Diversification is Key to Success with your Digital Marketing Strategy

As a business owner, where you put money to grow your business is a constant focus. The goal, of course, is to invest where you can see the most consistent return, whether it be in technology like a new computer network, staff like new partners or managers or in marketing, to draw in and convert new business. Any of these potential investments are also the bane of most business owners, and based on our experience, this is even more true for marketing. Marketing is often perceived as a necessary evil to most companies, regardless of size or industry. And the fact is, the only important word in that perception is “necessary”, because foe any company looking to grow, or gain foothold, marketing IS necessary.

When it comes down to it, the adage rings true: “You have to spend money to make money.” The question is, where do you invest and how to you ensure that investment offers the best return for your company?

No matter where you invest money in your business, be sure that you have a plan of action, a short-term and long-term strategy with specific goals and check points to gauge success. Impulse investments, rather like gambling, often don’t pay off.

Think of your Business Investment the Way You Would Your Financial Investment Portfolio

Any financial advisor worth their salt recommends diversification of your investment portfolio, right? The whole “don’t put all your eggs into one basket” rule holds true for investments into your company as well. The same goes for your marketing program.

When you look to grow your business, the first thing to consider is how to expand your reach to your target market, how to get more of the pie, and that means proactive and intentional marketing not only to your existing clients, to allow for cross-sell or upsell opportunities, but to that part of your audience that may not be aware of your business yet.  That includes friends and neighbors of your existing client base, those that have gotten word-of-mouth referrals and anyone completely unaware that you exist.

The answer to most efficiently developing this awareness? Marketing, with the lions’ share of your funds going to web marketing.

It’s no secret that online marketing is at the forefront of success of the leaders in most markets, not that there aren’t still good ol’ referrals, but even word-of-mouth references are being vetted online. This is not a trend that is going to change, and as mobile continues to drive the world to an increasingly-online reality, any company not investing in their digital brand is losing out on a significant potential for new business.

Diversify, Diversify, Diversify

When it comes to marketing, as long as businesses have needed to promote themselves, they have sought the “one thing”, the one investment they can make that will work to build their brand, engage new clients and keep existing ones. Well, as these same business owners have come to find, there is no one tactic that will do all this for any company. I mean, even the kids with a lemonade stand use signage and verbal sales to get customers, right? That said, no matter where you invest your marketing dollars, it’s critical to remember the basket of eggs rule. Diversification, like that of a financial investment portfolio, is needed to garner the best return on investment and grow your business effectively.

Marketing is like any other business investment. You need to gauge the risk against the cost and potential gain to make an educated decision where you invest funds to grow your business. The key is to balance risk and potential return.

Keep these 4 points in mind when diversifying your marketing investment:

  1. Keep in mind digital marketing is necessary for any business. Even word-of-mouth referrals vet potential vendors online before deciding.
  2. There is no single marketing tactic that will work alone to drive business or build your brand. Dovetail your investment to ensure you vary your tactics to get the response you seek.
  3. Digital marketing does not remove the need for any traditional media, but it can enhance and supplement it. All strategies, online and offline, need to dovetail as far as buyer persona, geography, message, timeline and goals.
  4. Invest in your marketing to meet competition, market trends, requirements and best-practices of the media you are targeting as well as your business goals.

So, balance your marketing strategy. Track for response and real-time business effects and augment as needed to build your business at the pace you are most comfortable.

Social Media: Not as Effective Without a Targeted Marketing Strategy

Here at WriteMinded, LLC we’ve changed our marketing tactics with the packages we present to clients to represent the changes in marketing, namely the increases in mobile usage by target clients and the resurgence of email marketing. We’ve developed a full-scale marketing strategy that includes some of the old, some of the new and a little of the off the wall to reach out to target segments wherever they may live online. Ultimately, it’s about getting your website found, getting customers to increase sales.

Social Media Marketing tools like Facebook, Linked In and Twitter, as well as niche sites like Active Rain or Plaxo are valuable and powerful tools for any company to put to work in their marketing strategy. Unfortunately, in the last few years, the rumors have circled around social media as a stand-alone tool that can boost sales and guarantee traffic increases. This is simply not the case.

Just like there is no magic pill for weight loss, there is no single marketing tactic that can stand alone to continually launch a company’s business forward, to get more leads and increase sales. There are fluctuations in site usage and marketing stipulations that must be monitored with any marketing strategy that can hinder organic growth and responses. Therefore, the one key factor to remember when employing a social media marketing strategy to the benefit of your business is that it performs best in tandem with other more traditional marketing tactics.

Consider a Facebook account where you use a promotion to build brand awareness and expand your target reach. A strong tactic in its own right, consider that the promotion can be set up to farm contact emails from the promotional registrants that can then be turned into an opt-in email marketing list for follow up communications from your business. Think of the lead nurturing you can effect with a biweekly email blast.

Mobile marketing continues to drive changes in the web marketing world as executives become more attached to their smart phones and the applications become more business oriented. That email marketing you set up with the Facebook contacts can be formatted to fit and function in a mobile environment, so your target market gets your updates even on the go.

To keep it simple, absolutely employ social media into your web marketing strategy. However, don’t expect it to be a magic bullet and don’t rely on it as a standalone marketing tactic. Regular social media networking and content sharing builds brand trust and awareness. It’s up to you to leverage those initial connections to get more leads and increase sales, and that’s where a blend of traditional web marketing and social media can really make a difference for your business.

Social Media Marketing Strategy: Don’t “Join the Conversation”

Join the Conversation“. Anyone researching or using social media has heard this overused phrase. Even we’ve beensocial media marketing guilty in the past of using it to give direction for the uses of social media for both B2B and B2C clients. It’s white noise by now for all the excessive usage in reference to harnessing the powerful interactivity of social media profiles, pages and sites.

There’s more to social media marketing strategy than commenting on the occasional post to “join in”.

Social Media – Business Networking Without the Cocktails

Why do you need to invest resources into a social media marketing strategy? The same reason you invest in business networking events, to extend your brand reach and build trust with your prospects.

That being said, think of the last time you attended a business networking event. As you stood at your tiny cocktail table surveying the room for potential new clients or partners, what was your goal? Would it have been enough just to “Join the Conversation?” What if the conversation was about a topic not related to your goals for the evening, or perhaps the two-some or threesome you approach was already acquainted? Maybe one of them was a competitor of yours and was driving the conversation towards their business. How would you proceed?

Simply put, to get more leads,  it is not enough to simply “join in” with the ongoing flow of the conversation, either at the networking event or on your social media sites. To effectively promote your business, you need to turn the conversation or topic towards the benefits you bring to the table. It takes a little finesse – no one likes someone who runs the conversation with “me, me, me, I,I,I” statements. So how can you effectively turn the attention to your business within your social media sites without blatant promotions? (HINT: These points will work for those face to face networking meetings as well)

  1. Answer Questions. Prove your prowess in your industry by answering site member questions on topics with which you have extensive knowledge. Be thorough and direct your answer to the person who asked it, not the general population.
  2. Show and Tell: Notice a question that relates to a recent presentation you have given or see a trend of information that may be sought by your target market? In lieu of just answering the question on a per person basis, send an invite through groups or connections to attend a webinar to get the answers. (Tip: Brand the presentation with your logo and obtain email addresses for opt-in follow ups as a lead generator.)
  3. Listen More than You Talk. Use social media monitoring tools like group discussion topics, forums and metrics tools like Radian 6 to listen in to your target market’s needs, interests and goals. When the time comes for you to give your two cents, you can be sure that you hit the pressure points that matter to your potential clients.

So stop “Joining the Conversation” and make the effort to turn the attention to your brand, highlighting what you bring to the table that will benefit your audience. Develop a targeted social media marketing strategy with informative engaging content, and you will get more leads. Period.