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ROBERTSON: Just Business: Business marketing requires big focus

Marketing your business doesn’t have to be complicated, yet it can be overwhelming to create and implement a strategy when new trends and better technology innovations continually emerge.

In addition, targeting your audience is more challenging when consumer attention is fragmented across websites, social media platforms, search engines, media outlets, apps, industry listings and more.

As we enter the New Year, this is the perfect time to set your course. Here are some tips to help simplify and guide your marketing strategy. These are basic, tried and true methods that consider lessons learned and emerging trends.

 

Focus on your strengths

First, keep it simple and do it well. Sure, big companies like Coca-Cola can afford to be at the forefront of every medium and new marketing technology. A local business has to be more selective.

Focus on your strengths rather than spreading out and diluting your efforts and resources. When you do a few things well, it allows you to take bite-size pieces of the new and emerging trends.

 

Social media

It’s free and easy to use, but don’t neglect it. Make sure you have accurate and current information to put your best foot forward.

If you aren’t going to use social media to engage with customers, then maybe you shouldn’t use it at all. Social media still seems to be best for engaging and updating current customers, pushing special offers and keeping your business top of mind.

 

Keep information brief

Who wants to be overloaded with information? Your customers don’t need TMI (too much information). Having TMI in one message does not mean you are going to effectively engage someone. Simplify your customer’s experience by getting straight to the point and having one clear call-to-action.

 

Target your audience

When you narrow your target audience and consolidate your targeting data, you can simplify your message and speak more directly to those most likely to respond. It is important to have your data all in one place so you can analyze, utilize and monitor it.

Good data can help you deliver results. Remember the 80/20 rule? Also known as the Pareto Principle, in business the rule is that 80 percent of a company’s results come from 20 percent of its marketing, including sales from advertising and search visits from keywords.

 

Utilize data for ad buying

Put your data to good use with programmatic ad buying, which places ads on multiple platforms. This method automatically matches high conversion leads to your business, and there is no need to manually manage individual placements.

Note that you still need to test and tweak your ads. Programmatic ad buying frees up more time for other efforts, such as curating good content relevant to your industry and customers.

 

 

Create good content that you can reuse

Larger businesses have the resources necessary to constantly generate new content for each platform, interface or audience. Unfortunately, local businesses often don’t have that luxury. It is more cost effective for a small business to create one really good piece of content and share it across multiple platforms.

 

E-commerce

It is taking a while for local businesses to engage in e-commerce, primarily because of the time and adjustment needed to overhaul current systems and potential impact on down time. Yet, there are numerous benefits as e-commerce platforms capture leads 24/7, take and fill orders, send email reminders and more.

Although there is some front-end work, ultimately there is a return on investment with customer orders, improved efficiency and smoother operations.

Consider these tips to help simplify your marketing, decrease confusion and establish clearer goals. In time your marketing should be more effective and focused.

 

This column was compiled by Karen Robertson, director of public relations and client development at Robertson & Markowitz Advertising & Public Relations, Inc. She can be reached at karen@robmark.com or 912-921-1040.

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