Knowing which marketing plan and marketing campaign will best work for your business can be a challenging task. Is a certain marketing technique a must for your business? And if you choose to implement it, will your budget support it all the way? Will it bring the desired results before you run out of money and patience? These are just some of the challenges faced in marketing small businesses. There are countless internet marketing techniques for marketing small businesses, and even more conventional marketing techniques. How do you choose among these marketing techniques to find the best that works for your business? Here are things to consider to help you choose the best marketing techniques for your business.
Know Which Goal You Want to Achieve
What is the purpose of your marketing? Knowing the goal you want to achieve with your marketing efforts is a crucial step that many unfortunately skip. There are four key reasons for marketing:
- Lead Generation- encourage your target audience to request information and/or a sales conversation with you, for creating a pre-sales relationship.
- Brand Awareness- attracts the attention of your target audience to get to know your business and to want to learn more about your services and products. This includes getting your target audience to know they can trust you and your business.
- Direct Sales/Direct Response- attracting your target audience to buy directly from you.
- Brand Consideration- having your target audience to consider buying from you, or at least have shortlisted your business among their priority places to buy or shop.
For example, in lead generation marketing technique, running a simple PPC ad with a search engine like Google might be enough to land a user on your page to fill out your form. However, it may be not be the right choice for direct sales, more so if your target audience doesn’t shop that way.
Knowing Your Target Audience
Knowing which marketing technique your target audience pays attention to is crucial. This will depend on how well you know and have researched your target audience. For example, some audiences won’t make first time purchases unless they get to know the business first. In this case, you might need to start with lead collection and then ‘warm up’ your leads with email marketing and other ways of direct contact.
Selling Products Versus Selling Services
Products are often already understood by potential customers. It’s rare that a company is going to create something that no one has seen or heard of before. So the greatest challenge is going to be getting customers on your website and then just making the purchase process as painless as possible. Getting clients on your site can be achieved with PPC ads or through search engine optimization by companies that specialize in that field such as this one based in Chicago, IL.
When it comes to services, often that requires more explanation and assurances to the potential customers that you’re a quality service provider. This can be achieved through outlets like social media or review sites such as Yelp. Quality content and multimedia such as videos, photos, and how-to guides do wonders as well.
Where is Your Audience Placed in the Selling Cycle?
The type of marketing technique to use depends on where your audience is currently placed in the buying cycle. For example, a potential customer might be in the early stages of the buying cycle, and they only just realized there is a problem that needs solving. Such a customer may be searching for more information about how others solved the same problem. So, in this case, marketing via articles, blog post, educational videos, etc. will help your business get in front of the customer and beat out the competition.
If a customer is already informed and ready to act, you’ll want to make the process as seamless as possible to get their business. The balancing act that comes into play is providing a means for both types of customers to find what they’re looking for on your website. Clever uses of content placement and calls-to-action play a vital role for both scenarios.