Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
If you’re generating a buzz, but it’s not turning into anything, you’re probably going wrong somewhere. Here are a few places to assess and make changes.
Before you start trying to patch up issues with your current marketing plans, it’s important to identify the causes. Are people aware of your business website, blog, social media pages and profiles? Are users visiting your website, but not progressing any further? Have people made comments about the accessibility of your site?
If you’ve had feedback, no matter how bad it is, this can be incredibly helpful. If you don’t know what’s going wrong, you may find it much harder to work out the best solution. Use data analysis tools, such as Google Analytics, to keep an eye on what’s going on with your website, how people are getting to you (traffic) and where they are staying and for how long. For example, if you’re a plastic surgeon the aim of your marketing materials may be to get more surgical consultations.
But what happens when prospective patients are visiting your site, but not choosing to book an appointment with you? In this case, content may be a problem. The visual appeal of your site may be lacking. People may find it difficult to navigate their way around your pages. These are all issues that could be ironed out fairly easily. On another level, perhaps your business isn’t competing in terms of prices or the services you offer. To determine whether this is true or not, you’ll need to scope out the competition. If another clinic is offering incentives like 20 percent off for a limited time, you’re not going to win even if your website looks incredible.
Designing a marketing strategy that will actually work
Every business is different, and there’s no one size fits all approach to marketing. The truth is that modern techniques such as SEO and SEM can be hugely beneficial. However, older, more traditional methods don’t have their place. If you’re looking to boost sales for an online shop, of course, a strong web presence will help you. If you’re setting up a new hair salon or a window cleaning business, you may prefer to keep things more low-key.
You should work with an expert to determine which approach suits your business best or try some A/B testing. Work out how much you have to spend, and think about the most effective ways to put your company on the map. You need to tailor your strategy to suit your firm. What works for others may not always guarantee success for you. Look at how rival companies attract attention. Think about who you’re trying to lure in, and how you can best spend your marketing budget.
When you’re working on a new strategy, think about your target market. Who are you trying to appeal to? How can you reach out to them? What can you do to make yourself more appealing than others? How responsive is your audience to different marketing methods? If you have experts on board, they can use their skills and the latest tools to analyze trends. This should enable you to come up with plans that make your business enticing to the intended demographic. If you don’t have a marketing department, it may be worth looking into working with an agency.
The end goal for any successful marketing plan should be sales. You want your business to grow continually, and profits to increase year on year. The basis of your scheme should be to identify the best ways of making this dream a reality. There are lots of different things you can do today to boost sales. Social media advertising has proven hugely successful for many companies. You could also consider working with a link building agency or SEO experts. It’s also wise to stick with tried and tested methods like offering discounts and new customer incentives. To get the best results, you’ll need to attract people’s attention and make sure you’re offering the best deal. If you manage to do both, you’re heading in the right direction.
Whatever kind of marketing methods you use, don’t underestimate the importance of following up. If you had a visitor to your website, and they didn’t choose to make a purchase, send them an email or give them a call.
Putting your strategy into practice
It’s not enough to have good ideas in the world of business. You could have the most phenomenal plans in place. But if you can’t execute them, you’ll be wasting your time. When you’re brainstorming and coming up with ideas, don’t just think about what you want to do. Think about how you’re going to do it. How are these suggestions going to become a reality? You may be determined to promote your blog, for example. If you want to do this, you can’t just rely on good ideas. You need compelling content and high-quality images to appeal to readers. Consider how you’re going to make your content impossible to ignore and your pages more captivating.
In order to generate sales, you need to make sure that the buyer is willing to complete that final step. Perhaps they’re interested in what you’ve got on offer. But they’re not quite sure whether to take the plunge and hit the buy button. To encourage them, set time limits and eliminate any confusion. You can do this by offering an interactive live chat service, or include an informative FAQ section on your website. If people get the answers they’re looking for quickly, you’re less likely to lose the sale.
Moving with the times and anticipating trends
Time never stands still, and in business, you can be behind the times before you know it. It’s always beneficial to try to anticipate trends and look to the future. Try and stay ahead of the game. Are you building a social media presence, for example? If so, you may be aware that many businesses promote their products and services through Facebook and Twitter. But what about emerging platforms? If you’re targeting younger people, it’s particularly important to look for the next big thing.
Hiring, outsourcing and recruiting
When it comes to marketing, there are various options open to you. If you run a large corporation, you may already have an integrated marketing department. If you don’t, this doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from the expertise of marketing professionals. You can outsource work to agencies, or work with firms that offer services like digital marketing and link building, for example. You could also hire individuals with the intention of handing over marketing responsibilities to them. Different options work for different firms. It’s worth considering the pros and cons of each. If you’re looking for an agency, don’t rush into making a decision. Look at what different companies are offering. Major chains and international agencies may offer lower prices. But a smaller agency may offer you a bespoke service. Sometimes, it pays to invest in a firm that will put your business first and offer that personal touch.
Business is a fiercely competitive industry. To survive, you have to beat off the competition and be able to attract new clients and keep existing customers happy. It’s tough out there. But there are ways of achieving success. Preparation and planning are key, but it’s not enough to design a strategy you think will work. You also need to make sure that you implement it. When you’re exploring marketing methods, tailor your plans to your firm and your market. Take advantage of analytic tools, but make sure the information you obtain is relevant. Learn from mistakes and identify and address issues swiftly. If you’re keen to get people through the door of a new shop, look at methods that have worked for others. If you’re promoting your company through social media, look into trends, and see what people respond to. If you post something that nobody reacts to, don’t generate this kind of content again. Stick to things that work.
If you don’t have expertise in marketing, and you’re a business owner, consider outsourcing. You could hire consultants or recruit experts. Alternatively, you could enlist the services of a specialist agency.