing campaigns for the firm, including partnerships and affiliate schemes.

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