It is very easy when a business steps to the plate to follow the fad. Whatever social channel is popular, whatever hashtag is trending, whatever software brand is good at self-promotion. It is critically important that a business select the right marketing mix of channels to its current and future requirements, nothing more or less. We can help.
For most small businesses, choosing the best channels will be dictated by your marketing budget. The good news is a lot of online marketing can be done with a smaller, more reasonable budget. For what some businesses used to pay for an ad in the Yellow Pages, you can do a good amount of online marketing.
Every business benefits from a multi-channel marketing strategy to increase their visibility to their target audience. Although these are all viable options in your marketing plan, not all of these strategies will necessarily apply to your business.
Inbound marketing can be very effective to build awareness, generate leads and convert those leads into paying customers. This combination of search, social and content marketing should be in the marketing plan for most small businesses.
PPC can drive conversions depending on what you are selling. The best use for small businesses is to generate leads. Most people who click on an ad in the search results are researching and looking to buy. If you do choose to run PPC ads on Google Ads, Facebook or other social media platforms, make sure you work with someone who knows what they are doing. A poorly designed campaign can cost you a lot of money with little to no results.
Videos via YouTube can appeal to many researching how to solutions. You can build a quality channel with many educational videos that can help you become the expert in your field. Videos can also be used on Facebook and other social platforms to engage and educate your audience. You can create some quality videos using your phone or tools like Zoom.us.
Email marketing campaigns can deliver high ROI for those businesses who take time to build and segment their in-house lists. For email marketing to deliver this high ROI, you must create a campaign strategy to ensure you manage and segment your list, create a compelling email with a call-to-action, include a landing page specifically for the campaign, test to make sure it works and analyze the results.
Events can be held in person or virtually via webinars. The cost of web conferencing has made webinars and virtual events possible for all businesses. Again, with tools like Zoom.us, you can record your webinars and make them available as lead magnets within your content strategy.
Word of Mouth / Referral / Reputation Management
Most businesses benefit from a word of mouth strategy, using in-person networking events and social media. Online reviews and recommendations can help businesses get more local online visibility. Develop a referral strategy that includes having your customers leave reviews on Google and other review platforms. Make sure you heed the terms of service of each review platform.
The success of direct marketing using postcards, letters, telephone or email will vary from business to business, but controlled postcards and letter campaigns do work for businesses trying to reach homeowners for services that the may forget they need. Telemarketing is pretty much ineffective in most cases these days.
Successful marketing campaigns will usually employ strategies across multiple channels to ensure the message reaches your ideal client. But note that not all channels carry the same weight when it comes to how valuable the connection is to your business. For example, someone who subscribes to your email list is more valuable than someone who likes your Facebook page or follows you on Twitter. Therefore, it is important to know what the goal of your marketing activity is in order to choose the best channel for your needs.
Why is this important to understand?
Knowing where you can best reach your target audience is important. Then you can deliver your message to them using the right marketing strategies and their preferred communications vehicle.
For a business to develop a quality marketing communications plan, you need to understand the:
- Goal of your campaign (i.e. brand awareness, leads, sales)
- Target audience you wish to reach
- Value your product or service provides
- Message you want to communicate
- Best communication channel (the media) that makes the most sense for your particular target audience.
Successful marketing happens when you send the right message and reach the right market using their marketing communication channel (medium) of choice. Picking the right marketing communication channel for your message will contribute significantly to the success of your message reaching your market.