When you start a company, there are several things that need your attention–things like building a strong team, creating the best product/service possible or streamlining your operations. Your first order of business, however, should be to build your customer base. If you do this well, then everything else in your business will be able to flourish.
Fortunately, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) enjoy a plethora of methods for marketing. So even if you have a unique business, you don’t have to invent a brand new methodology. Instead, all you need to do is carefully select the best one for your business and customize it accordingly.
Here, then, are 6 different methods of marketing to improve your business:
1. Automate for Efficiency
It isn’t necessary to get overwhelmed with marketing responsibilities. You can delegate the creative aspects of marketing to freelancers or outsourcing agencies and use software to automate the repetitious aspects of marketing. The benefits of marketing automation for SMBs are enormous. You’ll save time and money, keep on top of all essential marketing tasks, improve lead generation, boost sales and enhance customer retention. Automation creates an unprecedented level of efficiency for your business, putting its marketing on the fast track to success.
2. Try Guerilla Marketing
Guerilla warfare, as you probably know, is an unorthodox fighting strategy used by armed civilians with only a few resources who wage war against a well-organized army. Their tactics may consist of surprise raids, acts of sabotage or ambushes. Using this as an analogy, Jay Conrad wrote Guerilla Advertising in 1984 as a way for small businesses with a low marketing budget to compete with large, well-funded businesses in the same industry. Some low-cost marketing tactics that you can use if you’re just starting out include using flyers, posters, value additions (e.g. customer reward punch cards), referral networks and cold calling.
3. Launch a YouTube Channel
YouTube has an enormous reach. It’s fairly simple to shoot your own low-budget videos and set up your channel. According to an article in Hootsuite, How to Launch and Grow a YouTube Channel in 14 Days by Kaylynn Chong, “YouTube reaches more 18 to 34 and 18 to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. and generates 4 billion views daily. That makes the network a no-brainer when it comes to choosing a platform to market your business’s videos.”
4. Start a Blog
Starting a blog and tying it into your social media presence is a powerful digital marketing strategy to develop your reputation as a thought leader in your field. Self-hosted WordPress blogs are becoming increasingly popular because they’re easy to set up. All you have to do is upload the files to a hosting account and use a free or paid template to structure your blog. Additionally, there are numerous plugins that increase the versatility of your blog, allowing you to add as much functionality as you need.
Blogs and Social Media
Blogs work hand-in-hand with social media. Once you write a blog, you can notify your followers on all of your social media platforms. Those who like your post can also notify their own followers by either pressing a share button on your website or sharing your original post that promoted the blog.
Blogs and Search Engines
Search engines also value blogs because they create fresh content. Consequently, after you write a post, you should ensure that it has high-volume, low-competition keywords that will be indexed by search engines. Moreover, there are numerous plugins available that provide advice on how to make sure that your posts are search engine optimized.
5. Write Press Releases
Press releases require only about 3 to 4 short paragraphs–which comes to about 300 to 400 words–to announce important news about your company to the general public. A press release consists of a headline, a summary, a dateline, a lead paragraph and a few statements about an event. It then closes with your contact information. You can release and publicize your press release through a distribution service like PR.com, Digital Marketing Agency, 1888PressRelease, BusinessWire, PR Newswire, PR Leap, PR Fire and SBwire.
In closing, it’s important to mention that when you try out one or more of these methods, you should focus on testing. The more you test a particular methodology, the better you can tweak it until you isolate the elements that make it work.