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Posts Tagged ‘advertise a business’

Business Marketing Tip: Focus on the Positive

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Focus on the PositiveHave you struggled to achieve satisfactory results from past business marketing efforts? You’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs waste lots of valuable time struggling to find effective advertising solutions. Trying to grow a business and spending a small fortune in the process, only to get back very little in return, is a painful and unpleasant experience. The failure to bring on new clients via effective advertising will keep you from becoming successful. This inability to generate leads is common in new businesses, and forces most one-time business owners to abandon their dreams, back to the safety of a 9 to 5.

 

Don’t let past marketing efforts that failed to produce new clients lead to a fear of failure, or convince you to abandon advertising completely. It takes money to make money, all successful business owners and managers embrace this fact. New clients are a necessity for any business to grow and remain strong, without them your business will fail. So, the question is not whether you should market your business, the question is how can you best market your business? Yes it takes money to make money, but that money needs to work smart to make an impact. You need to find out how to allocate the money you do have into advertising methods that guarantee higher margins of profitability, and invest your advertising budget in new lead generation techniques that result in a measurable increase in new clients.

 

How could a profitable advertising campaign help your business grow? Visualize the success you want, and then focus your resources on the positive to make it happen. A positive outlook could provide the spark you need to evaluate and learn from negative advertising experiences, and create a successful marketing plan from past failures. Here’s how:

  • Go back and make note of every advertising method you have ever tried in the past
  • Now examine and make note of all of the current ways you are spending money to advertise your business
  • List each marketing type above in a spreadsheet
  • For each method in the list, write down the total amount of money spent on that advertising method to date
  • You should also calculate in the cost of time allocated by staff members to the total amount spent for each
  • Now add up how much projected revenue you’ve gained from each of those methods to date
  • Including recurring revenue from clients who found you via that one method but used your services multiple times

 

Your list may resemble the following, an example marketing analysis data provided by a Phoenix area IT firm:

 

Marketing Methods Analysis

 

How can you take a list like this one, built with data from your own business, and focus on the positive to turn around negative advertising adventures? To start, look at your list as a framework to learn from and build upon. The first step is to identify which advertising methods work and discard all others. It’s important to avoid wasting marketing budget if you want your business to grow. See the following graphic, we went through our sample list and crossed out all forms of marketing that resulted in wasted budget:

 

 

The above methods, crossed out in red, cost a total of $142,112 but only resulted in a total of $12,224 in revenues. That’s a total loss of $129,888. The first step towards success in marketing is eliminating those methods that fail to generate more revenue than they expend. If you are losing money, consider another medium. Your most important resource as a business owner is time, so don’t wait forever to take action. Reallocate your budget immediately by eliminating every advertising method you’re spending money on that isn’t working (those items in red above). Once you free up this money, you can either move those funds to advertising methods on your list that are proven to be profitable, or try new marketing avenues that you haven’t yet explored.

 

Focus on the Positive to Improve Your Advertising

To improve on advertising methods that are not as profitable as they could be, the solution is to focus on the positive. The return for methods on your list that are close to break-even can usually be improved by making a few adjustments. In our example above, the question was how can we improve our video ads to make them more profitable? For your list, evaluate your products and services from the your customer’s point of view. What service or product are you currently providing that existing clients really like? Think about all the positive qualities of your product, service, and offer, and hone in on what your customers are looking for. Next, change up the message in your lower performing advertising methods to better deliver on the needs and wants of your ideal client. It doesn’t matter if you’re creating articles for content marketing or producing videos for social media sites. Pour your enthusiasm and pack value into what you’re doing, the main idea here is to focus on the positive. In our case, for a recent video content marketing campaign, we re-thought the entire campaign to come up with ways we could produce higher quality videos that were more engaging, entertaining, and useful for our target clients.

 

Whatever you do, keep a positive mindset and don’t be afraid to invest in your business. Remember, it takes money to make money. While you should definitely try new things, you should also keep a watchful eye on your investments and tend to them on a regular basis to maximize results. Doing so will allow you to eliminate obstacles and negative investments, focus in on those things that are working well, and create powerful new marketing messages to attract new customers.

 

 



seenBEST Web Design

Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing – What Works Best for Small Business?

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Effective marketing is the key to business success. In order to maximize sales, you need to identify potential customers and maximize the buzz for your products and services. There are numerous methods to market a business, but not all of them are cost-effective enough to generate leads. Let’s analyze some of the differences between outbound and inbound marketing.

 

Outbound Marketing

Outbound marketing, the traditional mode of marketing a business, was the primary way to advertise a business over a decade ago. Companies relied on interruption based methods of promotion using print ads (newspaper and magazine), electronic ads (television and radio commercials), and direct reach (postcards, mailers leaflets, telemarketing).These forms of marketing were accepted and effective prior to the widespread adoption of the internet.

 

Today’s generation of advanced consumers, however, have learned to ignore and tune out these methods of marketing. Ask yourself, “Do you enjoy watching commercials during your favorite television programs?” The common answer is “NO”. “Do you enjoy having your day interrupted by pushy sales representatives who cold call you in the middle of a busy day of work?” Again, the answer is a resounding “NO”. Most people hold similar feelings with regard to most forms of outbound advertising.

 

Due to the negative feelings held by many, outbound marketing methods have become very expensive.  It is often necessary to distribute tens or hundreds of thousands of messages to generate even a handful of warm leads. Consumers are masters of avoiding outbound marketing interruptions. They have caller id on their phones to prevent unsolicited telephone calls, integrated spam/junk email filters to weed out unwanted emails, and DVR boxes to skip past TV commercials.

 

Newspapers and magazines have also seen drastic decreases in readership. The internet at home, in the office, and now in the pocket of almost every American has made it possible for consumers to find the information they need online – anytime, anywhere.

 

For small business owners, the excessive costs required to design, print, and distribute 10,000 fliers or a small group of television ads is impossible to justify. The expense, coupled with the minimal conversion rate of outbound marketing just doesn’t make good economic sense.

 

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing focuses on preparing your marketing message in a way that makes your business easily found when consumer search. The goal is to engage with people rather than interrupt them. Some examples of inbound marketing techniques that attract new customers:

 

  1. Online Content Distribution – A small business owner can get the message out using online blogs and social media tools. Users who search for information about virtually any topic find information posted to these resources, learn more, and subscribe for real time updates related to the products and services being offered.
  2. Organic Online Placement – Millions of people every day search for product and services to purchase on Google and other search engines. To remain competitive, businesses reach these potential customers using organic SEO to obtain good placements for their website and social media properties.
  3. Paid Search Ads – In addition to organic placement and content creation, businesses purchase advertisements that display their products and services in search. When these search engine marketing ads are linked to a well-designed marketing website the results can be spectacular.
  4. Video Production and Optimization – In addition to blogs and websites, small businesses are producing internet videos combined with video SEO to get in front of prospective customers who are looking for information online.

 

The key components of inbound marketing are Websites, Graphic Design, Content Creation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Paid Search (SEM), Social Media, and Video. Together these methods can create an extremely potent lead generation system for any small business, and a marketing machine that is cost-effective for a business of any size.

 

This method is highly effective because of the mindset of the consumer at the time they interact with your business message. In almost every instance the consumer has come to information about your company only after searching or clicking on a link. As a result, you are marketing only to people who are already interested in and ready to read about the service you have to offer. The consumer is back in control and they are not tuning out your marketing dollar, just the opposite. They have sought it out.

 

However, doing this right requires significant expertise in inbound marketing and search engine optimization. Many companies make the mistake of hiring the wrong person to help and wind up paying too much for a marketing platform that doesn’t work. If you’ve made the wise decision to market your business online using effective inbound marketing techniques, it’s best to consult with an expert. Someone with proven experience in all the right areas who can help you increase inbound sales leads while minimizing your overall marketing expense.



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