One of your most important tasks, when you set up a new business, is to create a marketing strategy to promote your offer. In the pre-digital age, this would involve placing adverts in printed publications, sending letters introducing yourself and your services, and perhaps putting up posters in the nearby area. Marketing in the digital age is far more complex, and unless you are a technical expert, the jargon surrounding modern marketing methods can be unfathomable. Nevertheless, to gain an advantage for your business, you need to at least understand the basic tools available, and how you can use them to your advantage.
TV and web advertising are full of companies offering an easy way to build a website. You don’t need any technical expertise, just fill in the blanks on a template they provide, and you have your own site. Website builders definitely have their place and have opened up the internet to the general population who may know very little about HTML and its variants. The sites can be well-designed, appealing, and include online shopping facilities if you so wish. You can also enhance the site with add-on apps to add any functions that the basic site doesn’t have. Therefore, you can have a professional-looking website for your business for minimal investment, which is very appealing when you are starting a new business and trying to keep your costs under control.
Professional website design
Unless you have the skills to create your own website from scratch, your other option is to have a site professionally designed and created for you. There are several advantages to having a bespoke site over using a website builder:
- Your site will be created to your exact specifications rather than being based on a set of standard templates. Your design team will take your ideas and turn them into a functional reality, without you having to spend hours fiddling about with the site yourself.
- You’ll be able to take advantage of all the latest technical wizardry that’s available, so your site will be as up to date as possible.
- You’ll have expert guidance on how best to construct your site for maximum effectiveness, and how to get the best website rankings on search engine results lists.
- You’ll have ongoing support and access to upgrades, so you won’t have to manage your site alone.
There is obviously a higher price to pay for bespoke design compared to using a website builder. To find the solution that will best suit your circumstances, learn more about professional design and whether you think it will provide you with a better return on your investment.
Social media managers
Using social media to increase your visibility has become a must-do for a new business owner’s marketing strategy. There are several ways in which having social media accounts that are well-constructed and updated regularly with new and interesting posts will help with your marketing. Firstly, it raises your online profile and helps your business rankings. Secondly, it provides another way of communicating with your target market and driving traffic towards your website. The trouble is, there are so many social media sites operating now, it can be a real chore posting to all of them on a regular basis. This is where the social media management tool comes in. These services enable you to post your contribution to any or all of your social media pages in one go, either instantly or at a scheduled time. That means you only have to write one post, then send it to all your accounts each day. If you’re going to be away or tied up, you can schedule the whole week’s worth of posts before you go, and not have to worry about remembering and then finding time to do your posts. You might have to make a few tweaks to your main post, for instance, condense it to within the maximum character threshold on Twitter. Otherwise, these tools will save you a great deal of time and effort, as well as giving you useful metrics on how your posts are performing.
Email marketing is one of the most effective strategies you can employ, but as with the social media posts, it can be a time-consuming process writing and sending multiple emails out. An email manager will add personalization such as an individual’s name throughout the message, enable you to manage your email lists so you can send to all or selected members, and just like the social media managers, allow you to schedule emails for a specific date and time. This takes care of all the administration side of an email marketing campaign, so you can concentrate on writing the most effective message.
Mobile phones are providing an exciting new opportunity for effective marketing campaigns, making use of text messaging to communicate with your target market. Texts have to be opted in to, which means every person who signs up to receive your texts is likely to be in your ideal customer range. That’s the holy grail of marketing – getting your message to exactly the right people, who are genuinely going to be interested in engaging with your business. Texts tend to be read almost instantly in most cases because people carry their phones around with them and respond to text messages as they arrive. You can use your texts to offer discount vouchers, tell customers about new products, or let them know about forthcoming events like a summer sale for example. Just as with your other digital communications, you can use an SMS management service to take care of all the operational functions, leaving you to concentrate on the content.
These are just some of the tools and services available for digital marketing, and new ways to manage your marketing campaigns and communicate your message are continually being developed. As marketing is so vital to your business’s success, it makes sense to take advantage of the benefits of engaging fully with the digital world and using every tool at your disposal that will help you raise your profile and bring in more customers.