With so much being thrown at us today regarding a better way for your business to be found online using ‘their’ guaranteed path to follow, what do reputable marketing agencies recommend? The hard part in our industry is finding an agency to provide what is needed versus what they can make the most money with. Being profitable is not a bad thing. In fact, we must all make a decent profit to keep the lights on and stay in business. However, offering nominal profitable services that benefit clients and provide good ROI is quite different than offering marketing services that have the appearance of value. Online marketing is a moving target with industries, markets and people’s habits changing quickly today, so what I’m writing about today might be old news in half a year. Even as I’m writing this blog, I’m piloting future marketing methods and in training with leading companies regarding marketing techniques and best practices. So for the sake of argument I’d like to share the tried, the true and the new that I would recommend today. Simply stated, there is really only two markets to reach and different reasons to reach out to them.
Your existing customers, clients or patients.
The classic mistake is to assume that you will have loyal and returning businesses you have already won, but in reality, your competition is marketing to them trying to lure them away. The tried and true way to reach out is still email marketing. However, instead of advertising, today the best way is to keep them informed and to provide some form of loyalty program. As we are seeing more interest in blogging these days, keep your loyal patrons current and up-to-date through blog subscriptions (yet another form of email marketing). By blogging, you are reaching out to existing customers. This keeps them on your side and obtains more business from them in very affordable way as well as just making so much sense.
Those not using your services and products.
The most expensive market and most difficult to reach is new business. Today it’s about exact targeting, attracting your audience or push marketing to those that would be interested in your products and services. Organic marketing is certainly still required so your business will be found by search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo. However, the truth today is that there is so much on the web that it’s not as effective as it was a few years back. It’s worth making sure the search engine marketing is done correctly and you understand the new rules to place well in search results. Simple processes like regular blogging and social media postings can dramatically increase your results. Current thinking includes social media reviews and video marketing to have your business show up in in more search results. All organic marketing takes time. Therefore, the quickest way to obtain results for new businesses or new promotions is paid online ads through pay per click programs with Google or Facebook. While these two are both paid advertising, they are quite different. Google Adwords are search engine marketing and Facebook Ads are placement marketing. Understanding your demographics in your area will help you choose which one might be best for your business. Perhaps A/B testing between Google and Facebook might be a good solution. Without getting too in-depth, re-marketing is yet another tool to market back to those your first marketing efforts found.
In conclusion, no matter what tools you want to use, it boils down to setting a marketing budget spending an average of 10% of your revenues to expect revenue growth. Good marketing advice and professional services usually provide a better return on your investment.