Marketing your business takes more than a monthly newsletter and cute Instagram photos. Effective business marketing requires strategy, testing, and iteration. In this post, I share how you can take common business marketing tactics and maximize them for your unique brand.
Know your audience
When I work with clients to develop a business marketing strategy, the first step is to identify their target audience. Who is your ideal customer or client? How do they consume information? What do they look for when buying products or hiring service providers? Are they more concerned about quality or price? Do they shop online or prefer brick-and-mortar? What other brands are they loyal to?
It’s impossible to effectively market to an audience if you don’t have a deep understanding of who that audience is, so spend time brainstorming, researching, and learning about your ideal clients and customers.
Identify where your current clients are coming from
It never ceases to amaze me how many people are investing hours of their time on platforms like Instagram or YouTube without taking a few minutes to identify where their current clients are coming from. If you’ve never had a customer say they found you on Instagram, then why would you spend the majority of your time on that platform?
Whenever I receive a quality lead, I ask them how they connected with me. For my PR clients, most of them find me through agent and author referrals. For my entrepreneur clients, most of them come from my podcast or blog. None of them found me on LinkedIn or YouTube or Twitter. So instead of spending hours a week creating YouTube videos or queuing up my Twitter feed, I create quality podcasts, write blog posts, and network with my referral streams. By focusing my energy on tactics that are already working, I free up space to amplify those initiatives and grow my company in ways that make sense.
If you’re a service provider, make it a habit to ask quality leads and current clients how they first found out about you. If you sell online courses or digital products, use Google analytics to see where users are coming from and the paths they take before purchasing. When you have media interviews or speaking gigs, direct people to unique links or provide discount codes so you can track which appearances resulted in new business. The sooner you can identify which tactics are providing results, the sooner you can increase those efforts and scale your business.
Systematize or iterate
As you ramp up your efforts on certain marketing tactics, monitor the ongoing success. You may see that conversion rates begin to drop. For example, maybe your weekly podcast yielded 30 new book sales a month. But when you started releasing two episodes per week, your sales remained the same, which meant you put in twice the amount of effort to yield the same results. When you increase the budget or expand the audience on your Facebook ads, you may see a reduction in conversions, all while increasing your spend.
If scaling your business marketing causes diminished results, then you’ll need to iterate the cycle using a different strategy.. Maybe instead of creating two podcast episodes per week, you spend more time marketing your podcast to a new audience. Or rather than just upping the budget on a particular audience, you market a different service or product to those who have already made purchases. Continue to tweak and test until your efforts continue to produce results no matter how much you increase those efforts.
Then, it’s time to systematize. Create a system for continuing to monitor and scale those efforts. For me, it’s adding repeating Asana tasks to ensure I’m nurturing our referral streams and creating the right content for my audience. For you, it may be using a tool like Tailwind to put your Pinterest marketing on autopilot, creating a long email marketing sequence to nurture new leads, or putting your Facebook ads on evergreen. Whatever is working for you, put systems in place to ensure those important referral streams aren’t taken for granted.
Business Marketing Tactics
If you are new to your business and don’t have enough data to determine what’s working and what’s not, then you’ll have to start by testing out a few different platforms to see what works. Additionally, you may want to try out some new business marketing strategies to see if there are other opportunities to attract new clients and customers. Here are a few places to start:
I’ve written about the importance of growing an engaged email list, so if you haven’t yet tried this tactic, it’s time you do. Think about the journey your customer takes before signing on to work with you. What do they need to know? Understand? Believe? Create an email sequence that will onboard potential clients and customers so they will be nurtured and educated on auto-pilot.
Don’t have an email list? Not sure which email service provider to use? Click here to learn why I made the switch to ActiveCampaign.
If you’re a service provider, customers need to trust you before signing on to work with you. Video is one of the quickest ways to build trust with your audience. Whether you focus on Facebook lives, launching a YouTube channel, or growing an audience on IGTV, video marketing allows potential clients and customers to connect with you “face to face.”
When it comes to building trust, referral marketing is even more effective than video marketing. What’s better for instilling confidence than someone you already trust vouching for a person or business? Think of your target audience. What other service providers do they use? What other brands do they buy? As a book PR company, the majority of our clients come through their literary agents, so those are the relationships we focus on nurturing. If you’re a wedding photographer, then wedding planners, florists, and others in the industry may be able to refer business to you. If you’re a business coach for entrepreneurs, then small business attorneys, brand photographers, or web designers may have clients that need your services.
Referral marketing is not only great for creating trust, there’s also no tech required!
Building a business doesn’t necessarily mean the people will come. You need the right business marketing strategies to attract the right people to your products and services. By identifying your target audience, learning where they’re coming from, and scaling your efforts in those specific areas, you’ll be able to grow your business more efficiently.
Have a business marketing tactic that’s working for you? Share it in the comments!