As consumers, we are constantly bombarded with messages about products and services, all of which are branded as “the best”.
According to Forbes, the average American consumer sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads per day. The messages take a myriad of forms, from social media to web ads to tv commercials to radio ads, and they loop through our days until they don’t even register any longer – or worse, we actively start avoiding them.
Being ignored is not a position any marketer wants to find itself, and luckily, it can be avoided. The solution is to develop a marketing plan that is so creative, distinct and well presented that people can’t and more importantly don’t want to ignore your message.
The end goal is to communicate your message so thoroughly that your brand name becomes an equivalent of the product itself in the minds of the public. You want to be the Kleenex of all facial tissue.
Do you think it’s a lot easier said than done? It certainly is tricky but it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it sounds. There are many online tools available to help you make your marketing easier with their affordable services and we’ll walk you through some of them as we discuss important marketing strategies. You feel that weight coming off your shoulders already, right?
The goal is to speak to your audience in creative ways to cement your message in their minds, and build relationships with them by providing informative, timely content.
Soon, your brand will become the first to come to mind when they think of the product you sell! Let’s take a closer look at some of the strategies and tools that will help you grab the attention of your customers.
The Importance of Marketing Your Business
What worked even five years ago has probably been replaced by a newer, flashier form of advertising.
If you continue to use only printed flyers to advertise your weekly specials, for example, you won’t reach your younger, more tech-reliant customers in time for them to take advantage of your offers.
Or at the other end of the toolbox spectrum, what happens if you switch only to posts on Instagram, but a big chunk of your customers aren’t even active on social media?
You have to study who your customers are and what is the best way to speak to them, and then you have to start crafting your marketing message accordingly.
So, what’s in that toolbox? Here are some strategies to help you quickly become a marketing expert and then use this expertise to your best advantage.
4 Powerful Marketing Strategies That Work
1# Social Media Marketing
If you look up the definition of social media marketing, you’ll see it’s all about building connections. Your goal is to use each piece of content you publish on your social media to connect with your target audience.
How can you do that? Post bits and pieces of information about your brand on social media in focused, strategic ways so that the right content finds your customers at the right time.
Start by carefully deciding the message you want to convey to your followers. Remember to make sure it is concise and easy to understand because social media users will not stop their scrolling to decode complex brand messages.
You can use some humor to make your message more engaging but use it carefully and sparingly. Run it by your colleagues to gauge first impressions and ensure there is no room for misinterpretation.
Next, create stunning, thumb-stopping images to amplify and reinforce your message. The importance of creative and attention-grabbing visuals on social media cannot be understated.
Did you know visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than simple text content. And not to forget video – 100 million hours of video is watched every day on Facebook – a tool like that must be utilized in your brand message to maximize reach and impact.
Take some time to create the right graphics to get your message across effectively, preferably an even mix of both image and video content.
An easy-to-use online graphic design tool, PosterMyWall, can help you do this in minutes. You can create a beautiful design for any platform using one of the thousands of social media templates available and then resize it for free for all platforms in one go.
It even lets you download these graphics for free or share them to your Facebook and Twitter pages directly without leaving the site. With the Premium subscription, you can forgo the hassle of posting again and again by creating and scheduling all your posts at once.
An important part of social media marketing is listening to and engaging with your followers and analyzing those results to continually improve your reach. Use of engagement tactics like opinion posts on Facebook and Instagram can go a long way for stirring up conversation.
- The Definitive Guide to Social Media Marketing
- Why Social Media Marketing for Business Growth and Promotion
2# Content Marketing
Content marketing is one tool that can bring your business in the spotlight. And if done properly, content marketing packs a two-fold punch for your money.
First, you are providing relevant information that helps people and generates leads. If you do that consistently, it leads to the second: you become established as an opinion leader in the industry, consumers learn to trust you and come directly to you for not only valuable information and industry wisdom but also for reliable products.
Provide them value, in a highly creative, entertaining presentation, and do it in a polite, ethical way and you will build a loyal customer base for the long term.
The content needs to be accompanied by eye-catching and intriguing visuals for readers to keep scrolling through your content for more. Visuals also make your content more skimmable and easy-to-read for the reader.
As mentioned earlier, creating such visuals is a piece of cake with online tools. Simply pick design templates you like and customize them to your needs in minutes to create the blog post headers, infographics and other imagery you need.
Whether it is visuals for your website, blog posts or promoting your content on social media, there is a template available for everything.
You May Like To Read:
- 5 Killer Content Marketing Strategies for Small Budget Businesses
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3# Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you have a website or blog up and running, the goal is to make sure that people searching for your industry on Google, Bing or other search engines see your company name as high on the search results list as possible.
In a study from Advanced Web Rankings, more than 67% of all clicks go to the top five listings and nearly 95% of web traffic goes to a website on the first page of results. How does this happen?
The way to get your website or blog on that first search results page is through Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Don’t run for the door! It’s really not that mysterious.
You simply have to use words or phrases that have high search volumes on search engines, called keywords, as much as possible on your website pages and blog posts (without spamming, of course).
You should internally link your content to other pages on your site (you want your customers to stay on your website as long as possible) as well as to external sources that reinforce what you are saying about your product and add credibility to your word.
Now, when someone searches online using one or more of the keywords you used, there you are, in the top 5 listings or on the first page of results! Now beware, this is not a quick hack. It takes a lot of time and persistence but it delivers results.
You can hire a professional to help you fine-tune this method or you can even do this on your own. To find out what keywords your website needs to be optimized for, you can use an online tool like Moz.
It’s Keyword Research tool helps you get a list of relevant, high search volume keywords related to any industry or topic and other tools like Rank Tracking and Backlink Analysis helps you to stay on top of your website’s performance in SEO. Once you have your website optimized, your organic traffic will start to grow instantly.
4# Email Marketing
You can cement your reach in the long run by building an email list and then keeping it current. Offer a reward to people for providing their email address to you, perhaps with a small discount on their next purchase, or some exclusive content not found anywhere else.
Then, keep in touch with these supporters regularly, with newsletters, sale announcements, and more great content.
The goal with email marketing is to turn prospects into customers and that one-time buyer into a loyal talker–and a return customer.
Maybe they came to your website or into your store but didn’t buy anything that first time, but your site had an email sign up box or your floor attendee in the store encouraged them to leave their email address.
They begin to get emails from your business with great sales and promotions and they ultimately buy a product or service from you.
To maximize the impact of your emails and reduce bounce rate, make the emails as short and attractive as possible.
Long text blocks are the recipe for disaster in email marketing. Instead, use colorful and eye-catching email headers accompanied by short, engaging and possibly humorous content to really leave an impression on your target audience.
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- 6 Email Marketing Techniques To Improve Email Conversion Rates
Putting It All Together
Let’s take a look at an example of a small company that put together a great marketing campaign through the use of some of the tools we’ve discussed here, specifically email, social media and content marketing.
Motion PR is a Chicago public relations agency that stays focused on its vision of being “the heart and soul of excellence in media relations.” Their marketing campaign goal was to help their customer, NutHealth.org, achieve 1,000 Facebook likes, 500 Twitter followers, and 250 Pinterest followers by the end of the campaign. They also wanted 500 individuals to pledge to add tree nuts into their diet for the coming year.
Very specific, very realistic and very measurable.
So how did they do it? They built a requirement into their “Nut Year Resolution” that users also like the Nut Health Facebook Page as they pledged to add 1.5 ounces of tree nuts into their diet in the coming year.
Participants then could earn extra entries for a $100 Whole Foods gift card by tweeting out a message sharing their Nut Year Resolution or by following Nut Health on Twitter and Pinterest.
They initially marketed their Nut Year Resolution via intriguing and compelling emails, and ramped up their social media activity to entertain the influx of new followers.
To build a relationship of trust with these new followers as well as to attract more, they started releasing informative articles on the enormous health benefits adding tree nuts to your diet can create, citing research studies and health experts to back up their claims.
The results were remarkable from these few actions. The campaign had a total of 31,449 entries by 1,257 individuals. They achieved 2,433 Facebook fans, 1,472 Twitter followers, and 357 Pinterest followers. It was determined that the campaign had 729,000 impressions with 6,400 interactions by 5,700 unique users.
So, what do we learn from this example? Set a realistic, measurable goal, and then choose which marketing strategies are most relevant to help you achieve this goal. Are you going to use social media, email, or printed materials?
The mediums you choose largely depend on the demographics of your target audience but one thing is certain – you can’t afford to skimp out on any platform your target audience is actively using.
Use Online Marketing Tools
Use online tools that take much of the work out of the creation of your marketing materials and scheduling to rotate your ads through the various sites.
Free graphics, free flyer designs, free video templates, email header templates, banners, custom posters and more are all available on sites like PosterMyWall and will help you make your content creation and distribution a breeze.
What about measuring your results? Use Google Analytics to track the activity on your website, emails and social media posts. Check out Moz for assessing the strength of your SEO efforts. In this way, you can pinpoint exactly what worked and what needs strengthening before you start another campaign.
Putting together a marketing plan using solid strategies and tools like these initially does take time, but once it is mapped out, maintenance is minimal.
Delegate the work to staff members based on their interests and skill levels and then monitor the results. Make adjustments and update as needed over time.
There is chatter from brands everywhere we go today and your business must find a way to rise to the top of it all.
As a business owner, you have a vision that defines your business. Use this vision to build a laser-focused plan to market yourself to potential customers as well as make your loyal customers feel valued.
These ideas can seem overwhelming but just remember that you are not unaided in this journey. There are hundreds of easy marketing tools available to you that can help you streamline your marketing process.
It’s only a matter of choosing the tools that are right for your business and help you save valuable time and energy. The end result can be a brand that shines above others and keeps your vision alive.
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Author: Alina Jamshed