1. Start with a strategy
We all know that most businesses have busy and quiet periods throughout the year. By planning your marketing for the whole year in advance rather than just when things start to get quiet, you should help keep things more consistent.
A Marketing Strategy will address your key objectives, how you are going to achieve them, identify and target your customers’ needs, detail how you will attract new customers and how you will reach out to existing ones.
Look at what marketing has worked for you in the past and what hasn’t. A good plan will save you time and money over the year.
2. Engage with your customers where they are
It’s easier than ever to find and engage with your customers. For many businesses, especially B2C, your customers are all online and easily contactable. Social media is the fastest and simplest way to keep up a conversation with your existing customers and find new ones. Use sites such as LinkedIn to find other key members of an organisation that you deal with (or would like to) and keep customers up-to-date with your movements via Facebook, Twitter and email newsletters.
3. Produce great content
With more and more businesses using online marketing tools and email marketing, inboxes fill up fast; don’t be the one who ’spams’ your customers with pointless, irrelevant emails – they will just be deleted unread. Creating unique content that is worth talking about and sharing. This will keep your business name fresh in the minds of your current and future clients. If your content provides value then you won’t have to do anything other than let your customers spread the word for you.
4. Use new tools to add to your marketing mix
In the world of marketing, particularly online, new tools are being developed all the time. 2010 saw the rise of SEO tools like Retargeting. Group buying sites like Groupon offer customers great deals; and for retail businesses rapidly growing Foursquare is showing you exactly who is in your shop just waiting for you to target them. All these and more are set to become massive in 2011.
A point to note though; as new tools appear stay on top of them but be mindful as to what works for your business and what doesn’t. Jumping on every new fad can send out a negative message just as much as not doing anything at all. Just because it works for one type of business doesn’t mean it will work for yours.
Look out for blog posts on these over the next few weeks.
5. Focus on inbound marketing
Outbound marketing such as telesales and direct mail is becoming less and less effective as your competition is likely to be sending the same type and quantity of marketing material as you. This means your business and message gets lost amongst the noise. By getting your customers to come to you, for instance via your website or calling you direct, you save time and money while building a relationship with them.
Search engine marketing, landing pages and social media campaigns are all great examples of inbound marketing; an inexpensive YouTube clip demonstrating a product could gain hundreds of views and get people talking about your business fast. (If you haven’t already, check out ‘Will it blend?’)
For help in writing a strategy, standing out from the noise, using new tools or in fact anything to do with marketing get in touch with us here.
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