No matter what your offering is, the key to marketing is researching your ideal client, who you are competing with, what you offer that your competition doesn’t, and what solutions your services or products bring. When you’re clear about these answers you’ll be able to get to know more about what your clients need, where they hang out, what they like, and plan the marketing strategy that will be the most effective in reaching your goals. Make a habit of documenting your marketing plan, analysing what works and tweaking it. Here are some examples of different marketing strategies you can try out.
Use Stories To Connect
People connect to stories and remember them more easily than simple facts. If you can share your own personal experience with your audience they’ll be able to get to know you quickly and either they’ll resonate or they won’t. This is a good thing. You only want people following you who have a connection with you and your brand, and who are likely to want to work with you at some point down the line. By opening up and sharing authentically you reveal your humanness which people are craving so much these days. Don’t feel that you can only show the perfect version of you. Nobody believes that now anyway!
Using personalisation in marketing isn’t just about using somebody’s first name in newsletters, it goes deeper than that.
You need to know and make known how your offering can make a difference in the quality of people’s lives. What problem are you solving? What result do you get for people?
Continue to create new content that adds value to their personal and business lives to assure them that you understand their needs and create a connection. Share the before/after stories of how you have changed the lives of your clients on social media and through your email marketing. This creates trust and makes people want to reach out to work with you, as they desire the same results.
Email marketing means gathering email addresses of prospective clients and nurturing them, getting them to open these emails by providing value and motivating them to click through to your offerings and buy. It is the strategy that delivers one of the highest returns on investment (ROI). Not everyone has every social media account, but for sure they have an email address, you can share discounts, promotional items, helpful tips, news updates and more. You can also retarget all the people on your email list via Facebook ads when you have an offer to promote.
Email is still best for nurturing relationships with leads and customers, converting leads into sales, cultivating recurring customers, and increasing sales. You need to create an opt-in freebie that people would be willing to hand over their names and email addresses for. This can be in the form of a PDF, video series, audio training, webinar or a mini-course delivered via email on a daily basis. Use an opt-in page or pop-up on your website linked to your CRM (like MailChimp or Active Campaign) to start building that all-important email list.
Content marketing doesn’t ask for the sale but instead, it’s a way of attracting your ideal clients by way of teaching and entertaining. It can be in the form of blog articles, videos (pre-recorded or live streams), audio (such as podcasting), infographics, eBooks, case studies and sharing testimonials. You can use Instagram and Facebook for micro-blogging and sharing stories that connect with your audience. Show behind the scenes, share your struggles and wins alike. People want to see the full picture and not a glossy social media version of you.
Blogging is a more permanent way, compared with here-today-gone-tomorrow social media posts, to provide valuable and useful content to your target market while showing your authority and expertise. It’s great for building brand awareness and loyalty as people keep coming back for more. Regular blogging will help your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and the likelihood is that your site will rank higher in Google searches. Think of each blog post as a landing page and write content based on what queries you’d like to come up for. Through blogging you can remind current clients of your business, giving them a good excuse to visit your website and attract new people who would not have found you otherwise. A good strategy to use is to ask your audience what they’re currently struggling with and use those as ideas for your upcoming posts.
Social Media Marketing
Increase your exposure to new clients by using Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or Twitter. The key to forming a social media strategy is knowing where your ideal clients hang out and concentrating on 2 platforms at most in the beginning. You can share discounts, specials, valuable content, news or engaging posts that would interest your ideal clients. Engage users on social media by talking to them via direct message, replying to comments and tagging them when appropriate. Use images of yourself.
People want to see the person behind the brand.
As with blogging, you would want to ask your audience what they are struggling with and address these problems when creating content. Creating quality content optimised for sharing means that others will share your content too. When planning which content to share on your social media be sure to share other people’s content (OPC) related to your target market as well as your own. Think about cycling through 5 main content themes like educational posts, inspirational posts, behind the scenes, travel or family life. Pick 5 themes that make sense for your personal brand.
Search Engine Optimization means to use keywords in your content to make it easier for you to get found in a search engine. Use this strategy together with your web copy, blogging, social media hashtags. As mentioned above, blogging is key.
Visual Marketing Strategy
Create beautiful and engaging visuals in the form of professional photography or designed social media posts to add value to your audience, and they can share or Pin. Use this strategy to give your blogging a boost. Make sure your brand looks consistent across all social media channels. Do a brand audit now. Are you using the same, professional profile picture across all channels so you’re instantly recognisable? Do your Facebook banners use the same fonts and colours as your website? Keep it consistent!
Live Video Marketing
Your audience has a short attention span. Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic and it is growing. Take advantage! Use Youtube video, or Instagram and Facebook Lives to engage with your audience and notch it up by using Youtube SEO and hashtags. I personally love Facebook Live as you can boost the posts after you’ve finished to a very targeted audience in specific countries. This is the number 1 way I’ve been able to build a personal brand online, work with global clients and base myself at the bottom tip of African in a small surf-town called J Bay!
Planning your Content
When crafting a content strategy it is important to keep a content planner. This helps you to plan when you will create your pillar content. This can be podcasts or Livestreams. Your Blogging, social media and email marketing strategy is based on your pillar content. Get your team to transcribe your videos into blog posts, break up and repurpose your blog content into quotes, social media posts and shorter videos etc.
Paid search advertising: Pay per click advertising and SEM
Paid advertising is a great way to bring targeted traffic to your website. Businesses pay publishers to host their ad. When someone clicks your ad, you pay your advert host for sending a prospect to your website. Examples of the most popular ones are Google Adwords and Bing. The success of PPC ads depends on using suitable keywords, bidding the right amount and using persuasive copy. You can leverage the use of PPC ads by directing your ad to a landing page or specific product pages.
Facebook ads are a powerful form of online advertising which allows you to target your audience according to their gender, interests, age range, occupation, marital status, and more. Never before have we been able to drill down so close to our target market and put offers in front of them.
The relationships you foster while building your brand online are so important and as they say “Your Network is your Net worth”. In-person networking events can be a surprisingly great way to meet prospects for offline and online businesses and great for online solopreneurs to meet new people. Using social media groups can be a great way to build your tribe, meet others and find your ideal clients. Hop over to my Facebook group to meet like-minded entrepreneurs.
Brand Awareness and Personal Banding
Make your brand stand out from the competition. Create awareness around you and your brand. Do this by telling your audience your backstory, why you started your business, and engaging with your audience.
Referral marketing is about finding new prospective clients from referrals. These could be from your current clients or other people who know you and what service or product you provide. You award someone a discount or a freebie for recommending your product or service to their friends. Create an affiliate program for your online courses, products or services. Your affiliate partners sign up for a unique link and get a percentage of every sale they make on your behalf. The industry standard for online programs is around 40% to affiliates.
Leveraging PR is one of the fastest ways to boost your authority and your credibility. Build relationships and pitch your entrepreneurship story to major publications to get yourself featured on TV, radio, magazines, newspapers, and well known online publications. Eg, ABC, NBC, CNBC, Forbes etc. Even better, get your raving fans to share your article 😉
Tell your story, speak about your why, how you have helped people, feature your testimonials and speak about your industry and your future goals.
Press releases, Product launches, and Influencer Marketing
Send a press release to media outlets, content creators and influencers so that they can tell their readers about your business. Send one of your products as a gift to an influential person to try out. This can tie in with your social media strategy by you promoting the articles or posts written about you or your product.
Find prospective business partners to collaborate with who are in the same niche, but not the same sub-niche. What services do you provide to your ideal client, what services or products could add value to them that you do not provide? You can benefit by cross-promoting each other’s businesses. By putting your heads together and putting together your resources, audiences, and skills, you can help each other grow.
You can host simple events that appeal to your target audience. You can teach something of value in your niche, sell your products or create brand awareness. This a great networking opportunity as well. This applies to the online marketing space as well in the form of webinars and challenges.
Direct or Offline Marketing
If you are running a brick and mortar business or would like to target local businesses, you can try out posters and flyers, print advertising, direct mail, cold-calling or cold-emailing. If you are running an online business, these could work but are less effective.
You don’t have to use all these examples, choose what best suits your type of business: brick and mortar or online business, solopreneur or team. Choose a strategy that fits your budget and goals. Test the strategy out, analyze it, then tweak it if it is not working. When you see something is working it, scale it!
Remember: TEST, TWEAK, SCALE!