In the first of a series of articles on how to market your business Derek Owen, of Totem Marketing says, ‘Whether you are running a business washing windows or are the next MD of Microsoft, marketing, or as it’s really known, “communications”, is crucial to the success of every business’.
Welcome to “Basic Marketing for Business” and why everyone is an expert… or are they? Contrary to popular belief, effective marketing does not have to involve bells and whistles. The basic principles are as relevant as they have ever been and regardless of your background, you can take some simple steps to attract more customers.
Most of us have a website offering a second-to-none service or product. Most of us frequently meet potential clients. Given that these cover some basic marketing principles, you’ll be pleased to know that you are already carrying out effective marketing.
But the problem faced nowadays is that we can no longer rely on the footfall of people walking down the high street who pop into our shops, or see our company name on your vans. Instead, we have the abundance of competitors the Internet welcomes, to worry about. This brings the real challenge – making ourselves visible to our target audience. However, also seeing the huge positive opportunity the Internet presents.
Marketing doesn’t have to be a zealous or time consuming activity but, it does need to be strategic, and consistent. But moreover, you do not have to be a marketing guru. If your business is doing well, then you must be doing something right.
So the question is – how can you access all these new customers?
All Hail Search Engines
The ideal position for your business is, on the first page of the results generated by search engines like Google. The art of making this happen is referred to as SEO, Search Engine Optimisation.
The quick solution would be to get someone in to sort your SEO out. But with so many ‘experts’ around, many of who’s websites do not appear on the first page of Google search results, it’s hard to know who to trust. This leads to taking matters into your own hands, or searching out a recommendation.
Keywords or more accurately, phrases, are what someone enters into the search engine to find businesses like yours. One of the things you should do is embed these keywords in your landing page, other pages and ideally, in your domain name too. The ex-Google Keyword tool, the Keyword Planner is a great resource to help you find suitable keywords.
Pictures not Words
Video and illustrations are amazing tools. People prefer gaining information through a visual representation rather than reading lots of words, period. Hence the recent growing trend of ‘Infographics’, and your own welcome video on your website. It’s personal and people will remember you.
But there are lots of ways to make the concept work for you. It could be in the form of a picture of you or your team. It doesn’t matter whether you are photogenic or not because this personal touch makes visitors feel they have a connection already.
Thinking outside the box
Think of something that has recently caught your eye or imagination. Now think how you could make this work for your company. Something that would also make your company feel memorable, innovative and unique.
A few years ago whilst working with the team at The O2 and the The British Music Experience (BME), a unique and memorable way to experience a museum way born. The ticket was embedded with a little NFC chip. You then walk round the museum and wave it at the things you like. Then, when you are in the comfort of your home, you register your ticket and “viola”, the items you tagged in the venue appears in your own web area. A clever yet simple marketing idea that extends the traditional ticketing system into a fantastic experience that continues after you have left the venue.
Always think outside the box.
Do you need to shake up your marketing strategies? Well here’s some good news – there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients/customers what they think of your company and how you could improve it. By being asked they will feel like you care and when they receive a direct response or see how you have taken their views into consideration, you will cultivate loyalty – after all, now they have invested into your company.
So, as you can see, you do not have to be a marketing expert to attract customers but, with the use of some basic marketing tips, some industry experts, you can increase your customer base regardless of your background.
Want to know more?
Totem run regular workshops where you can pick up those vital marketing tips and strategies to help your business succeed. Their next event “2014 Breakthrough to more revenue”, is on 30th April 2014, and see for yourself. Our work with some of the most successful Business Change agents in the UK means that we understand your business, your market and your customers. Totem will also randomly select 3 businesses from the registrations before the event, who we will meet with on the day for a free one on one session worth £1500. If you book before 3 March you will also receive and early bird discount – see www.totem-marketing.com/imthere
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