10 Quick ways to improve your marketing in 2016

10 Quick ways to improve your marketing in 2016

Marketing Plan
Most business owners that I know are very good at what they do, but when it comes to other aspects of running a business, such as marketing, they aren’t quite as good. If your marketing isn’t getting the results you want, perhaps these 10 tips will help.

1. Refine your marketing strategy.
Marketing strategy is determining and refining your target market and ideal client, and then finding out what they care about, the problems that wake them up at 3 am, what forces them to solve those problems. What message can you deliver that is hits their immediate hot buttons and gives them a solution to their problems?

2. Create a Marketing Plan
Refine your business goals and build a plan that supports the strategies you plan to meet them. It is absolutely critical to start each year with a comprehensive marketing and communications plan for your firm. Your marketing budget should be tied to your marketing plan in order to accomplish the marketing strategy you’ve put in place.

3. Develop and refine your marketing messages to align with your strategies and ensure you use them across all communications channels.
Remember, the message must resonate with a problem that your target market has and their burning desire and need for the problem to be solved. Otherwise you are wasting your time. Your message has to focused on the needs, interest and goals of your prospects and your clients, not about you.

4. Customer research
When was the last time you visited your clients to find out how your business is providing them with a solution and meeting their needs. This simple but effective strategy may be the eye opener your business is looking for. It might even throw up a new service or product you had not thought about.

5. Make your website user friendly.
According to Forrester Research: 85% of global senior executives, including Government employees, prefer to find out about companies, products and services and gather information to make a buying decision via the Internet.
Another study found that your website is the first place a prospect person will go to find information about you and the products or services you provide.
If your website does not have what a prospect wants and needs to see, then he or she will move on and not come back. Here are a few things you need to have: professional look and feel, readable font, easily understood text that describe the problems you solve, a capability statement, easily found contact information with address, phone number and email address.

6. Improve your social media profiles
Make sure you create and/or update your Social Media profiles where your target audience/ideal client hangs out. If you are unsure, stick with the mainstream ones like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. For business owners and professionals, the most likely spot is LinkedIn. Make sure you have a professional looking photo and a profile that discusses the problems you solve for your clients and don’t forget customer testimonials – they are worth their weight in gold.

7. Attend local networking events.
Most places don’t have a shortage of networking meetings, especially in the major towns and cities. Attend several events and get to know the people in the room, but don’t be a pushy salesman (that’s not why you’re there!). Develop a concise elevator pitch which is catchy and meaningful Collect business cards and always follow up particularly through LinkedIn.

8. Build an email list
Email marketing is one of the most cost effective ways of marketing to your prospects. Make sure your website has a call to action and sign-up form on all pages to capture name and email address. Send valuable content on a regular basis. But remember, if you don’t have permission to email someone, then dont.

9. Get serious about managing your online presence
According to Google, 97% of consumers use the web to search for local businesses and 75% use social media before making a buying decision. Having a strong and correct online presence is a crucial component of your marketing strategy.
Online presence encompasses web design, blogging, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, reputation management, directory listings, social media, link sharing, and other avenues to create a long-term positive presence for a person, organization, or product in search engines and on the web in general. It is critical to ensure the correct information (phone number, website, address, etc.) about your company
is presented to prospects who look for you on the Internet.

10. Gather and monitor reviews, testimonials and referrals.
Gather and monitor reviews and testimonials from past and current clients. Ask if they would make a short video to post on your website. Also ask for referrals and offer to pay a referral fee to the person making the referral or make a donation in their name to a charity. Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most trusted forms of advertising!

If you would like to know more and want to schedule a 30 minute conversation on how to improve your marketing, call Howard Kent 087 2555 263 or mail to howard@kentconsulting.ie

About the author

Howard Kent: Kent Consulting Ireland are a Marketing & Business Growth consultancy providing Business Coaching & Mentoring to SME Business Owners

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