Marketing is an ever-changing specialty and it is essential for the business owners and marketers to be updated with the latest avenues and strategies of marketing to run a successful business. Irrespective of running a small consulting business, a local café, to a large-scale consignment business, you need to constantly look for effective ways to attract more business without breaking the bank.
Here, we will discuss some strategies, which may best fit small to medium-size business, but also can be effectively tried out for large corporate. It is a fine mix of new-age digital as well as off-line strategies to effectively market your business by minimising investment and optimising results.
Set a marketing goal and budget
The primary step of marketing strategy development is to define your end goal and allocating the budget. The primary question an ideal marketing consultant may ask to any small business or big corporate on restructuring their strategy is “what do you exactly want?” With this answer only, one will be able to decide what is most important to you and how to devise an appropriate plan.
For some businesses, it may be maximising their local exposure, for some others brand awareness may be the requirement, some would like to get more leads, whereas someone else may actually focus on conversions. With multiple goals in mind, you also need to know how to prioritise your goals to execute an apt marketing plan and budget.
Throw money to earn money
You may already know it as one among the basic principles of business marketing, which is the same as in case of offline and online marketing. Spend money to earn money. If you need to make a positive impact through online marketing, apart from the free campaigns you can plan for, one also need to spend a budget on paid search services, social ads, PPC ads, display ads, social media ads etc.
This can be however and intimidating affair to identify which avenues to spend the most and which to avoid. The primary questions are how to get started? How much you need to spend? Which ad strategy and platforms may work the best for you? etc. It is worth to take the assistance of an expert digital marketing consultant to take advice and devise a marketing plan for you.
Capitalise on local offerings of search engines
The major search engines like Google offer surplus offerings to the business owners for online promotions. Further to a 2015 update, Google started the option of ‘Let’s Put Our Cities’ on Google Map to list the local businesses online. According to a research, the businesses which have such an online presence do have a 40% faster growth rate than those don’t do it. If you missed it out, it is one of the priority moves to make.
Even small businesses can create an account for Google My Business, and then you can control the information related to your business such as operational hours, contact numbers, address, and the website. Along with local business searches, your business can also appear on the Google Map as well as website. This can be used for any business like a local financier, linking to debt consolidation reviews, or a grocery shop to get listed for the local purchasers.
Mastering social channels
From a promotional point of view, social media is of course irritating and hard to break in. This is more so when you are trying to explore everything as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and all. Having a notable presence on all these channels is great, but in terms of promotions, it is ideal to choose the one or two channels which your type of customers pursue the most.
Say for example, if you are a small business and finding your typical customers constantly tag your location on Instagram posts, but rarely do any Twitter retweeting, it is best to invest on Instagram. If you are a creative designer or something related to photography, then option for Pinterest may be ideal.
Who said it is outdated? Irrespective of your business being small or big, email marketing is then, now, and always a perfect opportunity for authentic communication and loyalty building. If you find your sales and events are not at a pace, then you can plan for a weekly or monthly newsletter to inform your loyal customers about the latest offerings and bring them in.
People tend to be loyal and engage with the businesses which show humanity and concern. Share with them the events, announce new employees, a business milestone achieved, and award won. Make them feel more personal with the brand and like to come back for it. However, be careful and resourceful to successfully handle email marketing campaigns.
Test the subject line, time of the day and week to get best responses, and moreover be creative time to use the best practices. Nowadays, most of the people check their mails over phone, so ensure that the mailers you send out are mobile friendly and easily loadable too.
UPDATE JULY 2020 You can read a thorough review of other email marketing tools here
Maintain a blog
Blogging is not any more a hobby affair. This is found to be hugely beneficial for the businesses to demonstrate their capabilities to potential customers and followers. If you are expert in any niche field, then it is easy to develop a follower group through proper guidance and advice through a blog.
Blog is an open platform which you can utilize for various other purposes too. You can effectively make new announcements through it, inform about project completions, sharing achievement of big milestones, or even to do customer support. However, when it comes to blogging, quality over quantity is the key success tip you need to keep in mind. The ideal practice is to publish a blog post per week or twice weekly, consistently. While doing blogging, also make sure that you optimize your blog for SEO for the targeted people to find your content easily.
Before administering any of the online or offline marketing strategy, it is very important to conduct a thorough research initially to identify your apt platforms and approaches to be made. Most of the time, as you will be caught up with the other responsibilities of administering or establishing the business, it is best to take the service of a skilled and experienced professional support to strategize your business marketing approaches.