Despite the uncertainty of Ireland's economic future, now is the time to plan your strategy and gain market share over your competitors. You now need to focus your efforts on both effective and cost effective marketing techniques. Investment in traditional marketing and advertising methods is just not cutting it with a media weary customer base, whereas investment in online marketing can provide clear, quantitative and reactive results at a much lower cost to your company.
To rise above the national and international malaise, you'll need to be clearly and regularly responding to your customer's requirements. Many solutions already exist to enable you to relay your products, services, current offers and promotions directly to your customers. Companies can tend to make the mistake of reigning in their marketing budgets when an economic downturn hits, but the opposite will ensure you're highly visible within your market and will make a marked difference to your sales figures.
Current Web Content
A company website is often a first port of call for any customer researching a company. It's your shop window, a marketing tool that is open 24 hours a day. Sites that are not part of an overall marketing strategy or that have uninspiring or dated content may be doing more harm than good. Regularly updated sites with clear calls to action and defined lead generation will provide a customer that is ready to make a deal. Ensure your site has an integrated content management system for regular internal content updates.
Search Engine Optimisation
Remarkably, many companies, even those with stellar websites, have not invested in a strategic SEO or SEM plan. Meta data revision and monitoring, keyword analysis, link generation, search engine submission, canonicalization and sitemap generation all go a long way to driving traffic to your site. Increased traffic will lead to increased sales leads. You can have the best site in the world, but if customers do not know it exists, it's useless.
We're in regular contact with our customers, or at least we should be. How many of us are sitting on a valuable, under-utilised resource - a database of previous and potential customer emails? By providing informative, useful or beneficial content directly to your customers, you'll increase your chances of converting that contact into revenue. Keep in touch regularly, but ensure that the content is either educating them, saving them money or advising on how their overheads can be reduced.
Incentive Led Promotions
We all want something for free - it's in our nature! Including an incentive in your offer or campaign will certainly yield a higher response rate. The incentive does not have to be enormous, but at least attractive enough for further investigation. By providing, for example, a prize draw or reduced rates to registered customers, you'll quickly build a loyal customer following. The incentive should be directed towards your specific target market and should reflect their likely requirements.
This form of marketing has become more prevalent in today's market. By getting your customers to sign up their friends or contacts, you're opening up a hugely extended net of potential clients. It can simply be a 'Thank you' to your existing customers for their continued referrals or a discount on their next purchase for signing up 5 other contacts. Again, some thought should go into devising a plan that specifically targets your intended or existing markets.
Blogging is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it ensure you're staying abreast of industry trends in order to pass them on to your readers, but it's a highly prolific way of advertising your knowledge base and industry expertise. Who knows, something you've written may get referenced elsewhere, widening the intended audience. It is also a valuable source for SEO, brand building, relationship marketing and media and public relations.
Social Media & Social Networking
Whether you're customer base is B2B or B2C, there's a social network there to promote and publicize your goods or services. With Facebook now surpassing Google in some markets it's clearly a must for any self respecting brand looking to converse directly with their consumer base. Linkedin is an example of how an excellent B2B social network can increase your profile. Twitter can be used to talk directly to any market. Irrespective of which network you choose (Facebook, linkedIn, Twitter, Bebo, delicious, Mumsnet, etc) , it can generate qualified leads, reduce overall marketing expenses, provide valuable exposure, increase your search rankings and drive traffic to your site.
Usually concentrating on a specific offer, service, event or product a Microsite is an excellent method of providing a marketing message outside of the overall branding message of your parent site. They are highly targeted promotional tools that communicate directly with a specified audience. They enable you to provide more in-depth detail than you would maybe supply on a parent site and search engines love them for their relevant keywords focused around a particular product or service. These are excellent tools for product launches, competition registration and event management among others.
Don't lose focus and reduce your budget during a recession - invest, grow and prosper. Whatever your requirements for online marketing, we'd be happy to meet with you to devise a plan that best suits you and your customers. Click here
to contact us.