By Baruch Labunski, CEO of Rank Secure. His knowledge and professional acumen have already made Rank Secure a globally acclaimed SEO company.
Entrepreneurs often don’t know much about marketing their business. After all, they are good at what they do and chances are that isn’t marketing. Developing a successful marketing campaign involves a range of approaches that include both traditional and digital marketing.
Traditional Vs. Digital Marketing
Traditional marketing includes approaches that have been around for decades like print advertisements, direct mail, radio and television broadcast, yard signs, billboards, interviews on local media and networking within your community.
It can also include activities like special events, sponsorships and participating in charitable activities. It can also include some innovative techniques like advertising before a movie in your local theater. All of these things get the word out but may not reach all of your potential customers.
Digital marketing has been around in full force for about 20 years but has evolved since the rise of social media. It includes posting and responding to customers on social media, using delivery apps for products, getting ranked well on search engines, creating a website that brings high volumes of traffic and using influencers on social media to promote your products.
It could also include hosting virtual events on social media like FAQ sessions about your product or product demonstrations. All of this barely touches the range of digital marketing as it doesn’t delve into more complex issues like SEO, traffic analysis and creating personas.
Creating A Marketing Plan
All entrepreneurs need a marketing plan. The problem with creating a marketing plan is most people don’t understand what types of marketing are good for their business. It’s easy to understand traditional marketing but comprehending how digital marketing works is a little tougher. That’s especially true for those who aren’t into computers and haven’t studied how it works.
One aspect to remember is that traditional marketing gets your name out there but doesn’t necessarily pull in customers. It gives your business visibility and credibility. Social media gives customers more detailed information to encourage them to do business with you. It’s more effective in making the sale than traditional marketing.
Being highly ranked and visible digitally also offers more credibility to potential customers.
The truth is your business needs both to thrive. The trick of creating a marketing plan is to balance the approach to reach different groups of customers and also to balance the money spent so you are hitting different demographics.
The Truth About Marketing Costs
Many entrepreneurs shy away from digital marketing because it sounds expensive. Computerization and automation sound costly. While you can do some traditional marketing yourself, you likely will need to hire a digital marketing company to handle that end. That feels expensive.
It doesn’t have to be. The truth is some billboard and print advertisements can be more expensive than digital marketing and yield fewer results. That’s because data from January 2022 shows that Google processes 8.5 billion searches a day.
Most people will start their research for a product or service online. They look to see what’s in their area, and what they provide, look at pictures or a video, and check out reviews. Then, they start calling two or three to see who they like the best and can offer them the best price.
Visual products like restaurant food, clothing, home appliances and similar products and services are often ordered or bought completely online. A good digital marketing company will make sure you are visible and getting the traffic you need. That amounts to a positive return on investment.
You can do some aspects of digital marketing yourself for free, leaving the more complicated aspects to your digital marketing company. Social media posting is free, so posting pictures and descriptions is something business owners can do without any cost. You will need to learn how to use hashtags and some keywords to make it effective but that isn’t challenging.
An effective tool is a post-scheduling product like Hootsuite, which I’ve used for years. With a tool like this, you can spend an hour scheduling all your pictures and posts for a week or two and be done. They pop up automatically.
Something every entrepreneur should be doing is responding to those posting on their social media. Responding builds up your credibility and gets your business noticed.
Social media building is like building any relationship. It offers a customer a chance to get to know you and your product better on a more personal level. It can be a highly effective tool if used correctly.
Balancing Your Marketing
Rest assured, those who do both traditional and digital marketing would love to sell you a top-of-the-line plan that would cost you a fortune. That is unnecessary. You need to create a plan that balances your marketing for the most effective use to get the most bang for your buck.
The first thing to do is identify your ideal customers. Write down their ages, ethnicity, location, family factors and income. That will be a huge step in determining the best ways to reach them. Once that’s done, let’s look at a few ways to mix up your strategy:
• A digital billboard may be the way to go if you want to lure local residents to your shop. These new digital billboards are highly affordable because your ad is intermingled with others. They are super attractive and people do remember the ads. You can also easily edit the info. That means you can add a special event, direct people to a live social media event or change campaigns for the holidays without it costing a lot more.
• Getting interviews on local television and radio can be free if you have a hook. Sponsoring a local event or participating in something like a toy drive can get you free air time, too.
• Direct mail can be a good choice for something like a grand opening. It can be especially effective if there is a coupon attached. It also gains the attention of older customers. However, it may not be worth the money as a standard marketing campaign.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything, nor all at once. Working with a marketing professional, moving your campaigns around throughout the year and streamlining them into branding can save you money and bring great results.