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Tired of the same old marketing strategies you've been using for years? Have a new business venture that needs a new marketing plan? Try some of these fresh marketing strategies for your business today.
1. Embrace the Competition
The old adage used to be “know your competition”. In this global economy, businesses are increasingly embracing the competition. That is, businesses in the same sector are communicating, co-marketing, and embracing elements of each other’s business plans, in order to succeed. The bottom line is that with increased transparency of the internet and digital media, customers can and will research comparative information and make their own decision. Make it easy for the customer to understand the risks and benefits of your company over another.
2. Make Advertising With Social Media Fun
Before you invest in any expensive advertising, try social media marketing. Already have a standard Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account? Try some new giveaways and contests to keep customers engaged. Publicize the winners and promote their businesses in return. Post information on social media that reveals a bit about yourself, your employees, or some fun or whimsical side of your personality or your business that is unexpected. Use social media to have fun with your customers, and they will keep engaging with you on social media.
3. Be an Honest Broker
Build an honest business by representing yourself well and co-marketing with other businesses that do the same. When you honestly can't meet a customer's need, refer them to your partner companies. Grow a network of business partners that your clients trust to work with on a variety of projects, and you won't lose a customer — you will grow a robust company with a long history of loyal followers.
4. Start a Referral Program
Never underestimate the purchasing power of a direct referral. Many businesses have testimonials from satisfied customers on their websites, but those alone don't always convince the customer to buy. Referral programs can be as simple as offering existing customers a discount on monthly membership, or a percentage off new purchases in exchange for recruiting new customers to try your company. Typical referral rates vary from 5 to as much as 20 percent or more. Do some research on other similar companies and their referral rates and survey your existing customers before setting your rate, and watch your network of customers grow.
5. Build Social Consciousness
Your business is not just about building an empire, it is about leaving a legacy. Make it a point to regularly partner with non-profits and charitable organizations. Start simple by offering special promotions with one organization, or build an entire business plan on a formal partnership. Genuinely engages your employees as part of the community and you will be surprised at how organically your following grows, as like-minded people join your cause.
No matter what your business, you can always gain a fresh perspective from trying a new marketing strategy. And remember — if you don't fail along the way, you just aren't trying hard enough. What will you try next?
by Shane Barker