Chances are, you are thinking about how to attract and retain your customers. Your first priority is to consistently create original, helpful or thought provoking content. Your ability to stay organized and advance in your marketing journey will play a critical role in the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. Here are seven marketing strategies to help grow your business.
Word Of Mouth (WOMM)
WOM marketing relies on your sphere of influence spreading the word about you. Author and national speaker Matt Ward recommends we “show up in people’s lives.” Contact them occasionally, email them, say hello, send a handwritten card. Share their social media posts (business), endorse them on LinkedIn.
+ A Word of Mouth referral is highly regarded as trustworthy compared to other forms of Marketing. Helps you to build positive, healthy, and long lasting relationships.
– Word of Mouth has a smaller reach in comparison to other forms of marketing. Set programs for your entire organization to help spread the word.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the art and science of attracting more targeted traffic to your business. SEO (aka Search Engine Marketing) is considered the best method for local businesses to get found online with consumers who are actively searching for a service. Traffic could include website visits and calls/directions via your Google Business Listing.
+ Seventy-two percent of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles. Not to mention, queries with “___ to avoid” and “__ worth it” is increasing at an alarming rate.
– Local SEO can be self taught, but will require a local knowledgeable professional in competitive markets.
Social Media (SMM)
Products and services that are new, different and not actively searched for are best suited for social media.
Social Media is “social.” It’s a way to mingle with other professionals and businesses, share ideas, tell stories, take people behind the scenes. Don’t sell – INSPIRE. The advertising options on social media are endless and offer an extremely robust suite of tools to reach and engage your audience.
+ Reach a large audience. The ability to pay or sponsor content and target reach can grow your audience by its location and demographics.
– Discipline to inspire and not sell. Paid ads can get complex to make the best use of your marketing dollars.
Influencer Marketing (IM)
IM uses endorsements from people or organizations with an engaged following. IM is best suited for companies with new products – ie something that can be shipped, or with local services.
+ Ease of reaching a wide audience. The Word of Mouth benefits are baked in when the influencer believes in your product or service.
– Needs to be genuine and altruistic.
Promotional Product Marketing (PPM)
Promotional products are usable, everyday items imprinted with an organization’s logo or tagline. Imprinted products made in mass quantities can also help reach a wider audience.
+ PPM creates a connection to consumers by engaging their senses and leaving an impression.
– Don’t send a negative message with poor quality. Find a reputable company to design and deliver your imprinted products.
Newsletter Marketing (NM)
Newsletters keep current customers engaged with your latest news, sales and upcoming events. They can also serve people interested in your business by offering really helpful focused information or research.
+ Easy to start and track. Great to engage people you already know or work with.
– Takes time to understand what information to include, to be consistent and to grow your list.
Text Message Marketing (TMM)
Smartphones are arguably the hub for most of our communications and software companies have developed ways for marketers to jump on the bandwagon. These systems allow you to send your customers, or opt-in leads to receive SMS messages on their device. The most frequent use of these systems are flash sales, limited time discounts, polls, and events.
+ More reliable and better open rates than Newsletter Marketing.
– Messages are short. Since this is a new trend, consumers are concerned about fraud. The call-to-action in your messages needs to be crafted in a way users trust.
Direct Mail Marketing (DMM)
DMM involves sending something physical to a consumers mailing address. The most common forms of direct mail include custom postcard, brochures, catalogs or even hand-written cards.
+ Easy to acquire large lists of targeted addresses. Almost guaranteed someone will “check the mail”. Recipients have something to save if they consider future interest in the material.
– More expensive considering cost per reach per customer. Not easily tracked.
Sponsorship Advertising can range from an advertisement on a website, newsletter, or even a magazine. It’s a quick and effective way to reach a niche of readers to show you care about the information they produce.
+ It sends a strong signal to customers and to the community that you care about or see yourself aligned with the source in which you are advertising or sponsoring.
– Requires consistency – look at the long game. Quick ads here and there do not send a strong signal. Ads or sponsorship messaging needs to be clear and concise.
Be consistent with original, helpful or thought-provoking content. Your audience may not react immediately so ask for their input along the way and, most importantly, don’t give up.
Dale Shadbegian is CEO and president of Cape & Plymouth Business Media.