Marketing is perhaps the most important business area, whether the business is new or has been around for years. Every business requires clients, and unless you bring awareness about your business to potential clients, it may fail quickly. There are key elements to successful marketing. Some may work for you and your company, and some may not. The most important thing to remember is that you need to do as much marketing as you can afford. Even if you don’t have a lot of capital to put into marketing, there are several ways to market for free or very little money. Here are six marketing strategies and their effectiveness.
It turns out that the most effective with 62% is the referrals, that is, the word of mouth and strategic alliances both inside and outside the Internet. Although the basis of your Internet marketing is your website, a business is built by growing loyalty and customers, bringing you more customers. This means that referrals are something you should pointedly pursue regarding your business and marketing strategy.
You can do this a few ways. First, you want to get the loyalty of your customer and make them repeat customers. Often businesses large or small will offer loyalty programs. If you are a small business on a small budget, you can make cards that you stamp at every visit or purchase that will give them something for free or a deep discount. Also, just offering excellent customer service can go a long way to creating repeat customers. Along the same lines as the loyalty program, you can offer discounts or freebies, or referrals. Many of the largest companies in the world have referral programs. Since this is the most effective type of marketing, you should focus on referrals.
Email marketing is 34% effective as a marketing tool. Marketing through email may seem like it won’t be effective because so many have spam blockers and don’t open emails that are ads or sales related. However, emails with ads are much more effective than most people think. Email marketing is the electronic equivalent of cold calling potential customers.
Social Networks, Forums, and any virtual social environment are 23% effective. While most people might be surprised that it comes in third as an effective marketing strategy, social marketing is still a vital marketing tool. It is also one area of marketing that can be free, thus cutting marketing costs. Social media marketing isn’t the number one marketing strategy because everyone uses it this way; therefore, there is the possibility of saturation. Also, you’re only going to reach customers in your following with the occasional guest through hashtags.
SEO and SEM
SEO and SEM are 14% effective as a marketing strategy. If you have a website or a blog, your biggest concern should be SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) Search engine optimization is making your website or blog keyword-heavy to obtain organic positioning in search engines. You can pay search engines to bring you traffic; however, it is less expensive to use SEO strategies.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is paying for marketing and advertising directly to the search engine. This generally puts you on top of the first results page.
Blog and Webinars
Blogs and Webinars are 13% effective as a marketing strategy. Both blogs and webinars are done through your website. These are lower in effectiveness because of the time it takes to produce them and the competition on search engines. However, if your blog or webinars gain followers and interest, this increases the effectiveness and could surpass referrals.