Social Media is Not Enough to Fuel Your Business

Multiple marketing strategies are essential for continued business sustainability and growth.

Certainly, social media is changing the way business is conducted. More importantly, it is changing the way everyone communicates. While many businesses realize social media is here to stay in our digital world, it is not the “end all be all” of a marketing plan. It is simply one strategy, or tactic in — what should be — a comprehensive and integrated marketing plan. Unfortunately, there’s not one single marketing strategy that is a surefire way to generate a steady flow of leads or send a constant flow of customers to your door. Whether you sell products, or services, it is critical to rely on multiple marketing strategies to attract and keep customers.

There’s often confusion between strategies and tactics so let’s clarify. When used as a strategy, social media, or any other strategy, is the method — the what and why — to achieve a larger, specific marketing goal with measurable objectives for evaluating progress. When used as a tactic — the how — social media, or any other tactic, refers to the step-by-step plan of attack and defines who is responsible for what to achieve the goal, or goals.

How do you find the right marketing mix? This has always been — and continues to be — challenging for businesses. The growing number of marketing channels available today makes it even more difficult to find the most effective marketing methods to sustain and grow your business. Moreover, the best marketing strategies will vary from one business to another.

So that leaves the million-dollar question:
What are the best marketing strategies to use? 

Most businesses face this conundrum. Really, it is a catch-22. There’s a clear need to increase visibility and drastically improve sales. But in order to achieve this, businesses must invest more money and/or more time.

Unfortunately, there is not an obvious and clear answer to this question that covers all situations.

In many cases, marketing is trial and error. It is both an art and science. But the good news, it there is more data than ever before, and marketing efforts are measurable. No matter what marketing strategies you embrace, you must first deeply understand your target audiences and their respective buying motivations and behaviors. You must also build and nurture authentic relationships with consumers by sincerely adding value, offering excellent customer service and providing amazing online customer experiences. Every strategy should support these goals, and every strategy should be measurable.

While there are many different types of strategies to consider, we offer the following top 10:

  1. Integrated marketing communications strategy to leverage branding and messaging across channels for maximum impact and reach.
  2. Communications strategy to enable and empower brand ambassadors as advocates by providing your business team, partners and Board of Directors with the tools they need.
  3. Differentiation strategy to help enhance your brand identity by promoting its strengths and unique value proposition in the marketplace and promote consistent messages through all available channels of distribution.
  4. Customer-first focused strategy will address targeted personas with tailored messaging that appeals to specific value drivers. Effective messaging includes “Marketing,” or client-focused messages that appeal to their specific values and benefits.
  5. Content marketing and keyword strategy –Intentionally re-purposing content across all channels (for example the website, the blog, Twitter, LinkedIn) to maximize reach with minimal investment for the greatest ROI. It requires identifying and strategically using the keywords in all content to increase Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  6. SEO strategy to increase online, website traffic. This should include both organic and paid search initiatives.
  7. Social media strategy – This will promote brand awareness, as well as expand online reach, sphere of influence and encourage two-way engagement.
  8. Process documentation and continual improvement strategy – Develop and implement guidelines to streamline operations, improve operational efficiencies, ensure communications and marketing messages across all channels, minimize waste and maximize investment.
  9. Thought-leadership strategy needs to be top of mind for businesses to position themselves in highly-competitive industries and global markets.
  10. A Public Relations strategy compliments other strategies, helping businesses realize their mission and vision.

The Takeaway

Don’t be among the 80% of small businesses that close their doors within the first five years, according to the Small Business Administration. Be sure to invest money and time in marketing.

Unarguably, marketing is critical to business success. Know your desired destination and have a marketing roadmap to get there. Measure the results and adjust as needed. While it will evolve and change over time, your marketing plan, when used correctly, will be a powerful tool to help keep your company and employees focused on your overarching business goals.

 

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