It’s not about one marketing piece, it’s about the whole thing. To be effective, your business needs a presence both offline and online. It needs to use print and digital marketing tools. It needs both advertising (paid) and publicity (free). It’s the marketing mix that gets and keeps your company message “out there” in front of your target audience.
Here are five marketing mix tips to seriously consider and implement:
1. Brochures & Business Cards
Print marketing items are not dead yet. Sometimes our technology doesn’t work like it should, and having that business card and brochure as a backup could save your marketing opportunity. Besides, there are a lot of people who just need to have something in their hands in order to remember you, so give it to them. Have your calling card ready.
Use this business social network as an extended business card. As people hear your name around the Web and at conferences, there is a good chance that they will check you out on LinkedIn (this has happened to me). So fill out that profile and link it back to your website.
3. Website & Blog
Your website is your digital home, so make it count. Let them know who you are, what you do, and how it could benefit them. And then solve a problem for free by answering a question that your target audience would care about. You could turn that answer into a little ebook or white paper for download, or make it a blog post. Just make sure it’s something that truly helps, because you’re building a relationship, and “fluff and foolishness” is not good for business.
4. Press Releases
Use press releases to let the local media know about your business and upcoming campaigns. Your company probably has some awesome events, but nobody cares if they don’t have a chance to know about it.
It’s about the relationship, and email is one of the most enduring ways to build that relationship, so take the time to grow your list. For a beginner most of the initial work is in getting the code and placing it on your Web pages. But the email service that you use should have a guide or “how to” page showing you what to do. Once the code for your email subscription form is in place on your site, then you can begin to focus on what to send your subscribers each week or month. Remember, it’s consistent marketing that makes the difference.
Just remember, it’s about consistency and the total marketing package. It’s up to you to believe in your business—and to get the message out.
Once SMBs have a press release written, how would you recommend they go about publicizing it?
I agree with your recommendations. The mix should be based on your company’s positioning and industry. While many firms can achieve great success with mostly online marketing, attending local trade shows and business networking events in person is still very beneficial. Advertising is prohibitively expensive for many small firms but press release distribution is relatively inexpensive and can bring lots of traffic to your site.
RB – MarketWire, PRweb, and BusinessWire can deliver great results but can be a bit expensive for national coverage (from a couple hundred dollars to $800 for national release). OnlinePRNews delivers nice results at a lower price. Try a few different services out. And make sure you follow their guidance to optimize your press release for maximum search engine optimization value.
Good information. Print materials such as business cards and brochures can be a great bridge between offline and online media by including QR codes that link to a website or video.
Jamillah: Great cake mix! Don’t you think that the amount of “the ingredients” should depend on where your customers, suppliers and partners are on the net and on the market place, e.g. physical business meetings and events?
Like you said in the article, using a variety of marketing tactics is vital. Also, being consistent as sometimes it takes determination to keep doing a marketing activity without seeing results. I think many small business owners abandon a marketing activity before they have given it a chance to take hold. Great article, thanks
Here’s a little tip that we’ve had good luck with for promoting local businesses. If your press release has real “news” value submit it to your local paper (not the giant daily.
A little research will give you their editorial guidelines so you know how to structure the piece and you may even discover an editor or columnist that is more likely to run it.
All small print publications are struggling financially and if you can offer them quality content for free they are likely to snap it up.
Good idea to combine the old school marketing with the new school marketing since marketing should reflect ALL customers’ needs and backgrounds.
I posted this article to http://www.facebook.com/nametaginc.
@Robert Brady. To add to RK’s list, here are two more to consider PitchEngine (very affordable) and PR Leads (solid reach).
Thanks Ashley (for sharing on Facebook) and Chris (for the strategy ).
Sure is a good first step in marketing your self & small business.
Lots of powerful tools out there, but you have to have the basics before you can move forward.
Thanks for sharing.
This is really informative Jamillah. I agree that print marketing items are not dead. I use a creative business card for my referral marketing which is working out for me.
This marketing mix sounds good and essential. An online presense is cruicial for business owners and anyone doing business. For the offline marketing side the business cards will never go out of style, or perhaps they will create a phone application for e-business cards where you take a picture of the establishment and save it in your e-rollodex? who knows what the future will bring!
Mark Brundage UOBIM
Good advice for small businesses. It’s so basic — be visible, be consistent, keep it up, use as many vehicles as you can afford — but many business owners need a reminder. After all, they’ve got a lot on their minds!
It’s possible to have the best of both worlds by having a digital business card as well as a printed one. It can present all of your contact details, as well as links to your Twitter account or your website.
Yes, I agree the “measurements” change based on the market and the goal. But once you know what you need to do, then consistency is everything.
As Brandon B says these are “good first steps.” Marketing can certainly become complicated but if we can keep it as simple as possible and just get started, then we make some waves and learn along the way.
You definitely do want to have things like business cards because you can present them to someone on the spot and they can have something to take home and then be reminded of it. However they aren’t worth much without the person presenting them to you.
Yes, you are right! We have a lot of things that we can do to market our business. Learning from each other and give feedbacks commits more marketing strategies to your business. In my situation, I have treasured a lot of good chances and it strikes me to pursue my business career that has been proven and tested business opportunities. Many opportunities waiting for us but we do not apply the time management and action. We need to explore and expose our self so we can get what we want and you cannot buy anything if you do not have money.