“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two-and only two-basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” Peter Drucker
Business success depends on marketing success. Marketing is a conversation you initiate with your market. It also includes the mutually beneficial conversations you stimulate within your own customer and prospect base (example via community marketing). Successful conversations happen once you are able to communicate with your market and tie their pressing needs and wants to your products and services. You should always remember that the focus should not be on marketing your products and services but, rather, you should market the solutions to problems your market has. There are many ways to spark this conversation. Let’s examine a few.
Inbound marketing: If you have an effective website with strategically-placed call-to-action links, then your market will contact you (by email, phone, Skype…). Once they communicate with you, be ready to respond to them effectively and without delay. Your response is what will convert your website visitors into customers. It’s good to monitor your list of all client touch-points to your business and have an inbound marketing plan ready for action. Sometimes a simple email address will suffice (example: please email firstname.lastname@example.org and see their response)
Social media marketing: Business people use social media pages to get a conversation going within their market. It’s also a great way to attract newcomers to this conversation. It’s a useful platform to inform potential clients about the solutions you offer. Creating a social media page can help drive traffic to and from your website and create a community that knows and trusts your company if you focus on what matters to them. Social media optimization is necessary to get your social media sites primed for business. Different social media sites can be used for different purposes (examples: compare Sibername’s Facebook Page with Sibername’s Twitter Page)
Content marketing: A cost-effective way to increase visitors to your website is by adding a blog page to your site. If you provide useful content on this page then visitors will bookmark that page and visit your website often. Indeed search engines favor websites with blog sections where fresh content is added. (Example: SiberName’s Blog Page)
Community marketing: Many businesses now offer email bulletins, podcasts and webcasts to their own customers, their community. The business helps the community by creating community events or by promoting members of their business community. The events can be educational, by educating the community on matters the sponsoring business knows well. Businesses can also help their community by arranging mutually beneficial connections between customers, between prospects, between customers and prospects. Some businesses showcase some of their own customers in their monthly email campaigns. Community marketing is one of the least expensive forms of marketing but is very underutilized.
Search engine marketing: If you see that content marketing has helped increase your website visitor traffic then you should definitely consider employing the services of a search engine optimization specialist. A SEO specialist will help you optimize your website for increased search engine ranking using off-page and on-page optimization techniques. (SiberName SEO)
Email marketing and email re-marketing: Email marketing remains one of the most cost effective ways to communicate with your current and potential customers providing, of course, they accept communicating this way. What is often overlooked by most companies is email re-marketing. Those who visit your website but who have not made a purchase action should be re-marketed to. Email marketing to existing clients is a good vehicle to promote loyalty marketing where you reward your most loyal customers with rewards like discounts.
Video marketing: Many new computers, especially Macintosh, have built-in hardware and software for you to be able to make your own videos and share them instantly in the social media and as links in your email campaigns or press releases. Indeed many free tools are available online to enable you to communicate with your worldwide market by live video. These underutilized tools are starting to have a significant impact in the field of education and journalism. (Animated short about SiberName Boost)
Affiliate marketing: Many websites now offer affiliate programs where those interested may promote your products and earn commissions on sales. This may even be extended into a full-blown re-seller program, or the two programs can be promoted separately. You may offer the affiliate program to your current customers in an email campaign. The affiliate program may also attract others to become your customers and provide the means for them to pay for your products or services. (example: SiberName Affiliate Program)
Alliance marketing: If you work collaboratively with other companies then you can discuss trying a joint marketing strategy. This will give you access to a larger market and help brand your business quickly.
Freebie Marketing: This kind of marketing is very common and successful. Who can resist a free offer? If the free offer is useful then those who adopt the offer may inform others. This will bring traffic to the site hosting the offer, especially if the freebie is connected to the main business of the hosting site. (example: Free with all domains purchased at SiberName)
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