Sure, you have marketing and sales, but do you actually use your campaigns to their fullest potential? With over $118 billion projected to be spent on digital media by 2021, brands are heavily investing in digital marketing and advertising. This is leading to more competition and a need to double down on best practices — mixed with a little ingenuity — in order to achieve continuing results.
Here are some of the basics of digital marketing your business should focus on. With help from the sales department, these digital tactics can help you achieve real growth.
There’s a saying among paid search marketing experts and speakers: “Good PPC is free.” The logic behind this saying is that properly optimized pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are so well done, they pay for themselves in increased revenue for the advertiser.
If your business hasn’t tried PPC or social advertising before, now is the time to consider it. If you don’t have a SEO manager or a PPC team, consider investing in training, like attending one of the popular search conferences that have paid search tracks, like PPC Hero or SMX. WordStream also compiled a list in 2015 of online PPC training resources.
According to Forrester Research, paid search and other forms of online advertising will account for almost half (46 per cent) of all advertising in the next five years. By becoming an industry expert and working on your PPC campaigns now, you’ll be able to grow revenue from these campaigns and make sure your ad spend is worth the investment.
Just like PPC, exclusive offers and giveaways can work in any industry. Whether you’re a tile manufacturer that sells directly to contractors or an e-commerce handbag retailer, giving online users access to exclusive discounts or free products is a great way to generate exposure, traffic, and growth.
Facebook is a great resource for channeling giveaways, and when done right you can see high conversion rates. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, either. Many successful campaigns have prizes that are only worth a few hundred dollars, and get thousands of sign-ups and email addresses. These email addresses can be added to your mailing list so you can use email marketing to convert to leads to paying customers.
You can also leverage your social media presence and website by offering exclusive discounts to loyal customers. When customers know they will save more by spending a certain amount, you’ll likely see an increase in sales and return visits, especially if they know you offer discounts for repeat purchases.
You can also appeal to customers’ curiosity and fear of missing out (FOMO) by getting more visibility for your brand. One of the main tenets Fast Company offers for growing a small business is making sure proper brand exposure is a constant priority. Your sales team, for example, should work with your marketing and public relations departments to find outlets — such as email newsletters, magazines, and even event sponsorship — that will share information about your company and feature it. When businesses are top-of-mind, customers will be more likely to turn to them when their services or products are needed.
However, research has shown that brand awareness alone doesn’t always lead to a purchase. Customers are heavily swayed by brand trust, as detailed in a shampoo brand study on brand awareness on CMO.com Australia:
“Despite advertising spend aimed at increasing brand imagery in the shampoo, beauty industry, and other FMCG sectors, our research found perceived brand image did not actually increase brand recall. Instead, consumers purchasing shampoo are more influenced by brand trust, which implies the products consumers use for their hair is of personal importance.”
Use the advantage of customers’ reliance on brand trust by getting featured on reputable sites that also offer social proof through customer reviews. A feature or listing on a trusted resource like Amazon, the iTunes App Store, or Product Hunt could help increase sales through a mixture of exposure and testimonials.
As you start increasing sales, keep a vigilant eye on overhead costs. Many businesses spend much of their budget every month on search engine optimization (SEO) tools, tracking services, and automated charges without actually knowing if they’re getting the most out of what they’re paying.
Every quarter, run an expenses audit and make sure what you’re paying for is being used enough and properly to justify the cost. Use a tool to keep track of your monthly expenses. If team members don’t use a paid tool every week, and it’s not vital to running the business, consider your options for finding another version that fits your needs more appropriately.
Having a better cash flow can make way for more time and money to spend on marketing and sales efforts that actually work, such as online advertising or customer loyalty events. If the effectiveness of one tactic starts to drop, experiment with strategies that could work better for your company.
The most successful businesses make a point to regularly figure out what’s working and what’s not when it comes to marketing and sales. With that knowledge, they can funnel more resources into what’s successful while discarding what isn’t. By taking a hard look at what marketing and sales could be doing better with PPC, exclusive offers, online visibility, and overhead costs, you can help scale your business and maintain steady growth.
Learn more ways to inspire business growth with our ebook, “Fast Path to Growth: Customer Relationship Management 101.”