Now is the ideal time of the year to re-assess your business and plan your marketing strategy for the year ahead.
What I’ve learnt
In 2018, particularly in the last few months, I am delighted to have gained new clients. “How did they find you” I hear you ask? It’s interesting that apart from my website, some came from a variety of other marketing methods ie: exhibiting, my own Facebook business group, direct mail and adverts in newsagents windows, local building societies and banks.
Many small businesses I talk to say that the majority of their clients are gained through referrals. While this is great, and no doubt the best way of getting business, we shouldn’t rely on it and we certainly shouldn’t be complacent.
Is Facebook enough?
The quick answer is no, not on its own, for several reasons that I won’t go into here! I can totally understand that some businesses can’t afford to hire a good web designer to create their ‘shop front’ right at the start. So, for many, Facebook is the obvious alternative, just as good, and of course it’s free. However, there’s no flexibility and it’s not secure (as a good website should be), so you can’t sell online services or products directly from your Facebook. Using it as a social media add-on to promote your business is great, but it’s not enough to use on its own.
How about Linkedin?
Linkedin is a great tool. It has helped increase my network of contacts (500+), it’s very effective for direct messaging and I’ve gained business from it. Same goes for my Linkedin clients too. However, like other media, it must be used in the right way to gain these benefits.
What’s trending in 2019?
Digital marketing is becoming more and more important for every single business. If you have a product or service that you want to sell online, a good e-commerce website should be part of your marketing. Don’t rely on platforms such as Amazon or ebay as much of your income will go on commission. To demonstrate an example, according to SmartInsights.com, the hugely popular brand Dominos started receiving online sales back in 2010. This accounted for 30% of their total revenue at that time. In 2018 they hold more than 50% of the market share, with digital transactions accounting for more than 80% of sales. Two thirds of those coming from smart phones.
Of course Dominos is a huge brand, however their growth is inspiring to many of us in business.
An increasing ‘trend’ is using ‘messenger’ to connect with potential clients, like you do if you’re a Facebook user. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s basically a ‘chat’ window that pops up usually in the corner of your screen. It can be used instead of an email and one clear advantage is that it’s instant. According to research ‘messenger’ accounts for 8 billion business messages per month, and 78% of these are via smartphone users. Using messenger for conversions is becoming a major trend.
I use a ‘messenger chat’ app on both my websites. It’s quick, easy and mostly instant response. Certainly far quicker than emails, which I often find go astray.
The takeaway – Be open to new ideas. Find out if there is any specific marketing trending for your industry and implement. As several different marketing methods works for me, give it a try. Do make sure that your message is right, makes an impact, and that you come across as professional.
These are just a few marketing ideas that you could try out for your business.
Would you like a free marketing consulation? please contact sue@sjemarketing or visit https://sjemarketing.co.uk.