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5 Questions to Help Build A Strong Marketing Foundation

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As the number of available marketing tools and platforms continues to grow exponentially, it becomes increasingly more difficult for businesses to outline a cohesive marketing strategy. In my opinion, no matter the number of tools and platforms available the core of the marketing strategy remains the same. Raise awareness, stay in front of potential customers, retain purchasing customers, gather more referrals and measure your results.

It’s easy.

Now the abundance of tools really becomes a question of, “Which one is best for me? Which tool can I utilize at each step of my marketing strategy?”

For this blog, I want to look at each individual piece of a standard marketing strategy and identify some easy ways to accomplish your goals along the way.

How will customers find your business?

find my business onlineMany business owners are still growing their business how our grandparents did – word of mouth. And I’m not saying that to be funny. That’s a good thing. Nothing can beat a good word of mouth referral.

But in 2015, what happens when someone receives a word of mouth referral? They pull out their smart phones and look the business up on Facebook. It’s true that 47% of Americans say Facebook is the #1 influencer on their purchasing decisions. So how can you have a well-managed Facebook page, or any social media page, without committing a lot of time or resources that are better spent in other areas? Look to automating platforms like Buffer, Hootsuite, and even Facebook’s native platform to schedule and manage posts as far in advance as necessary.

Many businesses are boiling their Facebook strategy down to only one or two dedicated hours, once a week.

How will you stay in front of your customers?

Getting the initial referral is great, but many customers aren’t ready to purchase at that very moment. Often times, these potential customers will require a number of engagements with your brand before they will finally purchase. So how do you continue to get in front of your customer?

One thing I always recommend is creating a strong retargeting ad campaign. What’s that you ask? Have you ever been browsing Amazon, eBay, or any other eCommerce site and then headed back to Facebook or your favorite website only to see the very same items you were just looking at in a paid ad from the business you just left? That’s a retargeting ad. While popular opinion might say that’s a little invasive, or even creepy, a marketing mindset will tell you it’s also extremely effective.

Statistics prove that click-through rates on retargeting ads are 400% higher than a standard paid ad, and web conversions are a full 70% higher.

Setting up retargeting ad campaigns has never been easier. Google, Facebook, and Twitter all offer their own tools to build retargeting audiences and create ads aimed at these audiences.

How will you retain customers and earn repeat business?

Email marketing drip campaignsA popular saying is, “80% of your business will come from the same 20% of your client base.” Whether that’s statistically true or just a nice quip is hard to say. However, I always recommend squeezing your existing clients for repeat business – especially those who had a positive experience.

Hands down the easiest and most cost-effective way to reach out in hopes of earning repeat business is through email marketing. Even better would be to utilize drip campaigns to automate email marketing messages following a purchase.

This is easy to set up through all major email marketing platforms including FireDrum, and it’s an easy way to get back in front of your past customers with up-sells, promotions, and cross-selling opportunities.

How will you earn positive reviews, testimonials and referrals?

In many cases the most important process after a customer has a positive experience is leveraging that experience to gain future word of mouth business from the customers own network of family and friends. There are a number of ways to do this. One popular way is as simple as including verbiage on any transactional emails asking how the experience was and to share that experience on a specific network.

Another popular process is to include a “How did we do” type survey in a follow up email. For this, I’d recommend SurveyMonkey. To take it one step further and have an endless stream of reviews and testimonials, incentivize the process.

For example, send a follow up email with a survey and offer an instant 10-20% off coupon code as soon as they complete the survey. Even better, offer a second coupon code that they can share with a friend.

Just like that, you’ve turned your happy customers into return customers and your own volunteer sales team.

How are you going to measure your results?

how do I track website traffic?You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. Having accurate marketing reports for every marketing initiative is important as it allows you to make educated decisions about what is working and what isn’t providing any benefits.

A staple with every website project we do is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is free and will provide you with more information than you’ll ever know what to do with. Even understanding 10% of what Google Analytics is reporting will go a long ways in helping you optimize your marketing strategies.

Email Marketing? It’s easier than you think. All major email marketing platforms will provide in-depth reporting. And again, it will tell you everything going on with your email campaign. How many people opened, how many clicked, what they clicked, how many email addresses were bad, and so on.

In what is becoming an increasingly data-driven world, being able to accurately measure and make educated decisions about your marketing efforts is extremely important to the long term success of your business.

How are you going to measure your results?

Now it’s your turn. With the slew of marketing tools, social media platforms, distribution channels and opportunities for engagement available to your business, what are you focusing on? Are you seeing results? Let us know on Facebook or send us a tweet on Twitter!