As if starting and growing a business weren’t hard enough already, it’s become increasingly difficult to capture the attention of your target audience and spread the word about your products and services. Without the right tools and marketing strategies to spur your growth, staying afloat—not to mention turning a profit—is an uphill task.
But how do you develop an effective marketing strategy for your business? How do you effectively and efficiently get your message across to your target audience? And how do you profitably boost visibility and sales for your offer?
In this post, our goal is to help you figure out the answers to these questions. We will explore 16 of the most effective marketing strategies for fast business growth and recommend tools to help you implement them. But first, we must establish what we mean by marketing strategy so that we’re on the same page.
What is a Marketing Strategy?
So many different definitions have been applied to marketing strategy that it’s deceptively difficult to pinpoint a definition that everyone agrees with. So, it’s in our best interest to articulate how we define the concept in this post.
Marketing strategy refers to the process by which businesses attempt to understand their markets and their methods for getting customers to take profitable action.
In other words, marketing strategy aims to help you:
- understand who buys your services or products,
- establish how you’ll motivate them to take action,
- keep an eye on competitors trying to do the same thing, and
- measure your results and refine your methods.
Essentially, these make up the four Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion), also known as the Product Mix. Understanding this concept is crucial to success in marketing.
Developing an understanding of the fundamental principles of marketing strategy will equip you with the ability to apply your knowledge broadly, regardless of changes in trends or platforms.
Why Does Every Business Need a Marketing Strategy?
While you may still see results without a clearly defined marketing strategy, they are likely sporadic and could disappear if you face new competition or your industry changes even slightly.
On the other hand, if you have an old strategy that you still rely on even when your business or the market has changed significantly, it is likely ineffective. You should revisit your marketing strategy every few years to ensure that it is still relevant.
There are several other reasons you need a marketing strategy. Here are a few of them:
1. Speak Directly to Your Target Audience
For any marketing strategy to be effective, it must be targeted at the right audience. Therefore, you must first define and understand your target audience before you can reach them.
The best way to do this is by building a buyer persona which is a key component of marketing strategy. A buyer persona is simply a data-driven avatar of your ideal buyer and it spells out everything about them in as much detail as possible. It notes their preferences, as well as their demographic and psychographic characteristics.
Armed with such information about your target audience, you can speak directly to them, and this directly translates to higher conversion rates.
2. Avoid Wasting Time and Money
Having a clearly defined marketing strategy can also help you reduce or completely eliminate marketing waste.
The first way they do this is by ensuring that your efforts are targeted to the right people. This means that you can avoid wasting time and resources marketing your business to people who would never buy your product. Would you waste time and money erecting a billboard in the South Pole marketing ice to Eskimos?
The other way they do this is by identifying the channels that are most relevant to your target audience. Snapchat marketing is great, but not if your product is intended for Baby Boomers.
3. Keep Your Message Relevant and Consistent
A marketing strategy also helps you keep your marketing message consistent and relevant to your target audience.
These are naturally built into the marketing strategy as appealing to a clearly defined target audience forces you to focus exclusively on a message that is relevant to them.
4. Set Clear Goals and Measure Results
A marketing strategy will inevitably contain clearly set objectives and key results to track and measure success. Without a strategy, you will be taking a spray and pray approach to marketing. And that is not only wasteful but also an inefficient way to achieve your business goals.
5. Create a Point of Reference for Strategy
A documented marketing strategy can serve as a point of reference and guide for your employees. You and your team can always revisit the document whenever you feel like you’re losing your way or need to check if a marketing tactic or method fits into your overall strategy.
There will also be times when you can’t remember important details such as specific information about your ideal buyer or why you made a particular marketing decision in the first place. If you have a clearly documented marketing strategy in place, it could serve as a reference in such situations.
What are the Best Marketing Strategies to Try?
There are so many channels and strategies competing for our attention today that identifying the right ones for your business may seem like rocket science. From social media to search engine optimization, pay-per-click, and blogging, it’s easy to see why most are so overwhelmed and just about ready to give up.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the 16 most effective strategies for fast business growth.
1. Start a Blog and Benefit from Content Marketing
Blogging is a great way to set yourself up as an authority in your industry and a go-to resource. If you create a value-packed blog for your business, you can inspire trust and loyalty in your customers. You can differentiate yourself from the competition as an expert.
By regularly publishing timely and relevant content, you can develop a strong relationship with your target audience. And in time, they’ll come calling when they need your product or service.
Besides, several statistics validate the importance of content marketing.
For instance, content marketing is three times as effective at lead generation as paid search advertising.
70% of people prefer to learn about a company from blog posts than from ads.
Internet users spend around 20% of their online time consuming content.
68% of people spend a decent amount of time reading about brands that they find interesting.
At least once a month, 57% read content marketing publications.
And 80% of people prefer to learn about a company via custom content.
And those are just a few stats.
One great thing about blogging is that whether you have an existing website or not, getting started is quite simple and you can start today.
If you have an existing website without a blog, you first need to check if your CMS (Content Management System) offers blogging capabilities. If you use WordPress, then you’re in luck!
WordPress was designed for blogging. Although it offers many more advanced features now, it is arguably the best platform for blogging. It has an intuitive user interface and is geared for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so that your website can be found on Google via search.
A simple Google search will unearth tons of tutorials about using WordPress’s blogging capabilities and you can find one to help you understand what you need to do to get started.
If you use any system other than WordPress—such as Webflow, Squarespace, or Shopify—find out how to add a blog to your website.
If you’re starting from scratch without an existing website, here are steps you can take to get started:
Get a domain name and hosting account
The first step in creating a website is to register a domain name and get web hosting. These are usually two distinct steps. But with our recommended hosting provider, Bluehost, they are essentially a single step as Bluehost gives you a FREE domain name and website security for as little as $2.95/month.
Bluehost offers excellent web hosting for your website, whether you have a blog or an e-commerce store. Plus, you get a 99% uptime guarantee and 24/7 customer support.
Bluehost is recommended by WordPress and as you would expect, this means that it works seamlessly with WordPress. It offers a dedicated WordPress hosting plan that automatically installs WordPress for you.
Choose a WordPress Theme
Now, after getting web hosting and logging into your WordPress dashboard, you will need to pick a design for your blog. You do this by choosing a theme.
If you don’t like any of the themes that come preinstalled on WordPress, you can go for a paid theme. You can get one from theme marketplaces like ThemeForest, Elegant Themes, or Mojo marketplace.
Customize Your Theme
After selecting a theme of your choice, you’ll need to customize it to look exactly how you want. The exact steps will vary according to the theme you choose.
Add Content to Your Website
What’s a website without content? Content is critical to the success of your website. Determine how many pages you’ll need. You’ll have at least a homepage, an about us page, and a blog.
And that’s it! You have your blog up and running. While we chose to focus on WordPress here, you’re in no way limited to WordPress. There are tons of other great blogging platforms out there.
2. Use Social Media to Drive Free Traffic to Your Website
As you know already, social media is an important channel through which many businesses connect with their target audiences. You might even post on Facebook or tweet yourself now and again.
And you’re not alone. Of the small business owners that use social media, 92% consider it vital to their business. This is because it can help you build brand recognition, grow a community around your business, and grow your bottom line as well.
And with the number of social media users across the world expected to hit 4.41 billion by 2025, it’s clear that social media is one of the best ways to reach your target audience with unprecedented precision.
You can take advantage of this vast audience to drive traffic to your business. Here are five tips to help you do just that.
Promote Your Blog Content
There’s no point in creating great blog content if no one reads it. You can get more people to see your blog content by promoting it on social media.
Studies show that brands that create 15 blog posts per month generate an average of 1,200 new leads each month. That sounds like an awesome marketing opportunity but if no one reads your blog posts, you won’t be getting any of those new leads. This is where promoting your blog content on social media comes in.
Of course, you don’t have to create that many blog posts every month to see tangible results. You can start at any time by promoting any piece of content. Keep your feed fresh by promoting your content with a variety of messages.
Make It Easy to Share Your Content
Your goal when creating content should be to get people to share it with their network. You may have come across a post by your friend on Facebook in which they shared a link or video. That’s what you want for your posts.
You can—and should—encourage site visitors to share your blog content by embedding a social sharing tool on your site. Some tools will even show the number of shares that each post has earned.
This is important because over 41% of people measure how influential a blog is by how many shares it gets. Making this information known to your site visitors could build trust and eventually lead to higher conversions.
Post When Your Audience is Most Active
The best time to post on social media is your audience’s “peak time”, which is when they’re most active.
In the beginning, when you’re still building out your social strategy, you can follow these guidelines for the best days and times to post on particular channels:
- Twitter: Thursdays, 5 pm.
- Facebook: Thursdays, 8 pm.
- LinkedIn: Wednesday, 9 am.
- Instagram: Friday, 7 pm.
- Pinterest: Friday, 1 am.
Later, you can begin testing the waters to see when you specifically get the most engagements and clicks.
Share Visual Content
Visual content wins on social, so much so that it is 40 times more likely to be shared than other types of content.
Also, tweets with images receive up to 150% more retweets than those without images in general. So, by using visuals and graphics in your tweets, you could potentially be putting your content in front of more eyeballs!
So, add elements like infographics, GIFs, videos, graphs, photos, and animations to your content.
Consistently Engage with Your Audience
Another effective way to drive traffic to your website—and improve the public perception of your brand—is to engage with your audience consistently.
Because only 11% of people receive replies from brands they interact with on social, you can easily stand out from the pack with a few personal comments.
Participate in chats on Twitter.
Respond to tweets and comments that mention you or your business.
Use a hashtag generator tool to search for relevant hashtags.
And finally, contribute to relevant forums.
3. Create Video Tutorials and Master YouTube SEO.
People are three times more likely to prefer watching a video tutorial over reading a product’s instructions. Tutorial videos have the primary goal of enabling the user to accomplish a task, and every element must fall into the right place to achieve that goal.
The easiest way to start making tutorial videos is by making screencast videos. As your skills improve, you can branch out into experimenting with other forms and styles of video, too. Here are some helpful tips for successfully creating great tutorial videos.
Select the Right Tools
To create a quality tutorial video, you must use the right tools.
Your microphone is one of such tools. If you plan to record screencasts regularly, you should consider investing in a USB microphone rather than using your computer’s inbuilt microphone. Using your computer’s microphone could result in a muffled sound.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re using the right screencasting software.
Choose the Right Recording Location
You’ll want to record in a space that has good acoustics and is devoid of background noises. Echoes and background noises are bad for the viewer experience.
You also want to make sure that all your private information is kept off-screen when recording as everything on your computer screen is recorded during a screencasting session.
Taking these precautions can help you save time; it is better to control the recording environment rather than having to spend countless hours doing extensive editing during post-production.
During editing, you should add any elements that will make viewing easier and more enjoyable. You can add annotation, chapters, and closed captions. You can also add visual effects to make your tutorials more visually attractive.
Chapters are a great idea if your video runs more than a few minutes long. Viewers can use them to skip sections they may already understand and jump to sections most relevant to them.
Upload Your Video Tutorial and Optimize for Search
YouTube is the most popular video platform on earth and is even the second most used social platform after Facebook. As such, uploading your video to YouTube will potentially expose it to billions of viewers.
But this popularity can work against you, too.
Every single day, over 720,000 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube. That’s a lot of content competing with your tutorial. The only way to stand out is to master YouTube SEO and optimize your video for search.
YouTube SEO can be broken down into three major components:
- keywords, which involves analyzing the words that people use when searching for your topic,
- video content, which involves making a video that contains the information that people are looking for, and
- signals, which involves putting the right information in the right places so that YouTube will rank your videos well when people search using your keywords.
To sum it up, YouTube SEO is just like Google SEO, but using YouTube’s ranking factors. You can optimize your video description for better search results by using keywords in them. Discover the best keywords for your tutorial videos by using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool.
4. Run Free or Paid Webinars
A webinar is simply a seminar that is held over the internet. The word ‘webinar’ is a portmanteau of the words ‘web’ and ‘seminar’.
Webinars are used for various purposes. They can be used for video workshops, building relationships, product demos, and making presentations.
Hosting a webinar requires webinar software, a strong internet connection, and the material you’ll be sharing with the webinar attendees. There are several options when it comes to webinar software. Our top recommendations are WebinarJam and Demio.
You’ll also need a webcam and microphone. While your inbuilt camera and microphone may serve you well, you would do well to invest in an external set for 4K recording and better sound quality.
On the other hand, the webinar attendees only need an internet connection and a viewing device—either a computer or a smartphone.
There are several benefits to hosting webinars for your business. But we’ll take a look at just four of them:
Capture High-quality Leads
Webinars make it easy to capture high-quality leads for your business. This is because they use a registration process, which means that only those who are truly interested in your content will sign up. Studies even show that hosting a webinar is the best way to generate high-quality leads for your business.
Another thing that makes webinars so effective at lead generation is the fact anyone who spends 45 minutes – 1 hour watching your presentation is most likely interested in your solution.
Build Your Mailing List
You probably know and understand the value of having an email list; email lists provide a direct link to your prospects and customers no matter what platform you may be using.
They also give you full control of your engagements with your audiences, unlike social media. As such, email lists are a true reflection of your audience size.
Webinars are a surefire way of building your email list as they require email addresses when registering.
Save Time and Money
Comparing the costs of hosting a seminar with the costs of hosting a webinar presents a remarkable difference. Webinars are not just cheaper for the organizer than seminars are, they are also cheaper for the attendees.
On the side of the organizer, when you factor in the costs to rent a conference room, snacks, travel, equipment, and accommodation for a seminar, it becomes clear that webinars are far more cost-effective.
For attendees too, no one has to spend time preparing to attend or waste long hours stuck in traffic. They can attend the seminar from the comfort of their home or office.
The convenience also makes it easy to convince prospects to attend.
Build Trust and Position Your Brand as an Industry Leader
Webinars allow you to set yourself apart as a leader in your industry. Industry leaders like SAP and Salesforce regularly host events that help them solidify their positions as industry leaders. Webinars level the playing field by allowing you to host your own events without expending a lot of resources.
Also, by providing valuable information to your attendees and showing how your solution can address their pain points, you can use webinars to bolster your prospects’ trust in your brand.
These days, there’s so much information that’s available for free that one might wonder, “are people still willing to pay for content?”
The short answer is yes—if it is worth it. And this is just as true for webinars. But why would you host a paid webinar? There are several reasons to consider this.
If you’re offering advanced training, you want people to commit, or you already have a loyal audience, then a paid webinar might work for you.
Building the perfect paid webinar that’s worth the price might seem daunting, but here are a few tips to help you on your way:
- Pay attention to detail: Double- and triple-check everything for accuracy. Make sure you have a good-looking and perfectly functioning landing page. Plus, you must make sure to offer stuff that people won’t find online with a quick Google search.
- Make it exclusive: If you make your webinar a one-of-a-kind event and limit availability, you can convince people to pay to attend. This is because people love to attend exclusive events that their friends and colleagues cannot get for free.
- Make it a series: Viewers may be more willing to pay for five sessions at $100 than to pay $20 for each one.
- Give attendees something to leave with: You may consider building an online course or certification around your webinars. This way, your attendees come in with the expectation that they’re not just coming for information—they’ll have something to show for their investment afterward.
- Make sure to use the best webinar software you can get: Get the best webinar software possible. Our top recommendations, Demio and WebinarJam, are the industry leaders and provide top-of-the-line service. You don’t want your attendees regretting their investment due to a software freeze during transmission (by the way, WebinarJam has a panic button feature just for this purpose. Pressing this button creates an entirely new session and automatically pulls in all your attendees from the old session. This way, your webinar continues smoothly). You also want software with an easy-to-use chat function and automated reminder emails and recaps. In all, you want something that makes the broadcast and viewer experience pleasurable and seamless.
5. Understand SEO and How to Attract More Google Traffic
In the past, you could rank high in search engines by slapping lots of search terms onto web pages, regardless of whether they were relevant or not. But these days, SEO is more complex.
There are three crucial elements of SEO. They are Keywords, Content, and Off-Page Signals.
Including keywords in your title, header tags, meta descriptions, and body copy is one of the most basic aspects of SEO. Search engines use them to understand what your site and web pages are all about and help them determine if your page is relevant to users searching for those keywords. There are two main types of keywords that you should use: Long-tail keywords and Location-based keywords.
Long-tail Keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that searchers are likely to use when they’re closer to making a buying decision.
If you own a car dealership, you might think that you should try to rank for words like “car”. But it won’t be easy as there are thousands and thousands of other websites about cars.
Instead, what you should aim for are long-tail keywords like “used car dealership”. While far fewer people will search for “used car dealership” than for “car”, the search intent would make a remarkable difference in both instances.
People searching “car” may be looking for any number of things, from photos to forums, the movie, and other such things. But people who search “used car dealership” are likely looking to buy a car.
Focusing on longer keywords like this gives you a better chance to rank well and also helps you attract more qualified traffic.
Location-based Keywords tell search engines where your business is located.
In keeping with the last example, if your dealership is located in Miami, you could use a keyword like “used car dealership in Miami”. This is even more targeted and will help further qualify your site visitors.
For keyword research, you can use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. They are some of the best SEO and keyword research tools on the market. You can learn more about these tools in our guide to the best tools for keyword research.
In addition to having the right keywords, you also need to have quality content on your site to rank well. Search engines may not be able to read your content as a human would, but they look at certain signals to understand whether your content would be worth recommending to searchers.
For one, they consider the length of the content, preferring substantial content to shorter content. This is because while short blurbs may be easier to write, they don’t provide much value to readers. Therefore, you should aim for quality over quantity. You don’t need to write entire encyclopedias, but your content should provide comprehensive information to visitors to your site.
Search engines also prefer sites that stay fresh and are regularly updated. In other words, you can’t just create a bunch of web pages and leave them sitting, hoping that your search ranking will improve.
If you like the content on those existing pages, then there’s no need to change them just for SEO purposes. In such cases, you should consider creating a blog. Even if you only post once a week, search engines will know and understand that your site is regularly maintained and updated.
Additionally, your site most likely contains content that is related. Whenever you can, you should link such content together.
Search engines also rank your website based on the number of unique domain names linking back to it. In other words, they take into account how many site owners are referencing your content in their own content.
These are called backlinks. They operate like votes in favor of the quality of your site’s content. In other words, they position your site as a reliable source of knowledge. As such, it is worth spending time to get them.
Guest blogging is a great way to attract the audiences of other websites in your industry to your website. You should take advantage of any opportunity to create content for other websites and, if the editor allows it, you should include a link back to your site.
Also, while you should never just directly ask a site owner to link to your site, you should be looking to build relationships that could eventually grow into links.
6. Leverage Influencers with Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing simply involves recruiting people to promote your brand. Although it can take on many forms, it usually goes hand-in-hand with social media.
Influencer marketing is a different marketing approach. Brands identify the audience they’d like to market to and then find and reach out to leaders who can persuade the audience.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
- People trust other people: Influencer marketing works because people trust people more than they trust businesses.
- Influencer marketing is more effective than advertising: 41% of people use ad-blocking software these days. So, if you’re relying on website or Google ads, you’re playing a losing game. (That being said, what does work is Facebook marketing, and these stats prove it).
- Influencer marketing offers new ways to share your message: Influencers can help create new and innovative ways to promote your brand that you would never have considered.
- Get more leads: Influencer marketing is essentially word-of-mouth marketing. And a recent study by McKinsey found that word-of-mouth marketing results in over twice the number of sales you’d get from a paid advertising campaign.
How to Find the Right Influencer for Your Brand
- Start with your audience: Decide who you want to receive your message before deciding on who to carry that message to them.
- Determine your goals: You need to decide exactly what you want to achieve with your campaign. Do you want to sell more products? Or do you want to increase brand awareness? Knowing exactly what you want to accomplish is crucial to finding the right influencer.
- Find the influencers: You can do a regular Google search for influencers in your niche. Or you can search for them using an influencer marketplace like Famebit, Tidal, and TapInfluence. You could also use a tool like BuzzSumo to find influencers who are already talking about topics you care about.
- Research the influencers: You need to check out your potential influencers and understand who they are before you approach them.
- Don’t get caught up in the numbers game: Yes, follower count does matter a little, but it is not as important as the quality of followers. You want an influencer who has the trust of their followers and the ability to persuade them to try something based on their recommendation.
- Introduce yourself: After selecting the right person, it’s time to approach them. Develop a friendship with them first and build slowly from there. Then after you’ve established a relationship, ask them if they’d be interested in promoting your brand.
Remember: even though you may be paying the influencer, their loyalty remains with their audience and you as a brand must respect that. Don’t go asking for glowing reviews or else. Allow them to be truthful about your brand, even those parts that they may not like. After all, authenticity is what helped them become influencers in the first place.
7. Build Your Audience with Email Marketing
There’s no better time to get into email marketing if you haven’t already. Email marketing continues to outperform other digital marketing channels, including search marketing and paid advertising, returning a whopping $42 for every dollar spent.
Here, we outline five tips to help you get started on your journey to email marketing wizardry.
Choose an Email Marketing Service
As a self-respecting email marketer, you need to work with an email marketing service. This way, you can leverage automation tools to get the best out of your efforts and effectively deliver your messages to large groups of subscribers.
You’ll also benefit from tools that can help you grow and manage your mailing list, as well as professional email templates and tracking features that let you understand how your subscribers engage with your messages and campaigns.
There are several good email marketing platforms to choose from, including both free and paid options. Our top recommendations are ConvertKit, Constant Contact, and SendinBlue. These options offer all the features you would need in an email marketing software such as a drag-and-drop editor, bulk personalized and targeted emails, list segmentation, email scheduling, A/B testing, seamless integrations with other tools such as CRMs, analytics, and email tracking and monitoring, and many other advanced features.
Build Your Mailing List
If you’re building your list from scratch, don’t be discouraged. You can start simply by using a paper sign-up sheet near your cash register, or by adding a sign-up form to your website. You can also get on social media and encourage your followers and loyal customers to sign up.
Set Up Your Welcome Email
Your welcome email is your first impression on your new subscribers. As such, it must pack a punch and deliver a truckload of value right out of the gate.
Understand the Importance of Subject Lines
You need to spend time on your email subject lines. These are the most important lines of text in your entire email. The reason is obvious: they are the first line subscribers see even before they open your email.
If your subject line does not capture their fancy, they will skip over the message entirely. Keep it short and sweet—under 40 characters, if at all possible.
Track Your Results
If your subject line does not capture their fancy, they will skip over the message entirely. Keep it snappy—under 40 characters, if at all possible.
Email marketing does not end when you hit send. You should track metrics like your open and click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, etc., and work to improve them as time goes on.
8. Use Facebook Ads with Re-Targeting
Most people find it difficult to wrap their heads around how an ad for a website they visited recently pops up in their Facebook feed. But to the digital marketer, it’s no magic; just plain old retargeting.
Retargeting is one of the most powerful and effective techniques for closing potential customers. It yields one of the highest returns on ad spend for digital marketers. But how does it work?
How Retargeting Works
Retargeting is simply targeting your Facebook ads to people who have already expressed interest in your site. Through retargeting, you remind them of how great your product or service is and why choosing it is the right decision.
To take advantage of retargeting on Facebook, you’ll first need to install a snippet of code on your website. This code will place a cookie on the computers or devices of people that visit your website and send back information to Facebook about which pages they viewed.
Then, from your Custom Audience preferences, you’ll retarget to different segments—you can target people who visited a certain page, or those who added a product to their cart but didn’t complete the purchase.
5 Steps to Launch a Facebook Retargeting Campaign
Follow these steps to set up a Facebook retargeting campaign. Note that these steps assume that you already have a Facebook account for your business.
- From your Facebook Ads Manager, select Audiences. You’ll find it in the dropdown menu when you click on Business Manager at the top left-hand side of the screen.
- Click on Create Audience and select Custom Audience. Again, you’ll find the Create Audience option at the top left side of your screen. Then, for retargeting, you’ll need to select Custom Audience.
- Select Website Traffic. This will allow you to reach people that visit your site.
- Select your target audience from the dropdown menu. The dropdown menu gives you the option of targeting anyone who visits your website, those who visit specific pages, those who visit specific pages but not others, those who have not visited in a certain amount of time, or any custom combination of these attributes.
- Get your Facebook Pixel and place it on your website. This is necessary to start retargeting. To get the code, go to the Audiences section of the Ads Manager. There, you’ll find the new retargeting campaign. Select it, and then click on Actions. Click on View Panel in the dropdown.
From here, you’ll get your pixel code which you must now embed in your site. And you’re ready to go!
9. Launch Your Own Podcast and Reach Millions of People
Podcasts can be a fantastic marketing tool for your business if you know how to use them. Here are a few tips to get the best out of them:
Position Yourself as an Expert
People only buy from brands or people that they trust. You can leverage podcasts to gain or elevate prospects’ trust in you by positioning yourself as an expert in a specific field.
While you don’t necessarily have to be an expert in a broad topic or even something related to your brand, your content needs to be entertaining and engaging.
Use Your Podcast’s Description to Market Your Brand
Another great way to market your brand is to write a great podcast description. To be clear, we’re talking about the description of the entire podcast, not the show notes you write for each episode.
The description should answer questions like who the podcast is for, what they will get from it, who you are, and what they can expect.
Use Podcasting to Grow Your Brand’s Social Media Following
People only buy from brands or people that they trust. You can leverage podcasts to gain or elevate prospects’ trust in you by positioning yourself as an expert in a specific field.
If you’re not using your podcast to get more social media followers, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential business. In every episode, make sure to:
- Mention all your social media accounts at the end
- Pin new episodes to the top of your social media pages
- Keep re-sharing episodes that had a lot of positive responses
- Tease the next episode on social media
Use ‘Stories’ on social media to make your podcasts more interactive
Release a Blog Post with Each Podcast
You can use blog posts to recap or expand on topics you discussed in your podcast. When you release a blog with each podcast episode, you can include a transcript for people who prefer to read and clarify discussions. You can also use your podcast to train your listeners to visit your site to learn more about your products and services.
Interview Guests Strategically
Bringing good guests on your show can help you better engage with your listeners and add expertise to your discussions. In other words, good guests can bring a lot of credibility to your business.
Besides, your guests can share the podcasts on their social media accounts, thereby granting you access to their follower base to potentially expand your audience.
You can use your podcast to drive traffic to your website by peppering it with calls-to-actions. You can ask listeners to follow you on social media, invite them to ask questions or share their thoughts on the show, ask them to subscribe to the show, ask them to visit your website, or even invite them to a trade show or event that your business is attending.
Whichever way you choose to use them, podcasts can prove extremely valuable to your business.
10. Use LinkedIn to Attract More B2B Customers
LinkedIn is one of the largest and fastest-growing social media networks, boasting over 740 million users in 2021. It is a powerful platform for B2B marketing, being responsible for 46% of all social media traffic to B2B company websites. So, it makes sense that you should also take advantage of it. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of LinkedIn for marketing.
Improve on Your Business LinkedIn Profile
Creating a professional LinkedIn profile for your business is crucial. You used to be able to list only the basics like your work experiences and education on your profile.
But now, LinkedIn has added several more interactive features to enhance your profile such as status updates, videos, articles, presentations, projects, recommendations, patents, expertise, awards, and certifications. Take advantage of these features to create a rich profile.
Create a Highly-informative Company Page
Your LinkedIn page is an ideal place to tell your company’s story. You must show clear information about your products or services as finding such information might be what drives people to visit your page in the first place. You must build a page that is helpful for both you and your connections.
Optimize Your Page for Performance
A complete and compelling profile is necessary to underscore your brand’s presence. It will help your customers or connections better understand who you are and what you do. Therefore, optimizing your profile is crucial.
Include details like logos/headers, photos, details of key employees, and any other details that make your business seem more human and professional to your connections.
Identify your Audience
One of the most important factors for success in any marketing strategy is understanding the audience, and this applies just as well to LinkedIn marketing. LinkedIn makes it easy to get into your audience’s insights and capture their traits by revising Website Demographics.
The tool tells you what pages your site visitors are visiting and what content they engage with the most. Armed with this data, you can more accurately target your content to the right audience, measure the impact, and optimize for better ROI.
Create Valuable Content
Producing great content can mean the difference between success and failure for your marketing. Ensure that the content you post on your LinkedIn page is valuable to your target audience. Viewers will only follow you and keep you in their connections if they find value on your page.
Make Good Use of Videos
Consider this: within the first year of launching LinkedIn native videos, video posts generated over 300 million impressions on the platform. LinkedIn has made video sharing accessible to companies of all shapes and sizes.
Studies show that video posts garner 4 – 5 times more engagement than text posts on average. Take the time to think about that before deciding that you don’t want to take advantage of video.
Make Use of LinkedIn Community Features
There are community features available on LinkedIn that allow you to communicate conveniently with other users, partners, or clients to expand your connections. There are two types of standard community features: groups and influencers.
- Groups: join groups that focus on your interests or expertise. This way, you stay informed about the latest happenings in your field and keep in touch with people or companies in your network. Groups are also a great way to grow your influence and connect with others. You can even create a group for your company.
- Influencers: through LinkedIn Influencers, you can connect with many thought leaders. You can comment on their posts and enter deep into the discussion and in the process, you’ll get noticed by them.
Try LinkedIn Ads
LinkedIn offers a wide range of advertising campaign types to effectively drive lead generation and brand awareness. The most widely-used ad formats on LinkedIn are Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads. But the newest and possibly the most powerful is LinkedIn Video Ads.
11. Set Up Your Own Affiliate Program
One of the unwritten rules of business is this: your best marketers are happy customers. If you have happy customers, why not reward them for being vocal about your business and how much they love you? Starting an affiliate program is a great way to go just that; you’ll be letting your most loyal customers share in your success.
Affiliate Marketing Explained
In affiliate marketing, you give customers a commission for sales directly resulting from their recommendation of your products.
There are two sides to this strategy. On the affiliate side, there are the users who earn a commission by promoting your products in their content. On the other, there are the companies that provide the affiliates with unique, trackable links that they can then embed in their content.
For example, in one of their blog posts, a travel blogger may recommend that people book hotel rooms through an online service called “Hotels.com”. If they’ve signed up for Hotels.com’s affiliate program (assuming Hotels.com has one), they’ll get a commission for any sales resulting from their blog’s affiliate link.
On the company side, Hotels.com will provide customized and trackable links to content creators like the travel blogger. Hotels.com will also be responsible for paying out the commissions.
The bottom line is that at the end of the day, you increase your revenue and give your users an incentive to advertise your product. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
It is not enough to just create an affiliate program; you also need to get affiliate marketers to use it. Here are some ways you can go about this.
1. Start by reaching out to people in your personal network
No matter what business you’re in, you probably have a few industry friends who are not in direct competition with you. Inform them that you’ve started an affiliate program. They most likely have an audience that would be interested in your product or service.
2. Reach out to influencers in your niche
These days, social media allows you to reach almost anyone. You can take advantage of this to reach out to social media influencers in your space. Explain what makes your product or service unique and why they should check out your affiliate program.
3. Join a community of affiliate programs
With the rise in popularity of affiliate marketing, many communities designed to help merchants get their products out there—such as ShareASale, ClickBank, and CJ Affiliate—have sprung up. These communities are exactly what you need to get your affiliate program noticed. They are an excellent resource for finding affiliates for your product or service.
4. Consider using your email list
If you have a robust email list, you can try to convince your subscribers to become your affiliates. While reaching out to your professional and personal connections is great, reaching out to your subscribers is even better as you’d be reaching out to people who have used your product or at least expressed some interest in it. This is one of the many benefits of building a solid email list for your business.
12. Industry Events and Conferences
No matter what field you may be in, you can get far more value from conferences and industry events than you currently do. Let’s jump straight into ways you can do this.
Leverage Events to Grow Your Network
The value of a quality network can never be overemphasized. Building a personal network takes time. And if you’re also advocating for your company at the same time, that means community development is also ongoing.
There are a lot of valuable outcomes that can come from attending both online and offline events such as collecting competitive intelligence, recruiting, vendor or consultant sourcing, partner sourcing, and prospecting for new clients or customers.
To get the most out of the networking opportunities that events create, you should set goals for the kind of contacts you want to make. Go as far as making a list of people you’d like to meet if they’re particularly important to you.
If you fail to set goals for your event networking and leave it to chance, you’ll end up leaving a lot of value on the table.
Curate and Create Content
Content marketing is hotter than ever before. But where most companies have a hard time is sourcing content, and this is especially true for companies that are new to content publishing.
Fortunately, every event — from Twitter chats to webinars, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions — provides an opportunity to capture, curate, and even create new content.
Consider how you can leverage your experiences during conferences to create content for your company blog or process documentation. You can live blog, conduct interviews, journal, and track your buzz if you are speaking at the event.
The content you capture and create can help you show clients and prospects that you are on top of what’s happening in your industry.
Share the Knowledge Gained from the Event
The most important reason for attending conferences and events is to hear industry experts share advice and insights into ideas and topics that you can benefit from.
To multiply the value of one person attending the event, it makes sense to collect actionable tips, statistics, and other useful information to share with the rest of the team, clients, and other groups within your organization.
For the sake of efficient knowledge transfer, it is vital to create a process for information capture, synthesis, and distribution.
- Capture: During this phase, you’ll want to target specific speakers and sessions. Make a note of questions you’d like to have answered and if the presentations don’t touch on those topics, find subject matter experts to ask those questions directly.
- Synthesis: As you formulate the questions, you need to have specific applications for your business in mind. When you get the answers to your questions, you must filter the information in ways that are practical and useful when shared.
- Distribution: Have a plan for how you will present all of the information gathered from the event to your colleagues, clients, and prospective clients. You can choose to write a report, prepare a presentation, host a webinar, or compile video clips and images to a voiceover narration.
Maximize the Marketing Value of Events
There are ways to gain more attendees, more media coverage, and more value before, during, and after the event. Before the event, you can do the following:
- Write headlines, tags, descriptions, and make trackable short URLs
- Create a contest or buzz around your presentation to get others to share it to their networks
- Pre-write tweets and updates, and decide on a hashtag
- Create a teaser for your presentation and share it on social media
- Submit your session to event listing sites, and create events on LinkedIn and Facebook
- When you meet people before your presentation, don’t hesitate to share when you’ll be speaking
During the event:
- Create content that the audience can participate in. For example, you can take photos of the audience and post them on Facebook so that they can tag themselves
- Have someone on your team monitor tweets and buzz during your presentation so that you can interact in real-time as appropriate
- Motivate desirable behavior such as asking questions by giving something away
- Use sharable or tweetable content in your presentation
After the event:
- Curate all the buzz about the presentation into a blog post or newsroom post
- Use media coverage from the event in your newsroom, corporate email, and other business communications
- Follow up with connections made during the event
There are many ways to get the most out of business conferences and events. Try some of the tips mentioned here and see the results.
13. Use Chatbots and Win with Conversational Marketing
With conversational marketing, you can connect with prospects at exactly the right moment through tools like chatbot and live chat. It is one of the quickest ways to move buyers through your sales or marketing funnel.
Conversational marketing allows you to capitalize on the power of real-time conversations to build relationships with prospects and create a more personalized experience for them.
In recent years, conversational marketing has been on the rise.
Consider that 80% of businesses are expected to have chatbot automation of some kind installed on their website by the end of 2021. Also, 86% of shoppers prefer proactive customer support which is something that chatbots can offer immediately. Moreover, 36% of companies already use chatbots for marketing, sales, or to handle customer service inquiries.
Plus, chatbots can help you save time and resources, help with lead and revenue generation, improve the overall user experience of your website, and provide after-hours support.
But applying chatbots to boost your conversational marketing strategy is easier said than done. So, if you’d like to get in on the action, here are five ways to use chatbots on your website.
Communicate with New Website Visitors
Without a doubt, this is one of the most common use cases for chatbots, and it’s one everyone’s familiar with. You open a website and shortly after arrival, you’re greeted by a chatbot offering general assistance.
Visitors may or may not be ready to engage. But it is important to give those visitors at the beginning of the buyer’s journey the opportunity to engage with your company without needing a specific reason for doing so.
Chatbots offer an immediate opportunity to qualify leads. Since lead qualification can take up a vast amount of the time and bandwidth of your sales and marketing team, it makes sense to let your chatbot do some of the heavy lifting. Through your chatbot, you can ask lead-qualifying questions like:
- What brought you here today?
- Do you need some help?
- Are you a [BLANK (business owner, role/title, etc.)]?
- Tell me more
These questions are helpful in qualifying leads because they help determine what the lead is looking for (to help determine whether your products are a right fit), who the person should connect with in your organization and the level of intent. These are details that can be passed on to your sales team for further action.
You can add a form on your chatbot so that after you’ve qualified leads, you can capture their information and have someone follow up with them later. This way, your sales team can reach out to them quickly while the lead is still warm.
Personalize the Customer Experience
The more personalized the experience is with your chatbot, the better. When it works, personalization warms up the user experience.
For example, say you visit a brick-and-mortar store and have a great experience. If you came back days later to be remembered by name or based on what you may have been looking for the last time you came, wouldn’t that enhance the experience?
Chatbots can do this virtually, recalling past visitors and their names or companies.
Provide Customer Support
Customers want to engage in conversations that are quick and seamless. A chatbot is a great way to provide assistance and customer support to customers who need immediate answers or solutions to their problems. This beats requiring them to log a ticket and wait indefinitely for someone from your team to reach out or respond.
Promote a Product or Service Offering
One thing that can help improve the overall experience with chatbots is to consider where someone is in the buyer’s journey. This can be informed by thinking about the intent a visitor has as they open each page of your website. If they make it to one of your product pages, you can use a chatbot to qualify them and offer more insightful information.
14. Point-of-Purchase Marketing
Point-of-purchase marketing is a method of promoting products using displays placed around where purchases are made in a brick-and-mortar store. It generally refers to any display or banner placed before or in the checkout aisle, and can also be used to refer to any display placed within the store.
POP displays are ideal for inspiring impulse purchases. There are certain products for which POP marketing can be more effective than advertising or other marketing tactics. They are also very flexible. Besides increasing sales, here are some other benefits of POP marketing.
Grab Customers’ Attention
POP displays give customers something to pass the time while they await their turn at the checkout. You can use such displays to grab their attention and then answer any questions they may have about the product.
Since the product on display can capture the full attention of the customer, you can take the opportunity to inform the customer about benefits and interesting facts about the product. This will further encourage them to pick up the product impulsively.
Direct Customers’ Focus
Effective POP displays make the products they advertise stand out. By directing customers’ focus to a specific product, you can indirectly call their attention to other related products placed strategically around the main display, further boosting sales.
POP displays can be used in concert with shelf displays to further develop the brand image in the eye of the customer. You can place creative displays that deploy lighting and appealing design at store aisles and checkout lanes to pique the interest of buyers.
Types of POP Displays
POP displays are classified into three main types according to how long they will be used and their construction materials. A seasonal product or one on which you have a limited-time offer might call for a temporary display. On the other hand, you might want to promote a product for a longer time and thus go for something more permanent.
- Temporary POP Displays: These are usually designed for short-term promotions ranging from a few weeks to a couple of months. They are ideal for seasonal products or for testing products that you might want to add to your inventory but are not yet sure about. They are made from cheap materials and this makes them ideal for experimentation or storage for seasonal usage.
- Semi-permanent POP Displays: These are displays that are intended to last for anywhere between a couple of months to a year. The materials used for such displays are generally more durable and may be designed to carry more than one product from the same company. They are more expensive than temporary displays but cheaper than permanent ones.
- Permanent POP Displays: These are displays that are intended to last several years. Upfront, they cost the most, and maintenance costs are also higher than other types of display. But if designed properly, they can yield a high return on investment.
Best Practices for POP Displays
- Make sure to use colors that are appropriate for the product
- Make use of interesting and eye-catching shapes
- Keep the message clear and concise
- Ensure that it is easy to access the products
- Make the user experience your priority
- Illustrate the benefits of the product clearly
- Customize the display to the product it carries.
15. Co-Branding and Cause Marketing
Cause marketing involves partnering with or donating to a nonprofit organization to simultaneously build your brand and promote the greater good. There are two main flavors of cause marketing: Collaborative Partnerships and Corporate Social Responsibility.
When you think of cause marketing campaigns, this is probably what comes to mind. A collaborative partnership involves a for-profit company partnering with a nonprofit organization to raise money and awareness for their cause.
Collaborative partnerships are popular because both companies benefit equally. But they present a challenge in that both organizations need to pull their weight for the partnership to be successful. You should only get into such a partnership if both you and your partner are ready and willing to invest the time, money, and manpower necessary to make it work.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is popular among companies that want to get involved in philanthropy but don’t want to launch a brand-new program. It is a set of standards that a company imposes on itself and holds itself to in a bid to deliver social, economic, and environmental benefits for the public, their stakeholders, and employees.
It is different from collaborative partnerships in that it usually encompasses more programs.
Cause marketing does just as much good for your bottom line as it does for the public. Consider that 68% of customers say they wouldn’t buy products from a company with poor ethics and 56% of customers actively seek. Besides, 67% percent of customers think companies are responsible for giving back to the communities where they do business.
It’s not enough to simply choose a charity and start throwing money at them – cause marketing is still a publicity play. Here’s how you can do cause marketing the right way.
1. Get Behind a Cause You Believe in
Authenticity is extremely important in cause marketing as customers can spot an inauthentic brand ploy from light-years away. And the easiest way to be authentic is to find a cause you believe in and get behind it. If your heart isn’t in the game, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
2. Find the Brand Alignment
Being passionate about the organization you sign on with is great, but it isn’t enough; both your brands need to be in alignment as well. Consider your own company and what kind of nonprofit will make the most sense for partnership from a branding perspective.
3. Give More Than Your Money
While donating money is great as it helps nonprofits further their mission, there are other ways to support them besides money. You can donate your time, skills, or manpower. For example, you can organize a food drive for a nonprofit. Whatever you choose to donate, make sure it’s something they need and can handle. And make sure to communicate your plans with them before executing them. Donating food is great, but showing up unexpectedly with a truckload of food could quickly turn into a logistical nightmare if they are unprepared to handle it.
4. Focus on the Partnership
Focusing too much on your brand instead of on the partnership as a whole is a common mistake. Consider why the organization you’ve chosen to partner with is a good fit, as well as who they help and what they do for the community.
People are inspired by outcomes; so, when you focus on outcomes instead of clout, you’ll end up achieving more than if you did otherwise.
5. Track the Return on Investment
As with anything worth doing in business, it is important to track the return on investment. What’s the point of continuing a cause marketing campaign if it doesn’t yield the desired results? And how would you determine how successful the campaign is if you don’t track your results and outcomes?
16. Hyper-Personalize Your Customer Communication for Better Results
Big data has made it possible to create a hyper-personalized experience for customers. Hyper-personalization is simply the process of collecting the behavioral data of customers in real-time to customize product or service recommendations and experiences to their needs.
Several studies prove the effectiveness of hyper-personalization. 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience. Moreover, a study by Thomson Data showed that 49% of buyers made purchases on impulse because of a personalized customer experience.
Benefits of Hyper-personalization
Hyper-personalization minimizes the effort customers need to make to find what they want. It does this by offering a simplified and uncluttered shopping experience that is the result of eliminating obstacles in the funnel.
It also eliminates “choice-overload” by providing only those options that are relevant to a customer.
Hyper-personalization vs Personalization
Conventional personalization relies on transactional or personal information like name, purchase history, company, and so on. If you’ve ever received an email with your name in the subject line, then you’ve been exposed to one of the most common examples of conventional personalization. This approach uses profiling to make assumptions about the customer based on their characteristics.
Hyper-personalization on the other hand is a more involved and complex approach that focuses on advanced real-time behavioral data like engagement, in-app behavior, and browsing behavior. The result is a more relevant interaction that ultimately leads to higher conversion rates.
There are four steps to hyper-personalization.
1. Data collection
This is the most important step in creating a framework for hyper-personalization. It is impossible to identify your customers without data. A report by IBM suggests that about 80% of customers believe that companies do not address them individually.
When dealing with a large number of users, determining the needs of each user can be difficult. This is where gathering accurate data comes into play. Actionable analytics and an automated consumer engagement platform can be of great help in collecting the required information.
2. Customer Segmentation
The data collected in the previous step will help you understand how customers engage with your company or brand. The next step is segmentation.
Using various factors like brand interaction history, demographics, satisfaction, average spend, location, etc., you can divide your customers into various subsets.
3. Targeted Journeys
By now, you have identified and segmented your customers. You can then move on to hyper-personalized communication. Securing the right channel and the right time are crucial to success. The more relevant and targeted communications you have with customers, the higher the possibilities of conversions.
4. Measurement and Analysis
As repeatedly stated, running a targeted cosign is not enough. Measurement is crucial. Ignore vanity metrics and focus only on metrics that will impact the bottom line and help the company in the future. This way, you can determine what strategies positively affect your revenue directly and replicate or scale them.
Marketing Strategy Examples from Brands You Know
True, no business starts out knowing exactly what they’re doing. But your favorite brands didn’t get to where they are today by winging it. They had a strategy.
Let’s look at four well-known brands and how they achieved massive success. At a basic level, they all understood the needs of their customers, how to meet those needs in novel ways that their competitors hadn’t contemplated, and the place that their products held in the market.
1. Marketing Strategy of Nike
Selling products that meet a clearly defined and widely acknowledged need is one thing. Selling a product that meets a need people don’t know they have is another. In the latter case, you have to sell ideas to your target customers before you can sell them your products. And that’s what Nike did.
Nike was the first to give running shoes a gripping surface by putting one on a waffle iron. They promoted jogging as a good way to keep fit, essentially getting more people into running. And to run, they needed shoes.
In addition to selling shoes, Nike also created educational content teaching people how to get the most out of their newfound hobby. Thus, they created a self-reinforcing cycle that simultaneously built trust with their customers and drove incredible sales growth.
2. Marketing Strategy of Starbucks
Starbucks understood that people don’t want coffee for its taste or functional benefits alone, but the holistic coffee experience. They also understood that people like familiarity.
So, Starbucks created an experience that met people’s needs for meeting and working space, as well as a destination to hang out with friends. The experience became a part of people’s routines and Starbucks not only sold a lot of coffee but became a part of their customers’ lives.
3. Marketing Strategy of Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. But how did they do it? The answer lies in brand consistency.
Coca-Cola has kept its brand and product consistent for more than 130 years. Their logo has stayed pretty much the same and their marketing campaigns have continued to broadcast the same message.
4. Marketing Strategy of Amazon
Amazon massively delays email marketing to dominate e-commerce, taking a personalized rather than promotional approach. They apply insights from the data they gather about their customers—such as online behavior, demographics, previous purchases, and so on—to recommend new features and products.
They also use emails to announce sales offers and request feedback in the form of reviews. Plus, they show you items you may have looked at while browsing the store but not purchased.
Besides, Amazon devotes as much as 90% of its marketing budget to SEO and PPC. And they’ve been so successful with these that 44% of shoppers now go directly to Amazon when searching for anything, and 90% will check Amazon when looking to make a purchase.
Marketing Strategies FAQ
The two main types of marketing strategy are Business to business (B2B) marketing and Business to consumer (B2C) marketing.
As suggested by the name, in B2B marketing, you’re marketing your products or services to other businesses and organizations. It is distinct from B2C marketing in that it tends to be more straightforward and informational. This is because businesses make purchase decisions based on bottom-line impact. While ROI is hardly ever considered by the everyday person — at least, in a financial sense — it is the primary focus of corporates.
B2C marketing on the other hand refers to the marketing of goods and services to individuals rather than businesses and organizations.
Cart abandonment is one of the single biggest problems faced by e-commerce businesses the world over. With the limited attention span of people and the myriad online distractions and real-world interruptions readily available to capture our attention, there are many reasons people end up abandoning their carts.
To solve the problem, Nordstrom utilizes an assertive retargeting strategy involving a slew of emails and retargeting ad campaigns on social media networks that are activated by cookies and based on specific events. With this series of reminders, it is difficult for users to forget about the uncompleted purchases in their cart.
The most effective marketing strategies are those that are targeted toward a specific audience, focused on key benefits based on the audience’s point of view and interests, and delivered at an appropriate time — when the audience is most likely to be attentive to and interested in the message being delivered.
The best marketing strategies for your business are those that embed a strong storyline, build an emotional connection with the target audience, are customer-centric, scalable, and agile.
Ready to Skyrocket Your Customer Acquisition with Innovative Marketing Strategies?
Now you know exactly what marketing strategies to employ to grow a highly profitable business.
You’ve learned how to get the most out of content marketing, and social media, and industry events, as well as how to use webinars, video tutorials to supercharge your marketing.
You’ve also learned how to build your audience with email marketing, leverage influencers, launch your own podcast, and use retargeting to get people to come back and complete their purchase. And these are just a few of the strategies covered in this post.
Now, it’s your turn! Go and implement what you’ve learned and grow your business to unprecedented levels.