The manner in which individuals invest their downtime is changing and those marketers who have been most successful have been able to adapt their marketing plans to evolve with the times. Many companies these days will spend as much as 50% of their marketing budgets on digital and emerging technologies in order to stay on top of consumer habits. While many small businesses cannot afford to allocate such a large amount to their marketing plans, there are a number of ways to have a successful plan that don’t require a huge investment. Ann Puig, a successful business owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Costa Rica, has learned the tricks and shares some of her tips on how to create a marketing communication strategy on a budget that will allow any business to excel.
Engage your consumers and ask them about social networking habits. In return for their participation, offer them a discount on a future purchase. Getting their input is the best way to determine who the market is and what consumers are interested in before pitching an offer.
Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to engage customers. “Make sure you have a personal profile on social media sites,” explains Puig. “Interact with your customers and include reminders about the social media presence in e-newsletters or other marketing material. Once you establish a base with customers, you can determine what interests them and where they spend time online.”
Analyze your web traffic in detail. It isn’t enough to simply have a website, it’s important to know what is working and what isn’t. One of the most popular analytics programs is Google Analytics, which offers a free version. By seeing what search terms consumers are using to find your site, it might be beneficial to invest in search engine optimization. If traffic to the site starts to drop off, the business needs to quickly evaluate what is wrong and adjust accordingly.
When feasible, take advantage of group discount sites such as Groupon. Create a promotion through the site and the business will virtually promote itself. These sites offer price discounts on certain products and services provided there is enough interest by a set amount of consumers and a shopper interested in buying through the discount will send the link to everyone they can in order to drum up support. This not only increases sales, but it always increases brand awareness.
An option that every successful company employs today is blogging. Explains Puig, “Create a blog that allows you to establish yourself as a leader in your field. Reach out to other industry bloggers, commenting on their posts and providing links to your blog. This will more than likely covert those bloggers into your followers and everything will grow from there. Always make sure to link the blog to your social media pages so that customers can find you easily.”
Pick other media channels specifically. After you’re set up online, you can follow where your clients are locked in to strategically choose the next courses of action. A small handful of well-managed contacts is much more productive than maintaining below-average channels that you don’t track or update. If you determine that your customers often blog about Twitter posts, for example, you will probably want to create a Twitter account. If they’re often linking to videos on YouTube, consider making some promotional video spots.
One of the most important components of making a business successful is keeping in touch with clients. This not only makes sure they can’t forget you, but it shows that the business is alive and on top of the changing world. A marketing communications strategy can go a long way to ensuring relationships stay healthy and is an integral part of increasing sales.