This article is an attempt to compile all marketing strategies that actually work, that should be a part of your marketing plan. These marketing plan tips come directly from businesses which have used these techniques successfully. The businesses I was able to observe are ones that are planned and started on my mobile apps for business where I have a sample size of tens of thousands of businesses by hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs, and my own work as a marketing consultant for other companies, and promoting my own products.
In this article, I will outline some top offline and online marketing strategies that I have observed to work very well.
First, What is Marketing?
First, let's cover some basics. Marketing is a widely used term, and it can mean many things to many people. For us in this article, it will mean "things we do to promote our business to get new customers." Although that is not a complete way to look at marketing, it is the way small business owners look at marketing.
Offline Marketing Strategies
While the marketing world is more and more focused on marketing via the Web, I want to point out some of the strengths of offline marketing. Offline marketing has two distinct advantages which are not going away. The first advantage is that you can build stronger business relationships with people because offline marketing allows you to have face-to-face interactions with them. The second advantage of offline marketing is that you can have a conversation with the people you meet, get more insightful feedback from your potential clients, and observe them during their interaction with your product.
The particular offline marketing techniques you can try are handing out business cards and networking, attending and speaking at events, posting flyers, door-to-door marketing, sponsoring events in your local community, or creating and hosting various events (which can also serve as a source of revenue for you if you charge for attendance).
Online marketing is a very broad and complex landscape. It consists of leveraging search, social networks, getting press coverage and various inbound marketing techniques. Let's examine these one by one.
Social Media Marketing
We have all seen our fair share of social media marketing experts giving out tips that do not ultimately work. So when you are writing the social media marketing section of your marketing plan, I want to invite you to take a more abstract view of what social media marketing really is. Is this article social media? Is just about everything you do on the web social media? Whether it is or isn't, just about everything we do on the Web has a social media component to it. So social media is now the fabric of the Web. So let's not think about social media marketing as posting on social networks, but rather as how can we make our products more sharable, more collaborative and more human.
Additionally, many techniques to get press or SEO are partially social media. One way I like to think about social media marketing is that when it begins to overlap with other forms of marketing, then it has a chance to be more effective.
Inbound Marketing, Search and SEO
Inbound marketing is the darling of Web marketing, and is one of the most important themes of all online marketing. You should definitely have a section of a marketing plan devoted to inbound marketing. And no inbound marketing strategy is complete without a strong focus on SEO and keyword research. So please do not neglect keyword research when working on your SEO and inbound marketing. Here is a full blog post on how to create a great strategy for your inbound marketing.
How to Get Press Coverage
And of course, as business owners, we all want to get press for our businesses. Here are some ways to get free press that we can add to our marketing plan. To appear on podcasts and radio shows, sign up for RadioGuestList.com which sends daily emails with shows who are looking for guests. To get press in news sites and blogs, sign up for HARO to get daily emails of journalists who are looking for help on stories. Additionally, you can create a press release and send it out to journalists in your niche. Or you can use a service like PRWeb (not free but cheap) to send out a mass emailing of your press release. You can also approach bloggers to cover your business, and in case they do not want to, offer to write a guest article on their blogs. The list of ways to get press gets pretty long.
Do not forget to include email marketing as a part of your marketing plan. There is nothing like building an engaged list of people who seek out your content. Please do not confuse the idea of building a list of engaged followers with buying bulk email lists from people who don't know the first thing about your business.
Social And Professional Referrals
And, of course, as marketers, we should never forget about the power of getting referrals to our business. When you are creating a marketing plan, do not neglect referrals. There are three types of referrals. One type of referrals are ones from friends where people ask friends whether they know any business for their particular needs. The next type of referral is a professional network referral where businesses refer clients to one another. And the third type of referral is where businesses pay for leads.
If you are selling a product, then you need a slightly different kind of a strategy that leverages ecommerce. You can sell from your own site, or from large ecommerce sites such as Amazon, Shopping.com, Etsy, eBay or others depending on what site is the best fit for your particular product.
Marketing a Local Service
And lastly, if your business has a local focus such as a dentist, restaurant, lawn care, or other local service businesses, you need to leverage the local service sites and searches like Yelp, Angie's List or Foursquare.
More Marketing Resources
There are over 50 marketing videos with over 9 hours of footage on Alex Genadinik's business channel on YouTube. They are all free and you are welcome to subscribe to never miss a video.