When it comes to running a business, marketing needs to form a huge part of your considerations – as if day-to-day operations and the financials weren’t enough to contend with! The type of business you run, the budget you have, the audience you’re marketing to, and the skills you have available will all influence what marketing channels work best – here’s our rundown of the main ones:
The utilisation of social media for your marketing has gone beyond ‘a good idea’ and moved into ‘absolutely essential’ territory. On one level, posting consistently and strategically for free in order to grow an authentic, organic following is the basis for social media success, paid social media advertising is the way the world is going, and you’d be wise to get on board.
When you’re scrolling on your feeds, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok, it can’t have escaped your notice that ‘sponsored’ posts are coming up more frequently, which means the brand has paid for it to be there. Paid social media adverts can be tailored so that they get pushed to the feeds of your chosen demographic, putting your business in the eye line of those who are most likely to use it.
Another side to social media is influencer marketing, which is where users with large followings (who can ‘influence’ them) promote your product to their followers.
Social media can be utilised by any business, particularly when it comes to the free elements, but it’s particularly important if you’re marketing to a younger audience.
Word Of Mouth:
Nothing gives a potential customer confidence in your business like the positive review of a person who’s already invested in you. Smart Money People reported that 84% of UK consumers trust online reviews compared to industry experts. Interestingly, 68% of people asked would make a purchase having seen positive reviews, and 69% would change their mind if they saw negative reviews for the business they were about to spend money with.
It’s not just online reviews that count, but the traditional recommendations to family and friends too. This is the kind of marketing that you can’t quantify, but through consistently good and honest service, any business can begin to see the benefit from it.
You may think about your website as the destination for your marketing, which is true, and that’s why you need to make it user friendly, easy to navigate, and appealing to the eye. However, it can also be a marketing channel in its own right when you correctly harness the power of SEO – that’s Search Engine Optimisation.
SEO encompasses the practices involved with getting your business to appear higher on search engine results pages and involves a blend of technical, behind-the-scenes activity on your website, and on-page content strategies. How often do you head to Page 2 of Google? We thought so.
Your page content ensures that you’re providing value to your users, as well as keywords for Google so that it can recognise and prioritise your content. The key to SEO is keeping up with updates from Google, as they’re often releasing revised advice for anyone wishing to achieve the top spots for relevant search terms, such as their E-E-A-T guidance.
Every business should have a website, and with that should come a strong SEO strategy if you want to be found by the people actually searching for what you do.
It’s always wise to market to a captive audience who have already interacted with your business in some way and to reward them for that loyalty. This is where email marketing can come into its own.
Building an email list can be done through incentivisation, for example, with a free download or, most commonly, a discount code that can be redeemed on a qualifying order. An opt-in as part of the purchase process is also a good way to get existing customers signed up to receive news and offers from your business, making a repeat purchase more likely.
The beauty of email marketing is that your email lists can be segmented so that you can market appropriately to the different groups of people who have interacted with your business. Carefully crafting subject lines, content, offers, and calls to action, coupled with great timing so that emails land in inboxes at the perfect time is the secret to email marketing success.
Email lists can work amazingly for product-based e-commerce businesses, but service-based organisations can successfully use it too.
Whilst the digital age may have led us to believe that offline marketing, such as print advertising, radio promotions, TV commercials, billboards and even bus advertising, is dead, we beg to differ.
If you’ve got a bigger budget, want to reach a wide, diverse audience, or those who need your products or services are older and less likely to be so au fait with smartphones, offline marketing should definitely be included in your marketing strategy. It can do a lot to bolster credibility, build trust, and can serve as a lasting reminder of your business in comparison to, say, social media adverts.
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