Having a novel business idea? That's great, but it's only the beginning. How about putting together a competent team? Thumbs up - that’s the secret to keeping your business going. However, if you're looking at ramping up your bottom line and making your business a success, you can't go past “marketing.”
Marketing is not just one facet or department of your business. Marketing is the business. No wonder business genius Mark Cuban says, “no sales, no business.”
In a fast-paced world with competitors breathing down your neck, you have no option but to keep learning about effective marketing methods. There are a plethora of marketing channels, however, every business must choose the channels that deliver the best returns on every penny spent.
Here are five marketing strategies that can help you get higher returns for every dollar you spend trying to get the word out.
1. Influencer Marketing
If you think influencer marketing is a fad - think again. Adweek reports that the industry is set to be worth $10 billion by the close of 2020. Mediakix, an influencer marketing agency, conducted a study on the returns of ROI. The outcomes stated, “89% said ROI from influencer marketing was comparable to or better than other networks.’’
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that utilizes celebrities or experts within a niche to reach out to a target audience. From Facebook to Instagram, the advent of social media has transformed the way users receive information.
Here are a few steps to having an effective influencer marketing strategy:
- Decide on your goals and target audience
- Set a budget and an influencer management strategy
- Research and choose the influencer who can help you achieve your goals
- Reach out to the influencer and agree on the terms
When marketing doyen, Seth Godin said, “content marketing is the only marketing left, " he wasn't far from right.
2. Content Marketing
While traditional marketing methods have focused on selling a product or rendering a service to the customer, content marketing focuses on helping the customer. In the last decade, it has gained traction - and rightly so. A large chunk of the prominent companies globally - from Microsoft, P&G to John Deere - have jumped on the content marketing bandwagon.
Unlike many other forms of marketing, content marketing is for companies that are ready for long-term investment and returns. Start by understanding your audience and develop a buyer persona. Then set your goals and conduct a content audit.
Once you find out what's missing, put together a team that would be focused on developing meaningful content that helps your customers. Decide on the type of content (blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc.) and the channel it would be published through.
3. SMS Marketing
Guess the percentage of millennials who check their phones as soon as they wake up. Is it around 50%? Nope. It’s actually 80%. In fact, on average, we check our phones 85 times a day.
While some consider and marketing as regulated email marketing, it boasts a higher open rate. Emails can sit in inboxes for so long, but text messages are often responded to as soon as they are seen. Forbes estimates that 90% of text messages are read within the first three minutes of delivery.
Text marketing also has a higher likelihood of being responded to. Just imagine the response rate of mass text marketing and how it can help in SMS lead generation.
Don't just get up, put together a truckload of numbers and send messages. Rather, take advantage of SMS marketing tools. For instance, Textback is an AI-powered platform that allows you to manage SMS campaigns.
Thanks to AI SMS marketing, text messages are now more interactive, more intuitive with fewer errors. Many companies have opted for using SMS chatbots, which engage readers in a more personalized way.
4. Email Marketing
Contrary to some comments making the rounds, email marketing is not dead. If anything, it is stronger than before. According to a research study by Smart Insights, email marketing remains the top marketing channel, trumping even social media.
Close to 95% of internet users use email compared to only 61% who use social media. In fact, research further shows that people who buy products following email messages spend 138% more than those who do not receive email offers. Now here's the clinger: email marketing has an ROI of 4400%. Yes, you read that right - a whopping 4,400%.
Here's what you can do:
- Build and grow your own email list. As much as possible, avoid buying an email list from another organization
- Conduct data cleaning or a DCN list scrub. This reduces error and waste in marketing
- Start with a lead magnet i.e., something that attracts customers to join your mailing list. It could be free ebooks, trial samples, webinars, case studies, podcasts, discounts on products, etc.
- Develop a drip email sequence for all types of customers
- Automate your email marketing with tooling options such as MailChimp, Getresponse, ActiveCampaign, Hubspot, etc.
- Conduct split testing consistently, to find out what works best for your clients
- Consistently monitor and review your email marketing strategy
5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you know anything about SEO, chances are you've read this famous quote: “The best place to hide a body is the second page of a Google search.” As long as your search engine rankings are low, your website will not be the go-to place for answers.
SEO is about increasing your quantity and quality of your website’s traffic. Averagely, good SEO can generate a 200-300% return on investment. That's why in building your website, ensure that is optimized to rank high on search engines. From the title to meta description, every content you develop should have keywords that make it easily recognizable during the search.
Keep tabs on advances in SEO and adapt accordingly. For instance, the advent of voice assistant technology and voice search in the last few years has revolutionized the world of search.
In a Sum
No business can make waves in stealth mode. And as long as your target audience doesn't know and appreciate your business, your Return On Investment (ROI) is sure to be low. The business world can be a slugfest.
From suppliers, competitors to clients, it can get bloody - if you don't put your best foot forward. Listed above are marketing strategies that have been tested and proven and have delivered the goods over the years. From voice marketing, conversational SMS to AI SMS, you can revamp your marketing to yield benefits.
Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.