6 Tips for a Successful Marketing Strategy
As a business owner you probably wonder how to successfully market your company, your products, or your services without breaking the bank.
You’re not alone. This is a question small entrepreneurs all over the world ask themselves on a daily basis.
A quick search on the internet for “marketing” will leave you dizzy from the number of options available. In addition, marketing is a creative skill, one that can take a lifetime to master.
Here are a few tips to simplify things while you’re developing your marketing strategy.
- Target Your Audience
To begin with, get to know your target market. Who are the people who buy from you? Where do they hang out? For instance, if your target market consists of young people who love hanging out online and playing video games, you might try offering some free games online to draw them in.
On the other hand, if you sell handbags your target audience is quite different and would require another approach.
- Educate Yourself About Online Basics
For online marketing, you need to take SEO, or search engine optimization, into account.
How does SEO work? A very simple explanation is that search engines like Bing and Google scour the internet for words and phrases they find in online postings. Then they index those words and phrases, called keywords, and present them in an organized way to users who are looking for them.
What this means to you when you’re marketing your business online is that you need to try to imagine what words and phrases the people who are looking for what you’re offering will use. And then you need to place those words and phrases strategically in the online posts you make about your business. Various analytical tools can help you to refine your SEO strategy.
- Look to Direct Sales if that’s Right for Your Product
Does your product lend itself to direct sales? With direct sales, the customer and the seller meet, and the sale is transacted right then and there. Think of automobile sales from a car lot or door-to-door sales in which the salesperson brings the product to the customer’s home. Big companies that sell by way of party plans are also in the direct sales category.
- Can You Earn Some Publicity?
Earned publicity is unsolicited media coverage about your business, your service, or your product. It carries more weight than any other kind of media coverage, and if it’s positive, it can really help to boost your sales and your business. An example of earned publicity is a positive news story about your product, your service, or your company that brings welcome attention your way.
Close kin to earned publicity are online ratings. Think of ratings for Amazon products, Yelp and Google reviews of businesses, and sellers’ ratings on sites such as eBay and Craigslist.
While earned publicity may be out of your power to produce on your own, you can encourage it by ensuring that each and every product you place in customers’ hands is a good one, by making sure that the services you provide are impeccable, and by taking good care of your customers in every way you can.
- Go Social
Large numbers of smart consumers search for products online before they purchase, so it just makes sense to advertise to them on social media sites.
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter make paid advertising pretty simple and even easy to analyze, but you can also get and hold your target audience’s attention by building a following on social media and regularly updating your fans with interesting and informative posts.
Even if you do pay for advertising on social media, it can be less expensive than newspaper or television ads.
- Nothing Beats Word of Mouth Marketing
If you can create an experience for your customers that has them telling their friends and family about your business, you will have generated the most powerful marketing tool there is.
Rooted in excellence, all you have to do to bring about word of mouth marketing is create a product that leaves people excited, deliver a service that’s so far above and beyond its competitors that it makes your clients breathless, and offer incomparable customer service.
Yes, that’s a tall order, but isn’t that what you had in mind for your business when you first decided to become your own boss?
Finally, if you’re creative and use your imagination, you’re bound to come up with marketing strategies that you can afford that also successfully promote your business.