Marketing is integral to a business because it’s the vehicle by which others discover the products and/or services. A business with a great offer but little to no marketing can easily be overwhelmed by a competitor that offers less value but more placement and branding in the industry.
There are so many viable options for marketing that business owners fail to decide on which to implement. The owners may attempt a campaign but quickly become discouraged because of the time and monetary investment needed to begin seeing actionable results.
I’d say there is no “best” form of marketing since there are many factors:
- Type of business
- Geographical location
- Customer demographics
… and many more.
To make this easier – I want to share a quick-start guide on the core marketing types you’ll likely consider when operating your business, their benefits, and a tip on how to put them to work:
Direct marketing is when a company chooses to sell directly to a consumer and skip the “middle man” (aka the realtors). Profit margins are higher because a third party no longer takes a cut and because products/services can be produced a la carte (thus saving on stocking, development, and more).
You can generally associate direct marketing with print marketing:
- Postcards and mailer
To utilize direct marketing a company would need to source talent for design and content. Designers will produce the graphics, copywriters for the copy, and perhaps an experienced videographer in the event of video. This talent investment is often the reason why businesses choose to use a direct marketing company which already has talent on board, client lists to launch from, and experience to help guide you through the campaign.
Try this: Create a simple post card with your offer, include a coupon, and purchase a list of your local industry aficionados – send 50-100 post cards, track results, and measure the ROI.
Content marketing has become the new norm offline and especially online since its content that gives people a reason to visit a website, share on social media, be entertained, or educated. Content is a vehicle for delivering many forms of messages whether it’s a tutorial on how to use your service or a review on your product that’s shared with others on platforms like Facebook.
Content marketing comes in many forms:
- Blog/article posting
… Think about what content you enjoy on the Net and now imagine your business producing it.
Content marketing is hot because it continues to deliver a stream of visitors well after publication because it’s indexed in search. You can produce content in-house or bring in outside help through freelance writers, bloggers, videographers, and social media professionals. A steady stream is the best choice; you shouldn’t have problems finding topics to cover considering you can start with FAQ’s and make your way into answering other questions that come to you via customer interactions.
Try this: Grab your phone, go to your customer service rep, and have them answer one of their most common questions about your products/services. Touch up the video and then share it on social media platforms, embed it as a blog post, and send it out via newsletter.
Email marketing is heavily used and gives you a direct feed to interested parties (that are welcoming to your offers because they “voted” for the information by signing up to your email list) which makes it a fantastic starting point for just about any business. You can often imagine your email marketing campaigns like your content marketing but with a refined selection for the recipients.
Consider this about email marketing:
- VIP rapport to developments
- Exclusive coupons
- Premium content access
Since people opt-in to your email marketing you can send refined content to their liking which increases conversions and overall satisfaction. Email marketing is very easy to setup (there are many free and paid services). You can often fuel your emails with the content you’re already producing or take it a step further by offering premium guides/courses/access to those that are on the list (which, in turn, gives those not on a the list an incentive to sign up).
Try this: Create a freebie for your business (maybe a robust guide for getting more from your service), include opt-in forms on the website, deliver the content along with a coupon for their next purchase, track results (open/response rates), and continue to deliver a great experience to their inbox.
Not all marketing initiatives show immediate results which is why there is a call for patience. Eventually you’ll land on a handful that delivers great return on investment. Once you have that on lock it’s a matter of scaling your campaigns and continually investing in resources.
Hope this helps you find the right match for your business!