Marketing can be as broad as a national advertising campaign or as narrow as a one-to-one conversation with a customer.
A big business may be able to spend more on marketing but expenditures alone do not equate to success. You must invest your time and money wisely to attract and retain customers.
Here are 23 marketing ideas that will help you grow your business, regardless of its size.
- Create a LinkedIn group for your niche. Use the opportunity to unite an industry and recruit referral partners.
- Offer to do video interviews/testimonials for clients and vendors. It may put you in a better position to negotiate and build goodwill with your customers.
- Don’t put your customers on hold, but if it is inevitable, use the opportunity to record a hold message that introduces new offerings. This is better than elevator music!
- Use Google Alerts to keep track of competitors and major clients.
- Stop selling on social media! Use the platform to build a community of fans first. Get the conversation going and the customers will come.
- Start a public relations effort and be a “thought leader” in your industry. Everyone wants to work with the smartest person they can find.
- Partner up. Consider bundling your product or service with a trusted partner. Utilize each other’s customer list to expand your potential market.
- Start a YouTube channel and fill it with valuable content that your clients and prospects can use. The SEO benefit is huge if you link to your homepage.
- Improve your follow-up, post-sale. The best customer is the one you have already. It is much easier to keep a happy customer than to go out and get a new one.
- Expand your offerings. What skills or tools do you and your team already have that can be put to a different use?
- Narrow the gap between company and customer by using web chat programs. These programs help to capture and build customers/clients while they are visiting your site.
- Use your digital advertising dollars for a direct target market campaign.
- If you are selling products, be sure to have clear and simple descriptions.
- Know what marketing resources are available to you: www.factiva.com, www.dialog.com, www.hoovers.com, www.bls.gov, www.bea.gov, www.census.gov.
- Register your website with as many directories as you can—the more inbound links to your site, the greater the help with SEO. Many of these directories are free.
- Relationship Marketing—the customer is always right. Grow your business based on what your customers need. Examples: Starbucks, Google, Chick-fil-A, Burger King (Have it your way.)
- HAVE A PLAN – Remember the old saying: “If you fail to plan, than you plan to fail.” A Complete business plan and a marketing plan are key for success.
- Stay open minded, watch for changes in your market, and then think about how you can take advantage of those changes and make them work for you.
- Survey your customers/clients. Ask them what they want and then meet their needs.
- Contests, polls, forums and videos can create a dialogue with your audience. This gives you a deeper understanding of your audience and gives your audience the feeling that they are part of a community.
- Create new content for your website, not just regurgitated material from your newsletter or brochure. This gives people a reason to constantly return to your website, thus creating more traffic.
- Goodwill marketing. Know what’s going on in your community. Find a charity that you can get behind and support. Sponsoring events is a good way to earn visibility and build trust with your market.
- Establish business goals; define a long-term vision; get executive support; create a strategy initiative road map; establish governance and guidelines; get the right people; and invest in technology that supports social business objectives.