How would you like more leads and more clients?
This is a question that many business owners, senior managers and marketing professions ask themselves when they are trying to discover how to get more potential customers and conversations.
In this blog post, Sean Farnell, Partner at Burgis & Bullock, discusses why marketing is so important and three key marketing strategies for business growth that won’t break the bank,
Why should you focus on marketing?
Today, marketing budgets are tighter than ever.
Many companies have found that they can’t afford to pour a lot of money into marketing efforts if they want to maintain profitability – this is why it’s important for marketing managers to find creative ways to market their products or services.
While you may not be able to spend tons of money on marketing strategies in 2022, we have given you three of the most powerful low-cost marketing ideas that will help your company get more leads and conversions while saving cash, which helps the bottom-line.
Businesses should always be looking to maintain a focus on marketing – regardless of whether the business if thriving or in period of struggle. When your business is in crisis, it is tempting to not pursue a marketing strategy. However, it could be the marketing that pulls you back from the brink.
Alternatively, for a successful business in a period of growth, it’s crucial you have a pipeline of work incoming and marketing can provide the leads to make that possible.
Here are our three low-cost marketing strategies to deliver business growth in 2022:
Referral marketing is the cheapest – and arguably the most effective marketing strategy that a business can pursue. This is particularly important if you are an SME and instead of casting your net nationally, you are looking to win business in your locally-based business community.
This is fundamentally ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing. The benefit is that people in business tend to work with other people in business of a similar character. If you have a customer who is a huge supporter and fan of your services, the likelihood is that the people they refer into you will also be good customers.
For firms in professional services, such as us here at Burgis & Bullock, a lot of business comes via referrals. But this won’t happen by magic, you will need to put in groundwork and that all starts with proactively asking for feedback.
Make sure you ask your existing customers for feedback, negative or positive this will be of benefit to you and improving your business. If the feedback is positive and the customer is happy with your service, then you will have a window to ask if they know any other people who would benefit from your services.
If there’s a problem you have an opportunity to resolve the problem and salvage the relationship, either way it’s a great opportunity for you to improve your business.
Communication of paramount importance, and communicating the right things to people at the right time can be the key to building your customer base. After all, 68 per cent of customers move on because of perceived indifference!
Networking is a great way to support referral marketing. You never know who you might meet or you might be introduced to, whether that is at a specialist trade conference or exhibition, or at a breakfast meeting of the regional business community.
You should look to join networks that are relevant to your product and service – networks that might have businesses within them which you would like to trade with.
Content marketing and social media
A combination of social media, content and influencer marketing is vital to modern businesses. They all feed into each other but it fundamentally drills down to having a strong presence for your business on social media.
Social media is one of the most important marketing channels and allows you to reach your target audience with a large amount of potential customers who are browsing these social platforms every day. Be that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, every business should assess the benefits of being on each platform.
This can be a tool to promote your brand and reach potential customers who previously you wouldn’t have been able to. These platforms can drive organic traffic to your website and increase the number of leads and business generated from clicks on the webpage.
High quality content
A key part to this is developing high-quality content to sit on your social media channels. Content marketing is one of the most popular and effective forms of marketing.
There are many reasons, but primary is that content marketing allows you to connect with your target audience on a deeper level.
When you produce high-quality content, you are able to establish yourself as an authority in the eyes of prospective leads. You are also able to offer incredible value that can help people with their problems, which will make them want to do business with you.
Combine a polished, professionally-created social media profile with effective content and that is a great recipe for generating new business.
Once you have those two in place, businesses can look to tap into influencer marketing – utilising the power of influential individuals who engage with their audience and will increase the profile of a business. A comment or share from a key influencer can be a huge boost and introduce you to a huge pool of potential business.
They already have an established following on social media, which can be used as a marketing channel for your business.
When you engage with the right influencers, you can see a significant increase in website traffic and leads that are generated from their audience.
Trade specific media / PR
The third and final marketing strategy we would recommend is looking to achieve coverage in trade specific media through PR. Advertising in trade media is expensive and will take up a huge chunk of your budget. But if you have a good story to tell you might be able to achieve valuable coverage for no fee.
While some trade media will refuse to run any editorial unless you have an associated advertising spend, there are always opportunities to gain editorial.
While it is useful to have a good PR agency to support in this, if you are working on a tighter budget and you are confident in your story you will have a chance of achieving coverage. There will even be press release templates you can use online.
A quick search on the publication’s website you will be able to find the contact details for editors and reporters. Be confident with your story, make sure you have a clear news angle (don’t come across like an advert!) and see if it will be of interest to publication.
If you can build relationships with these publications that will bear fruit further down the line and could be a significant contributor to your marketing activity.