A shared universal goal of all businesses is to maximise sales of products or services. To achieve this, business owners need to implement effective marketing strategies that focus on how to reach potential customers and make their products stand out from the competition.
We are living in an increasingly digitised age so some businesses are having to transform their traditional marketing activities. The range of choices available, from websites to social media, In-app and YouTube advertising to SnapChat, is ever increasing. Because there is more choice than ever, it can be difficult for small businesses to decide where to focus resources to engage target customers effectively and efficiently.
Businesses don't necessarily need to engage in more marketing, but smarter marketing, with resources prioritised on targeted returns. One study by google found that an astounding 56% of digital ads are never actually seen by a single human. An ad was considered viewable if 50% of the ad's pixels are in view for at least one second. Digital ads therefore need to be targeted to ensure they reach their potential customers.
To do this, a marketing strategy needs to be integrated with sales and customer service, and about providing an experience for customers. The more knowledge that a business has about existing customer's habits and preferences, the easier it is to target potential buyers. For example, Facebook allows you to target which users see adverts based on location, demographics, interest and behaviours. And this is more straightforward than you may think to set-up.
Content marketing can be particularly powerful, allowing businesses to respond directly to customer's signals and respond in relevant ways. Content marketing focusses on creating and distributing relevant and consistent content to a clearly defined audience to drive profitable customer action. Put simply, it's about providing valuable information to customers to help generate sales. For example, supermarkets are now commonly creating short videos demonstrating easy to make recipes. The videos are shown across a range of social media platforms and are easily shared. The videos allow you to click directly through to the online store and place all of the relevant ingredients into your online basket for purchase, leading to a simple sales experience for the customer.
If you are considering a similar approach as part of your marketing strategy, the most important thing is to seek compelling content that is relevant to your targeted customers. Also remember that online and social media marketing is often more effective if the content is entertaining, informative or shareable.
Going back to basics, remember that marketing needs to have a key role in your business. You need to understand your customers, and decide how to best engage with and target new customers. You don't need to do everything, as traditional marketing such as simple word of mouth, events or print advertising might work for you. However, given the changing world we live in it is important to change and adapt along with it, but do your homework first and make sure that the path taken leads to your next customer.