Let’s get back to the countdown of the best ways to market your business. You can choose the tips that excite you the most- because you’ll be best at those!
5. Add an Ad to Your Repertoire
There are so many options for you when it comes to online ads. And, online advertising is getting much more targeted and effective than ever before.
Here, a good rule of thumb is to try out different words and images until you get the best conversions. Because it’s easy to spend a lot on advertising, make sure to set a budget for yourself. Then, spread out your budget evenly over a few different ads. Once you figure out which words convert the most, you can spend more money where you have the most marketing success.
Your best choices for online ads these days are Google and Facebook.
Google Adwords lets you customize the audience that will see your ads. So, you can choose which demographics to target. They will see your ad when they search specific terms on Google. Make sure you use the Google Keyword Tool to figure out which words to try and which phrases to avoid in your ads.
Facebook also lets you customize what types of people will see your ads. There are two different types of Facebook ads: Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories.
For how to create a Facebook ad, plus best practices, chock out this link: http://fbrep.com//SMB/Ads_Create_Flow.pdf .
One very clear call to action is usually the best way to create an effective ad. Your profile picture and a short message will be part of your Facebook ad. You can choose broad categories of interests, like “people living in the US” and narrower categories of interest, like “people interested in cookie dough.”
Do’s for your ad:
• Use short, specific language
• Tell people what they’re getting and how to get it
• Use time-sensitive discounts—get people to act now
• Use an eye-catching image that looks good as a thumbnail
• Choose interests that target a medium-sized group, just niched enough, but not too niche
Don’ts for your ad:
• Include unnecessary information or write too much
Examples of Facebook ads:
Once you have reached at least 100 fans, sponsored stories are a useful advertising tool.
Sponsored stories encourage people to like the brands their friends like. It’s almost like your business promoting your customers’ word of mouth for them.
Example of a Sponsored Story:
4. Make Personal Connections, in Person
This tried and true way of meeting people is the best way to make an authentic connection quickly. The trick is to take interest in other people. Listen before you talk and see what someone is really looking for. Then, you can tailor your message to suit their needs and wants.
Just make sure you know a few different ways to describe your business and its benefits. That way you won’t be caught off guard by difficult questions—or people who suddenly want to know everything about your service!
There are many places you can network with your ideal audience. Think about hobbies, passions and social needs you might have in common with your customers. Are they entrepreneurs who will be attending entrepreneurship meet-ups? Are your customers interested in art, so that they might be at a gallery opening? Whatever you and your audience have in common—there’s most likely a group or a conference for it. So, start going to these places and see what people are looking for in your industry. Then, be sure to be yourself and be interested in them. Your value will shine through.
3. Join Forces for Double the Effect
Think of it as double the benefits, half the risk. Because you share your customer base with someone else, a joint venture can help you immediately double your income. It can also decrease your risk of trying something new, because you’re sharing that with a partner as well.
This is your chance to leverage your connection with the right person…and open your business up to double your customer base. If your offer is a continuation or compliment to someone else’s service, then you can both benefit from each other’s expertise and marketing efforts.
The trick to a joint venture is good teamwork! Things you need to think about and discuss before going into business with someone else are:
• Do we have skills that compliment each other?
• How are we going to settle arguments and disagreements?
• How long are we going to work together for?
• What are we sharing and how are we going to distribute profits?
• Does this person have good credibility that will help my business?
• Do we share the same values in business and in life?
• Are we at the same level of business as each other? If one person is less business savvy than the other, someone will end up feeling like they’re pulling all the weight.
Once you’ve gone through all the possible scenarios and outcomes with your prospective partner, a business contract is essential. You can download different versions online or draft your own.
2. Plan an Event and Release it to the Presses
Spread the word far and wide by planning something exciting! People love to be part of events, especially ones they can share with their friends. And now, with social media, there are so many ways you can start an event and tell people about it.
Make sure that your event is relevant to your business. It could be a contest to design one of your products or your tagline. It could be collaboration with a charity or fundraising. Then, tell people about it on Facebook and in online ads.
Because press releases rely on timeliness and relevance for effect, an event is a great opportunity to write a news story. You can tell people about your business without sounding too “salesy”. Just mention who you are and why you’re hosting the event. Then, your readers will understand what your business stands for.
Fastcocreate.com has a list of the 5 All-Time Best Facebook Campaigns. You can take some tips from these successful brand marketing strategies.
1. Give Away (some of) Your Secrets
5 minutes perusing Facebook is all you need to find out how much customers love free stuff! Your customers want to know how they can benefit from your brand. Isn’t something free the most direct, easiest benefit to give?
So, think about something you can give away. It should be a sneak-peak into your full business offer. Because, if you do it right, a small giveaway worth $2 can lead to much bigger customer base and expanding profits.
There are 2 reasons why giveaways work so well:
1. People get a no-risk way to test your product, and, if they like it, they will buy it. They will also tell their friends about the benefits they get.
2. Psychologically, people want to give back when someone gives them something. This “law of reciprocity” will make consumers more loyal to your business if you show that you are generous and willing to give them a risk-free product option.
And social media is there to help you with this too. Ask people questions and let them know that their valuable answer can get them a free giveaway. This is a great way to get participation in your business without giving something to everyone—a contest lets people participate and share in your business.
Some giveaway campaigns I’ve seen on Facebook are:
“If you could keep one LUSH holiday product year-round, what would it be? We can’t make any promises, but it’s fun to dream!”
“Coffee Sale! Visit www.CommunityCoffee.com for a web exclusive, $2 off Holiday Jazz and Bread Pudding coffees while supplies last.“
“You could win our brand-spankin’ new beauty launches FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. Just enter our Brand New & So You Sweepstakes. But hurry! You only have 2 days (thru 12/17) to enter. (Just think: 2011 could be YOUR year.)”
“Only 5 more days left to refer a friend to get $50 of store credit.”
So, take a page out of the most successful marketing practices and see what will work for your business. It will be extra helpful to write down the logistics of your marketing efforts: How much will it cost? How long will it take? How much do I expect my list to grow? How much do I expect my profits to grow? Then keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
Remember that a successful brand and marketing strategy is based on consistency and values alignment. For more information, check out Brand from Within.