Okay I’m not going to give you some long introduction as I think the title was enough, but what you need to know is that small businesses should be doing active marketing! Whatever type you decide if your business is quiet, you need to do more, its a difficult situation to be in as sales = more cash flow for more marketing, but you have to be willing to make a loss to make a longer term gain, that’s basic business! Alright without further ado the most useful marketing advice:
Focus on: Return On Investment Marketing Methods.
If you didn’t already know ROI or return on investment was initially introduced as a financial trading term (as it sounds) it discusses the potential ROI for a particular stock or trade, usually with a time element to the trade. For example a trade might make a 20% ROI in 6 months, which would be seen as really good in most financial trading agencies. The ROI weighed against the risk associated would lead to a decision to either purchase the stock or avoid the trade.
In the marketing world
In the marketing world ROI is more commonly referred to as how effective a particular marketing angle or advertising campaign will be. The higher the DIRECT ROI, generally the most successful the marketing campaign will be. You can see this frequently in online advertising with Adwords for example or in lesser businesses simply offering the “up-sell” when you are in a purchasing decision. Either way calculating ROI can be difficult but its extremely important. We will look at a few marketing campaigns and talk about the issues and why you should focus on ROI when making a decision whether to go ahead or not.
Remember: Although ROI is extremely important it is not everything. The brand recognition you gain from a certain marketing method could be priceless in the long run but might not make any sales in the short term, always factor brand recognition into your marketing budget decisions.
For example if we take TV advertising to start with, have you ever considered getting a TV ad? Probably not unless you are a large corporation, this is because there is no need, you think your customers wouldn’t convert well with an advert, great that’s the first step in ROI marketing, this is seeing and visualising what will work for your business. Every niche and industry is different so I cannot give you guides and data on what will work for you, you can do as much market research, listen to a number of experts and look through a ton of data but if you don’t feel like a marketing method will work for you, then don’t bother getting it!
If we next look at online marketing – Let’s say Google adwords for example, we know that people aren’t going to scroll to page 2 on Google, so why not pay Google a proportion to get people to click on your site? Easy! Well maybe not. ROI can be calculated quite easily on the face of it. If you convert 5% of your visitors and make £10 profit per visitor, then you can’t pay more than £0.50 per click. (50p x 20 = £10.) But you also have to factor in the LIFETIME value of a customer. This is the difficult bit. Generally you should be willing to make a slight loss to generate long term customers, in the longer term (and as your business grows) this will lead to much more profit!
3rd we are going to look at direct mail marketing. Personally one of my favourite marketing tactics. We use a leaflet company in London, UK for all our local distributions and drops. Although only on a small scale (5000 units) we get a good ROI as well as a stronger brand recognition, this leads us to belive that the campaign was a success! Design a simple leaflet that explains your main values and reasons why people shold buy from you and you can get straight to distribution. If you have time more than money then feel free to distribute yourself, if you do not then I highly recommend hiring a leaflet distribution agency… Or you could just hire some kid!
Finally SEO, SEO has a bad name for itself, people being scammed and individuals making £20k+ a month, but the truth is if done correctly and effectively Search engine optimisation is THE MOST EFFECTIVE marketing method. Just find yourself a good SEO company and get going, generally you should look for people with experience in your industry, don’t tend to go for someone just because they are close to where you live, that’s the best way to get ripped off. Search for companies who have experience promoting and ranking websites in your industry. Relevance is everything!
There are tons more marketing ideas that don’t require funds you just have to be willing to put the effort in!
Thanks for reading!
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