Michael Hunter at Entourage Marketing provides you with seven marketing tips to help your business grow.
1. Create a catchy name and a solid brand
The naming and presentation of your brand is vital. You want to create a name that both represents your product or service and is memorable.
Recently, a new text messaging application came out for smart phones. The only reason why it was successful was because of the name. Kik Messenger did not feature any additional functionality that other applications did not have. People talked about it just because they wanted to say “Kik me later.”
Be conscious of how your brand is perceived in the marketplace. Bad names go nowhere.
2. Focus your message
Before you start writing any of your content, you must be very clear about who your audience is. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Your message should be laser focused on your target market and demographic. When your ideal client comes to the homepage of your website, reads your brochure, hears your advertisement on the radio, etc. they should have no need to look anywhere else. Your message should expose a common problem and positioning your product or service as the solution to that problem.
Your message isn’t just your written word; it also ties into your branding and visual communication as we explained above. For example, if an investment firm had a product targeting very wealthy individuals; it would disinterest clients if their logo and branding was in big, fluffy pink letters … It doesn’t matter how great their products are, the message their brand conveys does not align with who they are trying to target. The same company would have much more success with a clean, simple logo that communicates professionalism and success.
3. Get organized
Great marketing takes time and organization. The more organization you have and the more systems you can create, the less time it will take. A timeline is a great way to stay on task and execute a multi-step marketing campaign. It’s also an effective way to set deadlines and manage a team. Multiple people working on the same project are likely to be more productive when they have clear deadlines and an understanding of how their assignments contribute to the big picture.
4. Build a database
To be successful in business you must, must, MUST build a list. Big money is in a big list. Most businesses spend 90 percent of their marketing budgets on trying to get a new customer to walk through their door or use their service, yet once that customer walks in the door, most businesses don’t collect any information on them, allowing them walk right back out with no means of future contact. The best way to build a list is to give something good away for free in exchange for their name and contact information. The more value you provide for free, the more valuable your paid services are perceived to be. People think to themselves, “WOW, if they are giving this away for free, what do I get when I pay for something?”
5. Establish promotional partnerships
Most people that call themselves entrepreneurs are really “solo-preneurs;” Meaning, they try to do everything by themselves. Marketing is not a do-it-yourself thing. There are plenty of ways for you to leverage other people to produce great results for a minimal investment of your time. Promotional partnerships are one of these ways. Instead of lighting your hair on fire trying to make it all happen by yourself, put your mind to work and think of different people that can help you grow your business. For example, say you happen to be an expert in branding. Instead of trying to find clients and build systems to get new clients, partner with local business consultants or coaches to leverage their established relationship with their clients as a way to grow your business fast. Imagine partnering with a business consulting firm that has built solid relationships with 25, 50, or even 100+ clients.
6. Referral programs
As we all know, word-of-mouth advertising is the most powerful form of advertising there is. If your product or service is good enough, people will talk about it naturally; but why not give them an incentive? Structured client referral programs are a great way of maximizing something you are already doing to some extent, by providing great service and asking for referrals. Some of the biggest companies in the world are leveraging referral marketing tactics to grow their business by offering incentives to their employees to refer business to them. Other companies leverage and incentive-ize their customer base to bring in business. Just the other day, I saw a sign in front of a very nice apartment complex that said, “Refer a friend to us that signs a lease and get $500!”
In the online space, referral marketing is called affiliate marketing. There are many people that make a significant six-figure income simply marketing other people’s products and services. You no longer have to worry about content creation. You can market someone else’s product to make you money and vice versa; you can create a product and establish promotional partnerships with other people to take your message to the marketplace.
The bottom line is: Find a way to reward your customers for bringing their friends to you or for promoting your product or service.
7. Integrate social media into your entire marketing campaign
Social media is the new buzz word in business. Everyone knows they need to be on it, but most businesses have no idea what they are doing. Just creating a Facebook page for your business does not mean you are “on social media.” Social media (when used correctly) is the glue for your entire marketing campaign. Traditional forms of marketing like print, television and radio are great at sending a message to the masses, but lacks engagement with the recipient of the message.
Business today is all based on relationships. It doesn’t matter how great the advertisement on TV looks, if a friend tells you they had a bad experience with the product or service, chances are very high that you will not try it yourself. If a TV advertisement is terrible, you have no interest. Sometimes it’s so bad that you even change the channel. However, if your friend comes to you bubbling with excitement about their experience, chances are very good you will try it out, too. See, we like and do the things that our friends like and do; it doesn’t matter how much money someone spends on mainstream marketing. Social media is, at its core, founded on real-life relationships. Facebook just recently reached 600 million users and is still growing; Twitter has over 200 million users; LinkedIn just hit the 100 million mark. Social media is here to stay, and your business must be on it — and do it well.
The reason why social media is so powerful is because it has the ability to create a community around almost anything. Social media is a powerful marketing tool that all your other marketing materials should be driving traffic to and building a database of people that “like” your product or service.