Every business owner wants to get more customers. The question is how to get them. Assuming that you already have both a marketing strategy and a unique selling proposition (i.e. the reason someone should buy from you), then the next step is to have a solid marketing plan. A marketing plan lays out the actions to be taken to get more customers and more sales. Of course, every company today needs a web site so customers can find them online and most companies need a presence on social media. Both should offer compelling reasons why a prospective customer should want to do business with you. If you are a company selling to consumers, you need to get customers’ attention and drive them to action. This can be accomplished by a combination of online and offline activities. For companies selling to other businesses, I will cover this topic in another post.
Online activities can include running paid ads, search engine optimization, social media campaigns, email campaigns, text messages, etc. Paid ads are ads that come up when a consumer takes a specific action on the web such as searches for something. Search engine optimization strives to get your company to come up on the first page of Google (and other search engines) in the organic listings. Organic listings are listings that are not paid for when customers search. Social media campaigns can range from efforts to keep your brand top of mind, to company pages, other paid advertising, the use of influencers, etc.
Offline activities can include paid print, television, and radio advertising, direct mail, networking, expos, the use of a direct sales force, etc. You are no doubt familiar with these.
To be most effective, you will need to coordinate these and have a comprehensive marketing plan. Unfortunately, each of these methods is complicated and most require specialized skills. I have seen companies spend a small fortune on both online and offline marketing with little or no return. So be smart and understand each method or if you don’t have enough time available, get some help.