As more and more people disconnect their television sets and opt out of newspaper and magazine delivery, marketers turn to the place where they can best reach their intended audiences – online. While personal references still rank high among marketing strategies that work in 2015, the Internet increasingly serves as the best place to employ effective marketing strategies, from unique, informative content to social media posts.
Get People Talking
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While most businesses have an online presence, it takes money and time to maintain an active site and draw significant interest in your product or service. According to a January 2015 survey taken by Infusionsoft, a marketing software company, as many as 72 percent of small business owners rely on referrals for new business. Exceptional customer service remains the most effective way to build word-of-mouth referrals.
Send a Friendly Note
Email is an effective marketing strategy, as 34 percent of small businesses rank it among their top three working strategies, according to Marketing Profs. Email can be directly targeted to potential customers who have opted in to receive your specials, appreciation coupons, information-oriented newsletters and opportunity reminders. According to The Radicati Group, a market research firm for technology, a total of 3.1 billion email accounts verified in 2011 are expected to reach close to 4.1 billion by the end of the year in 2015, representing growth of about 7 percent.
Write It and They Will Come
Content marketing is proving to be one of the most effective marketing strategies aimed at Internet users. By producing consistent, informative, useful, unique content, businesses can build brand identity, engage customers and increase sales. Through web pages, blogs, case studies and infographics, fresh content on your website increases search engine rankings and improves the odds that your content (and your name and message) will get passed around.
Hang Out with Your Clients
While creating engaging content is a valuable marketing tool that will attract visitors to your site and turn them into customers, where you distribute that content is equally vital. Social media sites are where your customers hang out via their laptops, tablets and phones. Effective marketing in the 21st century demands that you participate in those social arenas to reach the kinds of numbers you want to see your message. Place social media links on your website pages to make access easy and automatic for sharing your entertaining, informative, unique content. Avoid using social media to send only ads and promotions. Just as it’s easy to click on a social media page, it’s just as easy to click off when visitors are bombarded with ads.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."