The Main Marketing Platforms to Grow Your Business

Today I just want to touch on some of the main ways to market your business.

Having a list of different marketing channels can give you new ideas to help gain new customers. It is important to remember that where one business might prosper by using a certain marketing strategy, a different business might fail.

Therefore it is always important to test and measure the performance of the campaign you are running.

Once you have tried a host of different marketing strategies and you find out what works, be sure to apply the 80/20 law to rinse and repeat what works and stop wasting important time on what doesn’t.

1. Event Marketing

Event marketing is by far one of my favourite types of marketing. Getting out of your work space to go and connect with potential customers face to face is not only exciting, but usually very effective.

conference

If you haven’t attended an event yet, get yourself out and see what’s really going on out there!

Look up local events in your area, put your name down and GO. If possible exhibit, if this option is not available get your biz file ready, plenty of paper and a load of business cards and flyers to dish out.

What is a MUST is to make that positive impression on those you meet. Don’t forget to explain concisely what your business offers and the advantages and benefits you provide.

What’s even more importantly is to LISTEN, so you know what people are after in order to be able to pitch your service to meet their needs.

One final point to make about event marketing is there is no better time to collect email addresses for your email marketing list. Always have a data capture form handy for attendees to fill in. I will have an upcoming post anout this subject – stay tuned!

2. Directories

When someone has a problem or requires something one of the first ports of call is to check a directory.

Okay so the paper based yellow pages is a thing of the past, but online directories are used countless times everyday by people looking to buy a solution from your business.

Nowadays there are literally thousands of online directories which you can register with for free. Some of the higher PR sites will charge you for your listing so be careful what you choose.

With there being so many directories you will find there are many niche specific sites which will be more relevant for your type of business – be sure to create a listing on these sites. This will help with your inbound marketing efforts as well as give you a link on what will most likely be a high PR site, meaning SEO power.

Strongest Links - Directory list

Here’s a link to a directory list you might find useful: directory list

3. Word of Mouth

It goes without saying the effectiveness of this little beauty. Word of mouth still is the driving force of most business success; however, it can work backwards also. Domino’s pizza franchise fell to bits due to bad press and word of mouth, they had to fully rebuild themselves from the ground up to make it back to where they were.

Watch the video below:

 

What Dominos were able to do is listen to what the negative feedback was saying and then make the changes necessary to not only fix the problem with their product, but also offer a whole new dynamic to make their business more social, hence adapting to the digital era.

4. Social Media Marketing

Don’t forget word of mouth happens mostly online now so this can exponentially affect your business. One of the best ways to harness the power of social media is to get your happy customers tweeting and facebooking about what a wonderful experience they had.

Even if you have to give something in return i.e. 10% discount on your next service/product when you post on your Facebook news feed a positive comment about your business.

Believe me this technique will work wonders. Give it a shot!

flat-icons

There is a lot of hype surrounding social media marketing at the moment and a lot of the time this is justified. However, ensure that you monitor your efforts and focus on what works. There’s no point at tweeting three times a day for a year with little results. And as Albert Einstein put it:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Here’s a previous blog post I wrote some time ago on social media: The Importance of Social Media

5. Paid Advertising

Firstly, there are many ways to market without spending a penny. I say this because I have seen start-ups pour money into paid advertising campaigns i.e. newspaper ads, with very little return.

Okay so paid advertising I must admit has worked well for me, but I start off with a very small budget and see if I get a return before investing.

Facebook ads are quite popular at the moment and can used to gauge if an expensive campaign will be worth your money or not. Plus you can get some amazing market research here too.

Likewise Google Adwords can work wonders, but without carefully thinking about the campaign you want to run, can drive your business into the ground due to costly investments.

your-ad

What’s crucially important with paid advertising is you have asked the three big marketing questions before you spend a penny.

6. Inbound Marketing

“What is this inbound marketing I hear you cry!”

Well inbound marketing is all about the customer finding you. It can help you build brand awareness, make sales and grow your business.

There are many different ways to set your business up for inbound marketing success. The main way I will focus on is SEO.

Imagine that your potential customer (who’s problem you can solve) is looking for a product/service to help them. How do you position yourself to be findable to make that connection and get that sale.

Search Engine Optimisation is most definitely one of the best ways to achieve this in today’s digital world.

Your potential customer will head over to Google and ask a question or search for a particular solution to their problem – this is where it starts.

It is your job to be prominent on the search engines when this happens. To do so you will have to choose keywords strategically, optimise your on page content and possible build good, relevant links to your site.

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 7. Sponsorship

Sponsoring a project, charity, activity or business can be a great way to build your brand awareness and win new customers.

When choosing this option it is vital to think about the type of people who will be interested in what you are offering, so be crystal clear that what you are sponsoring has a similar target market that will seamlessly connect with your business.

sponsoring

 8. PR (Public Relations)

PR can be a great way to spread the word about your wonderful company; it can be relatively inexpensive and can potentially reach a large audience.

public-relations

It can be said that PR gives your business more credibility due to having something that is newsworthy and isn’t seen as an advertisement as such. This can be a huge advantage for those wantint to reach out to their audience without putting them off with a ‘buy-now advert‘.

A PR strategy should be considered as part of your overall marketing strategy, you never know it could be the platform you are looking!

 What About the Rest?

Well there are other marketing channels to consider including free, door to door (direct) and others, which will be covered in later articles.

I hope you were able to take something away from this. The chances are you learned nothing new here, although like I said at the start I want to get you thinking about what marketing strategies you haven’t yet explored.

You just never know until you TRY!

Remember to focus on what works and discontinue what doesn’t. Remember that Albert Einstein quote:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

 

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