Marketing is the life-blood of your business; yet, for many, marketing is a complex beast that they do not want to deal with. When you break it down to a simpler process, marketing can become your new favorite practices! Here are 7 marketing tips that you can use right now to boost your business:
1. Understand Your Target
No matter what business you are in, whether offline or online, you MUST know your target market. When you understand exactly who you are selling to, you know exactly where to advertise, what to say and even what to sell. Researching your target market will help you understand where they are in life right now and where they hang out which makes advertising a whole lot easier!
2. Build a Database
One of the most important aspects of online business is building a solid database by collecting information from your visitors. Building a database allows you to market to your visitors and customers over and over again for little or no extra cost. I highly recommend Aweber for your email marketing and database building needs. Most online business owners collect names and email addresses while others collect names, email addresses, phone numbers, and physical addresses. When making your decision about what to collect think about your marketing plans. If you will be including physical mailings then add home addresses.
3. Give Customers a Preview of Your Work
A great way to build your database is by offering visitors a preview or free offer for joining. This free offer can be a report, audio interview, video, or even a CD or DVD that you mail directly to their home. This offer gives your customers a great preview of who you are and what you can do to help them achieve their goals. Put the time and effort into helping them understand your business in a way that will benefit them.
Branding is a term that is often thrown around in marketing circles. Building a cohesive message from your logo to your website to your blog to your email messages to your twitter account and to the products that you sell is branding. You want your customers to hear your name and think a power word or phrase. For example, when you hear “like a rock” do you think Chevy? Or “MMM MMM Good” did you think of Campbell’s Soup? It doesn’t matter if your business doesn’t have the advertising budget like these two companies, always include your name, logo and slogan on all of your marketing materials, emails, products, etc.
5. SWOT Analysis
During my undergraduate degree at Penn State, every single project, assignment or paper that I had to complete for my advertising and marketing courses needed a SWOT analysis. What is a SWOT analysis? SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. For every client that I work with and every online business that I’ve built, I take the time to work through each one of these steps because often I uncover information and opportunities that I’ve never thought of including for my business. For Strengths, I work through the strengths or advantages that I have over my competition. For instance, I have a very strong background in the marketing and advertising area, so I know how to market my business and bring more targeted traffic to my website. For Weaknesses, I work through the weaknesses or advantages that my competition has over me. For example, when starting out, my competition has a larger market share and more individuals recognize another’s name or work over mine. For Opportunities, I prepare a list of opportunities or possibilities that I have with my business like the new markets that I can penetrate or the new products that I can offer an existing marketing because of my background. Finally for Threats, I look at environmental or outside threats to my business. For example, if you work in a medical niche, you must be aware of laws and regulations surrounding your business. Many online business owners fail to plan their businesses and often fail because they didn’t plan. A SWOT analysis allows you to carefully analyze your business or idea without spending days writing a full-fledged business plan.
6. Be Enthusiastic
Did you ever have that monotone professor in high school or college that put you to sleep every time they started talking? They never showed excitement or enthusiasm and you probably never cared for what they were teaching, right? To attract attention and customers, you need to be enthusiastic about what you sell and what you do! Your enthusiasm will transfer excitement to your products and services for your customers.
7. Be Persistent
This is probably the biggest mistakes most business owners make in marketing and advertising. Many think that marketing is the magic pill. One advertisement is going to solve all of their problems. Yet, it couldn’t be further from the truth! The average consumer needs to see a message about seven times for it to be effective and for them to take action. You can’t simply run one newsletter advertisement and expect it to explode your mailing list; many times you need to run it multiple times for it to be effective.
Marketing is truly the key to being successful in business both online and offline. It is a necessity to share your products and services with your target market. If you are on a limited budget, choose one method and make a commitment to running your advertisement at least three times then analyze your results.