Posted December 23rd, 2012 by bbsadmin & filed under General Business, Motivation.
1. Develop a marketing strategy
How can you expect to be successful without a plan? Without a strategy, you are going off luck. Growing up, I went fishing with my dad a couple times a year. There were many types of fishermen. Some had a box with everything in it and tried one lure for a couple of minutes and then would go on to the next if the first one didn’t work. Other fishermen used one type of bait or lure no matter where they were fishing. The smart fishermen studied up a bit. They knew what the fish were biting and some of the places to look to find fish. They even knew what kind of fish there were in the lake or stream. Smart business owners plan out their marketing. They find out what kind of fish there are, what the fish are biting, and where to find them. They don’t just go through every fishing lure in the box or go with what they have always used. You should research the market, know your target, and make a plan to meet the market’s needs. Your plan should not be an unmovable set of laws which are written in stone to govern your marketing efforts. Rather, it should be fact driven and should be tested and adjusted to meet the current needs of the market regularly.
2. Pay Per Click
This may be obvious and it can be a great way to reach your target market. Let’s look at pay per click through the eyes of a fly fisher. A fly fisher uses a small imitation of a bug or fly native to the place he or she is fishing. The fisher swings his or her pole kind of like a whip and the fly lands repeatedly in a spot where the fish are waiting. If you ever notice ads at the very top of or on the side of a Google search or on the side of Facebook, that is a pay per click ad. Just as a fish considering the fisherman’s bait as the bait repeatedly lands nearby, and being just what that fish is looking for in that pond, pay per click ads can target your specific market and come up several times until you get someone who is interested in clicking on it. If you are one of the many people who rely on search engines to get quick information, you probably recognize the value these ads can give to a company. Many pay per click advertising companies allow for you to set aside a marketing budget for a daily basis. Some allow you to put in a specific amount in and pay as you go. You generally put in specific key words and your ads pop up when the keywords are searched giving priority to the highest bidders of the keywords. Generally the company pays for the advertising when someone clicks on them. This can be a powerful marketing tool because it targets people based on what they are searching for.
3. Social Media
One of the keys to social media marketing is adding value to others. Many people see that other businesses have a Facebook page or a Twitter account and decide that it would be a great idea to get one as well. Getting involved in social media just because your competitor is doing it is not very tactical. You should know why you are doing something before you do it. Put yourself in the consumer’s seat. What would motivate you to visit a company’s Facebook page? When would you look up a company on LinkedIn or follow someone on Twitter? You have to give people a reason to visit your company’s social media or website. What questions can you answer? What useful information can you provide to them? Not just questions and information about your company, but real useful information. Chances are you won’t find many people who want to receive a sales pitch. If you provide useful information you not only get your name out there, but you establish credibility.
4. Get a web page
It is not enough to have a fishing pole and the right bait. You need to have your line in the water and in a place where the bait will be found. When you are fishing there are times when it is a good idea to use a floater or a bubble. This is a small device you attach to the line which floats and suspends your bait in the water making it more visible to the fish. Similarly, your company needs its line in the water to attract customers. If you want to be found on the internet, you need a web page (your bubble). It is not enough to just have a web page, you need to be searchable. In order to do this you need to register your website on major search engines. This is not enough, you must use search engine optimization (SEO) tactics So that people can find you when they search specific words. How many pages of search engine results do you look at? If you have a website which is on page 100 of Google’s search results can you feel confident that your page will be found? Probably not. Take the time to make your website searchable.
Building partnerships with noncompeting businesses with a similar target market can be helpful. We see examples of this all the time in the medical field. Doctors form relationships with other specialists. They refer their patients to these specialists and receive referrals back. Business owners can find other businesses which are looking for similar customers and form relationships with them. These relationships serve customers by giving them credible referrals and it serves the business relationship by exchanging referrals. It can be very powerful when you gain access to the network of successful people and they are able to benefit from your network.
When people subscribe to an email list, it makes is easy to keep track of them and market to them. Once again, it is important to remember to provide useful information to them. If you try to simply promote your products and sell it in all your emails your emails will quickly end up in the trash. Also, there are rules concerning what you can and cannot do with emails. Make sure you read and understand the CAN-SPAM Act. Violation of this act can result in penalty fees per email violation.
7. The Customer
Never assume you know what the customer wants. Get out and find the facts. Get outside and find out who your customers really are and what they really need. Involve them in the creation of your products and services. Don’t make your product launch your test run. Test along the way. Remember the basics. You are not just trying to sell something you think is valuable. You are trying to find what others value and give them a solution to their needs and wants.