5 Practical Results-Based Marketing Strategies
Marketing is the lifeblood of a small business, but the continual onslaught of “trendy” marketing tactics can sometimes seem a little unpractical. Consider five tried-and-true strategies that can send your first-quarter sales upward, and keep them headed in that direction for the rest of the year.
1. Be consistent
“Most small business owners try a promotion once or twice and then give up,” says Ted Prodromou, author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business.
“When I run ads for clients or do social media posts, I usually get some results initially, but if I continue the promotion for an extended period of time, I get consistent results for the entire promotion period.”
For example, he hired a virtual assistant to write 100 tweets/posts from the content of his LinkedIn book, which are posted around the Web. The result from those social marketing efforts: “I get about 25-30 new email subscribers per week, and my LinkedIn book still sells around 25 copies a week, on average, over 15 months after its release,” he says.
2. Build from your core
JP Faiella, chief executive officer at Image Unlimited Communications, an integrated marketing and public relations agency in Boston, Massachusetts, recommends building off your core group of customers to increase sales and market your business. Go after endorsements and referrals from the people who already love you.
“We have so many buzz words flying around that people think going viral and making a lot of un-strategic noise is going to win new business,” he says. “Turn your core into your sales force by cultivating that relationship.”
3. Focus on new areas
While you want to cultivate your core customers, you should also be focusing on new areas. Are there emerging markets for your products and services? Are there new products or new bundles of products that will entice your customers? Just approach these activities carefully.
For example, research out of Harvard Business School suggests bundling works—if customers are still able to buy products individually. So, as you proceed, keep a laser-focus on what customers want.
4. Think about timing
The holy grail of small business marketing is the ability to make the right offer at the right time. “This is especially true when planning around the launch of a new product,” says Daryl Colwell, senior vice president of business development for MediaWhiz, a marketing firm.
“Making a big splash around any new product means choosing the right channel to make your offer and figuring out who is your target audience. Knowing what your audience is looking for and when they want it can be a big help in determining the right time for a new product launch.”
A winning product launch delivers sales momentum for your company and is one of the few opportunities to go from incremental to exponential sales.
5. Build your brand with authority
When customers think of you or your business, you want them to have an immediate image of someone who is a trusted expert in their field. There are many ways to accomplish this: trade show presence, speaking engagements, thought leadership, media relations, producing white papers, blogs, and other content marketing.
“There is nothing better than an inbound lead from a major marketer who read a smart quote from you in a major trade publication or saw you speak as a thought leader at a highly regarded industry conference or trade show,” Colwell says. “Developing this presence can assist sales folks in their daily calls, but it also helps them build their brand’s authority within the industry, furthering the reach of any product they might be selling.”
Take a practical approach to landing customers
Sometimes, it helps to have a roadmap for reaching your best customers. The fact is, the more you know about who they are and how you can reach them, the better you can zero in on those that can add maximum revenue.
YP’s Practical Marketing education series for small business is a series of five free webinars that focus specifically on building your customer pipeline with profitable results.
Webinar topics include:
- The Why Before the Buy: Improving Your Online Presence
- The Why Before the Buy: Winning Customers with Search Engine Marketing
- 5 Simple Solutions to Boost Your Online Presence
- Practical Answers to Your Practical Marketing Questions
- Get Customers to Know You & Hear Your Message
Each 30-minute webinar offers participants Get It Done Now guides, available for download online, designed to help you put what you’ve learned into action.