Sales aren’t made only because of a good product or great service. They’re made with tenacity and teamwork — and killer marketing. What do your sales say? Is your business staggering or declining? If you find that they’re lackluster, it's time to take a look at your marketing efforts.
What are you doing right now for your marketing, and what do the analytics say you're getting out of your efforts? If it's not looking so good, you may not be using the right marketing channels for your business. Or perhaps you’re using the right channels, but not in the most effective way.
Here are some of the most powerful marketing channels that you can use to help boost your sales and get out of your slump.
The Marketing Channels
It’s important to use a combination of channels in an integrated marketing campaign. This list includes channels both in-person and online so you can market to your customers wherever they may be.
Have you ever visited a website only to find that the FAQ section wasn’t helpful? Or maybe you couldn’t find quite what you were looking for? And who knows how long it will take to get an email response?
Help your customers by providing them with the option to live chat with a representative. You can implement this by having a chat window pop up with a greeting message. This message should be open-ended, meaning you cannot give a “yes” or “no” answer. An example might be, “Hi! What can I help you with today?”
If you’re a large, international company, you’ll want to have operators available 24/7. Smaller and/or domestic companies can have operators available during normal business hours. You may also want to consider building a chatbot if you don't wish to hire someone to handle customer service calls.
Researching can be a challenge. But when you find that one great article you need, it’s a game changer. Now imagine that article suggested a related article to you. And that one suggested two more. Now you have all the information you need and then some.
Suggesting related content to your visitors is great for several reasons. It keeps people on your website longer, encouraging them to explore more of what you have to offer. It establishes you as a credible source on that particular topic, meaning people are likely to come back to you. And most importantly, it can help lead prospective customers through the sales cycle. Instead of overwhelming them with a sales pitch before they are ready, why not guide and provide them all the information they need to be ready to speak with a representative?
SEO + Content Marketing
Your search engine optimization and content marketing efforts should work together. Don’t just select random keywords; conduct research to see what keywords can help you reach your goals. Don’t write content for the sake of having content. Your content should support your SEO efforts and offer something of value (knowledge/insight) to your readers.
The best way to ensure that these work together is by:
Defining your goals: You cannot begin the rest of the process until you know what you want to achieve, such as increased leads.
Researching keywords: For what do you want to rank? What will help you reach your goals?
Crafting content: Use researched keywords, as well as keyword phrases and latent semantic keywords. Content should be high-quality, original, and informative.
Measuring your results: What seems to be working? How are your rankings? How close are you to your goals — or have you met them?
Remember that your content supports your SEO, and your SEO helps your visibility and goals.
Use social media not just to connect with your audience but to market to them, too. Social ads are a great way to get visibility in front of current and prospective customers. Craft posts that encourage people to check out a new product or schedule a demo. You can even offer special offers that are just through social media. If you find that a particular post is performing well, boost it to help it reach even more people.
When creating social ads, be specific with the audience you wish to target. Adjust demographics according to age, gender, location and technographic profile. On some social media accounts, you can even specify interests.
Ever waited on hold, only to be stuck listening to boring elevator music? Unfortunately, many companies don’t take advantage of this easy marketing channel. Create on-hold messages that help market for you, including sale announcements and new products.
Your messaging should be interesting and prompt your customers to ask more questions. Even if they don’t, they still have more information than they would from just listening to music!
Whether you’re a B2B or a B2C company, you’ll find success at conferences. The great thing about conferences is that they put you face-to-face with your customers or prospective clients.
Provide product demonstrations, special offers, or promotional giveaways that will keep potential customers intrigued long after the conference ends. At conferences, you can begin developing real relationships that will help you sell your products.
Figuring out what channels are best and deciding what content to develop can be challenging. In choosing the right channels to market your company, keep the following in mind:
Follow your audience. Use the channels your audience is using, not what is “popular”. Even if Facebook has a billion users, what benefit is that to you if your audience mainly uses LinkedIn?
Select channels in person and online. Spectrio created a comprehensive infographic that lists several channels for areas like Internet Marketing, Physical Marketing, and Social Marketing. When developing your marketing strategy, you’ll want to use a combination of channels to target your audience wherever they may be.
Cross-market. Don’t forget to create integrated campaigns that use a variety of these channels. Doing so will help strengthen your message and increase visibility.
With these channels, you can strengthen your marketing efforts and work towards increased sales. Conduct an audit on your marketing to identify weak areas and see where you can implement these channels. Don’t forget to measure both your marketing and sales to see how they are doing!
About the Author
Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient with 15 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. Since 2006, he founded GetBackonGoogle.com, helping businesses and websites suspended in Adwords to get back on Google,More Content by Chris Hickman