When it comes to marketing your business, I wish there was one “right” way to do it, but unfortunately, every business, every product and every service has different methods to successful marketing. Another key factor is industry. Industry can play an important role in how to market your business efficiently.
However, over the years, after working with many different businesses in many different industries, we have come to realize that there are 10 common methods that will help businesses to successfully market themselves, regardless of the industry.
We have put together the top 10 marketing lessons that should be followed either in addition to your current marketing strategy or if you are still looking to develop a marketing strategy for your business, here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Set an Objective
Set a goal – know where you want to go and work backwards to figure out the best way to get there.
If you want to market something, you need to ask yourself 3 important questions:
- What problem are you solving?
- Who faces this type of problem often?
- Where are they located or what industry are they in?
I can bet that there have been many businesses who have started designing or re-designing their website, designing print material or changing a store display without having this very important discussion and asking themselves one very important question – what problem are you trying to solve with your product/solution?
If you don’t have this question answered or some idea of a problem that your product/service solves, then how can you even think of creating content that represents your business?
First things first, take a solid look at what problem your product/service is attempting to solve. Lay out all of the factors that make up this problem and lay out the features of your product/service that solves each one of these factors.
2. Define your Target Customer
Now, lets break this down even further to figure out the WHO.
You have your problem, now who faces this problem most often? When I say “who”, I am talking about your potential customers.
Make a list of people. Don’t worry if your list gets too long – we will worry about narrowing down the list later.
Now that we have the WHAT and the WHO, we have to find out WHERE your target market is located.
Take a look at your list – the goal now is to try and find one or two common characteristics or industries among your list.
3. Conversion Optimization
Before we start marketing, we need to make sure that the place we are driving traffic or leads to is optimized for high conversions.
And in most cases, we are sending traffic to a website or landing page.
This is where testing your website or landing pages with either a test audience, your past customers or a select group of your leads will be most beneficial.
With testing, more specifically, A/B testing, you can send out two versions of a landing page with some differences on each page to see which one yields better conversions or results.
The same can be done on the website by implementing the latest website conversion techniques (Click here to download the Top 40 Tips to Improve Website Conversions).
Once you have implemented some of these conversion optimization techniques on your site, then you will be ready to drive traffic and leads to your site.
Conversion optimization is an on-going process so you may need to take another look at your website and make some more modifications based on the results and analytics of your site.
4. Brush up on your Writing Skills
I know you have heard or read this before but I’m going to repeat it again – content is king. Now what the heck does this mean?
This means that content is so important for your business if you have any chance of competing on search engine result pages against your competition.
Searching online for anything, whether it be a product, a service or a person, is all based on typing in a question or keywords to obtain more information. And that information is shown in the form of content.
So if you don’t have any content to display or any content to share on your website, why would search engines even bother wasting the already limited search engine result page real estate with your website as one of the listings when other websites are spending the time to create amazing content.
Search engines want to deliver amazing information and content to their online searchers.
And this my friends, is why content still remains king (just don’t tell Simba).
5. If Content is King, Emails are Gold
Collecting email addresses and giving your leads an easy method to opt-in to receive emails from you has become so important for any business.
Why? Because email marketing is going to help you stay in front of those leads to put them on the right path to convert them from a lead to a customer.
You can use email marketing to update your customers on new products or feature updates. Send them links to your new blogs or eBooks to give them free access to the amazing new content that you wrote.
There are a lot of ways to capture email addresses the right way by following the CAN-SPAM Act. For more information on the act and FAQs, visit: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
One way I would recommend is to have an easy to complete lead generation form on your website, landing page or blog page.
Give your readers the choice to opt-in and give up their email address to you because they want to hear more from you and receive more emails from you. And one way to do this is to avoid the use of too many fields.
To get someone’s email address, do you really need to know their phone number as well and/or ask for an additional comment? Probably not.
Getting a name and email address is sufficient for you to take some actionable steps in putting that lead on the right sales pipeline.
6. Reach out to Past Customers
Don’t forget about your past customers.
Just because they already bought from you once before doesn’t instill any loyalty – not until you give them a reason to be loyal to you and your business.
If your customers had a good experience working with you in the past, why not remind them of that?
Reaching out to past customers by sending them a targeted email campaign is a great way to increase customer retention rates, to ensure your business stays top of mind with your past customers.
It is also a great way to increase referrals.
Have you ever thought about offering your customers an incentive to refer more business to you?
Or maybe create a customer loyalty program to offer past customers a percentage off for continuous purchases?
There are so many possibilities when it comes to leveraging past customers to help increase retention rates, referrals and brand loyalty.
7. Create and Send Targeted Content
When you are thinking of reaching out to leads or customers, make sure you segment your list of emails into categories. This way when you are sending out email campaigns, you can send out targeted emails with content that is directed to meet the needs of the people on your list.
For example, you can segment your list into a category or group called “Past Customers” which will have only customers who have made some type of purchase from you in the past. This way when you create a loyalty or referral campaign, you can send that email easily to this group only.
Another example would be to create a group called “Leads from Website” which will only have the leads that came through your site directly. These are people that are not ready to make a purchase just yet so your job is to entice them to get on the path to wanting to make a purchase by seeing the perks of your product and/or service. The types of emails you send them could include product or feature release updates or links to your latest blogs to read more about how your business is helping.
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is sending one email out per month to every single person they have on their list. The email is not personalized nor is it targeted to meet the needs of your leads and/or customers. If you have past customers on that list, why are you continually trying to entice them to buy the same product from you? Offer them a different type of email to entice them to come back and make a different purchase by highlighting a different product and/or service.
8. Don’t Rely Only on Social Media to Get the Word Out
Social Media is a great tool to use to build brand awareness and to share links to your website and/or recent blogs.
But using social media should really be used in conjunction with your other online marketing methods.
Social media should not be solely relied on to help build your brand online. It needs to work in parallel with your other online marketing efforts such as email marketing, creating targeted landing pages, blogging, SEO and networking to name a few.
When utilizing social media, remember to be consistent and to share valuable content to entice people to want to follow your or to click on that click to read your latest blog.
9. Automate as Much as you Can
The use of a marketing automation software is going to save you time and help you be consistent with your marketing so you can focus on your day-to-day operations.
With marketing automation, you can automate when emails are sent out, when social media posts are sent and create automated follow-up processes to your leads to ensure you are always staying in touch.
Marketing Automation is becoming almost a necessity for businesses – especially if you can’t afford to hire someone full-time to manage your marketing. Marketing automation will allow you to schedule campaigns and set up workflows to ensure that you are never falling behind.
If you are going to spend the time and money into marketing your business to increase leads and/or traffic, you want to make sure you have a proper follow-up process in place.
Many businesses fall short on the follow-up process which is a shame when you have spent so much effort into trying to get these leads. Marketing automation helps you with your follow-ups to make sure you don’t fall short and to help you try and convert those leads into customers.
10. Get Vocal in your Community
Building a brand online and focusing a lot of your marketing efforts online is wise but you should also consider being vocal in the community by offering your expertise out to anyone who will listen.
Reach out to local small business groups who may have gone through or are going through some of the same struggles or accomplishments as you and share your ideas.
Network with people in your local community to build relationships. You never know where these relationships could lead to but it is always wise never to lose that personal touch.
And if you can join local business groups and do some speaking events or offer your products and/or services to those who are seeking it, why not?
You can build your brand and customer service both online and offline.
Hopefully these easy-to-follow 10 lessons of successful marketing will bring you some success as well. These are by no means the only list that can lead to the successful marketing of your business, but it definitely can’t hurt you to try.