Most small businesses are finding it difficult to cope financially and therefore have budget constraints when it comes to marketing and advertising of their products and services. It’s imperative for business owners to know how to leverage do-it-yourself marketing tactics that can assure a massive increase in the awareness of their brands.
In the first part of this article, I examined 8 of the 14 marketing tactics. In this concluding part, I will be looking into the rest of the tactics.
Tactic #9: Attend networking events & forums
Networking events are a great place to find new clients and all businesses should make it a practise to attend networking events whenever possible.
These are generally arranged by The Chamber of Commerce or global organisations such as BNI (Business Networking International). A quick search online will reveal a number of networking events available in your area.
These events have proven to be effective because you will always meet somebody who you can form a business relationship with. This can potentially be a customer, a useful contact to give you referrals or someone to start a joint venture with.
Tactic #10: Ask customers for WOM referrals
It is surprising how many businesses don’t ask their customers for word of mouth referrals. Why not? If you have satisfied and happy customers, you really should be asking for referrals as it is a very effective way of getting even more customers.
Some people feel shy about asking and are afraid that the customer will turn them down. However, you will be surprised at how few customers actually will say no. If a large proportion of customers fail to give you referrals, this might be a sign that you are doing something wrong and that you need to work more on making your current customers a lot happier.
In addition to word of mouth referrals, you can also ask your customers for referrals online. One way to do this is via the social media sites. For example, look up your current customers on LinkedIn and see who they are connected with. If you think someone that they know can personally benefit from your product or service, ask them for an introduction.
Most, if not all will say yes, especially if you return the favour.
Tactic #11: Leverage the power of video via YouTube
Business owners are leveraging the importance of videos in their marketing campaigns. Not only do videos now appear in the search results, but you can also use videos to showcase your products or services to potentials buyers.
If, for example, you create stunning cakes, why not show a video of you making and icing the cake. Or if you are a painter and decorator, create a video showing the transformation of the room with a before, during and after video. Do you provide a lawn care service? If so, again, create a video of the end results.
Like Google, YouTube is the king when it comes to video marketing. It is a free video hosting platform owned by, you guessed right, Google. It is the biggest video platform and the second largest search engine after Google itself. With the proliferation of smartphones, you can easily create a short video of your product or service with your phone and upload it to YouTube instantly to share online with your followers.
There is no end to the things that you could achieve with video relating to your business. Even a video of a tour around your company premises could be interesting to your customers.
Tactic #12: Provide exceptionally good customer service
The best way to achieve a good customer retention and increase word of mouth referrals is by simply providing outstandingly good customer service. This will not only produce happy customers but repeat customers who are ready to be your brand advocate.
There has never been a more relevant period for businesses to provide top-notch customer service, especially as customers are more likely to tell others about their shopping experiences on social networking sites and by leaving reviews, good or bad.
The bottom line is that you want all your customers to keep telling all of their friends about the great experience they had using your products or services, and all these come with no cost attached.
Tactic #13: Engage in some online PR
You probably know that obtaining extremely good PR is a great free way to get people talking about your business. The more they talk about you, the more people will come to your website and check out your service offering.
Many of us think of PR as coming from major media outlets such as newspapers, radio and television. While this would be fantastic, it is not that cheap to get that sort of attention.
However, there are cheaper ways to get PR online which can be just as effective, especially if you have a targeted customer group. Getting the attention of blog owners is one way of doing this, especially if it is very popular and draws in the sort of subscribers that are your intended target.
One way to do this is to ask blog owners if they would like to interview you by sending them an email. As they are constantly looking for new topics to write about, many will be happy to arrange an interview with you, especially if it is on a topic that they think will be relevant to their readers.
Tactic #14: Build a mailing list and start email marketing
A tried and tested way to generate more leads is to provide a free offer like a downloadable report on your website. You will require visitors to provide their name and email address before they are allowed to download the report. Alternatively, you can ask visitors to tweet or Like the page before they gain access to the report.
By doing this, you will encourage people to promote your business for free, establish a great group of followers on Twitter and Facebook and also help you build up a huge mailing list at the same time.
Having a mailing list is extremely important in the sense that you can continually send your newsletter and ongoing offers to your subscribers at intervals. Overall, always ensure that what you send will add value to them. This will enable you to keep in touch with your customers and build a relationship with them. In the end, it will do a lot of good for your branding and Internet presence.
I hope you have been inspired by any of the powerful marketing tips shared in this 2-part article and are encouraged to start your own DIY online marketing aimed at promoting your business. Remember you have to take action before you can see any result.