This post is the 20th in a series of 21 aimed at providing marketing tips to SME’s across Devon and Cornwall.
As we get closer to the end of the year our minds start to think ahead to how we can continue to achieve business success. By all accounts 2016 looks likely to be an interesting year. However, there are always lessons to be learnt from the experiences we’ve gleaned through previous marketing communications campaigns and activities.
Having an idea of what worked and what didn’t enables plans to be tweaked to help continue to bring in more business.
I was thinking about this from a marketing communications perspective the other day as I walked through Plymouth city centre holding on to my children and following my wife from store to store. It seemed to me that this style of shopping was pretty random, even if you have a shopping list you still need to know which shop to visit. From a shoppers point of view you can probably narrow this down depending on what you intend to buy. If you want to buy shoes, you visit the independent shoe shops or the department stores, if it’s trainers you’re after you can also visit the sports shops.
However if I was a retailer or an hotelier I’d want to reduce this randomness, for example, if I have 6 competitors then the odds of someone walking through my front door are stacked against me. Sure it’s great if all the shoppers find what they’re looking for but I’d prefer that shoppers bought what they were after from me.
In order to achieve this, shoppers would need to know in advance the name of my shop or hotel, what areas I specialise in and also the brands and lines I stock or the services I provide. This is a little bit easier today as most canny shoppers will carry out some online research prior to making a purchase or a booking but it only works if I’m publishing information and content on the search terms they’re typing into Google. So if they don’t know my company name, my web address or they can’t find me through the search engines, then I’m stuffed.
This is where marketing communications can definitely help but it may mean a mindset change. By developing a marketing communications plan in line with your overall marketing strategy you can help reduce the randomness of the shopping experience. So today the key aspects of your plan should revolve around:
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
- Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Google Analytics
Even if you don’t sell through the web you need to understand that buyer behaviour has changed and it’s extremely important that you have a good online presence. By understandings the search terms that bring people to your site (or to your competitors’ sites) you can optimise your web pages to ensure that you get found for those key phrases. Creating great content that highlights the benefits of buying goods and services from you and distributing that content via the internet and social media platforms where your prospects are actively searching will also help to get you found.
By creating fresh content you will see a positive effect on the number of your web pages indexed, increasing the number of inbound links to your site all of which will help drive you further up the search rankings. Pay Per Click advertising through Google and Bing and targeted Facebook ads can also give your marketing communications (and sales figures) a boost. Even if all of your sales come through your bricks and mortar store, ignore the power of web at your peril.
So as we head for a new year, leave your old thinking behind and don’t leave your future success to chance. If you want to know about smarter ways to generate quality leads, get in touch on 01803 413481.
At Rame Marketing we work with our clients on content driven strategies to help them to grow their business. If you’d like more information on how content marketing can help your business, read my FREE ebook: Content Marketing Fundamentals
We understand marketing strategy, content marketing and technical marketing and provide a number of content marketing services including: