First off, what is marketing? It’s a way of letting your potential customers know that you’re in business and you have a great product or service to offer.
How do you expect people to buy something if they don’t know about it? Whoever said ignorance is bliss wasn’t talking about marketing.
Welcome to our guide for getting started on marketing your business.
Types of Marketing
There are two main marketing strategies that most businesses use: digital and traditional. So what’s the difference? Digital (as you can guess) is advertising on the internet, while traditional is everything else.
What is Digital Marketing?
According to Wikipedia, Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes online-based technologies that customers access through desktop computers, mobile phones and other devices.
As anyone knows, it is hard to do anything without the internet these days. It’s where most people go to get news, entertainment and to connect with friends and family. As a business, you should be present on the right digital platforms so your potential customers can find you.
Examples of Digital Advertising
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Ads
- Social Media Influencer Marketing
- Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
- Email Marketing
What is Traditional Marketing?
Traditional marketing is the original form of marketing used in the past, before the internet, and is still used to this day. Telemarketing, radio and TV commercials, newspaper and magazine advertising, flyers, posters and matchbook ads are just a few examples of traditional marketing. (These types of media may be accessible through the internet but can still be accessed offline.)
What’s the Best Way to Market a Business?
That depends on what your business is. Though question you should be asking is: where do your ideal customers hang out? When thinking about advertising, it is important to know who they are, where they are, and what they need from you.
The next step to market your business is deciding how to present it to potential customers — or “branding.” Developing a good branding strategy is like getting ready for a date; first impressions matter. Do you have a logo? What about a website or social media profiles? These are all things you should have in place before you think about marketing.
Whatever You Do, Do it with Content
Once you have those things in place, it’s time to make content to deliver your message to your customers. Identify the need that you can fill with your product or services and design your content based on how it will impact your customers.
Gabe is starting a business restoring old classic shoes with fresh custom designs. David, his ideal customer, thinks he needs new shoes but is attached to his favorite pair.
Gabe’s Message: “Don’t retire those Jordans yet, get them restored with ReKicks Shoe Services.” The message is accompanied by photos of restored shoes — before and after shots. Gabe can share this content on social media, his website, business listing services like Craigslist, or the old-fashioned way; through flyers. Better yet, Gabe can record the process of restoring old shoes and then post the video on his Youtube channel and other social media platforms.
All forms of marketing have benefits and drawbacks. Digital messages are easier and cheaper to distribute all around the world and can easily be reshared by happy customers. But it may be easier to reach older customers with traditional marketing.
Always devote at least 20% of your time on marketing your business so you have constant fresh messages to share to your fans. Ultimately, marketing is an ongoing process. Be sure to provide outstanding customer service after you get customers so you can turn those first time patrons into life-long fans.
Free Design Software to Market Your Business
Believe it or not, there are some fantastic tools to market your business from graphic design, video production, social media management and more. While you do have to pay premiums for full access to these, there is still a lot you can do with the basic, free packages and trials.
Graphic Design Software
Free Video Software
Free Marketing Software and Tools
Hootsuite is an auto-posting scheduler for your social media channels on one platform. Plan, schedule and post your social media content to all of your channels simultaneously. You can have up to three synced accounts for the free plan.
Hubspot is a magical place where you can handle all your inbound marketing needs from tracking ads, list segmentation and creating beautiful email newsletters to blogs. You can even get SEO suggestions while building content.
Hashtagify is a great keyword researcher for hashtag ideas when you are posting on Twitter or Instagram. Other platforms may use hashtags, but exposure doesn’t necessarily depend on search trends.
Get up to 10 search queries a month for free when working on SEO for your website. Install Mozbar, a free Chrome Extension, to look into the domain and page authority of various websites.
Never Stop Learning
Marketing can be an overwhelming process, especially when just starting out! Our best advice is to pick just a couple of marketing strategies to start with and build from there. The marketing world is ever-evolving with new tools and tactics to reach your customers and grow your business.
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