Every business needs to keep up with modern marketing, which is now a mix of digital marketing and traditional media marketing. Email and social media both help define target marketing for businesses better than previous communication channels. Yet direct mail also remains a powerful way of getting the word out.
Here are the most important and prevalent forms of today’s marketing.
Social Media Marketing
One of the most personalized yet public ways to communicate online is through social media platforms that connect people with relatives, friends, lost friends and like-minded people. It’s one of the most powerful bridges to continuous new leads or team collaboration. In many ways social media can be treated like online customer service in real-time. Answering people’s questions via social media helps build loyalty.
Five years after its launch, Facebook became the most popular social media network in 2009, surpassing MySpace. One of the reasons Facebook became the leader was it provided seamless engagement among multiple individuals in real-time. Once Twitter came along many celebrities and fans began interacting through tweets.
Clearly, much of today’s pop culture and business world uses these social media platforms, along with LinkedIn, Pinterest and several others. Each of these sites earns revenue from advertising, as they collect data on users and provide tools for reaching specific target markets. Here are three major social networks and how they’re used for business marketing.
1. Facebook – The top social media site and its sister site Instagram have become ingrained in today’s business culture. Some businesses use their Facebook page as their internet hub, since it’s easy to manage and has a professional presentation. The platform lets businesses develop online communities, which many businesses use for marketing lists and future leads.
2. Twitter – While Facebook allows for lengthy posts, Twitter puts limits based on number of characters. When the platform started in 2006 the character limit of messages called tweets was 140, but by 2020 it had doubled to 280. Sometimes what people tweet can be misunderstood due to lack of clarity from the character limit. But a carefully planned tweet with just feel good information can go viral and make someone a star overnight. Twitter is further useful for promoting brands and events with basic information.
3. LinkedIn – This business networking platform, acquired by Microsoft in 2016, serves a useful purpose for keeping professional colleagues connected. It’s an excellent way to recruit new talent or find new employment. The platform lets individuals keep professional contacts updated on their latest developments. Many people use it to showcase their resume or career experience.
Another good use of social media is it provides instant market research from target followers. Asking for feedback can generate valuable responses that help solve marketing mysteries. What uses to cost thousands of dollars to find out can now be learned effortlessly in seconds. Businesses can discover quickly what their worst pain points are with customers and what gives them satisfaction.
Search Engine Marketing
Every web owner should be aware how valuable SEO optimization can be for a site’s online visibility. The combination of SEO and developing a unique niche can lead to a loyal online following. The reason SEO is so important is that it connects popular search engines like Google and Bing with a web owner’s desired audience. Part of this optimization for a business includes placement in industry and local business directories.
Showing up in Yelp with positive customer reviews now commands high credibility among consumers who use it to find local establishments. A business can shine and grow quickly when a stream of positive reviews is posted on sites such as Yelp. Getting listed in relevant directories helps build online visibility, with more chances to be discovered.
Although Google seems complex in its ongoing algorithmic updates that search results are based on, there’s really been one steady theme in its changes. That theme points to quality over quantity, although quantity still matters. Basing deep authoritative content on keywords and phrases is the essence of what search bots really want to find.
Direct Mail Marketing
One of the most resilient marketing channels of traditional media is direct mail marketing, which is still very useful today. Some of the notable industries that utilize direct mail marketing effectively include mortgage brokers, pest control companies, real estate agents, and communications companies
Since there are still a vast number of people who check their mail, direct mail marketing is a great way to demonstrate expertise and get your branding noticed by consumers in your area.
The reason email marketing remains valuable to businesses is that using a solid software platform can help organize marketing lists and accelerate results.
Two of the leading email marketing software platforms are Mailchimp and Aweber, which both make online publishing easy by offering newsletter templates. Here are ways in which they are similar and different.
1. Mailchimp – This free email marketing platform is part of a wider selection of Essential, Standard and Premium plans. It’s useful for small businesses with limited subscribers under 2,000. Paid plans allow for more subscribers, which can be the key to the whole marketing puzzle. Sending out regular newsletters, offers and ideas helps give the email marketer ongoing engagement with followers.
2. AWeber – Similar to Mailchimp, AWeber is a free tool for engaging with customers and capturing leads. The site also offers a “Pro” version for a monthly subscription fee. In addition to facilitating the simple management of marketing lists, it allows users to create a newsletter, automate messages and analyze statistics.
The best practices for maximizing email marketing include building a list based on individuals who have given the marketer permission to send them regular email. A business should be careful not to send out what is regarded as spam.
So it’s imperative to not overdo it with email while using it responsibly for its powerful utility in connecting with a target market. These highly targeted campaigns help promote and distribute products in personalized ways.
Other Types of Marketing
Don’t forget about word-of-mouth marketing, which still has meaning in the digital era. Referrals from friends can be a rich source of warm leads since they come with personal endorsements. The field of digital marketing has increasingly become more involved with video and multimedia presentations.
Podcasting, which can promote product demonstrations or deeper knowledge, is a growing part of multi-channel marketing.
Luckily, you don’t need to utilize all of these marketing tools to be successful in business. By finding the 2-3 that work best for your needs, and being proactive in staying on top of them, you will reap the rewards.