Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or an aspect of business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway contest for a smartwatch. Today, we will answer the following question: “what are some effective marketing strategies?”
If you have followed the Quick Questions series, then you probably have a sense of just how many good marketing strategies there are. From social media to content marketing, and even search engine optimization, the number of ways for you to market your products and services are seemingly growing by the day.
Of course, knowing about these ways to market is one thing. Effectively implementing them to grow your small business is another. With that in mind, I’m going to talk about some marketing strategies that our agency has found effective.
Read This Before You Choose Your Marketing Strategies
The first step to choosing one or more effective marketing strategies is knowing and understanding your target market. A target market refers to a group of potential customers to whom a company wants to sell its products and services.
It’s obvious, simple advice, but we cannot emphasize it enough. Every successful business has a target market. Every single one!
Finding your target market will help you start your company, or if you’ve already started, increase revenues and improve your return on marketing spending.
Next, you need to know where you want to take your business. You don’t need a 20-page business plan, but you did need some clear goals.
Choosing goals may seem daunting, but there are a ton of resources online, such as:
- Our Small Business Marketing 101 post
- This guide by the Small Business Administration
- A list of other resources
Once you have your goals written down, it’s much easier to choose marketing strategies which will lead you to your desired destination. The number of marketing methods available to you are a blessing, but without a clear plan, they can just as easily be a curse. So don’t skip this step!
4 Marketing Strategies We Like
We don’t want to overwhelm you with information, so we’re going to stick to just four marketing strategies which we like and use frequently.
First, there’s content marketing. Content marketing simply means creating something for people to read, watch, or listen to. That could be a blog, YouTube channel, podcast, social media posts, and many, many other things.
People are always looking for information and entertainment. If you can provide that, then they will be grateful. Given you do a good job and continue making content for enough time, customers will come to you. That’s why content marketing is considered one of the most effective ways to promote a business. As many as 60% of B2C marketers use content marketing, and we count ourselves among them.
Facebook advertising is another favorite of ours. Without exaggeration, we can say it’s still the best social media advertising platform around. There’s good reason for that, too – Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world with over 2.4 billion users.
Facebook ads are exceptionally good at helping small business owners target the perfect audience. Facebook gives you the ability to design your own ads, and show them only to your exact target audience. These ads can be target people by traditional demographics such as age, gender, geographic location, as well as super-specific ones like interests.
Want to target people who like both eBooks and an obscure British TV show about an absent-minded detective? You can do that (and, in fact, we did that to great effect to help a young adult author get his book seen online).
Instagram ads also allow you to reach accounts who have never heard of you. This platform lets you create your ads and reach your specific target audience based on features such as location, demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.
If it sounds similar to Facebook ads, that’s because it’s the same basic platform. Instagram has over a billion monthly active users, and we’d argue they are much more engaged than people on Facebook. We’ve also noticed that Instagram ads are great for establishing a polished brand image.
Email marketing promotes customer relationships. It does so much better than you would think, too. Some marketers even say you get a return of $44 for every $1 you spend on email marketing. We think that’s too optimistic, but the basic sentiment is right.
It’s no secret that solid customer relationships serve as the foundation for any business. Email campaigns allow you to reach your current audience while providing useful content. This helps keep your business at the front of your customers’ minds.
While many marketing channels require capital upfront, email marketing can be done for free on a small scale. On a larger scale, it costs money, but not much. Platforms such as Mailchimp do an excellent job of providing both free and paid plans for email marketers-to-be.
You can learn more on how to get started with email marketing here.
There are countless ways for you to effectively market your business. As a marketer, choosing which strategies to include in this post was hard enough, because so many strategies can yield the results you are searching for! Ultimately, I wanted to keep this post as simple and approachable as possible.
But you don’t just have to stop with our four suggestions. For example, we’ve been podcasting a lot lately and have found that to be an effective way to reach new people and network with professionals. Some of our clients swear by the power of conventions and networking events.
The point is: if you know your audience and your goals, you can find a way to effectively market!