Are Your Skills Stuck in the 90's?
It’s high time to take your marketing skills into this decade. Are you finding the successes you’ve hoped for? Are your customers coming back for more? If not, maybe it’s time you brush up on some much-needed marketing skills. We've compiled a few suggestions that are critical for building relationships, traction and revenue in today's world:
#1 - Social Media
Let’s face it, everyone is on Facebook and Twitter these days. If you aren’t currently promoting your business on one of these sites, you’re about 5 years late to the party. It’s time to catch up. Consider further reading on how to beef up your social media presence and develop an aggressive social media strategy. Nearly 23% of time spent online is spent on social sites. Are you capitalizing on that statistic?
According to a 2011 study conducted by Experian Marketing Services, businesses that posted at least once a day reach at least 22% of their targeted audience per week. That reach can convert to real business and real sales.
#2 - Blogging
Blogging has been proven to be an outstanding tool for businesses. It drives traffic to your site, allows people to become familiar with your product, and helps build a customer relationship. It’s also important in generating leads that can convert to sales. Posting to your blog daily or even just weekly shows that you’re active in your product marketing, giving your customers a sense of security and proving to your customers you’re dedicated.
Your blog can also serve as a “Frequently Asked Questions” section. When a customer posts a question to your social media pages, you can drive them directly to a specific article on your blog by posting a link. In doing this, you also give your product and brand a more relatable and human feel to it.
#3 - Creating Offers
Once you’ve created your social media presence, and you are driving people to your website by creating interesting and thought-provoking articles, give your clients something for their interest in your product. Consider a promotion or offer, which gives you a reason to ask for an email address or phone number.
Your offer should be something that directly relates to your product or service, like an eBook or some sort of interesting content. By sending them more creative content, you are again promoting your product or service, and your audience now knows more about you.
#4 - Email Campaigns
Once you’ve generated these leads, turn them into an email campaign that promotes your seasonal sales and products. You can also use these email campaigns to reach out to your customers when you’re making a change to your services.
Get creative with your email campaigns. When you come up with a new promotional offer to display on your blog, consider sending it out to an appropriate segment of your email list and asking for feedback or opinions. If you're targeting offers well, you could be pleasantly surprised how many people actually click through!
#5 - Networking
The ability to network with others is essential in the business marketing world. You should constantly be making connections and building relationships with potential customers and others in the business world.
Take the time to get out and meet people in your industry. You can learn a lot about other businesses and their successes and failures. It’s a tough world out there, and businesses will either thrive or die. Learn from each other and build relationships that you can use to promote each other. There may come a time when your associate can’t offer a product or service that you provide, and they will be able to recommend you based on your past interactions.
#6 - Web Design
Your website is your calling card. 97% of consumers look up a product or service online before making their final purchase. Is your website up to snuff? Take the time to hire a real designer. Don’t fall into a trap of using a pre-generated template that every other business in your field uses. Your clients will be able to tell the difference.
Don’t overdo your web design. Create great content to describe your product, and leave it at that. There’s no need to display everything your company has ever done.
#7 - Customer Service
If you aren’t already using a strong customer service policy, you’re failing your business. It’s time to put your customer first, and money second. Sure, we have to make money to survive, but without a happy customer base, you’ll never make a dime. You have to spend some time building quality, trusting relationships with your existing customer base.
This doesn’t happen overnight, but you should start right away. Make sure your customers feel loved and appreciated. The saying “The customer is always right” isn’t necessarily true, but at the end of the day, your customer has to feel like they are.