The following are brief descriptions of the essential marketing tools that are available to us. Ideally, we want to take a selection from these methods to form a solution-based marketing strategy that is tailored to our client’s goals for the growth of their company.
• Reputation Management – People who are sourcing products and services in their local area are looking online. They are checking the reviews and comments that customers are posting on influential sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and many others. They’re looking to see what everyone is saying about your business on social media sites, as well as what they’re not saying. A lack of response is not good either. All this information about you is easy to access, right from their favorite search engine. It’s vital to your company’s future to maintain a healthy reputation online. If you can establish your brand with positive feedback, then prospective clients will choose you over your competition. This is the foundation that you build on with any viable marketing strategy. It’s the first thing we need to look at.
• Website Development – One of the best ways to put your business in front of prospective customers is an effective website that is easy to find. When they search on Google for products or services that your company provides, they need to find you! But simply getting them to your site is not enough. Your website needs to be appealing, easy to navigate, and informative. You need content that engages visitors and conveys a clear message about what you have to offer them and why they need to place their business with you. The goal is to maximize your conversion to sales. That is the bottom line, after all.
• Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – There are two basic methods by which you can improve your website’s ranking on search engines. First, there is organic search engine optimization. This is a process by which you improve your site’s visibility to Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines, utilizing methods that make your content more accessible to them and what they like to see. This is an accumulative effect that takes time, but the results are more lasting. Second, there is managed paid advertising on the search engines themselves. The results are immediate, but only last as long as you pay. Managing an AdWords campaign is labor-intensive and advertising this way can be fairly pricey as well.
• Social Media Marketing – Social Media is an enormous engine for communication online. Facebook and Twitter have 700 million members combined and growing! YouTube gets 300 million visitors a month! Your prospective customers are there and so should you be. You can quickly and effectively increase your visibility and get your message out using these incredible resources. Not only is having a presence on the social media sites of great benefit to your business, but you can advertise there as well. Folks who are going to their Facebook page several times a day will see your ad there. It’s not about getting them to stop what they are doing and take a look at you. It’s about staying in front of them, so that when they are looking for products or services that your company sells; your brand comes to mind. It’s kind of like an online version of a billboard that they see every day on their way to and from work.
• Mobile Marketing – This is the fastest growing area in marketing today. People are now using their cell phones and tablets for far more than just socializing or playing games – everything from conducting business, to searching, to purchasing, to managing their accounts online. In the next five years, the number of online searches for products and information made from a mobile device will exceed the number made from a computer. Mobile Internet access is no longer a toy. It’s a way of life! You need to make sure that your online presence is mobile-friendly and that you are reaching your potential customers where they live – in a mobile environment.
• Lead Generation – When it comes to marketing to other businesses, a valuable resource is a list of qualified leads that you can contact. We do the research for you and develop a comprehensive list that is relevant to the product or services you are marketing and targets your ideal client. This would of course include valid contact information. Such a list facilitates a phone, email, and/or direct-mail marketing campaign. It gives you a good place to start with confidence. Lead generation for individuals is also possible, but requires a means to gather their contact information on a voluntary basis. A good example would be a giveaway promotion.
• Email Marketing – One of the more effective online marketing strategies, in conjunction with a well-designed landing page and your website, email campaigns can reach a large number of prospective customers in a short period of time, at a manageable cost. The key is having a list of qualified leads, email content that engages the consumer, and great follow-up. The challenge is avoiding spam filters and actually getting your email read. We like this marketing method best for up-selling and cross-selling to existing customers.
• Direct Mail Campaigns (offline) – Used in conjunction with marketing online, direct mail campaigns are a viable strategy for reaching your prospective customers, particularly if you target relevant leads. The content needs to be personalized, to engage the reader, and to convey a clear message about what you have to offer them and why they need to place their business with you. It’s important that this type of offering reaches a decision maker and not stay with the person screening mail. This is another marketing method that works well for up-selling and cross-selling to existing customers.