With the end of 2015 almost upon us and operations winding down for most small businesses, most entrepreneurs will be faced with the question: “What can I do different in 2016 to attract and retain customers”?
Whether B2B or B2C, I believe passionately that good marketing essentials are the same. We all are emotional beings looking for relevance, context and connection. – Beth Comstock
Following are 12 Marketing Tips for New Start-Up and Existing Companies that you can already start exploring in these quieter times:
- Infographics is not a new concept but it is still a much better way to engage potential customers than sending those long-winded letters or emails. What’s more, you don’t have to be a Graphic Designer or Marketing Guru to make visually stunning Infographics. You can even start by creating your own first Infographic in PowerPoint – Free Infographic Templates in PowerPoint.
- Lists of Statistics: People love statistics. Our newspapers, radio, TV and Internet are filled with the latest statistics, trends and analysis. Collect interesting and thought provoking statistics on a subject related to your business and create a blog post about what you’ve learned. For instance, you may have started a new Clothing Boutique and want to provide statistics on the latest fashion trends, purchasing habits of the Millennial market, etc. Lists of facts and statistics are easy to create and extremely sharable. What’s more, you will show potential customers that you are willing to share your knowledge and insights with them for free.
- Turn it into a List: Closely related to the aforementioned point is to create a list on any related topic that will entice your potential customers, e.g. How to Fix a Button to a Shirt). Starting your title with a number can make it stand out more in search listings (e.g. 7 Ways to save for your Retirement). People love lists because they are easy to read.
- Build an e-Book Library: Think about what pains your customers the most. What problem(s) do they face? What challenges are they met with? Can you offer them some advice? Yes! Then write a comprehensive e-book on a known challenge or popular industry topic, and create a quality landing page or e-newsletter with a link to the e-book. You may require users to register to get your free e-book; this can be an excellent source of lead generation.
- Cover Events: Even if you are not a Journalist, act like one. Chances are that when starting your new business, most of your time will be spent on attending industry-related events, expos and developing your business. If you attend a conference, consider writing a post about what information you gathered from the event, what you found valuable, your favourite sessions, etc. Now share this with your customers. Remember, free advice to potential customers will show that you are not only after their money and want to make that next sale. In future, when they are ready to buy, they will remember you!
- Podcasts are incredible because potential customers and visitors to your website can download them and then listen on the go. Think of it as a whole different way to consume your content. Think of possible podcast topics that could include discussing hot industry news or interviewing experts that operate in your market.
- Experiment with Collaboration: Collaboration can extend your brand’s reach and build your reputation. Think of some of the alliances and collaborations you can explore. Partner with a charity? A related business? You’ll both benefits from the audiences.
- Spice up your Marketing with Memes: “Memes” or familiar images with captions built right in, are fun and can brighten up your marketing campaign. Once again, it is free – Meme Generator.
- Demonstrate your Ideas with Comics: No! Not Batman and Robin. Research shows that newspaper funnies may be a dying breed, but online comics are thriving! You may want to consider making your own comics that relate to the ridiculous and weird aspects of your industry. There are free tools out there that you can try including Pixton or Strip Generator.
- Follow your Competitors: With Facebook’s business pages you can follow other accounts. Follow your competitors and see what they post, and which of their posts get the most shares and likes. See what works and what doesn’t and adjust your marketing efforts.
- Create 101 Guides: No, I am not referring to the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Something more realistic and relevant to your viewers. There are thousands of people that start their own company every year, each and every one of them offering something new to the market. Now use your knowledge and experience and think of what you can do to assist potential customers…for free. Perhaps you are an Accountant and you want to provide a free guide, in 101-style to your customers on how to register for VAT.
- Be a Team Player: There are numerous great tools out there to help you find quality content collected from all over the Web, e.g. Storify. Don’t just share your own content; sharing amazing content by others that operate in your industry demonstrates that you are a team player and source of invaluable, unbiased knowledge.
If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger. – Jay Baer