Supporting local has been the battle cry for a lot of us Filipinos during this Covid-19 pandemic period. With the closure of many establishments, particularly in food and business, supporting local helps and gives our fellow citizens continued motivation and encouragement to carry on and support their own employees with sustained livelihood.
It is also at this point in time that digital marketing continues to pave a sustainable path for our micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs to thrive in their business. However, the generational differences present make it challenging for some to understand how to take advantage of digital marketing. It is for this reason that we, from time to time, enable our MSMEs with Digital Marketing 101 in collaboration with some of our government agencies.
Simply put, digital marketing is the digital version of the traditional marketing that we are more familiar with. What you may be used to seeing in the newspapers may now be similarly seen online on their website. The same applies to what we hear on the radio or what we see on TV. All of these items of information are equally captured online and accessible on many different platforms. This is the essence of digital marketing.
Within the digital marketing spectrum, social media management is one of the more popular platforms of choice. Facebook commands approximately 83 million users already in the country, and this is a strong, powerful base to begin with if you’re an MSME wanting to maximize the reach of your products and services.
But why would I, as an MSME owner, want to put my business online and promote on social media?
It is also important to understand that much of the customers we are targeting are getting younger and younger and are more digital savvy or digital natives too. Much of their behavior is already hinged or anchored with their mobile device and the internet, and as consumers their behaviors are driven by what would be available online. This is also the effect of the rise of community commerce; our digital customers prefer shopping online rather than going to the supermarket themselves, and so on and so forth.
How can I take advantage of social media to help grow my business?
Influencer marketing. In promoting one’s products or services online, it is also important to take advantage of influencer marketing. I wrote a few weeks back on the concept of nano influence, and how this can be a good starting point in digital marketing efforts.
Content writing. In addition, diversifying your content will enrich the experience of your customers making them more attracted and interested to visit your page consistently. In fact, it is a good strategy to always share the stories behind your products and services. Filipinos love supporting local, and people would support even more if they are made familiar with the stories that go on producing the products or goods. The advantage of this is in not only promoting what happens behind the scenes in the making or offering of your products and services respectively, but in allowing the customers to appreciate the efforts and resources that go with it. For example, the coffee bean industry is a strong industry in the Philippines, and different regions have their own unique stories to tell in coming up with their products. Sharing this helps in promoting the product in a way that also educates the customers and they carry this with them as they become advocates of your product.
Finally, the concept of consistency. Planning ahead and working out your digital marketing strategy answers half of the equation, the other half being the need to be consistent with the execution. Digital marketing gives a richer and more personalized experience to your customers and so many platforms are available already for MSMEs to take advantage of. Utilizing this capability will help not just in promoting your products and services but will lessen the cost in acquiring and retaining customers in the process.
Kay Calpo Lugtu is the chief operating officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation firm. Her advocacies include food innovation, nation-building and sustainability. The author may be reached at email@example.com.