Marketing is a fundamental part of commerce, and it has been for centuries. However, modern marketing would like witchcraft compared to its humble origins. Modern technology has advanced tremendously, and there are more tools than ever before for getting your company’s name out there, and marketing is the most essential for small businesses looking to expand. Here are the tips you’ll need to know about marketing your small business.
Maintaining a Website
A staple of online marketing, company websites have sort of fallen by the wayside in terms of relevance in the zeitgeist. However, that’s not to say that they don’t have a place in modern marketing. Far from it. Websites remain a valuable tool for many reasons. For example, customer service can be integrated into your website, giving customers a place they can always turn for crucial post-sale services. You can also use your website as a hub for all of your many social media accounts, and that can help to drive traffic to your website in the process. Most importantly, a company website is utterly necessary for online vendors, and e commerce is only increasing in prevalence for retailers.
Building and maintaining a website are essential for the success of your business, and that means you’ll need to take the right steps and hire the right people in order to ensure that your website stays operable and engaging to consumers. First and foremost, there’s the design process. There are numerous tools and services that can help you construct a website fairly easily, but you can also shell out more for quality results at the hands of professional coders. You’ll also need a competent IT department in order to keep things running smoothly. There are numerous points of failure maintaining a network, and any downtime represents monetary losses. Your IT staff will need to have intimate knowledge of Site Reliability Engineering ,also known as SRE, and DevOps in order to update and maintain your website and network for best results.
Using Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is perhaps the biggest reason that company websites are receiving less attention nowadays, because social media platforms offer a vast array of marketing tools and, perhaps more importantly, greater visibility and a much larger audience than traditional marketing outlets. The total user base of social media is a staggering 3.8 billion, about half of the total population of planet Earth. That number will mean significantly more to businesses that operate internationally, such as online retailers, but it is nonetheless valuable for any and all companies. The size of the audience isn’t the only thing that social media has going for it, however. Social media platforms offer paid advertising slots, for starters, an essential, near universal marketing tool.
Beyond this, social media platforms offer free, unlimiting posting, and that entails numerous additional marketing tools. For example, those same ads can be hosted on your company’s account in perpetuity at no additional cost, meaning that it can be seen easily by any and all of your followers, in addition to people who just so happen to visit your page. In addition, you can post frequent updates and announcements, something that typically requires a PR firm and a fee to accomplish. Last, but not least, social media platforms offer a wide variety of metrics about each post that can be incredibly valuable sources of cost effective market research. Not only do social media platforms allow and encourage users to engage in discourse via comments, express approval via likes, and further expand your reach by sharing posts, but they also provide some behind the scenes metrics showing you just how effective each post is using several data points. Social media marketing is by no means a replacement for other advertising outlets and traditional market research, but it can be used to supplement or even surpass them.
Expand Engagement via Email and Apps
The overt purpose of marketing is to make your company more visible to consumers at large, but perhaps even more important for the long term success of a business is brand loyalty. Brand loyalty is the force that drives consumers to continue to choose your business over your competitors, and it is a truly valuable asset as a result. However, engendering loyalty to your brand takes a concerted effort. Luckily, technology is eager to provide solutions, specifically in the forms of email and dedicated apps.
Many modern businesses offer customers a chance to sign up for regular newsletters as a way to encourage repeat business and, more importantly, more consistent engagement with the brand. Consumers benefit from this practice, because it can alert them to new products and services that your business has to offer, and it’s that benefit that drives customers to opt in to this kind of correspondence. Your company can benefit from this by simply increasing the amount of exposure to get to each customer that signs up. This principle is not unlike that of accruing followers on social media. The more you get to interact with customers, the more ingrained your brand will become in their minds and, more importantly, the more they’ll come to like your company.
Apps have become a staple of modern commerce, and this is because of a few key reasons. First and foremost, apps can increase the amount of engagement you can get out of a given consumer. This is simply because an app lets users access your services at any time or place they so choose, because they’ll be carrying your storefront in their pockets. More importantly, this allows them to shop more consistently and spontaneously, and that results in a straightforward increase in sales. Creating an app for your business will require some expertise, but APIs can make this much more affordable and much less time consuming, although they have their own problems to keep in mind.
Marketing is the primary force by which your business can proliferate and expand. However, effective marketing isn’t something you can take for granted. These tips will help you create more effective marketing strategies for the digital age.