One of the biggest challenges any business owner faces – regardless of size – is getting the attention of potential customers. In the past, businesses had more control over information about them that was publicly available. Nowadays, almost any information about your business is just a short Google search away. This makes it even more difficult to get your business noticed.
What can your business do to cut through the noise and get your message to your audience? Try looking for a new spin on traditional advertising and marketing methods. Billboards, print ads, and direct mailers can still be effective with the right audience, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to what has worked in the past. There is a number of relatively inexpensive, non-traditional methods now available to help you reach a large audience. We highlight five of them below.
Banner Ads with Retargeting
Anyone who has visited a website is familiar with banner ads. This type of advertising is effective for keeping your business top of mind especially if you are using retargeting. For those of you who are unfamiliar with retargeting, it is a simple piece of code that allows businesses to ‘follow’ potential customers around the web reinforcing their message. This is an excellent way to make sure customers are thinking about your brand or business even if they aren’t on your site.
To reinforce this point, I’ll share a personal experience I recently had with retargeting. I wanted to buy a new bike. Occasionally, I conducted online research to try and zero in on which one was right for me. After a while, ads for the bike I really wanted were inescapable. I saw ads for the bike on the newspaper website I frequented and the message board of my favorite football team. Pretty much anywhere I went on the web there was an ad for this bike. Was this the reason why I made the purchase? Probably not, but it definitely helped nudge me in the right direction.
Pay-per-click ads are a relatively inexpensive way to increase the reach of your advertising. Many businesses like them because it is much easier to track ROI. Even if a PPC campaign is unsuccessful, you won’t be out much money because you only pay when a customer clicks on your ad rather than paying for impressions like other forms of digital advertising.
PPC ads also give you a wealth of knowledge that can improve your business’ overall marketing efforts. Cost-conscious and budget-driven businesses should strongly consider incorporating PPC ads into their advertising and marketing spend.
Social Media Marketing
Setting up your social media presence is easy. Effectively marketing and advertising on social media are refined skills. You will need to find a balance between educating your audience, building relationships, and promoting your business. Sonia Simone puts it this way in a post on Copyblogger, “Even a 100-character tweet can have content value. Think about what you can say that makes readers’ lives better, rather than just filling up time before you run to Starbucks.”
How many people knew what MailChimp was before listening to the hit podcast Serial? Unless they worked in marketing, the odds are not many. Podcasts are a good way to reach highly-targeted audiences with messages that are less obtrusive than traditional radio advertising.
One major benefit of podcast advertising according to Lex Friedman, Midroll’s Vice President of Sales and Development, is the ability to accurately tie podcast ads to sales. Offer codes and vanity URLs make tracking these conversions easy.
Online reputation management
A business’ online reputation plays an important role in where a customer chooses to do business. A recent study found that 87% of consumers won’t even consider a business if it has a low star rating. Your business should take a proactive approach to its online reputation and look for ways to empower customers to advocate for your business online.
One way to accomplish this is by implementing an online review management platform that streamlines the collection and management of online reviews. If your business is focused on delivering a high-quality experience, most of your customers will be happy and willing to leave a review. It just might not be something they would think about doing without being prompted. That’s where the online review management platform comes into play. A good platform will make it ridiculously easy to leave a review. This will result in a significant increase in the number of positive reviews your business has, and in turn an improved reputation.
The five advertising and marketing tactics described in this post should be a good starting point for your business. To continue growing, you will need to be nimble and be willing to pivot as the landscape continues evolving.