Marketing is one of the major arms of every business on the planet. There is little in the world of business that can really be achieved with the help of marketing. But marketing efforts vary in both their style and effectiveness. There is, to be sure, a lot of marketing out there which does not quite do the job it is meant to do. Still, businesses can always learn from trying to improve their marketing, and if you feel that your business might be in such a position, then what better time to start changing things than now?
As it turns out, there is actually much more to marketing than meets the eye. The common perception of marketing being all about advertising and promotions is misleading at best, although it goes without saying that promotion is a hugely important aspect of it. However, there is much more to it, and it is definitely worth learning what those other factors might be. Let’s see what a more holistic approach to marketing might look like, so that we can better understand how it actually works.
Developing A Product
Marketing begins long before the promotion stage, with another hugely relevant practice: product development. The quality of a product plays a huge role in terms of the public perception of a business and its brand. The product, after all, is the finished thing – that which actually sits in your customer’s hands. It is this above all that people base their opinion on, so it is highly important for your business that you get it right.
This is the first stage of marketing; namely, what product are we to produce? It might be that your business ends up producing many more products than just the one, but you need to start with one which is going to be indicative of the brand as a whole. Deciding on your first products is therefore an important decision, and much rests on it. Think carefully about what problem you actually want to try and fix; answering this question will lead you in the right direction in terms of what product you should actually go about producing.
Once you have a clear idea of what you are going to make, you need to start blueprinting it and figuring out how it will look and feel for real. There is no use in everything just remaining as an idea – at some point, those ideas have to become real, concrete objects which people interact with. How will you make those objects, how will you ensure their quality, and what can you hope to gain from the process? As ever, the more detailed you go here, the better off you will be, and the better of your customers will be as well.
The development of a product always needs to be as closely followed as possible. Any glaring errors early on should be dealt with as fast as possible; early mistakes very often lead to much more serious concerns later on, with the actual product. Regardless, one thing is for certain: any strong marketing campaign can only be truly effective if it works on the back of a really successfully made and accomplished product.
Choosing Price Ranges
Another aspect of marketing which is frequently either overlooked or taken to be another part of business altogether is the pricing. This is one of the major areas of marketing, and if we think about it its ongoing effects are actually quite important. The price of a product is something that makes a real noticeable difference to a number of factors. One of the main things that it affects is who is actually likely to buy the product.
The moment you decide on a particular price range, you are making a big decision about the kind of people you expect to buy your product. An exception to this rule is when you produce budget goods which anyone can afford. Even then, you are making the implicit assumption that those on lower salaries are more your target audience than those with higher salaries.
It is useful and important to know this information, and, in reality, you have to know it all to make the decision. No aspect of marketing can exist in a vacuum, and that is certainly true of pricing. Choose a price; choose the customer.
You also choose where the product is likely to be sold at this point, something which we will be looking at in the next section. Certain retailers will go for certain price ranges, the same as consumers, so you need to take that into consideration when you are trying to decide.
Another important issue here is the profit margin. At the end of the day, you are hoping to create a profit for your business, and you need to make sure that the price allows you to do exactly that. If it doesn’t, then you might want to re-consider before you put the product on sale and all but bankrupt your company.
As we can see, there are many ways in which the pricing of a product affects other parts of the marketing process. And the same, as it turns out, is likely to be true of the placement of that product too.
Knowing Where To Put It
The placement of a product (not to be confused with product placement) is actually one of the harder elements in the whole of marketing. It is also hugely relevant to every other part of the process. Where you are going to sell your products makes a huge difference to how you are going to promote it, what packaging you should use, what price range you should go for, and so on.
The number of possible combinations of all these is staggering, and that’s why for much of this you need to work in a top-down, larger-view manner. But when it comes to choosing where to sell your product, there are some basic things to bear in mind.
First of all, it is worth remembering that you are looking for high volume sales above all. This means that you probably don’t want to limit yourself to only a few retailers. You should try to go for as wide a range of outlets as possible, as this way your sales are likely to dramatically increase beyond your expectations.
Moreover, it pays to think about this early on, as that way you can be sure that you are marketing your product in a way which suits every retailer you are using. This might be harder than you think, but you will probably find the process a lot easier with a little help – more on that shortly.
Ultimately, the location of a product being sold makes a big difference to how you are going to promote it, so you need to be clear on this as early as possible. Speaking of promotion, that is next up on our marketing journey – how can you make sure it is as effective as possible?
Giving It The Promotion It Deserves
So you have ideated and designed a product, chosen a price range for it and thought about who is likely to sell it on. At this stage, you have done most of the hard work, and you also have more than enough information to be going on in order to successfully promote your product.
Don’t make the mistake, however, of waiting until this point to begin drafting ideas for your promotion. You can start thinking about how to promote a product the very moment you know even vaguely what that product is. This is the best way to do it, in fact, because you have more time to come up with just the right solution for each product that your business sells.
When it comes to designing a promotion which is going to do the job, how do you go about doing it? One of the easiest ways might sound too simple to be true, but the fact is that many businesses around the world swear by it. We are talking, of course, about hiring a firm to do it for you.
By using a decent promotions company, you can be sure that your product is getting exactly the kind of promotion that it really deserves. All you need to do is provide them with a brief, and then work in collaboration with them to ensure that they deliver exactly what you want. We spoke earlier about how promotion is not the most important part of marketing – but it is definitely up there.
Testing & Reviewing
Once your product has been on sale for a while, you can start testing how it fares with the general public. Some businesses are guilty of missing this stage, but that is a serious error. You can, with the right approach towards reviewing, ensure that your products continue to get better and better – and when that is an option, it makes little sense not to make the most of it.
If you want your business to be a groundbreaking success you need to make sure that you are maximizing your marketing strategy. You need set it up so you can reach the widest audience possible and that you connect with customers in a way that ensures that they will give you repeated sales.
To do this, you need to think big. One little website with a few pieces of content won’t cut it. A couple posts on social media networks each day isn’t going to create a lasting impression. Customers aren’t going to be dazzled by a dull website with virtually zero forms of immersion and interaction.
Marketing, particularly online marketing, is one instance where bigger is always better. Effectively, you need to go hard or go home. You can bet your competition won’t be taking it easy when they market their business. That’s why you do need to be prepared to create an impact.
So, how can you do this? Well, you can start by thinking about content and what makes content appealing, enticing and successful. Great content will capture the attention of an audience, send them towards buying a product and make them feel connected to your company. At same time, the best content won’t even feel like marketing to them. The information will be so useful and of such high quality that the idea it’s just marketing won’t even cross their mind.
Bigger, Better, Badder Content Campaign
First, let’s think about where you’re going to be releasing content. We recommend that you have multiple resources online for releasing and promoting content. So, you might have a blog, a business website and a shop. That shop and website will also have a separate blogging platform for more direction versions of content promotion. Is it possible to handle so many different types of resources online?
You can if you use a service such as WooCommerce Multisite. With this service, you can run multiple WordPress blogs from the same server. This keeps your strategy efficient, effective and ensures that all the sites operate at a rapid rate.
You can guarantee that all your sites online are built to the same quality level. This will ensure that customers do not leave the site before a purchase because it wasn’t easy to use or because it was running at a slow speed.
Next, you need to think about how often you’re going to release content. If you’re planning on using content as one of your main forms of marketing, you need to have a release schedule. The best way to do this is to set it up on a spreadsheet with all the content ready to go. That way, you can release different pieces like clockwork every other day.
You should also consider the type of content that you’re going to use. Be aware that is possible to recycle old content that has been successful and is no longer held in the internet indexes. If it’s not in the index, you can’t be accused of copyright by utilizing it. It’s free for all, and to find it, you just need to search for dead sites. You can then investigate whether the content was well received and how many times it was shared.
Obviously, you’re looking for content that was positively received, went viral and is relevant to your business. Filling your sites and blogs with this type of content is sure to get you the attention that you want online.
Be aware that these days you might also need to work for your content. You should make sure that you are reaching out to bloggers and site owners. Popular bloggers might be interesting in writing content for your site. If they do this, it can be mutually beneficial. They can gain support from your customers.
Meanwhile, you can make sure that your business is linked to a popular blog with a large readership. Are you starting to see what we mean by go big or go home? Let’s move on and look at how you can use social media in a similar way.
Stand Out On Social Platforms
It has been suggested that social media is now the greatest weapon for the online marketer. With social media, you can push your business to new heights and reach a larger customer base. You can even create a story or context online that the media will be interested in. Hashtags that are trending on Twitter are often picked up by the media and used as part of a story.
Hollywood is an example of this. Movie producers often create hashtags for new films in the hope that it will start trending. If it does, it will then be reported that the movie has a positive buzz online, boosting the effects of marketing efforts.
Of course, hashtags aren’t the only way you can create a buzz online. You can also set up groups on social media such as Facebook. With a group like this, you can make sure that customers can interact with you and connect with other clients. Fitness instructors often use this tactic to make their customer base a community. They can produce user generated content and connect with their clients on a more personal level.
Live feeds were also very popular in 2016 and that trend is expected to continue. Setting up a live feed on a social network is easy. You can then provide instant and immersive content to customers, once again, building hype.
Product Viral Media
Lastly, the major aim when releasing content online is to go viral. But how do you do this? The best way is to create content with a context and a story. The best marketers are essentially highly skilled story tellers. They know what makes an audience tick and want to read on. You need to write clickbait headlines that capture their interest as well as their imagination.
Do this and you’ll see the benefits of creating promotional campaigns that stand out in the online world. It’s possible that your business could reach exciting new heights in the new year if you follow this advice.
Marketing can make or break a business. You could have the most innovative product out there but if nobody knows about it then they aren’t going to buy or use it. You need to structure your marketing and tailor it to your business needs. Startups especially need all the help they can get to beat out competition from longstanding competitors. Here are some top tips for success within marketing.
Tailor Your Website
The majority of businesspersons who set up their own company have no idea how to code. It’s tough, very tough, and a quality website takes a while to formulate. But remember, it’s one of the biggest branding tools you have, think of it like a shop window. A mistake certain businesses make is setting up a generic website and not knowing whether it fits within their target niche.
For example, experts will know what kinds of websites work within each kind of specific area. The best dental websites are built by people who know what looks good and attracts custom. Find an expert in website creation and use them or at least research how other similar sites look in your field.
Go Old School
In the age of technology we sometimes forget tried and tested old school methods of marketing but they really do work. All they cost is time. Sure, you can pay for a bunch of business cards or flyers and post them but there’s nothing better than knocking doors and telling people about the new product you offer. It really does work and gets people engaged.
Of course, many people won’t want to know, and that’s fine, you tried. It drums up business for you new product in your local area. All it takes is a few interested people and word will quickly spread. You can also volunteer to speak at seminars and trade shows, this does the same thing but for people who have taken time out of their day to listen to what you say and is a tried and tested method of getting your brand out there.
Just like the old school methods work for some people, if you want your product to be seen by the younger generation and those who are tech savvy your best bet is to get it on social media.Create a page on Twitter and Facebook, then you need to post smart, coherent and well written content that will attract people to your page and hopefully your website, leading to sales.
Stay On Top Of Your Traffic
If you use a service like Google Analytics you can observe exactly how many people visit your website and also where they visited it from. This is great for ascertaining which elements of your marketing works and what doesn’t.
For example, if loads of traffic comes from Facebook but not Twitter you need to change something on twitter and vice versa. If you’re getting no traffic at all you need to up your content posting or instead start to increase the quality, there are many freelance writers out there who can write quality content for you if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.
You may not think it, but it can be pretty easy to get your business stuck in some kind of marketing rut. Far too many business owners will try out a range of different tactics, and end up settling on what they feel most comfortable with, without considering anything in the way of continual improvement. If you feel your marketing isn’t doing all it can for you, here are some things that could be missing from your strategy.
It’s a pretty common mistake for business owners to lean on a range of ads with a very broad focus, aiming to appeal to a vast audience, made up of various different groups, all at the same time. If you get stuck in this habit, it can really grind down the strength of your lead generation efforts.
Now that everyone’s using mobile devices, it’s easier than ever for businesses to collect an abundance of data from individual customers. This, in turn, has sparked a huge shift in marketing strategies, with more and more brands tailoring their materials to individuals, rather than people in general.
If you’re not doing this, then you’re bound to fall behind your close competitors. Make sure you’re segmenting your customer data, and crafting marketing materials that cater to individual niches in your customer base.
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