Whether it’s making enough to cover the month’s expenses or to acquire thousands of dollars in a day, the overarching goal of an entrepreneur is to make a profit. It’s similar to how employees work hard to earn an income.
Behind this clear objective, though, lies the problem of how to accomplish it. That is, how to reach your target audience and increase the number of buyers for your products and services.
Marketing is a productive way to catch the interest of consumers and engage with them to garner support for your brand. If you’ve been running your enterprise for quite some time, you should utilize effective marketing strategies as they can help your venture grow and succeed.
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Here are some of the best, time-tested marketing strategies that experts swear by:
1. Focus on SEO
It’s no secret that digital marketing is one of the best ways to reach your target audience nowadays. Most consumers are tethered to their phones, scrolling through their news feeds to check for updates or searching for the trendiest restaurant in town. Thus, it makes sense for businesses to invest resources into promoting their brands online.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential digital marketing strategy focused on the growth of quality website traffic by increasing a website’s visibility on search engines. This tactic involves the strategic use of keywords and links so that your website pops up in relevant user searches, enabling you to capture consumer interest.
Your website is an excellent platform to promote your products and services. More than that, you can also take advantage of it to cement your place as a leader in your industry by starting a blog that provides expert advice and insider information to current and potential customers.
For instance, if you sell kitchenware, you could publish recipes that feature your products. This way, when people type queries into a search engine about how to cook their favorite meals, your website will show up in the results. Consumers can then see your products in action and will be more inclined to explore your website.
Another way to improve SEO is by building links, which signals to search engines your site is a high-quality resource. Tiered link building is one great option to gain backlinks, but what is tiered link building? In short, tiered link building is basically the process of building links to your links to help boost their authority.
Google, the top search engine today, provides updates whenever they tweak their algorithm to serve users better. Nonetheless, you should prepare a solid SEO foundation for your site to ensure high-quality traffic and conversions. This means publishing engaging content and maximizing link building, both of which take considerable time and effort.
2. Make the Most of Social Media
Social media has exploded in popularity over the last decade, thanks to the intrinsic human need for interaction and communication. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok—the rising star among younger consumers—are digital spaces where businesses can engage with their target audiences.
On the marketing front, you should establish official accounts on various social media channels shortly after commencing business operations. This way, you can establish a following of potential customers who are interested in your products and services.
The platforms you choose depend mainly on your target demographic. In the earlier example of a kitchenware company, the target audience would be mostly adults, such as parents and young professionals who live alone. You can likely reach this consumer age group on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Pinterest is another an ideal choice. To reach younger generations, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok are your best bets.
YouTube, on the other hand, has established itself as the top video-sharing platform and almost all consumers go there to watch videos from the latest dance crazes to serious historical documentaries. Thus, it’s worth investing resources into creating quality videos about your products and services.
3. Try Your Hand at Cause Marketing
Cause marketing is when a business works with non-profit organizations and charities to raise funds for people who need financial aid. There are also businesses that operate with the primary objective of helping their communities; these are called social enterprises.
This type of marketing strategy adds a human element to your advertising efforts. These companies are perceived as more favorable than purely for-profit establishments because they allow consumers to purchase the products and services that they need or want, while helping others through the brand’s partner organizations.
With case marketing, consumers feel good about their purchases, with the knowledge that their money is being used to provide shelter, food, or other support to people in need. Select a cause that you care about so that your target audience can see your genuine passion when you promote cause-branded products or services.
4. Take Advantage of Earned Media
Speaking of sincerity, one of the best marketing strategies is to scour the internet for brand mentions and reviews of your products and services. The publicity that you earn for free, whether positive or negative, is called earned media. It comes in many forms, from tweets stating how awesome your merchandise is, or Google reviews on how your customer support helped the buyer.
The keyword for earned media is organic. This means that you didn’t pay for the promotion of your brand, as you would through pay-per-click or influencer advertising. It’s also different from guest posting because you’re the one that typically creates the content for the latter.
With earned media, you let your products and services speak for themselves. You don’t have to do anything aside from asking the permission of the web user if you can republish their tweet or review on your website.
Other types of earned media are: being featured on a publication that specializes in your industry, and customer reviews on third-party platforms like Yelp and Amazon.
The best thing about earned media is that it provides the same benefit as a word-of-mouth referral from a loyal customer. Consumers value authenticity, so if you get praise for your merchandise, potential buyers will be more likely to purchase the same product or service.
5. Ramp Up Your Point-of-Purchase Marketing
Point-of-purchase (POP) marketing is selling to a captive audience. One common technique for this strategy is for a salesperson to promote related accessories and tools to the product that a customer is eyeing.
For instance, if someone has decided to buy a bottle of shampoo from your shop, you should make sure the item is placed next to an array of hair conditioners, which encourages them to buy the latter to achieve lustrous hair. You could even put the two products in a bundle and give a discount when purchased together.
In an e-commerce store, you can put up banners promoting exclusive sales to motivate buyers. You can also use data from their transaction history and things that they’ve added to their carts but didn’t purchase to display personalized ads on items more likely to catch their attention.
6. Capture New Consumers with Paid Advertising
Paid advertising is the opposite of earned media. This marketing strategy involves paying to have your brand promoted to your target audience. These days, there are two types of paid advertising: offline and online.
Traditional advertising methods—such as TV commercials, magazine and newspaper features, radio ads, billboards, brochures, flyers, and direct mail—are considered offline promotions. While many think this strategy is obsolete, it’s still valuable if your target audience is an older demographic with limited internet access.
Online paid advertising can also be curated according to consumer needs and preferences. In fact, digital data collection is easier to gather, so businesses can easily personalize the type of ads that’ll be shown to potential customers.
Online advertising tools include your website and social media accounts. Pay-per-click (PPC) and pay-per-impression (PPM) ads also fall under this category.
With PPC, your ad shows up on a platform with substantial traffic, such as Facebook, Google, or a popular blog in your industry or niche. When visitors of these websites click on your advertisement, they are directed to your site and you are charged only for the number of clicks that your banner received from these sources. This tool also has safety measures in place so that you don’t end up paying for spam and instead receive high-quality leads or traffic.
For PPM ads, you pay for every one thousand impressions or views. This online advertising type is useful when you have a compelling advertisement. This way, when potential customers see your banner, they’ll want to learn more about your products and services.
The primary objective when using PPM is paying less for a click than in a PPC campaign. However, you’re at a greater risk of paying for spam views in PPM ads. The best way to counter this possibility is to work with reputable PPM providers.
7. Reward Customer Referrals
Another viable marketing strategy is creating a rewards program for customers who recommend your business to friends and family. Nothing beats word-of-mouth advertising in terms of the buyer quality it provides.
Customer referral rewards are beneficial for business-to-business (B2B) companies because they often rely on high-quality leads. Collecting referral data is relatively straightforward. You just have to ask the customer who referred them or how they learned about your brand. With this information, you can determine a rewards program for the customer who referred them.
You may have also heard about affiliate marketing, which is essentially a digital referral program. Chosen affiliates typically receive their own code, which they promote along with your brand on their respective platforms, like their blogs or social media accounts. Then, once a follower or web visitor clicks on the affiliate link and purchases products from your company using the promo code, the affiliate will receive a reward or commission.
The best thing about affiliate marketing is that you have full control of how you’ll reward your affiliates. This makes it a cost-effective and modern referral program that all businesses can utilize.
8. Establish Relationships with Influencers
Today’s generation of buyers are ruled by influencers, ranging from celebrities to the average guy or girl next door. The internet and social media have provided a platform for ordinary people to catch the attention of others through their talents, whether that be photography, writing, singing or dancing.
While some influencers will promote anything, many influencers are selective with the brands that they endorse, to maintain their authenticity. They only promote products and services that have worked for them, personally. You should work with these influencers because they’ve acquired the trust of their followers. If you can build their confidence in your products and services, you’ll enjoy more high-quality leads and increase your conversions. Find influencers in your specific niche or industry to guarantee interest.
It’s important to remember that influencers make a living through sponsors and promoting branded content. Influencer marketing is still considered paid advertising, so you must be prepared to pay for their services. Nonetheless, the cost is significantly lower than working with celebrities, while ensuring same, if not higher, levels of engagement.
9. Don’t Forget Email Marketing
Similar to traditional advertising methods, email marketing is still very much alive and thriving. This direct form of digital marketing provides the personalization benefits of direct mail without the price of print.
Newsletters are an excellent email marketing tool because they offer updates about your company. Some brands email their data base when they have sales or new products on-site. You can also include customized discounts and promos as well. For instance, offering 10 percent off during a customer’s birth month to encourage them to buy. While there are many benefits to email marketing, it’s important you don’t go overboard; no one likes receiving multiple emails a day from the same business.
Nowadays, most marketing strategies involve making the most of existing digital tools and platforms. You must invest in SEO, maximize your social media accounts and utilize email marketing methods to reach your target audience and gain new customers.
Offline advertising is still relevant, though. For a well-rounded marketing approach, consider incorporating strategies like cause marketing, point-of-purchase marketing and traditional promotions through TV, print, and direct mail into your marketing efforts.