Essential Marketing Guide to Starting a New Business in 2017
By Glenn Cowan
Starting a new business is demanding at the best of times; however, starting one with increased competition in an almost saturated marketplace requires a real appetite for success.
With most start-ups, “marketing” plays an integral role in determining whether or not the business makes a go of things, or falls by the wayside. Therefore in this post we will take a look at some of the key marketing strategies that are worthy of consideration.
Without question, advertising is the most widely used of all marketing tools.
However, before chucking your entire marketing budget at advertising you will want to explore the different mediums that your customers are likely to use.The main choices available nearly always revolve around printed material, radio advertising, online advertising.
The Printed Word
Print media has changed considerably in recent times, with many detractors suggesting it is almost “dead in the water”. However, the reality is far from that.Remember magazines and targeted newspapers all have content that is read by an audience of people who have an interest in your topic.Advertising in these areas can reach out to people who want to learn more about your subject. As people who go to the effort of reading a newspaper or magazine tend to read more than those who view pages on the internet.
Before you tell me I’m talking a load of tosh (won’t be the first time), think about the average time spent reading a webpage. You might be surprised to learn that it is somewhere between 15 and 20 seconds.Package in longevity, especially with some of the higher quality publications that are around and print material remains a very useful tool. Magazines and other print publications may well be on display in doctors waiting rooms, hotel receptions and other venues for many months. Whereas digital based material such as email campaigns could easily get lost in your prospects busy inbox, or worse still dumped in spam.
One final thought on the merits of printed advertising is that you can also bank on some “pass along exposure”. When readers are finished with a magazine they might give it to someone else to read, or donate it to their local coffee shop etc.
Social Media Marketing
Social media is without doubt the bubble that never seems to burst! As a recent survey from LinkedIN went so far as to suggest that a staggering 88% of small to medium sized businesses use it in one form or another. However, close to half of these businesses have also admitted to not being sure whether any of their social channels actually generated revenue for their business. Amazing really, given the fact that social media is one of the easiest marketing channels to measure!
Sadly though, many people tasked with managing their social media accounts post sways of promotional content. So much so that their “followers” become immune to the content they are seeing.A good social media campaign should provide your followers with high quality information that is of use to them. Churning out endless “buy my condo” messages sadly doesn’t fall into this category. So consider reaching your people and connecting with them on content that matters most to them. Property developers could find that creating content around local attractions and amenities is likely to be on the right track for engaging potential buyers.
Pay Per Click Marketing
PPC or pay-per-click marketing has evolved as a favourite of many new startups, notably because it delivers the opportunity to drive almost immediate results to the business in question.The most widely used platform being Google AdWords, which should surprise no one given that the search engine giant earns a whopping 89% of it’s profits from the sale of ads. Putting it into perspective, Google pockets $422 USD every second, of every day, of every week, yada yada….
Users of the ad network can choose to show text related ads which feature either at the top or bottom of the search engine results pages (SERPS) or graphic based adverts which are shown on display network partners.Choosing which adverts to show to which people and at what times is part of the science of constructing and managing an effective Google AdWords campaign.
While you can certainly set one up as a novice, it should be remembered that Google make it very easy for you to spend as much money as possible with them. An experienced AdWords marketer is often required to make sure that campaigns are constructed in a way that maximizes the opportunity for conversion, at the lowest available PPC rates.
Remarketing or retargeting as it is referred to is another highly effective way of leveraging PPC. The big difference here is that you will target your previous website visitors and “follow them” around the web showing your advert to them. An example of one company which markets in this way is Lazada.
Search Engine Optimization
Another marketing strategy that shouldn’t be overlooked is good old-fashioned search engine optimization (SEO). That said, results aren’t going to be instant as you are building up trust with Google and the other search engines.
Optimizing your site properly and building up content that is of use to your potential visitors will help you to create credibility in the medium to long term. It is this investment of resource that will pay dividends in providing organic search visitors to your website for many a year to come (providing you don’t embark on any bad SEO practices along the way!) - more on that another time….
New Business Guide - The Wrap Up
Getting your business “out there” for all to see isn’t an easy task, but with careful planning it can be achieved.Whether you choose one method or a mixture of different methods it is important to think about ways that you will measure your campaign.
Partnering with a reputable agency is nearly always the best practice. While it may be a little more expensive than “going it alone” you are much more likely to see a return on investment (ROI).Stay tuned for follow up articles where I will be covering the topics above in a little more detail. Until next time….