We live in a globalized age where drawing attention to your company’s offerings can be difficult. Online and off, there are more companies now in almost every industry than at any other point in human history.
The good news is that marketing techniques have also evolved with the times. You have a lot of options when constructing a marketing strategy; the trick is knowing where to begin.
Technique #1: Build a Digital Mailing List
One marketing technique that you will hear again and again is to build a digital mailing list. From there, you can then email customers and potential customers with enticing deals or content you think will engage them and draw traffic to your site.
A mailing list shouldn’t be a random pool of emails that you blast messages out to at random. A good mailing list is targeted; you want to be mailing to people at least somewhat interested in reading your marketing content.
Building a strong mailing list can take time but tends to be more than worth the investment. One of the most common ways to get started is through a customer account system. You’ll likely need their emails anyway to send important messages and purchase info, so it isn’t extra work on their end.
The risk with a mailing list is sending too much content the receiver finds irrelevant, as they might then mark your emails as spam. This is why it’s important to have features that allow receivers to tailor what messages they get and at what rate.
Used right, email is a powerful tool for generating repeat business. It reminds people you exist and draws them in with good, relevant offers. Even better, sending an email is free beyond what it costs to generate the content of that email.
Technique #2: Take a Personalized Approach
While it can be difficult with more traditional marketing, digital marketing allows for a very customized approach to how you engage with potential customers. It’s easier than ever to make people feel important.
Through the collection of data as users use your site, you can often begin to predict other purchases they might be interested in. If you can share these in a non-intrusive way, sales can jump up all while the customer gets more of what they want.
Personalization can go far beyond that basic step, too. Employees can be trained to be more customer-facing, and even chatbots can now use natural language to help people feel supported 24/7 and to clarify any questions they may have.
Social media is another great place for personalizing how people engage with your brand, since, by the nature of those platforms, it’s much easier to spread a message and talk to people on an individual level.
You want to build a company persona that is kind and helpful without feeling too sterile and corporate. That said, be careful trying to seem “hip” as you engage with customers; that can backfire if you’re using lingo and memes that are older news than you thought.
Technique #3: Listen to Customer Feedback
Taking criticism is never easy. Customers, especially those online, can be quick to anger and are, at times, simply unreasonable. However, if you keep seeing the same complaints, something needs to change.
Becoming known as a company that listens to its customers and adapts to their needs is great for marketing. It can make your business seem more personalized compared to the e-commerce behemoths that can have a hard time with fast change.
If customers are asking for a particular product, try to start carrying it. If they think a process is too complicated, simplify it. Not every issue customers bring up can be solved, but many can.
Marketing for businesses can be complicated because it has to be cost-effective. If you spend more than your efforts earn, you’re wasting money. However, stagnation reduces your potential for growth and can make you seem uncaring.
At the very least, if an issue would only take a day or two to solve and won’t be a major expense, fix it. It may well land you more sales, all while building good customer goodwill as you further prove you care about them.
Technique #4: Own Up to Mistakes
We live in an age of anger. Customers are quick to note serious mistakes companies make and the news can spread like wildfire.
There have been a number of marketing disasters lately, and even more if you look at the last five to ten years. That’s on top of the occasional social media blunder, where high-level execs simply say something that comes off as tone-deaf or offensive.
What’s important is knowing when to pull the ripcord on bad campaigns and otherwise apologize for mistakes. If something didn’t land like you wanted, you don’t want the mob that makes up social media platforms to control the narrative.
This is probably most important when discussing things that have come off as genuinely offensive. People can forget silly marketing decisions, or at least won’t care once the effort ends, but offensive content has a long shelf-life if not addressed.
If something attached to your company has come off as hurtful or people feel ripped off in some way, address it as soon as possible. Then make sure to modify future behavior so the same mistake doesn’t happen again.
If customers had to pay money in some way, a partial or total refund can go a long way. While that won’t always be possible, you’ll want to do something for customers who feel cheated.
Apologies won’t let you come out “ahead” of a mistake, but they often can make sure you don’t crash and burn. A company looks better if it acknowledges errors and tries to do better.
Technique #5: Start a Podcast
Podcasts are an excellent way for a company to produce content that engages potential customers and produces real value. This then draws people towards your site, informs them more about your industry, and can get them excited about what you offer.
Starting a podcast isn’t as hard as many think it is and Libsyn’s podcast host solution makes it easy to begin
Once you have your recording edited in the way you want, find the best podcast hosting sites you can and post it. It can take time to build a following, but the effort can have a serious payoff.
While your podcast can be about almost anything, remember two key things: First, people aren’t going to listen to an hour-long ad; you want the content to be fun or informative. Second, the content will ideally be related to what your company offers, at least tangentially.
The podcast space is more crowded than it once was, but as a company with a marketing budget, you have an advantage the average podcaster doesn’t. If your content is good and you put some time and money into promotion, you can still succeed.
Technique #6: Create an SEO-friendly Blog
In an ideal world, a company will want a high-ranking website on Google for searches relevant to what they offer. The issue is that ranking requires effort, and many companies don’t know where to begin.
The first point that should be understood is the algorithms Google uses to rank websites. In short, content deemed quality and relevant in relation to a given search ranks higher than spammy or irrelevant content.
Key to this whole system are what are called keywords. These keywords might be something like “chocolate shop” or “west orange mechanic” and are basically phrases Google looks for to determine what kind of content is on your site.
The problem is most company websites don’t actually have many relevant keywords present because they don’t have a place to put them. This is where blogs come in.
A blog allows for a place to use SEO keywords, all while producing content Google registers as “quality.” By making useful content relevant to your company and sprinkling in keywords you want to rank for, you can increase your website’s ranking and draw in more traffic.
Don’t Be Afraid to Blend Marketing Techniques
Once you’re familiar with some of the above marketing techniques, you can also start blending them. A mixed marketing approach is almost always the way to go, since it broadens your appeal and allows for content from one strategy to feed into another and vice versa.