Any business that hopes to make sales must have a solid marketing strategy in place. A marketing strategy is a plan outlining how you will reach new customers and convert them to buyers. Among other things, it should define your value proposition, telling prospective customers what you stand for and why they should buy from you.
Before digitization, marketers primarily relied on what is known as outbound marketing to make sales. Outbound marketing refers to a strategy where the business initiates the conversation, sending its message to the audience. Examples include cold calling, TV commercials, radio and newspaper ads, brochures, and trade shows.
It is worth noting that although the marketing landscape has changed drastically, most of these methods are still employed. In the US, for example, there were 304 million television viewers in 2018. This means that TV is still a significant avenue for reaching customers. Another strategy that remains effective, though disputed, is cold calling. Statistics show that business owners prefer to hear from sales reps via phone compared to other methods. By virtue of providing an immediate human connection, cold calling remains a useful sales strategy.
Technological advances have shifted marketing methods to bring about what is known as inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a sales strategy that attracts prospects by giving them content and experiences tailored to their unique needs. This content could be answering their questions, solving their problems, or addressing their pain points. In doing so, marketers hope to attract and convert the prospects when their time to buy comes.
There are numerous inbound or modern marketing strategies that a business can employ depending on its needs and resources. This article discusses five highly effective modern marketing methods that have been proven to work.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is a strategy that utilizes social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Snapchat to connect with prospects. In SMM, businesses create and share content to grow their brand awareness, increase website traffic and promote products or services. This can be done by posting videos, blog articles, webinars, promotions, product photos, and answering customer questions.
Social media marketing is a highly effective strategy. Statistics show that in 2020, there were 420 billion active social media users worldwide, with 54% using it to research products. For businesses, SSM is useful because it is affordable, and the majority of potential buyers are already on it. According to research, 78% of salespeople that use social media outsell their peers.
Content marketing refers to creating and distributing valuable, useful, and relevant information to a defined audience. By this definition, it is a long-term strategy that provides consistently helpful information to prospective clients to foster a relationship leading to profitable action. In doing this, businesses build a loyal customer base hoping that these customers will reward this loyalty when they make a buying decision.
Some of the most common content marketing formats include blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, podcasts, e-books, and white papers.
Why is content marketing regarded as a highly effective marketing method? For starters, 72% of marketers confirm that it increases engagement and the number of leads. Similarly, according to Optinmonster, it has an ROI of $40 for every dollar used.
According to Statista, there were 3.9 billion email users in 2019 worldwide, and this number is projected to increase to 4.48 billion by 2024. This explains why email marketing, though sometimes regarded as an old marketing technique, remains relevant to date.
Email marketing involves sending personalized and targeted emails to prospective and old customers. One of the biggest reasons email marketing remains successful is that 99% of people check their email every day, with a good number doing so multiple times a day. Similarly, emails are highly targeted and, unlike social media posts, are not at the mercy of algorithms. Couple this with the fact that consumers who buy products marketed through emails spend 138% more than those who don’t get any email offers.
Pay per click is a model in internet marketing where businesses display their ads strategically and pay a fee each time someone clicks on the ad. PPC is somewhat the opposite of content marketing, where instead of growing ‘organically,’ a business buys visits to its site.
The most common form of PPC marketing is search engine advertising on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. In Google Ads, for instance, advertisers bid on specific keywords, which Google then ranks after considering factors such as the bid amount and the value and relevance of the advertisers’ page.
Pay-per-click marketing makes business sense. For instance, one click can be worth $5 but could potentially bring in business worth $300. Research shows that 50% of consumers arriving at a site from clicking a paid ad are more likely to buy than those from an organic link. Similarly, 79% of marketers confirm that PPC advertising is hugely beneficial to their businesses.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is an essential part of digital marketing that involves improving a site to enhance its visibility, particularly for specific keywords. If a site is optimized correctly, search engines will find it quickly, and so will prospective customers.
SEO is fundamental for businesses as it determines whether they appear on the search results or not. It helps them influence the kind of website traffic they get, how they rank on search engines and the number of leads or sales they generate. Most importantly, it provides users with the information they are looking for at the click of a mouse.
According to statistics, the first five organic results of a search account for 67% of all clicks. This means that businesses must work harder to improve their SEO and ensure that search engines find their content. 61% of marketers interviewed stated that improving SEO was their topmost inbound marketing strategy.
In the past, businesses relied on traditional forms of marketing such as cold calling and TV ads to reach potential customers. Today, technological advances have brought about modern methods such as social media marketing, SEO, and PPC marketing.
Having a solid marketing strategy is fundamental for making sales. Depending on its goals, size, and resources, a business can choose to utilize a combination of these marketing strategies to boost success.