Effective marketing lies at the heart of successful business growth. Successful and well-targeted campaigns build awareness, generate leads, acquire new customers, increase exposure and can help position your business higher than your competitors.
Understanding what you want to achieve from your marketing allows you to choose your marketing channels and methods most effectively. Are you trying to create awareness in the local area of your business? Or are you trying to gather specific sales leads?
Market research can help identify and create new products and markets and is an essential part of your marketing strategy. You need to understand your customer profile, so you can decide how to market to them most effectively.
Having set customer profiles helps to segment your marketing efforts. Targeting a potential customer who is profiled as being a 45 year old business owner is going to be very different to targeting a recent university graduate. The business owner may be better reached with radio or newspaper adverts and direct mail. The graduate may be better reached by social media and email campaigns.
This broad refers to any form of marketing that has been around before digital, such as television and radio and newspaper adverts, leaflets, posters, point of sale adverts, direct mail shots and telemarketing.
Traditional marketing is tried and tested, and will likely form part of your marketing strategy. The advantages of traditional marketing include increasing brand awareness and being able to reach the vast majority of your intended target market. TV advertising cost can run into the tens of millions so is generally suitable for larger businesses with a high budget, whereas a leaflet drop can be very cost effective so is suitable for most businesses.
The various strands of traditional marketing work best in conjunction with each other, as using several methods to convey the brand message will increase brand recognition, reinforcing the brand message.
Find out more about traditional marketing on the marketing schools website.
Digital marketing campaigns offer incredibly powerful and flexible segmentation and targeting. Digital marketing covers email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) adverts, search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media.
One of the most well known and established forms of digital marketing is email marketing. This can cover communications out to your existing customer or contact base as well as communicating to bought in or external email lists.
The most effective email campaigns are highly segmented and timely. Targeting sections of your customer database who are more engaged with more regular communications, or people who've shown interest in a particular product type being shown offers on those and similar types.
Some of the most powerful email marketing platforms are free or very low cost to use. One of the largest, MailChimp can be used without cost and offers some great features including automated campaigns. Automated emails can be setup to be sent for various reasons, such as engaging with people who've put a product in their basket but not completed the checkout, to offer them a reminder or even discount.
The first advertising email was sent nearly 40 years ago in 1978 and it's still a growing market now with nearly 4 billion email addresses in existence. Offering a higher return on investment (ROI) than most other channels, if you're not using email yet, then now is the time.
Adwords allows you to reach potential customers at their point of need, showing your advert when people search for a term you've set which relates to your business, products or services. These adverts will display above the organic (non-paid for) Google results, giving you the chance to be seen before your competitors. They can also be displayed on a range of partner websites.
Known as pay-per-click (PPC) adverts, Adwords charges you by how many people click on your advert. You can control the maximum cost per click you're willing pay, or can choose to control this by a total campaign or daily budget Adverts which you create, ensuring that planning budget for these campaigns is simple.
Adwords remarketing allows you to have a campaign which follows people who have visited your website or clicked your advert, and display your adverts on other websites you visit. It's likely you've already experienced this, it's no coincidence to see the products you've looked at keep appearing!
Advertising on Facebook allows you to reach a highly targeted group of people, reaching people you can profile down to what they like and are interested in, family relationships, and much more. Facebook gathers a vast amount of personal data, and offering this to advertisers is how Facebook is the success it is.
Facebook advertising is extremely simple to set up and can be carried out with no prior knowledge.
These adverts can be set to be displayed on desktop news feed, desktop right hand column, mobile news feed, Instagram and even partner sites and mobile apps such as games.
Adverts on Facebook are categorised by purpose, with campaigns to generate Facebook page likes, website visits, website conversions, driving people to phone you, install your app, invite people your events, promote your current posts to a wider audience or to claim your current special offer. Find out all about the options available on the Facebook advert guide.
Budgets are completely controllable by campaign, and can be specified to be charged on cost-per-click (CPC) on your advert, cost-per-mille (CPM) which charges per thousand views/impressions your advert has, or daily unique reach. All of which work within your daily or campaign total limits.
With this wealth of options Facebook adverts can suit all types of business.
Many digital marketing campaigns, including email, Facebook Ads and Google Adwords can be set to push a user to any page on your website you wish so you can create a standalone landing page for users to click through to. This allows you to include a specific lead generation or sales form whilst displaying all the relevant information needed on one page. Serving as a micro site, landing pages can be customised to each customer profile. Some customer segments will be more concerned about cost or value, and others about quality and history. These wants can be fully catered for on individual landing pages.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is a great way of talking with your customers and promoting your business. Sharing relevant content with your followers and engaging with them through social media conversations is an incredibly powerful way of both establishing your business as an authority on your specialism and being approachable to your customers.
Whether you're operating in the B2B or B2C market, social media is for you.
It allows you a platform for feedback from your customers you may not otherwise hear and allows you to alleviate any concerns your customer base may have.
Read our Getting Started on Social Media guide for more information.
Find Out More
Ready to learn more about marketing? Check out the resources below.
This post was written by Ian Jopson, Marketing & Community Engagement Manager of the Growth Hub.