So you want to boost your marketing but don’t know where to start? You’re not alone. The marketing community has to keep on their toes to stay in the know and keep their techniques relevant and effective. Listed below are seven marketing strategies, old and new that are effective:
Image Credit: RRZE, via Wikimedia Commons
Admittedly us marketing folk talk a good game about social media these days, but research suggests that a lot of the time popping a good old-fashioned email in a customer’s inbox is more effective.
According to a recent study by Custora, email marketing has quadrupled in the last four years, accounting for almost 7 percent of new customer acquisitions. It’s also thought that a customer brought in via email is more likely to continue shopping and spend more. So long as email remains an option and doesn’t result in unnecessary spam, make the most of it.
Content marketing is an umbrella term for any format of marketing that involves the creation of content and media that is published and shared with potential customers. News, videos, e-books, infographics, white papers, case studies, photos, question and answer sessions, well written and informational articles – content marketing is intended to create interest around a subject, product or brand, using educational but entertaining material.
Back in 2012 a survey of small businesses showed that content was 71% effective. Belief in this strategy has only strengthened since then, and now marketers can barely go an hour a day without reference to it.
With the explosion of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and even Tumblr, marketing was bound to enter the arena and target the millions who interact on a daily basis online.
Social media is such an effective tool to reach potential and existing customers because it’s simple to use, its reach stretches really far, people use social media so much in every day life and there’s an immediacy that cannot be copied in other formats. You can post a video in the UK and it could be seen in Taiwan 10 minutes later. Finding the most fool-proof method to utilise this broad format can be difficult though.
Image credit: Rentvine.com
Many people tend to think of Pay Per Click (PPC) as Google Adwords (the pink boxes at the top, bottom and side of Google search results), but there are numerous other PPC providers out there too, mostly Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter. The basic model goes that advertisers pay an online publisher every time an ad is clicked.
There are two basic models for PPC: flat rate and bid based. The latter is what Google Adwords uses, so is by far the most common. Here you bid on a keyword itself, according to either clicks, impressions (the number of times your ad is seen), or conversions according to which you think will give you a better deal. PPC is much more complex than it sounds and can take a long time to master, but it remains popular because it provides excellent data on your customers.
Image credit: Tobias Wolter, via Wikimedia Commons
Sometimes you can’t beat interacting with customers the old fashioned way: in person. This can mean anything from asking to talk to people on the streets about products, to face-to-face contact in a high street store. The reason it is so effective, is due to the nature of people. We may spend lots of time on the internet, but ultimately we find it easier to trust a person we can see and hear in front of us.
Let’s say a company cold calls you; would you put the phone down before the sales rep gets to the pitch? Probably. In person though, people are less likely to ignore you for fear of rudeness. Offer to meet your potential customer, adopt a friendly smile and demeanor, show them you understand and respect their concerns in person.
TV, radio and print
Image credit: mauriceandmorris.com
There’s debate across the internet regarding the relevance of the traditional television, radio and print advertisements we’ve relied on to promote our businesses, products and services for so long. Are they still relevant in the digital age? It turns out they are.
The film industry has taken significant leaps in the promotion of big and small budget movies through digital means like social media and online content, but TV spots, posters and banners across towns and cities, radio interviews with the stars and newspaper advertisements are still extremely effective to get their point across. Potentially the old fashion way may never die out. Don’t under estimate it.
Word of mouth
Image credit: edmodo.com
Sometimes you can’t beat the simplest marketing form of all – word of mouth (aka WoM). Small businesses can grow into successful and lucrative businesses when happy former customers refer their services to their friends, family and colleagues. That my friends is the power of WoM.
The key to tapping into this marketing tool cannot be handled by your team of marketers though. It’s all in how you present yourself as a business: customer manner, quality of service, prices, reliability etc. In the digital age, people will post feedback on your services online. Once it’s up there, anyone can see it and if your criticism is bad, it can make or break your reputation.
Treat your customers badly, they won’t offer you additional business. Treat them well, enjoy the benefits of a loyal customer pool. Simple. (Unless of course you run a B&B or hotel, in which case you may well treat your guests like long lost relatives, but they may still leave a scathingly negative review on Trip Advisor.)