Running a business isn’t easy, and there are likely times when you feel as though you can’t continue, especially if you aren’t reaching your financial goals. However, closing your doors might not be the only solution. Sometimes, all you need to do is expand your company marketing efforts to breathe new life into your company and enable you to continue along the road to success. So, if you’re thinking about expanding your marketing effort, keep reading to discover how a few strategic changes might change everything for the better!
Effective ways to expand your company marketing efforts
Often, expanding your company marketing efforts isn’t so much about spending more money but spending the money you allocate to marketing more wisely. Most people, when asked about marketing, think about advertising. And, advertising is expensive, at least when it comes to traditional advertising. But that’s not all there is to marketing and some of the most effective marketing tactics don’t have to cost a lot.
Let’s take a look at some of these marketing options.
If you’ve had the same branding since you started, it might not resonate with today’s consumers the way your old brand did. Rebranding is quite serious, so you need to be 100% certain that you want to do it before rushing into things. It’s also a good idea to bring in professionals that can do it for you. Otherwise, you may end up with something even worse than before and it could kill your business. Professionals will know what’s on trend and what will work for your type of business as well. So, don’t be scared to spend a bit of money on something like this to really help you revamp your company.
Sometimes, you just need a little refresh, such as the new container used by Tropicana to spice up their sales of orange juice shown earlier. This new packaging emphasizes its competitive advantage (100% juice) to encourage buyers to choose its product.
In other cases, you might have gone through several rebranding efforts, resulting in an indistinct brand. For instance, you might have some cotton printed bags that display your old branding going back 3 logos ago. When I worked for a consulting firm, we faced a branding problem as our client changed their name several times after mergers with other companies resulting in phone listings, marketing collateral, business cards, and even names on the buildings that reflected one of several different iterations of the brand which muddled their brand.
When you update your logo and branding, you must quickly and completely update the name and logo on everything to avoid this confusion.
Corporate social responsibility
If you want to expand your company marketing efforts, think about tactics other than traditional advertising. For instance, consumers, especially younger ones, want to buy from brands that live their values and express corporate social responsibility, as you can see below.
Other marketing tools you might use are to engage with your community, either online or in person. McDonald’s is really a leader in supporting their community with the Ronald McDonald Houses at local hospitals, support for local charities, such as providing free drinks or hamburgers for a walkathon, and McDonald’s scholarships for disadvantaged communities.
When you ensure your customers have a positive experience, they not only continue shopping at your store or buying your products, they tell everyone about their experiences (either good or bad, although consumers are more likely to share bad experiences). When prospective customers see recommendations, reviews, and positive mentions, this word-of-mouth advertising has a greater impact than your advertising when t comes to stimulating purchases. The same is true for negative feedback. And, with so much conversation about products on social media, the positive (or negative) influence of buyers on future purchases is amplified greatly.
Ensuring customer satisfaction comes in many forms.
Delivering quality goods and services is the first step in ensuring customer satisfaction. Zero defects are just the start of goods that generate satisfied customers. You also need to ensure your products conform in terms of form and function with customer needs. Remember, consumers don’t buy products they buy solutions for their problems. The same goes for providing superior service by training employees to show empathy, concern, and care for customers while knowing about their products and can manage efficiently to serve customers in a timely manner.
Keeping promises is another aspect of ensuring customer satisfaction. When customers expect more than they get from a company, they’re bound to be dissatisfied. Customer expectations come from the promises you made. If you promise to deliver products in 2 days, customers are dissatisfied when it takes 3 days even if they had no immediate need for the product.
Attract and inform consumers with valuable content
Most businesses now use social media to attract and inform consumers about their products, the features and benefits of the products, and where to get them. Companies produce lots of content but it’s not all high-quality nor is it produced consistently, which is key to building a successful social media campaign. As you expand your company marketing efforts, you want to strive to consistently provide high-quality content that’s valuable to your target market. Below is an example of what we mean by consistency.
Social media is just one site to share valuable content with your community as you expand your company marketing efforts. Your website is your key site since you own this platform rather than renting space from a company that owns and controls your social media platforms. With the stroke of a pen, a social media platform can wipe out years of effort in order to make its own company more profitable.
When you create valuable content on your website, you also draw more visitors to your site, which allows you to capitalize on this audience without the interference of the competition or social media platform owners. SEO or search engine optimization refers to using the search algorithm to rank near the top of a results page for queries related to your brand. The higher the rank, the more traffic (called organic traffic) the search engine sends to your site. The higher the traffic, all things being equal, the more successful your website is in achieving your goals.
You achieve good rank through the following:
- Effective use of keywords that match the user’s intent
- Demonstrating credibility through backlinks from other high-quality websites, engagement (likes, shares, and comments) made on social media platforms, and the action of your visitors such as return visits, time on site, and pages per visit
- Fast load speed so visitors don’t have to wait for content. Tools such as lazy loading for images can significantly speed up your site.
- Great user experience as evidenced by easy navigation, site architecture, and schema mark-up
- Posting valuable content on a consistent basis as shown by factors such as time on site, engagement on the site, and posting frequency
- Security through the use of HTTPS protocol
- Internal links
Advertising on search and social
Although the tactics mentioned above don’t involve any direct costs (obviously there are indirect costs such as content creation, branding elements, and a social media manager) advertising on search and social involves direct costs for promotion as well as indirect costs for images and management.
The good thing about digital advertising is that it’s much less expensive than traditional advertising platforms. For instance, a single Super Bowl ad costs millions of dollars for a thirty-second spot and a million or so to make. More if you use a high-powered celebrity. In contrast, social and search ads only cost you money when they work. For instance, a PPC ad on Google Ads only generates a cost when someone clicks on the ad and a social media ad charges based on your chosen goal so, again, you only pay when you achieve an action related to your goal such as an impression. The cost per click or impression is often pennies, as compared to millions for a TV commercial.
The best part about digital advertising is your ability to laser focus your ads on your target market. When you advertise on the Super Bowl broadcast, you reach millions of eyeballs, which explains the high cost. If you have a brand with broad appeal such as Dasani water, that might pay off for you. However, if you have a niche brand, like investing your 401K, or a business brand, such as Adobe, paying for a TV ad means reaching a large number of people who aren’t part of your target market. By contrast, digital advertising, when done correctly, lets you focus on your target market. For instance, Adobe uses social media advertising quite successfully to target small business owners rather than individuals or large corporations that are less likely to purchase their products (large businesses likely already own Adobe products).
Metrics, monitoring, and optimizing
You can really level up your company marketing efforts when you have the data necessary to optimize performance. With traditional marketing tools, you were often in the dark but today’s digital tools allow you to pinpoint campaigns that deliver high returns so you can repeat what worked in future campaigns. If a campaign isn’t performing well, metrics highlight actions that allow you to tweak your campaign to help deliver higher returns.
Expanding your company marketing efforts delivers results, especially in today’s increasingly digital environment. By focusing on building a brand that resonates with your target market, delivering on the values important to that market, ensuring customer satisfaction, attracting the right people with content that motivates them to buy, using digital advertising effectively, and monitoring your results to ensure the highest return on investment, your company is in a great position to succeed and grow.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.