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Small businesses know marketing is essential, but business owners don’t have an infinite budget to commit to it. That means you need to understand exactly what gives you the most return for your money.
When you have a marketing strategy that has an excellent return on investment (ROI), you can focus your resources and efforts to get maximum results. You don’t waste money on ineffective outreach.
What marketing strategy makes the biggest difference? Let’s take a look at a few options.
There’s no doubt that attracting ideal customers who are actively looking to buy your products and services gives you the best ROI available. But how do you do that?
The answer is inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is about educating and engaging people at exactly the right moment, when they are looking for information about your product or service. You create high-quality content and an experience that is tailored to your ideal customer, which maximizes the chance that they buy from you.
The first step in inbound marketing is search engine optimization (SEO). A well-optimized site will be highly relevant to the search terms that your customers use on Google, so Google will rank you highly for those keywords. When someone is searching for information about what you offer and your website is one of the top results, they are highly likely to click through to your website.
Once someone is on your website, it’s time for high-quality content to take the lead. Depending on the keyword, the new visitor could be on your product pages, a blog post, or even your homepage. Those pages should be engaging and informative, full of reasons why a visitor should buy from you right away.
Finally, the call-to-action makes the final push. Depending on what page the visitor is on, you might invite them to join your email list for special offers, make an appointment, or purchase directly from your website.
Not everyone who finds you and clicks on your website will purchase, but the chances are very high because they are actively looking for what you offer at that moment. It’s the best marketing you can invest in!
Curious what marketing strategy is second, after inbound marketing? That would be an investment in social media marketing. This means far more than ads — in fact, ads are only helpful if they are carefully targeted and used as a way to get website traffic while your inbound marketing efforts are building up.
Social media marketing is really about building awareness about your business and what you offer by engaging with users online. This might mean running a community Facebook group, using TikTok to make short “Tips” videos, or posting pictures of homes you have for sale on Instagram.
As you post useful, informative, and fun content on social media, you’ll start to build up your online reputation. You can answer questions, provide advice, and more. As people engage with you, you’ll be the first company they think of when they need your product or service.
Be sure you answer your followers online quickly, as people often use social media for questions and customer service requests. When you’re responsive, people become even more impressed with your company and more likely to buy from you.
Interruptive advertising is often the first thing businesses think of when they are considering marketing, but unfortunately, it also has the highest cost and lowest return on investment.
Advertising allows you to place your message before an audience, but usually that audience is engaged in another activity. For example, they might be watching a sports program and see your commercials, or listing to music on the radio and hear your ads. Or they might be scrolling social media to connect with friends and see your social media ads.
That means that people who encounter your ads aren’t particularly interested in what you’re saying. Instead, they’re waiting for the ad to be over so they can return to their previous activity. As a result, you get very poor conversion rates from interruptive advertising.
If you want advertising to make a positive difference, it’s essential that you carefully target your ad so that your most ideal customers are the ones who see it. Don’t waste money on TV ads or billboards. Instead, focus on meeting a very specific group of people where they spend the most time.
Even then, however, you won’t get great results when you compare it to inbound marketing or brand-building. And, when you stop spending money, you stop getting results. With inbound marketing and brand-building, your efforts last well beyond your initial investment.
As you can see, inbound marketing combined with building your brand on social media is the best approach to marketing for a small business. If you use interruptive advertising, it should be carefully targeted and used as a short-term approach until your inbound marketing starts getting results.
If you’d like to set your business up for success with inbound marketing, let us help. We can optimize your website and position your business for success online. Contact us for more information!