top of page

Building a Customer Base in the Digital Era: What You Need to Know

By Keith Orlean

The digital media landscape has completely transformed the way businesses build their customer base. Gone are the days of relying solely on traditional media such as print, mail, TV, and radio to reach potential customers. Today, businesses must have a strong web presence, a mobile responsive-friendly website, and a strategy to build an organic audience while also budgeting for paid traffic to their website.

As someone who has been in marketing for 35+ years, I've seen firsthand the evolution of the social media landscape. When I first opened my first retail optical location, I relied heavily on local newspapers and direct mail to reach our target audience. I also studied my competitors' methods and threw everything I could against the wall with little regard for budget, as I quickly learned that media spend was directly related to ROI.

However, in the last 15+ years, the digital world has exploded with the advent of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and an ever-growing list of others that focus on short form and micro videos for grabbing attention . As someone in my mid-sixties, I've had an obsession with technology starting with my first business, so adjusting to the digital media landscape has not been as difficult for me as it may be for others in my age group.

Looking back, I wish that digital media was further along when I was still running my retail franchise. I believe that I would have been an early adopter in using it to grow my audience. Today, building an audience or community has a completely different meaning when it comes to growing a business.

So, how does one evolve with the ever-changing digital media landscape? Here are a few tips:

Build a strong web presence: In today's world, having a website is a must. Your website should be professional, easy to navigate, and mobile responsive / friendly. It should also have a clear call to action for your visitors.

Develop a content marketing strategy: Content marketing is the practice of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience. A solid content marketing strategy can help establish your business as an authority in your industry and build trust with your audience.

Use social media: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube provide businesses with a great opportunity to reach their target audience. By creating engaging content and interacting with your followers, you can build a loyal following and increase brand awareness.

Focus on search engine optimization (SEO): SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). By ranking higher in SERPs, you can increase your website's visibility and attract more organic traffic.

Utilize paid advertising: While building an organic audience is important, it's also important to budget for paid traffic to your website. Platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads provide businesses with a cost-effective way to reach their target audience.

In conclusion, the digital media landscape has completely transformed the way businesses build their customer base. It's important for businesses to have a strong web presence, develop a content marketing strategy, use social media, focus on SEO, and utilize paid advertising to stay ahead of the competition. While the pace is fast and the technology changes frequently, with these tips, you can evolve and succeed in today's digital world. One more thing. You will need help in order to achieve any semblance of success in this crowded digital world.


bottom of page