Generate Quick Sales Using These 7 Business Strategies

There are a number of ways small business can make quick sales, and it is important for these businesses to consider the variety of strategies they can follow to get sales.

1. Upselling and cross-selling

One efficient way to generate quick sales is working with existing customers. They are an easy target, as you already have an idea of what they like and would have built a relationship with them. Because of this, up-selling and cross-selling products could be a useful way to generate quick sales.

Up-selling

When upselling, your aim is to get a customer to spend more money by purchasing a more expensive model of the same type of product, or adding, for example, warranties which relate to the product.

Cross-selling

On the other hand, cross-selling aims to get the customer to spend more money by adding more products from other categories than the product being purchased. For example, when buying a laptop, you might suggest the customer to buy a printer. Merchants need to be careful when cross-selling, making sure they offer relevant products to avoid confusing the customer.

Cross-selling and up-selling effectively can result in boosting revenue. This sales strategy is responsible for an estimated 10-30% of increased business profits. Read more about cross-selling.

2. Keeping in touch

In order to maintain contact with customers, a company needs to find ways to keep in touch, without bothering the clients. Businesses should find ways to build the customers’ trust and credibility by having a regular personal communication with them.

Social media is an obvious and direct form of communication with customers. Using social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…) a business can get direct feedback from customers and learn about what they want and expect from their brand. Having conversations with them will add value to their customer experience and increase the chances of repeat business if they are already customers/clients.
Businesses often use direct mail to market their product(s)/service(s) as well as keeping in touch with their clients. Not many businesses do this well, so having a personalised way to build trust with customers gives your business the competitive edge.

Calling customers has to be done correctly so they don’t feel like they are being pressured or pestered. Businesses should use it to simply check on their customers; reminding them of the products they have to offer or even suggesting help with a recent purchase.
Regular, quality communication in response to clients’ needs will deliver real value customer experience and shows your business is being proactive.

Keep in touch with clients regularly to help generate quick sales.

3. Referrals

"People would prefer do business with people they know, or know of, than with strangers." A personal recommendation is much more valuable than a cold call. A business has to ask for referrals as most people won’t just give it them unless they truly deserve it.

Every business contact has the potential to connect you to many more business leads and it is vital to pursue them. Providing exceptional products and services could lead onto obtaining referrals.

Companies should make it a habit; always thinking about ways to get referrals. For example, when working with a new customer, referrals could be a part of the initial agreement.
A business could benefit from asking associates, acquaintances and prospects, for referrals. You never know where your next customer could come from.

4. Promotions

Offering promotions to customers will make them want to use the product/service. It’s a way to generate awareness for your product/service and may offer a cheaper price (for example). This could instigate the client's realisation of your product/service. By setting a time frame to these promotions, you can create a sense of urgency and thus increase demand.

5. Networking

Networking with other people and businesses is vital to success. Companies should take any opportunity to educate people about what their company does and its benefits. Building networks will create a lasting impression.

Use your contact database effectively & maximise your potential to generate quick sales!

6. Trade Shows

At trade shows, the main aim is to attract the attendees to your booth. To do this, a company needs ways to interact with the customers as well as attractive banners to stand out. Interactive elements such as surveys, touch screens, product/service demonstration are key ways to get a client’s attention. Prior to a trade show, a business should know the details of the trade show, demographics and number of attendees (among others).
A business can promote their booth at a trade show by using direct mail or social media. Staff at trade shows should have sufficient knowledge about the company’s products and services so that they can have intelligent conversations with the attendees and hopefully, generate quick sales.

7. Partnerships

Businesses can benefit from partnering up, as this can give you a new perspective, which is a powerful catalyst for innovation. New ideas and new ways of work can be an eye opener to businesses struggling to generate quick sales. Partnerships can help both parties in minimising risks, and creating effective protocol to deal with unexpected situations.

Some strategies work better for some companies than for others, but there is no harm in trying out these different approaches to generate quick sales, and it is up to you to experiment and see what works best for your business. Generating quick sales can be difficult for small businesses, hence why they shouldn’t shy themselves from exploring different and innovative ways to do so.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and hopefully it has given you an insight on how your business can grow and boost revenues by generating quick sales!
Keep on reading our posts on Business and Marketing strategies!


24 Experts Outline Their Most Profitable Marketing Strategy

Every business owner wants to find out what the most profitable marketing strategy is for their company. And why wouldn't they?

Marketing strategies that produce a return on investment enable businesses to expand their customer base and take their company to the next level. The risk is taken away and marketing campaigns can be scaled in line with business goals.

But with so many marketing strategies, marketing tactics, marketing platforms, marketing planning, marketing tools and marketing philosophies, what is the most profitable for your business?

We asked 24 marketing experts what they thought was the most profitable marketing strategy. Interestingly, the most popular answer given was based around content marketing.

It would be interesting to see which marketing strategies you think would be most profitable to your business. Let us know in the comments section at the end of the article.

Marketing Experts Share Their Most Profitable Marketing Strategy

Here's what the experts said...

Marketing Strategy - David Schneider

David Schneider

Our most profitable marketing strategy has been content marketing combined with influencer marketing. We write content that is infused with influencers (think, for example, an expert round up featuring 30+ marketing experts). We then work with them to promote it. This has led to us publishing several articles that receive hundreds of social shares and sends us thousands of visits, which in turn result in sign ups. It's very cost effective and scalable, and it helps us build relationships in the long term.

David Schneider is the cofounder of NinjaOutreach, an innovative new Blogger Outreach software for marketers.
Website: Ninja Outreach   Twitter: @ninjaoutreach

 

Marketing Strategy - Ryan Law

Ryan Law

Epic Content Creation. A successful marketing strategy needs to generate a ton of interested, relevant leads for your business. A profitable marketing strategy needs to do so in a cost-effective way. Epic content creation is designed to do both.

  1. Pick a competitor with a well-established blog and a sizeable social media following. Use a social analysis tool (like Social Crawlytics) to identify their most popular content.
  2. Choose a popular post, and outdo it - adding value through increased length, greater detail, more recent data, or a controversial opinion.
  3. Create a targeted promotion strategy, and reach out to people that would benefit from sharing your post. Typically, they’ll fall into three categories: people that are featured in your post, people that benefit from sharing your post (like industry news outlets), and people that benefit from reading your post (like prospects and leads).

That’s it – done! We’ve used this technique to generate 16,222 visits from a single blog post. Better yet, we managed it in a notoriously technical and complex industry - and I’m confident you can do the same!

Ryan is Content Strategist for SaaS inbound marketing agency Iconsive, a prolific sharer of growth resources, lover of behavioural economics and drinker of too much coffee.
Website: http://www.iconsive.com   Twitter: @ryanlawba

 

marketing strategy stuart davidson linkedin pic

Stuart Davidson

Unfortunately, there is no single answer (sorry!), otherwise all other marketing disciplines would be made redundant. From my own personal experiences, I have seen inbound marketing produce more attractive input -> output results.

The new age of content, social and influencer marketing is where I see the future heading. When one piece of content can produce endless business value, for as long as it remains online, then the merits are both obvious and attractive.

What I see as the biggest mistake is when business owners "choose" one strategy before undertaking solid research and planning. There are many occasions when a direct response model would be a much more profitable marketing strategy. Never fall in love with one form of marketing without getting to know them first and understanding whether or not they are the perfect fit for you.

Digital Marketing Strategist | Top 40 Twitter Influencer (via Brandwatch) | Marketing Manager | Blogger at StuartJDavidson.com | Author of How to Win in Social Media | Views = Mine.
Website: www.stuartjdavidson.com   Twitter: @RealSocialShark

 

Marketing Strategy - Ben Matthews

Ben Matthews

Networking: Building our network has been by far our most profitable marketing strategy. Meeting like-minded people who work in the industry open sup many, many doors for us. From client leads, to referrals, to new consultants to work alongside with, all the signs point to that the bigger and better our network is, the more profitable we find ourselves. And when we do "traditional" marketing, such as blog posts, email newsletters or social media campaigns, it's our current network that helps us reach even more people and continue building those collections. Even if we don't see results straight away, we know that the network effect contributes heavily to a profitable marketing strategy for us.

Director at @Montfortio | Founded @BrightOne & @Twestival | Ex @FutureGov @SundayAssembly | Author of "Freelance in 30 Days"
Website: www.montfort.io   Twitter: @benrmatthews

 

Marketing Strategy - Graham Todd

Graham Todd

My most profitable marketing strategy is being myself and sharing what that means.

Too many people miss the point of marketing and shout their message and ram their point home… but that’s not memorable.

What I do (and have always done) is share my story and how I create and manage my business. Yes, this does include selfies, daft videos and personal moments but that’s real. That’s what people relate to. People buy people not strategies and pie charts!

Creative, digital loud mouth at Spaghetti Agency. I help businesses get found online with social media & marketing. I share tips & selfies.
Website:www.spaghettiagency.co.uk   Twitter: @SocialMediaTodd

 

nelson 9bills marketing strategy

Nelson Adeoti

I love to start fresh projects with start-ups. Planning a marketing strategy from a blank canvas is where my best results have come thus far. I have found influence marketing and blogger outreach to be my most successful marketing strategy. By tapping into influence audiences you can quickly generate organic traffic and interest and then use other marketing strategies to push the snowball effect.
If your service is new and/or needed then naturally organic awareness will lead to sales and revenue.

Nelson | 9bills is an urban blogger who offers social media management, PR and Wordpress design websites to start-ups and sole traders.
Website: 9bills.co.uk   Twitter: @9bills

 

Andrew Walker

I worked with a UK based company that had a potential global audience but a limited marketing budget. The company had a good reputation in the industry for designing and manufacturing quality products but wanted to target new markets that were opening up for them across the globe.

Traditional marketing methods would only enable the business to target a small percentage of the total target market and consume their entire budget without achieving the stated aims. We decided to take an inbound marketing approach and pull the audience in through the creation of content in the form of web pages, ebooks, blog posts and video.

All of this activity fed a steady stream of qualified leads into the sales team resulting in a large increase in sales and revenue. None of this would have been possible within the timeframe and with the allocated budget through traditional marketing means.

Andrew Leon Walker is a Devon based digital marketing consultant. He works closely with his clients to improve their online presence, increase lead generation and conversion rates and boost sales.
Website: www.ramemarketing.co.uk   Twitter: @ramemarketing

 

Marketing Strategy - Iñigo Etxebeste

Iñigo Etxebeste

About 70% of our new projects come from clients who found us through organic search, so I can safely say that our effort to build a strong SEO presence on the search engines is our most profitable marketing strategy. Our organic traffic has been growing steadily over the years and so has the number of conversions and new clients."

Iñigo Etxebeste is a tech entrepreneur and digital marketer. He is currently the director at Gloc Media, a London-based SEO consulting and digital marketing agency he founded.
Website: www.glocmedia.com   Twitter: @GlocMedia

 

Marketing Strategy - Peter Daly

Peter Daly

Content marketing. Profit is a result of our attention to detail within our content. We ensure our audience is never bored; creating fresh, fun and inspiring content that ultimately leads to retention and growth. Setting out for monetary gain is not a strategy we employ, instead, the focus relies with the content, if the content is right, the money will follow

Social Chain is the UK's largest Influencer Marketing agency that boasts a network of over 66 million active users across Social Network platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Website: www.socialchain.co   Twitter: @TheSocialChain

 

Marketing Strategy - Henry Coughlan-Ellis

Henry Coughlan-Ellis

Social media promotion is by far my favourite/most successful type of marketing strategy. In the summer of 2014 I was tasked with generating awareness for a company I was working for, my main objective was to receive a record number of retweets & followers. Using the world cup games as the peak time of active users, I was able to get the business over 1000 retweets as well as get my hashtag to trend in the UK. The moral of this strategy is timing, which is definitely the essence!

Henry is a Digital Marketing expert specialising in lead generation and brand awareness through social media.
Twitter: @henry_ellis22

 

Marketing Strategy - Ian Spencer

Ian Spencer

Over the past year I have found Facebook Paid Advertising to be one my most profitable marketing strategies, especially for clients that offer a local presence. Due to the fact that you can micro target your audience and the traffic is still relatively cheap in terms of cost effectiveness, if you get the campaign right then you can really make these campaigns deliver huge results for clients. I have now managed many of these campaigns across all types of industries, with the returns often instant and definitely one marketing platform that offers a good return on investment.

In terms of the most profitable longer term, it has to be SEO and content marketing, as if you have the time to write killer content and make sure your website is fully optimised, then you can get long term stable ranking results, for very little spend, but of course SEO takes a long time to really start working in terms of delivering results and is a huge effort, but when you get the rankings that deliver conversions and you maintain your presence, then SEO as a long term strategy is extremely profitable.

Ian runs IS Digital Marketing Ltd, a Bristol based company with clients all over the UK, specialising in SEO, PPC and Social Media Paid Advertising.
Website: http://www.isdigitalmarketing.co.uk   Twitter: @IanSpencerSEO

 

Marketing Strategy - Ella Caney-Willis

Ella Caney-Willis

I don’t believe there is any one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Marketing is constantly changing and it is also important to look into what marketing strategies will best fit your business. However, as someone who works with YouTube and knows a lot of content creators on the site I can honestly say I believe that there is a lot of power behind video marketing.

Video marketing has been around for a while now in the form of television adverts but recently YouTube has joined in becoming a large influence within marketing. Video is an excellent way to connect with an audience and capture their attention. You are able to put across a well thought out message with visuals that compliment and re-inforce the message.

Video marketing also opens up a great way to use influencer and endorsement marketing. Seeing a recognisable face recommend a product or service often makes the viewer relate with the endorsed product/service. YouTube is full of bloggers happy to recommend products and services if it fits their channel. I think that there is so much potential with video marketing and doing it online is a lot cheaper than television.

Ella Caney-Willis | EllaSaysHiya on social networks | Runs a YouTube channel with over 4200 subscribers.
Channel: www.youtube.com/user/EllaSaysHiya   Twitter: @EllaSaysHiya

 

Marketing Strategy Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller

This kind of question is so hard to generalise for as what works well for one client may not work so well for another. Likewise what works for us as a business may not work for our clients. Every client is different. Every industry is different. Every location is different. With this in mind the most profitable strategy for businesses we work with tends to be the one that is designed to cater to that businesses audience.

With that disclaimer of sorts out the way the strategy that we see that generates the best return tends to be some structured lead generation. That is providing something of high value in exchange for the customers contact details. Where the business can produce a piece of content that they use to open doors and introduce themselves to a new prospect this provides the initial seed that a relationship can be grown from. This tends to add value to all other inbound and outbound marketing and as such provides the greatest overall return.

An honourable mention would always have to go to focusing more on your existing customers and trying to educate them with regards to the the other services you can provide. Not enough time is spent on this and it can be a big, easy win.

Marcus has worked in search and digital marketing for pushing 20 years and currently helps SMEs understand digital and run profitable, scalable digital marketing campaigns.
Website: www.bowlerhat.co.uk   Twitter: @marcusbowlerhat

 

Marketing Strategy - Roger England

Roger England

Profits really start to be delivered when companies acquire a critical mass of customers who have all been looked after exceptionally well on their first interaction and are therefore confident that they will receive the same level of service with subsequent interactions.

A successful marketing strategy therefore involves:

  • attracting the right sort of customers within an allowable cost-per-recruit
  • delighting customers when they make a first visit, so they’re more likely to return and also share their experience with family & friends
  • looking after existing customers with at least the same effort as you put into acquiring new customers
  • truly listening to customers across all channels (blogs, social media, Customer Service calls etc) and reacting to that feedback
  • making every interaction with a business as easy as it can be – guest checkouts on e-commerce sites for example

Today, competitors are just one click away so ensure that those customers who do find you have little reason to consider looking elsewhere.

Lancashire marketing consultant helping online businesses grow. Enjoys wine, umpires hockey, puts off DIY.
Website: http://www.rightdirectionmarketing.co.uk/about-us/roger-england   Twitter: @cottampicker

 

Marketing Strategy - Adam Connell

Adam Connell

If you’ve got a website setup and you want more leads, it’s easy to think that more traffic will help. And yes, traffic will help providing it’s targeted but you might be missing an important step.

Here’s where to start:

Focus on developing a conversion optimization process to ensure that you make the most out of every single visitor that comes to your website - get every stage in your funnel as optimized as possible.

Without testing for conversions you could drive massive amounts of traffic to your website and not see any ROI.

Once you’ve fixed the leaks in your your sales funnel, it’s time to focus on targeted traffic. But, don't forget to keep testing as you go to keep conversions as high as possible.

Adam Connell is the Marketing Director at UK Linkology, a UK based content marketing agency. Adam’s advice has been featured on the likes of Forbes, CIO.com and HuffPost.
Website: http://www.uklinkology.co.uk   Twitter: @adamjayc

 

Marketing Strategy - Niomi Cowling

Niomi Cowling

Our most profitable marketing strategy is word of mouth and referrals. We have great people working for us and lots of our clients and candidates here about us through friends who had great experiences with us. It's cheap and extremely effective- last year about 40% of our revenue was from word of mouth. We know that is all going to change as we grow but are super happy that our reputation supersedes us.

Winners of "Best Client Service" at the 2014 MARA Awards Sphere Digital Recruitment is a specialist recruitment company, based in Covent Garden, London.
Website: www.spherelondon.co.uk   Twitter: @SphereDigRec

 

Marketing Strategy Adam Holt

Adam Holt

My most profitable marketing strategy was a Facebook lead content marketing campaign for a top retailer of an iconic Scottish drink. The client in question had always been wary of social media; dismissing it as a channel that wouldn't generate any return for them. They based this assumption on the fact that traditionally their target market were upmarket connoisseurs and would therefore not be active on social media - certainly not Facebook for one!

The campaign, which ran from October through to the end of January, was extremely successful - transforming a modest budget into an overwhelming volume of sales and revenue. Suffice to say the client was blown away by the results and has now been using Facebook Advertising as an integral part of its marketing strategy ever since!

Adam Holt is a professional digital marketing consultant based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Adam has a wealth of experience behind him spanning close to a decade, with a thorough understanding of how people interact, engage and consume online.
Website: http://www.adamholtdigital.co.uk   Twitter: @AdamHoltDigital

 

Marketing Strategy - Jon Tromans

Jon Tromans

I've been seeing great results from audio and video! For my own personal branding I need to be able to show my expertise in a very easy to digest way. Audio podcasts and video walk-throughs are working really well for me right now and are perfect for any knowledge based business.

I've generated new business directly from podcast downloads and as the content never ages, or ages very slowly you can get great mileage from it. Audio makes a real personal connection with people.

Video is also working really well for me which is great as the online video wars are really hotting up. Facebook are gunning for YouTube so directly uploading your video content to both services is a real must. Facebook are tending to give a small amount of preference to videos directly uploaded rather than embedded from another service. I'm recommending that everyone gets video up on their website and social media platforms and make it a part of all future campaigns. Product demo videos are performing really well for B2B and Ecommerce sites.

A great positive about audio and video is that it tends to have a longer shelf life than the usual inbound marketing techniques like infographics and blog posts so you can get better results for less work.

After spending 10 years as a broadcaster I moved to new media and digital marketing 14 years ago and have helped many companies create better performing websites. I now spend my time as an SEO, Product Writing and Social Media trainer all over the UK.
Website: http://www.jtid.co.uk   Twitter: @JonTromans

 

Marketing Strategy Bob Toovey

Bob Toovey

My current strategy is to make it personal. I start with automation, which is great - especially if you are very busy. However, it will only take you so far. My content sharing is automated to Twitter, as it has become more interactive than most other social networks. That helps to start conversations. After that, it's up to me to continue it. I try to establish relationships because, in the end, we all rather buy things from people we know.

Bob Toovey is an experienced blogger and currently writing for his site, Social Media X.
Website: http://social-media-x.co.uk   Twitter: @bobtoovey

 

Marketing Strategy - Alan Monaghan

Alan Monaghan

My most profitable marketing strategy would definitely be effective outreach. Reaching out to influential and powerful leaders within your industry can open up a lot of doors. This isn't marketing your product or service, this is marketing yourself as an authority.

Aligning yourself with an authority automatically boosts your credibility by association. There are also lots of articles and tutorials on outreach so you've got no excuse to get started today!"

Alan is an SEO and digital marketing blogger with 6 years experience. He primarily writes about actionable SEO tips and tutorials.
Website: http://alanmonaghan.com   Twitter: @AlanJMonaghan

 

Marketing Strategy - Hiten Kamari

Hiten Kamari

We've found that in line with the advances of digital technology, people change the way they communicate. With 'word of mouth' being the most widely spread form of advertising, we confidently embrace Social Media as it's digital counterpart. In terms of profitability, firm brand awareness in the online spectrum as a whole has been driving progressive traffic and in turn increasing sales from the get go.

Hiten, Founder at TheMarketingGods.com, is considered a self-started reputable asset, projecting a deep understanding of the current fast-paced Advertising and Marketing industry.
Website: http://www.TheMarketingGods.com   Twitter: @TheMarketingGod

 

Marketing Strategy - Kathryn McMann

Kathryn McMann

In some aspects it's fairly straight forward, yet different for each company. The most profitable strategy needs to factor in:

1. Clarify your Goals and metrics from the start: Being clear about what you want to achieve with SMART goals and how you can get there means you need to clarify the indicators that show/keep you on target. Use HEART metrics. (Also factor in time to revisit these every few months to allow for development and adaption. In an ever connected world the market moves fast so you need to adapt to the markets focus.)

2. Effective communication throughout: Communicate your goals and time-planned strategy to the whole team. Let them understand why something needs to happen. Build them all into the plan of action. Be clear about why as well as the 'what, when and how'. This enables trust and autonomy which will reflect in greater productivity and connected activity.

3. Think integrated, not complicated: One tactic may work well for you, but several will work so much better. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and compliment one another. Email leads to mobile site, leads to social leads to content, leads to SEO and email, leads to phone call, leads to onsite conversion, leads to customer-centric brand comparison, leads to sales, leads to online referral and so on. It's cyclical.

4. Think Mobile in all tactics.

5. Read your metrics as a human, not a statistics machine. The internet is built on code, your customers aren't. Digital uses code (metadata, keywords) to connect between platforms, or tactics, in business terms. Consumers use words that resonate on an emotional level. These are the same thing in digital, it's how you read this data in the context of emotion that ensures your business speaks and engages the right customers.

Kathryn has over 12 years’ working in marketing and 6 years specialising in social and digital marketing. She is a pioneer for holistic marketing, a strategist, fluent digital user, speaker, and entrepreneur.
Website: www.KathrynMcMann.com   Twitter: @KathrynMcMann

 

Marketing Strategy Prabhat Shah

Prabhat Shah

8 years ago, I discovered inbound marketing which has helped me to learn about how anyone can build online presence through content. I have found blogging profitable compared to paid ads. I am still getting a return on articles I wrote few years ago, so I will continue to focus on blogs, proving that the size of the brain should always be greater than size of the wallet.

Prabhat Shah is a Digital Marketing / eCommerce consultant heading up Online Seller Wales, helping UK SMEs sell online. Prabhat expertise lies in identifying business needs and guide them through unique digital pathway to success.
Website: www.onlinesellerwales.com   Twitter: @ONSWales

 

Marketing Strategy Felicity Okolo

Felicity Okolo

A marketing strategy is the plan you have at the back of HOW you enter the marketplace. It’s what you are going to do before you actually do it. For us, the most profitable marketing strategy has to do with what is unique and distinctive about a company. Most people call this Unique Selling Proposition (USP), we call it Business Innovation.

For example a well known brand such as Apple has a strategy which is, “To make the very best consumer electronic products in the world to delight their customers.“ Everything else in their business serves that strategy. This is their marketing strategy. To come up with an innovation, you simply have to ask yourself one simple question: “What does my marketplace want or need that nobody is offering them?” Find the answer and then give your marketplace that thing. Remember that your innovation MUST address real and legitimate wants and/or needs of your target market. With constant innovation you avoid competition and you can create unlimited profits.

Ubiquity Marketing Consultants is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in strategic business marketing using our exclusive Power Marketing Program.
Website: www.ubiquitymarketingconsultants.com   Twitter: @UbiquityMC

 

Over To You

What's your favourite marketing strategy listed above?

What's been the most profitable marketing strategy to your business in the past?

Are there any additional marketing strategies here that you intend on pursuing in your business?


What To Expect When Purchasing Media Services

Have you paid for marketing and media services before?

Were you satisfied with what you received?

Social media touches nearly every facet of our personal and business lives therefore it is imperative for social media to be an integral part of a company's overall strategy. Richard Branson once stressed the importance of companies engaging with their customers via social media on his regular BusinessDay column.

Nowadays, customers go straight to social media to either complain or compliment your product or service. So, when purchasing media services or managing your online presence you should know what to expect. Take a look at the infographic below and check out our 8 things to look out for when buying Social media services.

Media services Image Courtesy of Top Rank Blog

Is it enough to have just a website for your business or do you require extra media services?

Are your potential clients on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter?

If this is the case, you should leverage these networks in order to create brand awareness and/or generate more sales. Take a look at these 8 things to keep in mind for when you are buying media services.

  1. Have a goal in mind that you want your media services to help you achieve. Brand awareness or Lead generation?
  2. Make sure you agree a tone of voice and set method in which your social accounts are managed. It might be worth reviewing and approving content each week.
  3. Engage with your followers to create advocates and fans of your brand. These may be future clients.
  4. Know who your target audience are.
  5. Make sure the posts your business share are relevant and valuable to your target audience.
  6. Media services Are Not for your sales pitch.
  7. Try a mix of paid and organic growth. Do not Spam to gain followers/likes/fans.
  8. Shop around. Get a quote from 2 or 3 marketing agencies and compare each service to what best suits your business goals.

What do you think are the main challenges when purchasing media services?


Marketing Planning: 3 Expert's Share Their Advice...

Are you thinking of ways to increase leads and revenue at your business?

Do you have a robust marketing plan that you follow and implement successfully?

We asked 3 professionals for expert advice on marketing planning and how you can take your business from austerity to prosperity. So who are these professionals...?

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Alan Martin

Alan Martin Marketing Planning

Alan is an award-winning marketing specialist helping businesses understand how to use social media and email marketing to become more efficient and profitable in all areas. You can find out more about him and his services here.

 

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Luiz Albuquerque

Luiz Albuquerque Marketing Planning

Luiz is a marketer with boundless energy to drive businesses forward. He is someone who is happy to help. He prefers simplicity over complexity, even though simplicity is sometimes quite complex to achieve.

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Nicky Kriel

Nicky Kriel Marketing Planning

Nicky Kriel is a Social Media, coach, trainer and the author of “How to Twitter for Business Success”. She is passionate about inspiring, educating and empowering business owners to use Social Media to grow their businesses.

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1. How important is effective marketing planning to the success of a campaign?

Alan:

I would say proper planning is absolutely essential to the success of any campaign. Whenever I’ve run a campaign for my own business that’s not delivered the results that I had expected, I can usually trace this back to insufficient planning at some key stage of the process.

Sun Tzu once said “Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat” or a slightly more recent quote from Abraham Lincoln, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” and finally our very own Winston Churchill said “He who fails to plan is planning to fail”. The list of quotes goes on and on but serves to illustrate just how important planning actually is.

Without proper planning it is easy to miss opportunities and consequently, results are disappointing. I think it is impossible to over-egg the importance of proper marketing planning.

Luiz:

I once read the phrase: fail to plan and you will plan for failure. Here is not exactly the same words but I'm sure you get the point. I did. It's like going to a battle without knowing your strengths and weaknesses, not to mention the importance to know your enemy. Without this basic knowledge, one will always fail, unless he or she is very lucky. And even on that matter we can argue otherwise; to be lucky, some say, you need to position yourself in such a way so to luck can come your way. So even here, planning is necessary. Marketing planning is you envisioning the path ahead.

In digital marketing things are quite accessible to do just that. With patience, knowledge and the right set of tools, one can gather (almost) all the information necessary that will help define proper marketing planning.

Nicky:

So many people approach Social Media in a very ad hoc way, doing a flurry of Social Media activity when they remember and neglecting it when they are busy. You can be so much more effective when you have a plan. Marketing planning itself doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. You need to have a clear business objective for a campaign as well as how you will measure success before you start. You also need to know what content you will post, what time is the best to get the best results and which platforms you will use. Effective use of scheduling means that you have more time free to respond to your customers in real time.

Speak to a professional today for advice on managing your business social media presence

2. What advice would you give to a start-up to start generating sales as fast as possible?

Alan:

Cash is the life-blood for any business and it is particularly vital that this is front-and-centre during the start-up phase. Once you have a few customers the quickest way to get sales is to go back to your existing customers and offer them something else, but what if you are just starting out and you don’t have many customers to go back to? Assuming you know your market and who your ideal customer is, I would recommend interviewing some of your ideal prospects to find out more about the type of solution that they need. The way to approach this is to say something like “I’m planning to create a [insert description of product or service] to help [insert pain point that you solve], if this existed what features/benefits would it need to have?”. This approach not only provides valuable insights into the language and pain-points that affect your customers, but can also lead to advance orders from prospects that like the sound of what you are planning. Once the business has been running for several months, it is likely that it has started to build up a fan base on social media and maybe started to build an email list. This is when you can start to deploy other tactics such as webinar selling, email marketing and social media advertising.

Luiz:

Three simple things: less is more; track and measure the important stuff; and know your customer.

One by one, here it goes...
Less is more: Focus on the most important thing of your business or the most important need of your customer and resolve it remarkably. Do it so well that they will never forget.

Track and Measure: analyse the data that you already have and try to understand what is working as of now and start from there. Make incremental changes and track every single aspect of it, because if you can't measure, you can't improve! Simple as that!

And last but not least, know your customer. Get a real picture of who they are, where they are and what they care about. Empathise with them. This way, you will be able to speak the same language and when that occur, 'magic' happens. Believe me. People prefer to do business with someone they empathise with. This can sound obvious but you would be surprised to see how not so many businesses have done that.

Nicky:

The temptation for a start-up is to launch into a sales pitch. The best way to use Social Media is to build relationships because people buy from people. Your objective is to help your customers to buy from you and for all Start-ups, awareness is the primary objective. People can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist. Twitter is one of the fast ways that I know for building awareness without spending money. Twitter works very nicely with LinkedIn for Social Selling. The more visible you are, the more opportunities you create. Of course, Facebook is a very powerful platform, but I believe that either you need to spend money on Facebook or use it organically, but it will take longer to build up a presence.
This is what I would recommend for anyone starting up a business:

  • Create a website, which is where you drive traffic. Anyone landing on your website should know either how to contact you, be able to opt in to a emailing list or buy directly from the site. I personally recommend WordPress sites because you can add content easily and there is a plugin for almost everything you need it to do. If you don’t have a website, use your LinkedIn Profile as your website and LinkedIn Publisher as a way to publish content.
  • Spend time optimising your LinkedIn Profile and connect to everyone you know already and meet networking.
  • Create a Twitter account with a good bio and friendly head to shoulder photo.
  • Use Twitter search, hashtags and Twitter Lists to find relevant people to follow and start chatting to people on Twitter.
  • Use LinkedIn Advanced Search to find potential customers.
  • Spend time listening online to find out more about your potential customers and competitors.
  • Post content that would be interesting to your prospective customers on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Share other people’s content.
  • Join relevant LinkedIn Groups and Twitter chats and contribute to the discussions

When you connect with people on LinkedIn or Twitter don’t launch into a sales pitch, it is just the start of a relationship. It’s like asking someone to get married on the first date!

Find out all the different Social Media Networks Your Business Can Benefit From

 

3.Which digital marketing channels have your clients been the most (and least) convinced of?

Alan:

The key with choosing the right digital channels is to be where your customers are, regardless of whether you personally like the channel or not! If you run a Business to Consumer company, then channels such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter might be where your ideal customers hang-out online; whereas with Business to Business companies it is more likely to be LinkedIn and Twitter or maybe on your blog. It is important that businesses do their own testing though as there are many platforms to choose from and they need to be careful that they don’t want to over-stretch themselves by committing to too many of them and not having the ability to maintain an active presence on all of them.

Although Facebook is sited as the most popular social network used by business, there are a lot of business owners that are becoming very skeptical that this is actually the best place for them. The reason for this is that due to recent algorithm changes, less and less content from business pages is making it into the newsfeed. Many now feel that managing a Facebook page is a lot of effort for minimum return. Whilst I sympathise with this point of view, this is legacy thinking and businesses need to realise that Facebook is a business too, and they need to generate revenue for their shareholders. The key is to think of Facebook, not as a free platform, but as you would any other paid-for media channel and put aside a small budget to test the effectiveness of advertising on the platform. I’ve seen amazing returns on investment with some of my clients and at the moment Facebook ads are underpriced, so this is a golden opportunity for marketers and business owners with the right mind-set.

I would say that a lot of my clients when I first meet them, are not sure that LinkedIn can generate a positive return for them but after I’ve spent some time with them they are usually amazed at the untapped potential on the platform. Other channels that people are struggling to see the business benefits of include Pinterest, Instagram and Snap-chat but each of these has a place for the right business and there are lots of examples of successful companies that are leveraging these newer channels.

Luiz:

Usually two approaches are more successful. One mid/long term and another short term. Finding the right balance between those two is the sweet spot.

Mid-long term #1: creating content that people really care about. Content that answer the fundamental questions of need. It takes more time to implement and to see results but it pays off, no doubt.

Mid-long term #2: establishing a partnership with other businesses. It has to be one that complements your offer.

Short term: Each client is different, but in general Facebook Ads (mainly re-targeting) and YouTube Ads have been very successful. And the majority of this success comes from properly identifying who their best customers are and with that information, or retarget the previously acquired customers and/or find more of the same people via Facebook's Similar Audiences feature.

On the down note, Google AdWords has been a disappointment. It still can drive loads of qualified traffic but it's getting more and more expensive. Opting for the content marketing route takes more time but you become less reliant on expensive paid traffic sources such as AdWords. At the end, it's a matter of finding the right balance of what works for your brand.

Also, always be on the hunt for newer ways to drive traffic. And trust me, there is so much traffic out there that it's quite overwhelming sometimes.

Nicky:

I wish I had a pound for every time someone told me that their customers are not on Social Media or that they are not interested in what celebrities are doing and what people are eating. I would also get rich on the number of people who say that they have tried Twitter and it doesn’t work. Further investigation invariably shows that they are either; using it as a free advertising tool and are spamming out links, or that they’ve only used it for a week or two and given up. Twitter seems to generate the highest level of fear, yet it is incredibly effective at generating business. I love showing people how to start generating business through using it in a more strategic way. Often small tweaks can make a big difference. Any Social Media Channel can be used effectively to grow business if you become a member of the community first and use it to build relationships.

Do you find that your Google adwords campaigns are too expensive?

 

Start Using This Professional Advice To Improve Your Business Strategy

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our marketing professionals for their in depth answers and appreciate their insight into the marketing aspect of a business strategy.

What advice would you say is the most important or valuable for you?

What more would you like to know about marketing in your business strategy?


Professional Advice For Your Business Strategy: 5 Answers From Experts

As a business owner or an entrepreneur starting your own business, you should have some idea of what your business strategy is and how you are going to implement it.

How will you generate brand awareness?

How will you turn awareness into sales?

These questions are all too familiar to business owners from all industries when implementing a business strategy and according to Forbes, can be answered through the use of online marketing.

These marketing professionals give you valuable insights and expert guidance on how you can improve your business strategy today.

So who are these professionals?

Helen Lindop

Helen Lindop Business Strategy

Helen Lindop is an online trainer who teaches online marketing to micro business owners to improve their business strategy. Powered by tea and chocolate, you can find out more about her and her services here on her website.

 

Neila Romdane

 Neila Romdane Business Strategy

Neila Romdane is a French freelance marketer and also a lecturer for the European Communication School in Bruxelles. Neilia is also an author and was a co-writer of a book on Web Marketing called "Internet Marketing 2013".

 

Marian Murphy

Marian Murphy Business Strategy

Marian Murphy is the founder of Flourish With Social Media, a company that provides businesses with social media training, monthly management and consultancy with a business strategy & development focus.

 

1. What do you think is the most important characteristic of a successful marketer?

Helen:

One of the big lessons I've learned from becoming a marketer is that you need a range of different skills to succeed. Some are people skills, like being able to really listen and understand people's challenges so you can find a way to solve them and some are analytical, such as looking at data to see which campaigns are the most effective. But I think the most important characteristics is to be able to identify needs and work through possible solutions until you find one that your customers not only want, but are happy to pay for. Get that right and everything else follows.

Neila:

For me, the most important thing is to keep yourself up to date with competitors and being able to build a great team around yourself. Marketing changes a lot, it is social content and you can't be an expert at everything. As a marketer you have to keep an eye on everything but also bring together the right team players.

Marian:

I think consistency is the key characteristic of a successful marketer. Through consistency, a successful marketer will constantly be evaluating new and existing marketing channels, consistently measuring results using different marketing tools, consistently creating content for newsletters and social media channels that offers value to target customers, consistently connecting with target businesses, consistently following up with new connections targeted, and converting those connections into face to face meetings. Through consistency the successful marketer will generate revenue.

2. What advice would you give to a start-up to start generating sales as fast as possible?

Helen:

I think the best way to start generating sales is by picking a hungry market. It's a lot easier to sell if you have something that people desperately want.

Neila:

You want to start selling your product ASAP! Try different channels, keep track of as much data as you can, split test, and make good decisions fast. Don't be afraid to cut some channels down early in the process and keep the best running. Also, be very clear on the 'why'.

Marian:

One size does not fit all. Every business is individual. There are many aspects new businesses differ on including whether they are selling a product or service, their target market, their target locations, global or local and whether they are selling online or are a bricks and mortar store. Also do they have a budget for Google Adwords, social media advertising or other forms of advertising? If the start-up is relying on online sales, they need to have a fully optimised and mobile friendly website so people can find them easily when they do a Google search. From the 21st April 2015 Google is prioritising Mobile Friendly Sites. Previously it was a ‘nice to have’, now it is absolutely necessary according to experts in web design. Businesses who don’t have a mobile friendly site could be seriously affected. Start-Ups must make it as easy as possible for customers to make a purchase when they get to their site. I have come across a few ‘clunky’ websites of late when trying to make a purchase and it really is off putting. The buying process should be slick and user friendly. The customer should not be searching for how to get to the next step.When using social media channels for business, the start-up should include links to its website making it as easy as possible for people to make a purchase or contact the business to book a service. Every start up should include authentic testimonials from credible sources of their product or service so potential customers can be confident in their purchase.

3. Which digital marketing channels have your clients been the most (and least) convinced of?

Helen:

I teach very small business owners to do their own social media, and this type of client is often convinced by word of mouth. So if a business contact of theirs is doing well with a channel they'll naturally want to know more about it. Their familiarity and confort level with a platform is important too, some micro businesses love Twitter and use it very effectively to get clients or PR, others tell me they can't see how anyone could possibly get anything of value from the hundreds of random tweets on their screen!

Neila:

That's a hard question I am working with startups most of the time on their community strategy. My job is to create or identify and scale the community inside their users.I would say that the best social channels to create traction has been Facebook especially with Facebook groups. For me Facebook is the best place to watch out for conversation while Twitter is better to listen to the community. For 'likes' use Facebook but for compliments and complaints Twitter is the place to be.

The least would probably be all the "new" social channels like Vine or Snapchat that are more Content generation or curation channels than return on investment (ROI)ones. It's very hard to measure the impact on sales.

Marian:

Clients working B2B would rate LinkedIn very highly as it is very business focussed and does not include posts they consider minutiae that you can find on Twitter or Facebook. They find it of great value to be able to connect to decision makers who they can then follow up with a call or a visit. Feeling comfortable on LinkedIn as they do not have to show their personality or emotions.Clients who are working B2C dealing with the general public would rate Facebook for its more laid back, personable focus where they can ‘shoot the breeze’ and get to know their customers in a more relaxed and intimate way. They can ask their audience for their opinions on various aspects of their products or business so it is a very interactive experience for both the business and the audience. It also provides a better visual stage for imagery and video.Creative businesses e.g. artists, fashion designers, garden designers like Pinterest and Instagram to display their work in a more visually focussed way. I also recently interviewed an artist whose favourite channel is Twitter for its spontaneity and for building relationships.

4. What's your most used tool in online marketing? Why do you prefer this tool in particular over it's competitors?

Helen:

I've been using Hootsuite since I first got my Twitter account in 2009. My theory is that I use the simplest and least expensive tool that does the job well and only upgrade when I need to. My clients are working with small budgets and I want to use what they use so that my training is as relevant as I can possibly make it. So I haven't actually needed to upgrade from Hootsuite yet!

Neila:

I am big fan of IFTTT and I don't really know any competitors for them. I am working with startups so it's very important for them to start their automation early. They have small budget and no time. Every tool that can help like canva, buffer or tweetdeck are welcomed!Otherwise I would like to mention Slack which is the best tool to communicate between members of a team.

I like Plag** right now as a new social network app and I am trying different technique, to test content that's a great tool.

Marian:

I use Hootsuite as my social media dashboard where I can manage all my social media accounts from. I became qualified as a Hootsuite Certified Professional so I could teach my clients how to use it or to set up their social media channels to save them time and have a dynamic view on what was happening on all channels. It also has very in-depth reporting, content generating and many other fantastic features. There are other social media dashboards which I have looked at but I found Hootsuite well established, very stable, innovative and was very reasonable with its monthly fee.

5. If there was one piece of advice you could go back and give yourself before starting out in online marketing, what would it be and why?

Helen:

One of the hardest aspects of online marketing has been striking that balance between testing out new ideas on the one hand but having enough focus to stick with a plan until you see results on the other. Make provisions for trying out new ideas in your business strategy and open up the possibility of first mover's advantage. There are so many possibilities in online marketing and it changes so fast that in the early days I didn't know what to try for the best. So my advice would be to have a clear goal, whether that's a number of subscribers on a mailing list, sales or visitors to a website and then track your results against that goal for a defined length of time, say three months. What I actually did was try something new every week! I learned a lot but it took a long time to see many results.

Neila:

I would advise myself to write a blog, I still don't do it. Especially because I work with British startups and English is not my first language but it's the best way to get familiar with content/seo and market yourself. Be sure to add dedicated time for blogging in your business strategy!

Marian:

Set up an email newsletter – I have started one recently but I wish I had done this from the start. Part of your business strategy should be finding ways to stay in the minds of business people you meet along the way at least every month. I am now interviewing different businesses about their experiences and successes using social media and publishing it on my newsletter. Other businesses have found it really insightful and of great value to them. Publishing a newsletter every month is also a great discipline for creating new articles of value to my audience which I can use both for my blog and social media channels.

Start Using This Professional Advice To Improve Your Business Strategy

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our marketing professionals for their in depth answers and appreciate their insight into the marketing aspect of a business strategy. What advice would you say is the most important or valuable for you? What more would you like to know about marketing in your business strategy?