Table of Contents:
- What is the Right Marketing Strategy for Your Business?
- Consider Your Budget
- Who are Your Ideal Customers/Clients?
- What are You Selling?
- Reviews and Word-of-Mouth
- Social Media Platforms
- Printed Marketing
- Paid Advertisements
The best strategies incorporate multiple routes of marketing, a mixture of an online presence and good old-fashioned advertising can bring in a variety of paying customers. As they say, cast a wide net! What will work for you and your business?
Of course, it is the 21st century and much of our time is being spent on our devices, usually scrolling through pages and pages of social media. Age is just one of the many factors that can affect which social media platform someone is more likely to use.
Services will need testimonies from past clients and information on the process of whatever services are being provided. For instance, event coordinators will want to showcase successful events, lawn care professionals will want to show off the beauty of a well manicured lawn they’ve worked on, and both will want past clients to sing their praises.
In order to gain reviews, some companies choose to use social media influencers or celebrity spokespeople. A company will seek out either known celebrities or social media accounts with large followings and give them free products and/or money in exchange for a testimonial review about whatever products or services that company offers. This can include photographs, videos, commercials, and print advertisements of the celebrity using the product or talking about their experience with the company.
These curated reviews are posted on all social media platforms from YouTube to Instagram to Facebook and so on. This route of gaining reviews can cost anywhere from just the price of a product and its shipping cost to paying for a brand ambassador to talk about their experience more often. You can offer them coupon codes to share with their followers to gain first-time customers. You can also provide the person giving the reviews a percentage off of your products if they wish to purchase more than what you provide to them as incentive. Yet, in order to reap all of the benefits of these spokespeople, your company should have its own presence online.
We’ve all spent time watching videos on YouTube. Whether you’ve been on the YouTube website or not doesn’t always matter. YouTube videos can be shared to other platforms very easily or embedded into websites, blogs, and e-mailed newsletters across the internet. Don’t know what you should be posting on YouTube? We’ve made a great list of beginner-friendly video prompts for you.
A Facebook page for your business can be an easily accessible landing place for people to see information about your business; from hours of operation to links to your website and other socials media accounts. Facebook also has a built in messaging service that creates an instant connection for your customers/clients to speak with your company directly. Facebook makes it easy to share content from other platforms such as YouTube and Instagram as well.
Instagram allows you to create a curated portfolio of photography, graphic design, and videos pertaining to your business. Selling tangible products? Here you can display creative photography and videos that feature your goods and storefronts.
TikTok has been one of the fastest growing platforms to come onto the social media scene as of late. If you scroll long enough, you’ll see videos of people crafting handmade products such as jewelry or reusable drink tumblers. You’ll see videos of coworkers performing skits and lip syncs together, inadvertently promoting their workplace in a silly and fun manner. You’ll even come across influencers reviewing products and promoted commercial advertisements from larger brands like Microsoft to those viral Fabletics leggings.
Twitter isn’t always immediately thought of when we think of advertising. It’s more of a place where we get celebrity gossip and breaking news. However, if used right, it can be a great way to interact with your client/customer base.
In the past, large companies such as Wendy’s and IHOP have been in the news for trending on Twitter because of their interactions with other companies (IHOP turning into IHOb for a short moment, anyone?). Even magazines and news outlets use it to promote their articles and drive traffic to their websites.
LinkedIn is a slightly different type of social media platform. It’s a place where businesses can interact with one another, share ideas and news about their companies, as well as advertise job listings looking for prospective employees, and network with individuals business partners.
There are other social media platforms that can be beneficial to niche businesses, too. Exploring all outlets of social media marketing is a great way to find new and creative ways to advertise your company.
One of the greatest downsides to social media marketing, however, is the constant changes that are being made. Social media platforms are ever-evolving, changing their algorithms so that you’re seeing something different every few months. You may have the best posts, hashtags, and keywords figured out to get the most traffic and interactions one day, but then you notice that your posts aren’t reaching as many people as they were the next day. Keeping up with these changes and trends is important when using these platforms.
Perhaps your business would benefit from a regular e-mailed newsletter. If you’re a company that hosts events and sales regularly or is constantly obtaining new products, a newsletter will allow you to share this information with any customer that signs up to receive it. The downside to this can be spam filters. Gmail sends most newsletters to either the Promotions Folder of someone’s inbox, or just straight to Spam.
While we as a society exist on the internet most of the time, businesses can still benefit from the traditional forms of marketing.
Flyers aren’t as popular as they once were, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still useful. They’re usually reserved for local services and events, but they can certainly draw in crowds that may not use computers as often. Depending on how you utilize flyers, it can become an expensive route between the cost of ink and paper. But, a well-placed flyer can bring in more than enough profit to cover those costs.
Flyers can be placed at places of worship, grocery stores, schools, libraries, gyms, and many other places people frequent. If it gets a decent amount of foot traffic, a flyer has the potential to grab the attention of many.
Business cards are, essentially, tiny brochures that can fit into a wallet for potential and current clients to refer back to whenever needed. Instead of advertising products or services, they usually only advertise information pertaining to the person or business. Business cards can be attached to brochures and flyers to provide as much information as possible to anyone who sees them. The more information people have, the more likely they are to work with a company.
Printed ads can also be placed in event programs, particularly of those that are local. School bands and orchestras, local theater companies, and the like are always looking to sell space in their programs specifically for advertisement purposes. Not only does this help to get your name out there, but it shows that you’re contributing to the local community’s culture, because you’re helping to sponsor the programs with the money you paid for the ad space.
Yet, when we think of sponsorships, people tend to think about athletes or sports teams as a whole. In exchange for money and/or product, the sports team will display the company’s logo somewhere in their venue or the athlete will display the company’s logo on their person/equipment in a way that the audience can see the company’s branding. But, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to sponsor a huge NHL team to see your company’s logo on the arena rink to make an advertising impact. Local teams and budding athletes are in need of sponsorships and would work, on a smaller scale, to make your company recognizable to the general public.
Product placement on shows or movies is another type of sponsorship to be considered. Think about your favorite movie, did they drink only Coke products or did the characters wear a specific brand of jeans? Odds are that those brands paid to have their products placed in plain sight in exchange for giving the show a larger budget to work with.
While many of us don’t subscribe to cable as often as before now that we have streaming services and can pay to not see as many advertisements, commercials are still watched by a large audience. Commercials play before many YouTube videos, and sometimes halfway through a video as well. We also tend to tune into special events on live TV, such as the SuperBowl, where commercials are a main feature of the broadcasted event.
The best marketing strategies incorporate a cocktail of the above options. There is no one perfect way to market your business. Finding the right strategy may take some trial and error, and what works one moment may change quickly but marketing is an adaptive industry. The most successful businesses understand this and use it to their advantage.
If you don’t have the equipment or time/expertise to edit videos or photos for your marketing campaigns, you can outsource to professional photographers and videographers, such as C&I Studios. By going this route, you’re helping other businesses to grow alongside yours. Just as well, graphic designers can help you to create content when you can’t create it on your own. This will add extra costs and take away from your marketing budget, but it can be extremely beneficial in luring the right customers and clients. You can find a list of our services here.
Go forth and try new strategies. Keep track of what works and what doesn’t. As long as you’re trying new ideas every so often, you’re bound to succeed more than you fail. It takes some creativity and some risks, but it’s completely worth it.