Marketing strategies are unique, and they should be, as each business is unique. Your business has certain characteristics that have to be exploited on an individual basis. However, there are some certain general rules of thumb for marketing.
Don’t forget your competitors.
One of the basic rules of “The Art of War” by Sun Tsu is to know your opponent. According to this book, if you do not know yourself, nor know your enemy, you have all chances and Murphy’s Law against you. Knowing what you are up against is the best way to stay ahead of your competition. Knowing what your competitors offer and how their products are better or worse than yours can help you make your business stand out. When evaluating how your competitors do business, be sure to pay attention to the following:
- What methods do they use to market their products or services?
- What channels are they using? Traditional, digital, guerrilla, or referral marketing?
- What actions do they take to enhance customer loyalty?
- Loyalty programs, frequent buyer programs, coupons, culture?
- What digital marketing tools do they employ for their business?
- Social media, online advertising?
Doing a competitive analysis will give you a better understanding of the marketplace conditions and standards in your business’s industry. Taking advantages of your competitor’s marketing weaknesses and strengths can help take your business to the next level.
Don’t let your customers post without responding.
The worst thing you can do about digital marketing is ignore your customers or use too much automation. It is important to keep in touch with potential consumers instead of always directing them to your website for more information. If they have questions, suggestions, or comments, pay attention to them. At least acknowledge them. They will know your brand is personal and not just an automated AI robot on the other end of the contact form.
Also, if you receive an unfavorable tweet or bad Facebook review, don’t just ignore it. Acknowledge what your customers are saying and try to use it to make your business better.
Don’t ignore email.
Email marketing continues to deliver the best bang for the marketing buck. In 2017, email was found to deliver the best ROI of any marketing channel. Be sure to provide valuable content in your emails so people are looking forward to seeing what is next. Send things like information, special updates, coupons and offers. Here are 3 reasons to use email marketing:
- It’s an easy way to reach mobile users. Mobile email opens have grown by 200% in 3 years and 91% of email users check their email every day.
- Email coupons and offers drive online and in-store sales.
- Email marketing is inexpensive.
Use high-quality content that your audience is likely to remember. Gear all the content on your website, blog, and social media for your customers. Valuable and relevant content is what will get your business ranked high on Google’s organic search… not keywords. Make sure your content answers a question, solves a problem, or provides valuable insight. Also, utilize images and videos liberally to express your ideas and products/services.
But don’t use copyrighted content. Using other people’s words or images is unethical and sometimes illegal.
Start a company blog. Creating original, consistent blog posts on relevant and educational topics will help bring your site up in the organic search rankings and help new customers find you.
Don’t be invisible to Alexa or Siri.
When is the last time you asked Siri, Alexa, Cortana or Bixby a question about your business in plain language? Will you get the dreaded “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about”? Here are a few statistics about voice search:
- 1 in 6 Americans own a voice-activated smart speaker
- This year, 1 billion voice searches will happen on smart speakers
- Fifty percent of all searches are expected to be conducted by voice by 2020
Be sure your website is optimized for voice search with relevant long tail keywords and phrases.
These are five important DON’T’s for your marketing strategy. Check out my blog about the five important DO’s for your marketing strategy here.