Truly unique marketing ideas can translate into millions of dollars – literally. As more and more businesses pop up in the market, the need for novel concepts is unparalleled. Whether it is offline or online marketing, organizations are always in search of innovative strategies that will set them apart from the pack and, more importantly, generate leads through increased traffic and sales.
Both online and offline marketing are equally effective if they are implemented the right way. Often times, your choice of marketing completely depends on what the product is. Let’s take an example: How do you intend to market a service such as web design? It would probably be much easier to market such a service through the use of banners, SEO or even through paid marketing campaigns such as PPC. Since services such as web design and web development are inclined toward the web, using the online medium for advertising your services is much easier and relevant. Therefore, when weighing the best medium for gaining exposure for your business, ask yourself questions such as, “Would this be something that will interest my clients?”, or“Is this the most professional way of marketing my product?”.
However, if you owned, say, a pizza delivery business, a more traditional approach such as flyer distribution to residential areas would likely be more effective and illicit a higher ROI than going online.
In short, in all cases, knowing your audience and how best to reach them is key to finding creative and innovative ways for promoting your business.
Reputation of any business is built over time through consistent efforts that result in satisfied customers. Though promoting your business through forums, reviews and testimonials are valid options, the use of social media to create a solid reputation is the order of the day. Here is how you can work on building a strong reputation in the social media world:
Include Share Buttons: Adding share buttons to your website is a great way to make it easy for visitors to offer feedback and reviews.
Solicit Feedback through Facebook: There is no doubt Facebook is the most popular social media platform, therefore utilize this medium to gain feedback on your services and products through surveys, customer quotes and case studies.
Create a Blog: Creating and writing relevant and updated information on a blog is an ideal way to build your reputation. Blogs help gather opinions and views in the form of comments which can, in turn, be used to provide better services and products. You can immediately address any issues cited by your followers and take adequate action to cultivate the most positive online experience possible.
Get Endorsements on LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a social media platform that puts entrepreneurs on common ground and can be used to get endorsements from credible, non-competitive companies and links.
Use Video Testimonials: Video testimonials depicting satisfied customers are an excellent way to develop a positive reputation and can be obtained through networking events and trade-shows.
In short, although building a strong social media reputation takes some time, it is worth the effort as it helps your business to grow and sustain profitable relationships.
Marketing is an important aspect of any successful business, whether online or offline. However, with the penetration of the Internet growing every day, the importance of online marketing is increasing by leaps and bounds. Here are some online marketing techniques that are particularly effective:
Small businesses are realizing the importance of web presence and, therefore, are taking extra steps toward making their presence felt in the cyber world. The success of any business relies upon marketing and online marketing is no exception. Where the point of contention often lies for small business owners is the affordability of the marketing tools. We’ve listed a few tips below to help small business owners identify how to get the most for their marketing dollars.
Hire Experts: Small business owners often perform most tasks related to their business on their own out of necessity, however, online marketing is an altogether different genre of marketing that requires experts.
Find Your Target Audience: Business owners need to know their target market and the issues related to it. A top priority, therefore, should be to identify the problems faced by existing customers of similar products and offer solutions. This then becomes your unique selling proposition.
Press Releases: Press releases are a good option for promoting your products and services. Not only are they a strategic tool for gaining exposure, but releases can also be tied in with current news and ongoing trends for better visibility and readership.
Viral Internet Marketing: Viral marketing refers to promoting products and services in such a way that users are compelled to share the information with others, resulting in exponentially increased exposure in a very compressed timeline.
Smart online marketing strategies can give a considerable boost to your business. Here are a few ways you can successfully market your business online:
Register with Local Listing Services
This is a simple procedure that produces great results. Getting your business registered with the local listing services ensures that your businesses profile is ranked highly on search engines. With this registration, your business will appear whenever a user searches for products or services similar to those your company provides.
Optimize Your Website
Search engine optimization is an essential part of any online marketing campaign as it increases the visibility of your website resulting in a wider audience for your products and services.
Use Social Media
Social media platforms are becoming increasingly important tools for marketing businesses online. Facebook ads and offers are one highly effective and easy-to-use strategy as is communicating directly with customers via outlets such as Twitter. LinkedIn is also an ideal networking platform for building business relationships. Whatever the medium, the main objective is to interact with customers so that they feel constantly connected to your services and products.
Join Online Communities
Online communities and forums are good places to market your business. You can join communities and forums relevant to your industry and establish a rapport and then slowly put in a few words for your business and post links that direct visitors to your website.
When we were approached by Surface Savers, a tile and grout cleaning company based in Boca Raton, Fla., sales were waning, website traffic was stalled and a marketing strategy was MIA. After consulting with the company’s owners, we created a story for the company based on their vision and turned that vision into a brand. Here is how the metamorphosis took place.
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Click here to see the finished product.
The same should apply to being a small business owner. If you’re a small business owner, why would you pretend to be a large business owner? Instead, promote yourself as a big resource in a little package. As a small organization, you have the advantage of being able to adapt swiftly to new ways of engaging customers rather than having to wade through a lot of bureaucracy before engaging a new plan. That ability to experiment and implement quickly as well as creatively can be a big advantage, especially when it comes to content marketing.
1. Blog: Anyway you can position yourself as an expert or mentor is beneficial in driving traffic to your website. The more you write, the more searches you will show up in on search engines and the more prospects who will be exposed to your company and brand. By using a blog as a useful resource for prospective and current customers, you will attract business at a faster rate than most of your larger competitors with a 10-year head start.
2. Newsletters & Email Marketing: Email newsletters are a cheap and easy way to connect directly with prospective customers as well as stay connected to current customers. Newsletters can be published as blog posts for discovery via search engines and can provide a great segue from social relationships on social networks like Facebook or from a blog to more commercial relationships with prospects. Newsletters provide a way to offer useful and targeted information to nurture leads and provide opportunities to find out more on products and services.
3. Media Coverage & Contributed Articles: Getting mentioned in the local business media and trade publications can boost awareness, credibility and directly generate new business. Make a list of local business publications, writers and editors as well as popular trades and bloggers. Send them relevant news about your company in a concise and compelling format.
Nurturing a positive and consistent relationship with individual journalists is key to garnering positive publicity. Receiving an email directly from the CEO or a VP of a small business creates a direct connection that many time-pressed journalists appreciate. Additionally, if they blog, make comments that add value, then follow up with more detailed, useful information. Provide “hooks” that give perspectives and insights not normally thought of. Stand out and tell a compelling story.
4. Resource Center: One way small businesses are beating their larger competitors in search and in building authority is to be a better resource for customers through useful content. Common formats for helpful information about buying, using and related information on products and services include articles, videos and podcasts.
5. Social Networks & Media: Get to know your prospects and offer them the chance to get to know you. In other words, utilize the social networks that are most relevant to customers. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time, but a small amount of time consistently spent on interaction and relationship building can go a long way at developing a community.
6. Events: Just as importantly as getting to know your customers online is getting to know them in the real world. Events are a great way to connect with prospective customers, marketing partners, new employees and colleagues. They’re also a great place to create content.
As a small business, should you attempt to do all of these things? Probably not. There are only so many hours in the day after all. Our recommendation is to start small and focus on what works. And, as always, if you need us, we’re here for you.
Publicity is the process of gaining visibility by targeting media coverage or gaining exposure for a brand, product or event that is happening right here, right now. Meanwhile, public relations is a long-term strategic communications discipline focused on managing an organization’s reputation. Stated simply, publicity is the professional equivalent of gaining a date with the most popular girl in school, while public relations will ensure future dates and, if you’re lucky, maybe even a long-term committed relationship.
Publicity, therefore, is a tool that PR professionals utilize, but it is only one of the many tools used to develop a healthy and successful PR campaign. Other aspects of PR include: community outreach; corporate social responsibility programming and sponsorships; government relations; grassroots communications and engagement efforts; and, “public” presentations. In short, a myriad of strategies which position the organization as thought leaders and experts in their respective fields.
And, again, just like scoring that first date, it’s not always that difficult to get publicity – you just have to do something that catches somebody’s attention ie: something that’s interesting to someone — or better yet, everyone — besides yourself, and then you have to make sure that the media knows about it.
Having a permanent PR strategy in place, though, is far more valuable for your business in the long run. You want to nurture lasting relationships by crafting a story — usually through a press release — and you want to use any publicity generated towards promoting a meaningful purpose, whether that be your brand, your product or you.
As a small business owner, you should take these words to heart because leveraging the media to further brand your business in the eyes of the public should be an integral part of your overall marketing plan.
So, instead of providing an absolute for our clients, we outline for them the various components of each in order to suss out which strategy will work best for their company’s specific needs. Below are some factors we ask them to consider:
One of the main benefits of Pay per Click, or PPC, is that you can target any geographical areas you want, such as Miami or the South Florida area on a whole. SEO doesn’t allow you to do this. The key to geotargeting is really figuring out what geographic area your business targets. If you go outside of your target area you risk increased competition from other websites. Conversely, if your target area is too narrow, you may exclude potential customers in your service area. By using this formula: location + product (or service).com to determine what domain name to buy for your website, you have a head start on getting your business to show up in organic search results for associated searches.
Cost and Timeframe
While the ROI on SEO is not as immediate as geotargeting – it takes somewhere between 4 and 12 months for a website to make it to the top of Google with great SEO – the resulting ROI is much higher than PPC ultimately. The ROI of PPC is normally better than the ROI of SEO for the first few months, but once you get to the first page of Google organically, you’re going to get a lot of free, qualified traffic, making the ROI of SEO much higher than that of PPC. Because organic listings get approximately 85% of the clicks and paid listings get only 15%, you can get a lot more traffic from SEO, but it also takes longer to get that traffic.
Landing Page Control
A benefit of PPC is that you can send people to any landing page you want. With SEO you have some control over what pages you optimize for each keyword, but at the end of the day, Google can feature other pages on your site instead. With PPC you tell Google where you want your
Tests, Events and Special Offers
The main benefit of PPC is that you can run limited-time campaigns. If you have an event you want to promote, PPC is the way to do it. (ie: if your company is offering a holiday special on your products).
There are some industries where PPC clicks are over $50 and the competition for organic rankings is not that high. And there are industries where organic rankings are really competitive and PPC prices are really low. To find out how much you can expect to pay for clicks in your industry, use Google’s Traffic Estimator.
We hope you will take a few minutes to explore the website and check back often here on the blog for a peek into the world of Nexxus Management!
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