Marketers deal with branding, promotions, products, pricing, print, blogs, advertising, research, and social media. With so many marketing options, it can be difficult for small businesses to figure out what to do. In marketing, you need to get your brand out there on a variety of platforms and hope enough of them resonate with your customers.
You need to repeat your message to your customers multiple times, so brand, brand, brand! To market your small business, follow these simple tips:
Best Ways To Market Your Business
1. Pay Per Click (Search Ads)
PPC stands for pay-per-click, a model of Internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. Essentially, it’s a way to buy visits to your website rather than trying to “earn” those visits organically.
Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC. It allows advertisers to bid on placing ads in the sponsored links of a search engine when someone searches for a keyword related to your company’s offer. For example, if we bid on the keyword “PPC software”, our ad could appear at the top of the Google results page.
Every time our ad is clicked and a visitor comes to our website, we have to pay a small fee to the search engine. The fee is trivial if PPC works properly because the visit is worth much more than what you pay. We make a lot of money if we pay $3 for a click, but that click results in a $300 sale.
An effective PPC campaign involves many factors, from researching and selecting the right keywords, to creating campaigns and ad groups based on those keywords, to creating landing pages optimized for conversion.
Pay-per-click campaigns that are relevant and intelligently targeted are rewarded by search engines with lower ad click prices. When you create useful and satisfying ads and landing pages, Google charges you less per click, resulting in higher profits for your business.
2. Social Media Ads
Advertising on social networks is a very direct way to reach the desired target audience. You can target brand new customers or returning customers. (New friends! Hooray!) It’s also a chance to do hands-on A/B testing.
All the major social networks offer advertising options. But that does not mean you should use them all.
When choosing where to place your ads, it’s also helpful to know which networks are most popular with your target audience. Where is your audience most engaged, most focused, and most reachable?
Are you targeting teens? TikTok is where you’ll find them. Moms, on the other hand, love Facebook. TikTok ads start at $10 per CPM (cost per 1000 views). You also need to spend at least $500 on a campaign. So, you will not use formal TikTok ads for a cheap and cheerful viral marketing campaign.
Try to figure out which social networks work well for your brand organically. Where does your content resonate most with fans? This is an obvious choice for your first social advertising campaign.
3. Email Marketing
Using email as part of your marketing efforts to promote a company’s products and services and incentivize customer loyalty. Email marketing is a form of marketing that you can use to alert customers on your email list to new products, discounts, and other services.
It can also be a soft sell to educate your customers about the value of your brand or keep them engaged between purchases. It can also be anything in between.
Mailchimp helps you design, build, and optimize your email marketing so you get the best ROI in your marketing program. If you are looking to grow your brand or sell your products, email marketing is one of the most popular – and effective – marketing campaign tools around.
4. Press Release
Getting your business into the news is one of the most cost-effective ways to get your message in front of both actual and potential customers. People see papers, TV, and journals, on and offline, as being unbiased and so they have a greater impact on their audiences than pure adverts. It goes without saying that what you’re looking for is favourable news.
If you do have bad news coming through, check out this website: www.aboutpublicrelations.net/crisis.htm. The surest way to get in the news is to write a press release. Better still, write lots of them.
To be successful, a press release needs to get attention immediately and be quick and easy to digest. Studying and copying the style of the particular journals (or other media) you want your press release to appear in can make publication more likely.
The introduction is the most vital part. Ask yourself, ‘Will what I write make the reader want to read on?’ Avoid detail and sidetracks. The paragraphs should have bite and flow. Keep the sentences reasonably short. State the main point of the story or information early on. Follow these suggestions for a successful press release:
1). Type the release on a sheet of A4 paper headed ‘Press Release’ or ‘Press Information’. Address it to the News Editor, News Desk or a named journalist.
2). Use double spacing and wide margins to allow for editorial changes and printing instructions, respectively. Use one side of the paper only.
3). Date the release and put a headline on to identify it. This must persuade the editor to read on. If it doesn’t attract interest, it’ll be quickly ‘spiked’. Editors are looking for topicality, originality, personality and, sometimes, humour.
4). Tell your story in three paragraphs. The substance should come in the first one. The first paragraph must say who, what, why, when and where, and succeeding paragraphs can fill in the detail. If space is short then a sub-editor deletes from the bottom and papers are always looking for fillers – short items that they can drop into gaps. Even if the bulk of the story is cut, at least the main facts may get printed.
5). Include at least one direct quotation or comment, always from a named individual and ideally from someone of standing or relevance.
6). Keep the press release simple and write for the readership. The general public prefers images or descriptions to technical facts. For example, you can describe a new car lock as being able to keep out a professional thief for 30 minutes for a story in the general press. For the trade press the same story may be better supported by facts about the number of levers, codes and so forth that are involved in beefing up the lock’s security system.
7). Finish with a contact for more information. Give phone numbers for work and home and a mobile number, as well as your email and website addresses. This helps a journalist looking for more detail – if a gap occurs suddenly and you’re available for further information, your story may be more attractive.
8). Submit the release before the paper or journal’s deadline. All the media work to strict deadlines. Many local papers sold on a Friday are printed on a Tuesday or Wednesday morning. A release that fails to make it by then probably gets ignored. The national dailies, of course, have more flexibility and often have several editions. At the other end of the scale, many colour supplements and monthly journals have a cut-off date six weeks in advance.
9). Steer away from selling your firm and product, and write news. Anything else is advertising and may be discarded. You’re not writing an advertisement, you’re telling a story to interest readers.
10). A good picture is worth a thousand words, as the adage goes. Certainly, from a journalist’s point of view it’s worth half a page of text she doesn’t have to write herself.
5. Influencer Marketing
Basically, influencer marketing is a form of the social media marketing that relies on endorsements and mentions of products by influencers – individuals who have a large following on social media and are considered experts in their niche. Influencer marketing works because of the great trust influencers have built with their followers, and their recommendations serve as a kind of social proof for your brand’s potential customers.
There are also big differences in compensation. To find out the going rates for these types of influencers. Micro-influencers usually focus on a few topics and accept products. Some micro influencers work independently, while others may be represented by an agency or network. Larger accounts and celebrities, on the other hand, require compensation and may even be represented by a talent agency.
You need to think about what you want from your social influencer marketing campaign ROI: How will you evaluate the contribution of influencer posts to your overall marketing goals?
One approach might be to compare your expectations of influencers to those of other companies – look at how you would evaluate the budget for a video production company’s work in creating a commercial for you versus an influencer creating a video.
At first glance, it may seem like assessing the value of influencers is unpredictable, but this type of approach gives you a familiar point of comparison and contrast.
6. Podcast Ads
With such a large listenership, the rise of podcast advertising is no surprise. In 2018, podcast advertising brought in $402 million (£331 million), and by 2020, spending could reach $659 million (£543 million). Such rapid growth raises an obvious question: Does podcast sponsorship deliver a solid return on investment?
The answer is yes, if your company knows how to leverage the channel. But before we get into how to create an effective campaign, find out why podcasts offer so much potential.
Podcast listeners not only like advertising, many find it memorable and motivating.
That’s according to the Podcast Playbook, published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The data in this report shows that 67% of listeners can remember products and brands featured in the ads. Even better, 61% have actually paid for a product or service they learned about in podcasts.
7. Video Content & Advertising
Brands need a video marketing strategy – this idea is not new. What has changed is the importance videos have gained across all platforms and channels.
Video is no longer just a part of your overall marketing plan. It’s central to your outreach and campaigns…especially for your social strategy.
Video has absolutely dominated social media. Four of the top six channels on which consumers worldwide watch videos are social channels. Even better, video production is more affordable than ever – you can shoot high-quality 4K video on your smartphone.
Video can be a versatile tool for sales reps throughout the customer buying journey, and it can do much more than increase engagement. Backend analytics also help sales reps qualify and prioritize cold or unresponsive leads.
8. Online Webinars
Webinars can be an effective element of your marketing strategy. The key is to treat them not as a bonus promotion, but as an integral part of the overall plan. Some business people may view it as something additional because webinar marketing is still a fairly new tactic in the advertising market, but what may cause uncertainty is actually one of the many benefits of video content.
Although many of the myths surrounding webinars are quickly debunked, it’s time to say it once and for all – online video conferencing should become a part of your plan and play an important role in it. Only in this way you can benefit from the super strengths of webinar online marketing and profit from a huge ROI.
9. Direct Mail
Direct marketing is any physical correspondence you send to customers in hopes of getting them to buy your business.
All your direct mail must contain is a reference to you or your business, a call to action (CTA), and a way for your customers to contact you. The rest is up to you. Be as creative – or as minimalist – as you like.
Neil Patel, an entrepreneur, marketer and best-selling author, wrote on his blog about a recent study that looked at the average return on investment (ROI) per marketing medium. One study showed that direct mail campaigns actually have a higher ROI than paid search and online ads. In fact, direct mail was only 1 percentage point behind social media, the second highest ROI medium.
Other recent results also show that direct mail’s response rate of 5.3% is higher than email’s response rate of 0.6%.
10. Outsourcing selling
Hiring salespeople can prove to be too costly for a new or small business. A lower-cost and perhaps less risky sales route is via agents. Good agents should have existing contacts in your field, know buyers personally and have detailed knowledge of your product’s market. Unlike someone you recruit, a hired agent should be off to a flying start from day one.
The big difference is that agents are paid purely on commission – if they don’t sell they don’t earn. The commission amount varies, but is rarely less than 7 per cent of the selling price and 25 per cent isn’t unknown.
You can find an agent by advertising in your specialist trade press or newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and Exchange and Mart. You can also try the Manufacturers’ Agents’ Association (MAA; website: www.themaa.co.uk; tel: 01582 767618), whose membership consists entirely of commission agents selling in all fields of business.
The website has a search facility that can help you find a sales agent by geographical area, industry sector or types of customer served. You have to pay £150 plus £26.25 VAT by credit card for an MAA Net Search, allowing you to contact up to 20 agents in one search. Alternatively, trade directories list other agents’ associations.
However, the most reliable method is to approach outlets where you wish to sell. They know the honest, competent and regular agents who call on them. Draw up a shortlist and invite those agents to apply to you.
The International Union of Commercial Agents and Brokers (www.iucab.org/nl) has details on some 470,000 commercial agents in Europe and North and South America.
When interviewing potential sales agents, you should find out:
- What other companies and products do they already sell? You want them to sell related but not competing products or services to yours.
- What’s their knowledge of the trade and geographical area that you cover? Sound them out for specific knowledge of your target market.
- Who are their contacts?
- What’s their proven selling record? Find out who their biggest customers are and talk to these directly.
- Do they appear honest, reliable and fit to represent your business? Take up references and talk to their customers.
Finding professional representation is a challenge, so your product has to be first-class and your growth prospects good, with plenty of promotional material and back-up support.
When you do find someone to represent your product, draw up an agreement to cover the main points, including geographical area, commission rates, when commission is payable, customers you want to continue dealing with yourself, training and support given, prohibiting competing agencies and periods of notice required to terminate. Also build in an initial trial period after which both parties can agree to part amicably.
Learn more about how to make a good advertisement.