You might have heard the adage, “You have to spend money to make money.” That’s most true when it comes to marketing. You’ll have a hard time getting your business in front of the right people if you don’t focus your marketing efforts.
But marketing is a complex subject, and you might not know where to start. Or perhaps your old marketing efforts are losing efficacy. Either way, here are some great marketing tips that apply to any business.
Hold an Outdoor Event
While the weather holds, use the beauty of the great outdoors to make your business stand out. Outdoor events are excellent for attracting attention from passers-by who are curious and want to take advantage of free stuff. When they see that your name is attached to a fabulous event they attended, they’ll remember your name in a positive light.
Putting on a fantastic outdoor event takes careful planning and preparation. You want to make sure everything is done by the book while putting emphasis on fun and freebies that will attract potential customers. Here are a few things to consider as you plan.
Permits and Regulations: Start by looking into city ordinances and getting the proper permits. Every city has regulations regarding noise and commotion in the commercial sector, and you want to avoid fire and safety violations.
Logistics and Layout: Measure the area you plan to use and determine where everything will be set up. Also, make a plan for loading equipment in and out and directing crew and guests throughout the event. Provide arrangements for security, sanitation, power, and cleanup.
Make It Super Fun: Cater the entertainment and activities to your targeted clientele. If you’re targeting families, for example, consider renting a bounce house or custom inflatable. Just research outdoor inflatables in Brunswick, OH or your city to find a vendor who will provide it. If you’re catering to an older crowd, get live music and a liquor license.
Make It Safe: In addition to avoiding breaking safety codes, you should also include contingencies for accidents, injury, and illness. Have a first aid booth just in case and notify the authorities of your event. If it’s a particularly large event, they may want to have an ambulance on site.
A carefully orchestrated plan will result in a successful event that people will be talking about for years. This is the best marketing you can hope for.
Get a Marketing or Business Degree
Those who are really at a loss should consider further education in marketing or business in general. You might choose to go back to school yourself or send a trusted employee so they can bring more to the table in terms of creative marketing.
You could get an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Don’t limit your education just because you’ve already done some post-secondary schooling. Starting a publicity business by getting a degree through online liberal arts degree programs doesn’t mean you can’t further your education. The same goes for anyone who has started a business with one degree but needs another to be a good marketer. An added degree will make a great complement to your existing degree.
Through such a program, you’ll learn a lot about running a business that you might not have known before, including marketing. It will teach you to apply creative thinking towards unique situations to benefit of your company.
It will also teach you the ins and outs of both print and digital marketing tactics. The landscape of marketing is always changing, so a degree in this field can be exactly what you need to keep up with your competition.
Use Online Resources
Online marketing is more accessible than ever, even if you don’t know much. There are probably quite a few online marketing tools you’ve never used, but should. Here are a few that can seriously benefit your company.
Social Media: This is one of the most important ways you can market your business. Start by creating profiles for two or three prominent social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. Include all of your business information on your profile. Post regularly on social media to provide value for your customers, promote an event, share a special deal, or celebrate a valued customer.
Social Media Ads: Facebook Ads, for example, are some of the most effective resources for getting your information in front of a targeted audience. It’s affordable and easy to target a specific customer base. Look into social media advertising as an affordable way to promote your business.
Email Marketing: Email marketing is a great way to form relationships with your customers. Building your email list and sending regular emails keeps customers in the loop, whether you’re sharing some exciting news or promoting a special deal that that will interest them. Use a tool such as Constant Contact or Mailchimp to design and distribute your emails.
Online Reviews: One of the best ways to spread the positive word about your business is through online reviews. The vast majority of customers use the suggestions of others, even complete strangers, when making purchasing decisions. Set up a business profile on Google and Yelp so that customers can rate your business and leave feedback. Not all feedback will be positive, but the positives usually outweigh the negatives.
Digital marketing has a huge place in marketing today, so taking advantage of online resources should be a top priority for your company.
Incentivize Customer Referrals
As mentioned previously, customers put a lot of stock in the words of others when making purchasing decisions. If you want to get more customers, customer referrals are ideal. Customers who have been referred by someone else tend to be more loyal, and it encourages loyalty from the referrer as well.
If you’re doing an awesome job with customer service and offering value to your customers, your business should refer itself. However, it doesn’t hurt to incentivize customers to get them talking.
For example, if you’re a family dentist in North Olmsted, OH, promise that if an existing customer will refer a friend, the existing customer will get a free teeth-whitening treatment.
You have many ways to incentivize your customers, no matter what your specialty. Just get creative and continually add value for your customers, and they’ll keep coming back.
- Play with Video Advertising
Video is one of the most effective forms of advertising to date. Research shows that video has the power to capture viewer attention for longer and engages customers more than any other form of content.
Creating videos for your business can be time-consuming and expensive, which is why many companies don’t bother. However, those that do go to the effort tend to enjoy higher profits and better customer attention in any industry.
Video can be used successfully to advertise your services. You can post them on YouTube so that people can search for the content organically, and you can distribute it to television services or other video marketing platforms.
Video can also be used to add value for your customers. You can post informational videos on your website so that customers see your business as an authority.
This is particularly useful for companies in unique specialty markets. For example, if your company offers cleanroom construction and design services in Franklin, OH, use video to demonstrate the process and the demand.
Marketing your company in any form can be pricey, but think of the long-term benefits. Your efforts in the right categories will pay off faster than you think.