Effective business marketing: how three Australian businesses did it
Craig Basford and Jason Harris, co-founders and directors of Big Shed Brewing.
The benefits of online business marketing
From newsletters to online reviews, digital marketing can help your business stand out from the crowd. It can also increase sales and engage new customers. Here, three award-winning businesses share the stories behind their unique digital marketing plans – and how tech supports them.
Digital marketing inspiration from award-winning Australian businesses
Telstra Business Awards alumni Big Shed Brewing, Complete Home Filtration and Water Tight Canberra are champions of finding unique ways to speak to their audiences. Digital marketing has helped them connect with their customers, reach new markets and outshine their competitors.
And they’re not the only ones who are thriving online. Hubspot’s 2022 State of Inbound Marketing Trends report found that social media is the number one marketing channel for businesses. Here, Big Shed Brewing, Complete Home Filtration and Water Tight Canberra share some business inspiration for digital marketing success on social media and beyond.
Big Shed Brewing
At the heart of Big Shed Brewing is good craft beer, business innovation and a loyal community. The team’s forward-thinking attitude led them to win the South Australia Promoting Sustainability Award at the 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards. For co-founders and directors Jason Harris and Craig Basford, their customer’s needs inform every aspect of their marketing plan. “Knowing what’s valuable to your community can make digital marketing easier,” Craig says. “It’s all about finding out what your customer wants to know.”
To get this feedback, Jason and Craig run a Facebook group for the “Shed Heads”, members of the brewery’s bespoke loyalty program. “Digital marketing gives us a way to chat with our customers directly. There’s a lot of value in that,” Craig says.
Beyond customer conversations, social media allows staff to share behind-the-scenes content and last-minute changes, like adjustments to their opening hours. The team uses software to plan and schedule posts for peak periods on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat.
Benefits of using social scheduling software include:
- Ensuring content is uniform across all platforms.
- Content can be produced and uploaded ahead of time.
- Workflows are streamlined – using one app means less time spent on several social platforms.
If your [digital marketing] processes are right and your intention is to add value to the customer, it’s likely the sales will follow.
– Craig Basford, co-founder and director of Big Shed Brewing
Complete Home Filtration
“Marketing is an absolute must if you want to grow your business. That’s the first thing to master,” says Suzanne Dodds, founder and managing director of Complete Home Filtration. Her detailed business marketing strategy guided her water filter company to win the National Outstanding Growth Award at the 2022 Telstra Best of Business Awards.
Complete Home Filtration’s diverse marketing plan targets radio, TV, Facebook, Instagram, Google, Pinterest and podcasts. “We used to run some local promotions, but as the landscape evolved we started to focus on digital channels,” Suzanne says. “Since then, we haven’t looked back: 90% of how we market now is through digital and social media.” By investing in paid advertising – like targeted Facebook campaigns – Suzanne can expand her business’s reach and connect with new customers.
Complete Home Filtration has a unique social media voice. Suzanne says it’s key to building their brand and creating a genuine connection with their customers. “Our voice is really friendly and approachable with a quirky sense of humour,” she says. “Our team is a diverse and eclectic bunch, and that certainly comes through our online voice. It’s authentic and aligned with the values of the business.”
Try taking these steps to develop a unique social media voice for your business:
- Consider what your business’s points of difference are. Try writing them in the tone you or members of your team speak in.
- Look at how your competitors speak online and think of how you could bring a fresh perspective to stand out.
- Ensure your voice is consistent across all platforms.
[Digital marketing helps us build] brand credibility in the market and educate people about what we do and how we can help them.
– Suzanne Dodds, founder and managing director of Complete Home Filtration
Water Tight Canberra
Customer feedback is essential for the success of plumbing business Water Tight Canberra. “Reviews are our bread and butter,” says co-founder Tom Martin.
It all started in 2015, when a mentor told Tom to make the most of this marketing tool. “I went out and got five customer reviews. Suddenly, my business was the only one that would appear if you searched for plumbers in Canberra,” Tom says. This straightforward method of business marketing helped Water Tight Canberra stand out, and eventually win the National Small and Succeeding Award in the 2019 Telstra Business Awards.
It's not just positive reviews that are valuable to Tom. Posting public replies to negative comments gives him a chance to show potential clients how the business handles feedback. “It helps us show that we’re transparent and that we really go out of our way to meet expectations,” he says. At the end of every job, Tom encourages his tradespeople to ask for reviews. This way, his clients can offer their feedback and his team can improve the customer experience.
Reviews are a valuable addition to any digital marketing plan. Platforms like Google Business and Facebook are great places to collect customer feedback. And often the only investment they need is your time. Tom puts it best: “You’ve got to bring in new business somehow and marketing can help you do that – even if it’s through something as small as customer referrals.”
To make the most of customer reviews, here are a few things you can do:
- Check the review platforms regularly to stay on top of any new comments.
- Always respond to negative reviews – it gives you a chance to share how your business handles feedback.
- Encourage new and existing customers to review your business.
The key to marketing is to try new things and track what is and isn’t working.
– Tom Martin, co-owner of Water Tight Canberra
Ready to take your business marketing to the next level?
Big Shed Brewing, Complete Home Filtration and Water Tight Canberra show that effective digital marketing can support your business growth and help improve customer experience. Make your business stand out by creating your own digital marketing plan. It’s the first step to creating a loyal community, connecting with new markets and building trust.
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