20 Feb 10 Practical Marketing Tips to Grow Your Business (SlideShare)
Looking for effective ways to market your business?
Well I am going to make is easy for you.
Whether you’re a director of marketing or just starting out, the tips below will be sure to offer valuable insight.
Sadly, there’s a lot of conflicting information on marketing out there, that’s why I wanted to share 10 super practical tips that any business can use to grow.
Ready? Let’s go!
Note: Pick up the free bonus guide that will walk you step-by-step through the strategies listed here plus tips that aren’t included in this article.
1. Reconsider your marketing budget.
Face it, traditional marketing is broken. You’re magazine, radio/TV and pay-per-click marketing reps might tell you different, but numbers don’t lie.
- 13% of those who read print publications said they often pay attention to the ads. (Source: AYTM)
- 44% of direct mail is never opened. That’s a waste of time, postage and paper. (Source: Mashable)
- 86% of people skip through television commercials. (Source: Mashable)
- 70-80% of online users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results. (Source: Search Engine Journal)
But it’s not all bad news, according to research gathered by Hubspot: 61% of global Internet users research products online and 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine.
You don’t find customers anymore, they find you!
Since the world has changed, you’re marketing needs to change too.
So stop spending time and money on ineffective marketing strategies. Instead, focus your energy on attracting, not hunting for leads and customers.
How to you go about attracting more leads and customers? Continue reading to find out.
2. Create “evergreen” value for your prospects and customers.
If you want to attract people you need to give them something they’ll love!
The best way to give them something they will love is to focuses on solving their problems and/or helping them accomplish their goals. Ideally, you should create content that is “evergreen,” meaning it retains it’s value for years to come.
There are all kinds of things you can create! For example: blog posts, videos, infographics, ebooks, interviews, contests and original research to name a few.
A best practice is to focus on quality, not quantity. Remember to create something actually worthy of attention if you want it to attract qualified leads.
Creating content like this on a consistent basis takes time, but it will ensure a steady stream of interested prospects for your business and show your customers that you’re interested in creating value before, during and after a purchase.
3. Collect prospect and customer contact information anyway you can.
Purchase patterns are different for every business. If you sell food, it’s much easier to convert high volumes of customers. If you sell expensive art, you might only make a sale every other day.
The point is, you need to be on the top of your prospects and customers minds when they become ready to make a purchase.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to collect their contact information so that you can followup with them on a regular basis.
If you have a website, make sure your have a clear place for visitors to join your newsletter. In store you should have a list where people can leave their name and other contact information.
You can use the information you collect to create email or text message campaigns to ensure your business stays top of mind, converts prospects and creates repeat sales.
4. Make sure you’re listed in search engines and local directories.
You might be surprised how many people are searching for your business online.
On average, we conduct 12 billion searches per month on the web in the United States. (Source: Hubspot), but if you’re not in the right place when people are looking for businesses like yours, you’ll loose out to your competitors.
Heres an example: I helped a local patio furniture store optimize their Yelp profile with keywords, images, etc. From the results below, you can see that user views increased over 400% immediately.
This is why it’s so important to make sure your business is properly listed online in place like Yelp, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Merchant Circle, YellowPages.com, CitySearch, etc.
I strongly recommend using a tool like Moz Local to help save you a ton of time and headaches. Moz Local is an incredibly simple and affordable way to get your business listed on every major search engine and online business directory from one place.
5. Social growth is key to staying competitive today and in the future.
Social media has undoubtably gone through an incredible transformation in the past few years.
From awkward, goofy MySpace pages to mobile apps like SnapChat where messages are deleted after a few seconds, it’s hard to predict which platform everyone will flock to next.
You need to strategically choose which social networks that you can successfully find, engage and convert your target audience.
Understand that building a following will not happen over night. Like all good things, social growth takes time and patience, but it is essential to the long-term success of your business.
Use the next tip to help boost your social growth!
6. Identify and connect with influencers to expand your reach.
Put simply, influencers are people online with a large number of followers. Because of this, they have “influence” over the content people read and in many cases, the products/services they purchases.
Influencers are important because when you identify influencers that already have the audience you’re going after, you can significantly amplify your reach with a their help.
In most cases you’re not going to get any links or shares for your content if you just ask for them.
It’s important to approach influencers with a shared value proposition.
For example, after creating my SlideShare, “The 150 Most Powerful Marketing & Sales Tools” I reached out to the business that I had included in the guide.
Because the businesses loved the fact they were featured, once they started sharing with their audiences my guide received over 16,000 hits and to this day continues to receive hundreds of views every week.
Remember, identifying and connecting with influencers in your niche can significantly amplify your content and social reach.
7. Use social proof to your advantage.
Think of social proof like social currency. The more currency you have, the more “proof” you have that can be used to attract and convert new prospects.
Have eye-popping client success stories? Maybe you have over 100 positive online reviews or thousands of email subscribers?
The point is that you need to use these things to your advantage, people tend to have a herd mentality and go where everyone else is going, show them the way.
Customer case studies, celebrity endorsements, expert reviews and even number of social media followers are other great forms of social proof.
This kind transparency helps people identify trustworthy, qualified businesses to purchase from.
Steal Borrow ideas from the people who are doing right.
Plagiarism is obviously a big no no, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find inspiration from those who are doing marketing right.
The best thing to do is find multiple resources you can turn to for inspiration and keep a place where you can save ideas to refer back to later.
Making this part of your marketing routine/process is essential to keeping the creative juices flowing and helping you understand what works and what doesn’t.
9. Focus on visual and short-from marketing.
It’s true that people can process visuals 60,000X faster than reading text. (Source: Forrester)
That’s why it’s not surprising that when they say something has gone “viral” online, it’s usually a video or photo.
Also, consider the fact that the average adult’s attention span is down to just 8 seconds. (Source: Entrepreneur)
That means you only have a few seconds to capture and keep their attention.
Which is why it’s important to create more “bite-sized” marketing that people can understand quickly. (That’s why I included a SlideShare at the top to summarize this article)
This is a good thing for marketers, because it allows us to create more content at a faster rate.
10. Get more insight on marketing ROI than ever before using analytics.
Simply put, analytic reporting is a decision making tool for your business. For the first time in marketing history, businesses can truly measure and analyze the ROI of marketing campaigns.
If you have a website and/or blog it’s imperative that you not only have analytic software installed, but that you are regularly checking the numbers.
Once you understand how your campaigns are performing, you can optimize your business and marketing to improve the results.
Want to learn about which metrics are the most important? Check out my free guide below that is available for download.
Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite (and practical) marketing tips that you’ve come across? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.