You need the correct marketing marketing methods if you want your business to thrive.
We’ve all heard about the tree that fell in the forest (or have we?), but what about this modern conundrum?
When a fantastic business exists that no-one knows about, does that business really exist? The answer is probably not. Rather than a business, you have an idea that is likely haemorrhaging money and isn’t going to change any time soon.
Unless you up your marketing game, that is.
Marketing and advertising are the only way that you are going to take that fabulous business idea out of your head and turn it into a profitable endeavour. This isn’t about going national or bringing in billions or becoming a famous entrepreneur. This is simply about telling those who are interested about the services and products you provide.
So if you are a novice in the marketing world, here are a few marketing methods you can use straight away to make a noise.
Organic Social Media
Organic social media is the social output that doesn’t cost you anything but time. It’s organic because it grows naturally and you can tend to your business social pages much as you would your own. The big sites here are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but Instagram and Snapchat are also worth a look.
Use these channels to create profiles for your business and update them with relevant content. Some of the content might be yours, but feel free to share other interesting stuff from non-competitors too. The main idea is that people will like your page, share your posts and be inclined to click through to your website as a result.
Paid Social Media
Paid social is generally ads. Social ads are amongst the best marketing tools in terms of conversions. You can refine your audience to ensure that your ad only reaches the people you want to target, boosting your click rate and getting the most for your money.
Ads are very much a case of trial and error but luckily that is exactly why split testing was invented. You can use split testing to hedge your bets and make sure that only the most successful ads get your budget. Facebook has lots of helpful pages on this topic so you won’t be in the dark.
The internet might be a great resource, but it isn’t the only way to get your brand out there. Going to events or even hosting your own event is a brilliant way to meet people face to face and get a better opportunity to pitch yourself and your business.
Networking is a must for the small business owner in search of clients but big trade fairs could be a good idea too. Make the most of your space with large conference banners and plenty of takeaways like fliers and catalogs too.
Everyone loves a good freebie and if you can put your brand name on something everyone needs, they will almost certainly grab one off you. Classic examples include balloons, pens and rulers but stress balls are fun and even branded bags are great – especially at a fair where people are picking up lots of stuff.
You can even personalise USB sticks too and there’s more info about USBs here.
The main thing to remember is that you want people to get real value from a freebie. While a pack of branded sweets is a nice idea and will certainly go quick – once the sweets are eaten, the packing and your logo are binned and forgotten. Relevance is also key, so think about what your customers, in particular, will want.
As soon as you can, you must start building a mailing list. This is a simple thing to start and once you are in the swing of it, you will find that it expands quite rapidly. Emails are one of the best free ways to communicate with your customers and there are lots of rules you can set up to target people at just the right time too.
For example, you can send people reminders when they have left something in their basket, or if they haven’t visited your site in a while. You could also send a birthday treat email or give your mailing list a head start on a sale. People love these little perks and are happy to receive advertising emails from you too.
Content has long been a brilliant way to bring people to your website and it fits in with lots of the other marketing methods on this list. Not sure what to put on your social media today? How about a blog post with some simple advice?
You can also use content to persuade people to join your mailing list. Gated content such as guides are perfect and most people are willing to exchange an email address to download a larger piece of content.
As with the freebies, you must always make sure that you are producing content that your audience will want to read and are willing to spend time on. Nothing is really free, after all.
But this list of 105 types of content is.
Outreach and Influencer Marketing
On a similar track to content marketing is outreach and influencer marketing. There are lots of ways to go about this but in essence, you are asking someone else to talk about your product/ brand/ service/ business and give you a sort of accreditation. This might be in the form of a product review on YouTube or it could be publishing a piece of content on their website.
Outreach is a great way to spread your message further and get more clicks to your website. It is also great for SEO as your website link will appear in more places across the internet.
The more noise you can make with your business, the more likely it is to catch people’s attention and be a success as a result. In the internet age, you can’t expect customers to find you by stumbling through the front door – you have to give them the equivalent of a map with a line of footprints drawn on it instead. This is what marketing is all about.