Marketing is essential for any business to survive, grow, and succeed. But the cost of marketing becomes a sticky wicket for many small businesses. While you certainly want to continually keep your SEO ranking high, there is more to marketing than just content marketing and social media. A LOT more.
Time is money, so make sure you aren’t wasting time when it comes to marketing. If it makes sense (monetarily, that is) to outsource certain components .. then do it!
There are alternatives to continually opening your wallet or expending time that you cannot afford to .. and they are less expensive but equally effective. Following these methods of marketing will not only widen the exposure of your business but also effectively ensure targeted marketing.
Networking as a Marketing Platform
Networking is one of the best methods of marketing as it doesn’t have time or place limitations. Another specialty of networking is the emphasis on people rather than the business or position in said business. Networking enables the effective and efficient prioritization of people to target your marketing.
Another advantage of networking as a marketing tool is the opportunity to conduct passive marketing that is not very obvious but enhances the results as it can be properly directed to the potential clients. But to materialize this you need to have a wider network and furthermore, an open networking strategy exploring each and every lead that comes your way.
If you’re an introvert, “networking” is a dirty word. Stop thinking about “networking” and begin to “make relationships.”
Partnership Based Marketing
People take to heart the recommendations that come from a trusted source, especially if they have had a good experience. Take advantage of that! If you can make use of such opportunity by creating a partnership with another venture that is related to your business but not direct competition, the exposure your business would get will be phenomenal.
Yes, you can partner up with someone in your industry, in fact, the Virtual Assistant industry thrives on partnerships. Just keep in mind that there will be times when the potential lead goes to a competitor and not to your own business.
Sit down and have a direct conversation of understanding so that there are a) no surprises; b) each party knows the desired marketing points (and outcomes) for the respective businesses; and c) reinforce the reason behind marketing each others’ ventures. Apart from saving your pennies in marketing, it will also add to your reputation.
Feedback, Reviews and Testimonials
Have you ever bought any item or service online? If the answer is yes, you need no more explanations about the importance of reviews and feedback in marketing and business. Don’t overlook those reviews that talk about what a customer can expect once they start working with (or buying from) your business.
Many studies performed on marketing also have revealed that most of the people trust online reviews as one of the best method to assess the trustworthiness of any brand or product. If Yelp makes sense for your small business .. great! It doesn’t mean however that you have to buy an advertising package from them (although be prepared for many calls and emails with their desire for you to do so).
Seeking feedback, reviews and testimonials from your clients is one the best tricks of passive marketing where your customers will do the entire marketing for you that too without any cost unless you wish to pay dividends for someone taking time to review and refer your brand.
Utilizing Your Blog as a Marketing Medium
Proactive marketing is noteworthy as it triggers a potential customer to buy a product but without creating any buss about marketing. A blog can be utilized as a proactive marketing platform. Coupling it with social media just makes sense.
Creating a blog to attach to your company web site can create amazing returns as it will improve your credibility. Such a blog should be dealing with useful information that a potential client of your brand will be looking for. Introducing a forum or platform for the like-minded people to share their views and opinions can also be a better option to increase the participation of customers.
This is a perfect example of where you can outsource some marketing components – contract a ghostwriter if your writing isn’t up to snuff, contract a virtual assistant to format & schedule your blog post as well as your social media.
There are plenty of means and ways to market a brand or product. Utilizing market-savvy and cost effective means will surely bring in better results.