Including word-of-mouth promotion and 10 strategies to boost your online presence.
Successful marketing is like air warfare. You have to control the skies with advertising and public relations to soften the target before the sales infantry goes into action.
There are many ways to accomplish successful marketing. But that means hitting your targets by cutting through the clutter to overcome consumer overload, and that’s why marketing has become more difficult.
Virtually all businesses have been searching for better ways to cut through the clutter of competition.
Change is problematic for their marketers, too.
You have to be able to adjust to competition and dynamic changes in the marketplace by repositioning your company.
You have to have a good sense of timing in knowing when to make changes and allow enough time to for the process to work.
But you also need to connect to the past by maintaining your company’s legacy in your customers’ memory banks.
For years, we’ve heard about various types of marketing research from segmentation to positioning.
Our marketing vernacular has also included demand estimation, distribution channels, price elasticity, and tools for interactive technologies. Not to mention advertising and promotion.
Advertising reminds customers about the benefits of your products, enhances your image, and builds sales. Companies have been searching for something new because the old ways of advertising and promotion need to be complemented with all tools in generating new customers.
So what’s most-important in marketing? To complement your TV and Internet promotion, it’s word-of-mouth marketing. That’s the umbrella term for an infinite number of techniques to make sales.
Basically, you need to establish a dialogue not only on social media but in in-person communication. So listen to customers and give them their due consideration, respect and recognition.
With the ever-increasing consumer overload, there’s more fragmentation. Messages are seen and heard everywhere. Focused, key emotional verbiage, frequency and reach of messages are more important than ever for dominance.
Whether it’s a movie or a pizza, consumers are getting what they want, when they want, where they want, and how they want. And they tell their friends all about it.
The average person will talk about products or famous personalities 50 or more times a week. If they’re unhappy consumers, they will go on a crusade and tell three times more people. In either case, they will reach a lot more people on social media.
So, social media is important for your bricks-and-mortar location. And great social media will boost your e-commerce.
Most powerful tool
The most powerful tool is still face-to-face messages. So give your prospects enough salient incentives to get face-time with them.
And give consumers reasons to talk about you in the lunch room. After all, they spend more time at work than surfing online. But the Internet is helping to get people to communicate, especially the elusive 18-to-34-year-olds.
Such customers aren’t usually as flush with cash as baby boomers but they’re being targeted by businesses to lay a foundation for short and long-term growth. They’re mobile and want fast, free services. They also heavily use the Internet.
So, blogging becomes important. But it’s more than just writing a blog or two.
To maximize your Internet potential, you need to recruit bloggers and centers of influence – people who can send business your way. So identify them and give such influential people special offers and super customer service.
Consider cold calling by e-mail and telephone. Encourage customers to tell their friends and family members and to blog online. Participate in the blogs and track results of the conversations.
Once you establish a conversation with customers you can co-create a buying decision with them. Along the way, your selling process will be made easier if you create a happy buying environment by encouraging customers to try-and-buy.
But that’s not really a new concept. Why else do food companies give away products at Costco or why do car dealers love to give you a test drive?
Online tutorials also result in consumers buying products. That’s another marketing trend that illustrates consumers want to try out products and not be an object of a sales pitch.
For competitiveness and profits, businesses must capitalize on online customer reviews. They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce.
Certainly, you only want positive customer reviews. Internet-savvy shoppers read reviews to make buying decisions. Reviews can make or break you. So, you must also respond well to bad or bogus reviews.
Caution: Despite all the hype about the Internet and social networking, remember the news media is still considered to be the most authoritative.
So use authoritative radio station or TV station programming as a tool to achieve dominance in marketing.
And stay current on your techniques. Read and study. Remember every so-called expert blogger speaks with finality as though they have the right information. But, often, that’s not the case. Be careful to whom you listen.
To boost online exposure, here are 10 additional tips:
- Determine why your prospective customers should buy from you instead of your competitors. Make sure your page description for the search engines tells your story in 10 words or less.
- Develop a branding slogan in three to five words that connects with the emotions of your prospects and the results they’re seeking in buying your products or services. There’s a link between a simple logo and branding success.
- Send lots of news releases to the media, especially the operations with good Web sites. It helps if you tie your marketing to a worthy cause. And, radio stations are always looking to trade publicity for products in giveaways. You need PR, but the budget is tight? Try leveraging the news media.
- There are free search-engine press release firms if budget is a concern.
- Study your competitors’ Web sites for hints of how to improve yours.
- Although they’re not as important as in recent years, insert so-called Meta tags, which are encoded in your Web pages but are invisible to users. These are read by search engines and can help put your site toward the top of the search results.
- Insert videos on your Web site.
- In B2B, begin an online social marketing strategy with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, and insert informative and/or enjoyable videos on YouTube. Of course, in B2C, there’s a myriad of other social mediums.
- Start a blog and make sure your site has Web site enhancement tools for blogging. That includes RSS feeds and social networking, such as Twitter or LinkedIn. Blogging is time-consuming but worth it, if you develop a No.1 rated blog.
- Make your Web site is easily accessible for cell phones and other mobile devices.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are additional Internet-marketing strategies:
Maximize Your ROI from Your Next Event with Social Media — Will you maximize the return on investment in your next event? Whether you’re a nonprofit or business, great social media strategy will promote your event and your brand. In addition, even after your event it’s possible to enhance your return from social-media investment.
5 Factors to Get Peak Google Results for Your Web Site — What do top Web sites have in common? Successful sites produce a high number of Facebook and Twitter messages, but the sites minimize the volume of ads on its pages according to an authoritative study
Web Site ‘Priming’ – 6 Tips That Will Help You Succeed — If you want to increase your odds for Internet success, you might consider priming your Web site. Priming is a method to motivate users to make decisions when they visit your site.
“No matter how far down the wrong path you’ve gone, turn around.”