A business that offers a great product or service that doesn’t do marketing is likely to fail no matter how excellent the offer. The business won’t make a profit – plain and simple.
You’re not flying in the dark or having to rely on advertising firms to get found these days. There are endless tutorials and courses to learn marketing. The only limiter is whether you’re willing to put in the time and resources.
Read on to learn the basics, why they work, and how you can go about putting them action, today.
Local Meetups & Conferences
Putting a face to the business improves the branding potential. The best way to do this is through local meetups and conferences because it creates an intimate environment to create real connections. It’s all about building a network.
To improve the chances of converting attendees:
- Stand out by giving out swag bags, using a custom canopy, and dressing in uniform
- Pass out marketing materials and direct interested parties to highly targeted landing pages
- Get off the floor and meet people in the hallways, luncheons, and after parties
Get to know people, offer to help them succeed, and pitch the offer. It’s harder to say no when they’re standing across from you.
Content & Social Media Marketing
Content and social media go hand-in-hand:
- Content creates a vehicle to talk about a product, service, or topic
- Social media is the outlet for sharing this information
If the content is helpful, informative, or entertaining (while being peppered with call-to-actions) then it will lead people to sales pages. This content also helps with traffic generation as it’s ranked in search engines.
The social aspect of it builds buzz and community discussion. The more shares the higher the traffic – the higher the traffic the more chances at making a sale.
- Create great content people want to read, listen to, or watch
- Encourage visitors to share the content and leave comments
It’s as easy as that.
Mailers, Signs & Flyers
The competition from online marketing and advertising has turned print into a dirt cheap option to promote a business. People do hover over their trash can when sorting through the mail but businesses wouldn’t be using them if they weren’t working.
- Mailers – A handwritten (or handwritten font) looks natural and is more likely to be opened.
- Signs – Placed at strategic locations with a great offer can get people to call or visit the site.
- Flyers – Especially effective in small communities, campuses, and passed out during events.
These can be designed on the cheap using templates found on the Envato Marketplace. Printing these items can be done using online services or through a local provider. In all, you could experiment with this strategy for under $100 for the prints and another $50 for postage.
Referral & Affiliate Marketing
People trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Empower customers to refer others and give them a kickback – affiliate marketing. By incentivizing their participation and referrals they will have the motivation to reach a wider audience.
- Provide an affiliate code and backend to track referrals
- Offer a generous kickback (25-50% of the sale is a great starting point)
- Create banners, ads, and marketing copy for them to share with interested parties
Affiliate programs are easy to setup using tools like WooCommerce or going through a channel such as ShareASale, Clickbank, or Amazon Associates.
There’s a wide array of options to get your business found. I suggest you take an 80/20 approach to the efforts. Meaning that you experiment with each of the strategies (and tools) until you find the one or two that show the highest return on investment.
Over time you’ll have enough data to form an effective strategy that’s applicable to the existing and future business opportunities. Over to you: What online (and offline) marketing methods do you use to get your business found?
Photo credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg / Sean MacEntee / Bert Knottenbeld
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