As a new business, you’ll be very aware that every cent counts, and that time is a finite resource. In other words, you must budget very carefully and manage a huge workload across a very small number of employees. It’s highly unlikely that you can afford to have a dedicated marketing department at this early stage, for instance. In fact, it may be the case that just one person has to juggle all the roles and responsibilities of getting a business off the ground, and that person may well be you.
Nevertheless, marketing is absolutely essential and is the lifeblood of any business, big or small. While it’s vital to make sure that your product or service is the best it can be, how are you going to attract customers if nobody knows about it? Of course, the best marketing is word of mouth, with existing customers acting as brand ambassadors on your behalf and telling their friends and acquaintances how good you are. This kind of organic, free marketing is the Holy Grail, and it can be achieved. But you need to give it quite a push to get the ball rolling.
Why digital marketing?
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Not only is digital or online marketing the most inexpensive and cost-effective way to promote your business, it also gets the best results. In the modern world, being online is everything. Online marketing immediately gives you a global audience, and it also enables you to target potential customers in your local area. You can reach out to specific demographics and use a wide range of tools, many of them free, to deploy and analyze a wide range of marketing strategies.
Let’s start with social media. It’s an area most people are familiar with and because it can be utilized for marketing immediately and for very little financial outlay. First of all, you should focus on one or two different social media platforms that are appropriate to your target audience. LinkedIn is the best place to reach business clients, while Instagram is where you’ll find a youthful, fashion-conscious following. Facebook is good for building an all-round community, while Twitter lets you communicate with the world on a regular basis.
Having a social media presence is just as important as having a dedicated website. It’s a way to let the world know that you exist, what you’re all about, and to keep followers updated on your current activities. Regular posts keep your community engaged and help to build brand recognition and loyalty. Paid targeted advertising can be hugely effective in reaching the people who may actually be interested in what you have to offer.
At this point, it might be worth considering outsourcing your marketing needs to a specialist company. Wolverine Solutions Group specializes in targeted marketing programs and services, including email, loyalty programs and supply chain management. Its focus is on supporting strategic growth, which is exactly what any new business will be looking for. Letting a company like this take care of your online marketing will free you up to handle core business functions.
Building up a mailing list is the quickest way to get your business off the ground. Previously this would have involved posting out flyers and newsletters, or even telephone cold calling. Email is far less time-consuming, inexpensive and less intrusive for the recipient. Encourage customers and website visitors to sign up to your mailing list, then keep them up to date with special offers, news and developments.
Regular communication makes your customers feel part of the family and reminds them that you’re still there. You can also offer incentives in the form of exclusive deals and early access to new items in order to keep them engaged and spending with you. You can check these email marketing trends.
Content is king
A growing and effective marketing trend is the sharing of unique, relevant content on your website or via your email newsletter. This shouldn’t be merely advertising, but content in the form of articles, video or pictures that is both relevant to your brand and valuable in its own right. By providing informative or entertaining content for free, you not only incentivize more people to visit your website or sign up to your newsletter, you also build brand identity and can use it to position yourself as a thought leader within your industry. Just remember to optimize all content for smartphone users as mobile devices are increasingly the favored web portal worldwide.
When trying different forms of online marketing it’s important to measure their effectiveness using the many analytic tools available. Try out different approaches and platforms, then see which results in the highest conversion to traffic or sales. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing that’s right for every business, so it makes sense to experiment until you find the right tactic for you.