As a business owner, you have a lot of marketing choices. But what you choose and how you use them will ultimately drive success. While cost and ROI will always play a role in your marketing decisions, don’t overlook your marketing purpose and integration.
Marketing has many purposes. From creating awareness and building relationships to generating new sales or repeat business. Depending on your marketing purpose, some tools work better than others. And when you combine various tools, through integration, you have a better recipe for success.
Here are a few commonly used small business tools to demonstrate this point.
Social Media | Organic versus Paid
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are popular with small businesses. They are good for sharing things that others want to re-share – and that’s the key. Photos, infographics, local events, helpful tips and good news posts can help you stay connected and reach some new people.
If you are using social media as a free or low-cost method to reach lots and lots of new customers, you may be disappointed. Most social platforms rely on ads or premium subscriptions for revenue, so your reach is limited (by design) unless you pay to boost the posts, display ads or sponsor messaging. Promotional messages and special offers need a boost to perform well. The good news – when done right, paid social media is an affordable, effective way to reach more of your targeted prospects.
Tip: When it comes to content and platforms, quality beats quantity every time. More is not always better. Choose the platforms that work best for your business then deliver quality information – stuff that is relevant to your customers.
Email Marketing | The Ultimate Stay Connected Tool
Your permission-based email list is an asset! It’s comprised of customers and prospects who said YES and want to hear from you. So, it’s a great tool for staying connected and building relationships that may create sales now or in the future.
Email marketing is flexible and affordable. With a variety of platforms like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, and iContact, it’s also easy to keep your name and message in front of potential buyers. For helpful tips, check out my article, 7 Ways to Build Relationships with Email Marketing.
While consistency and good content are important, the size and quality of your list is a key to success. The bigger the list, the better the opportunity. So, put a lot of effort into building your list.
Use your website, social media, and sales or service teams to help grow your list. Give customers and prospects a reason and make it easy for them to say yes. Then deliver what you promise – relevant information.
Website | For Questions and Information
Good marketing gets attention and creates interest. But it hardly ever provides all the information someone needs to make a decision. So where do people go to get more information? Some may call but most will go to your website.
SEO and other marketing will certainly drive people to your site. So about us, services and contact information are helpful and expected. But you may be missing opportunities if you rely on these alone.
Blogs can answer common questions, provide updates and deliver relevant information. Frequently Asked Questions – with simple answers – can also do the trick. Case studies and white papers allow you to demonstrate your expertise with problem-solution type information. Testimonials, online reviews, and certifications can offer proof of expertise.
Is your website the go-to place for questions or information prospects need? Here’s what you should consider:
- What questions do prospects commonly ask during the sales process? Write them down and create clear (brief) answers.
- What is the best way to share this information? Would a page with FAQ’s do the trick or should you create a blog post (or series of them) to answer the questions?
- Do customers look for proof of your expertise? If so, case studies, white papers, testimonials, online reviews, and certifications can help you deliver. Make it easy for customers to find them.
Direct Mail | The Forgotten Tool
With so much emphasis on digital marketing, direct mail is almost an afterthought. When used with other tools, digital or media, direct mail helps reach new customers. It can be highly targeted and there’s a lot less direct mail competition today.
Whether you want to drive people to your website to learn more or call to schedule an appointment or get a quote, direct mail can deliver more bang for your buck when used with other tools. To get more customers, check out the article, 10 Direct Mail Tips.
A Final Thought
To get more sales and profit from your marketing efforts, build a plan with purpose and integration in mind.
It all starts with your marketing goals. Ideally, your marketing should accomplish three things: generate new leads, nurture unconverted leads in your pipeline and create repeat business from customers. Budget funds to do all three – with consistency. Then, choose the right tools to support each purpose.