How to Market Your Business Online and Offline in 2018

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Are you a business owner interested in expanding your market? The last few years have ushered in a stunning array of new technology. With this new technology comes new ways for business owners to create and innovate, especially when it comes to marketing. Brand development, promotions and advertising are more important than ever — but they’ll only work if you know how to use them. As 2018 progresses, we’re consistently being presented with new marketing tactics and strategies to help in business growth and market expansion.

Develop Your Brand and Let It Speak

Brand development is more important than ever when it comes to marketing. It’s not just your logo, it’s your business identity. Another way of looking at it is the foundation from which all your decisions, marketing and otherwise, stem. According to The Balance, your brand also encompasses the perceptions your customers and potential customers have about your business.

The brand encourages your chosen market to buy from you. It creates a persona around your business, which you can develop to connect emotionally with your customers. Therefore, it creates loyalty, establishes your credibility as a company and helps promote you through word-of-mouth. It’s essential for you to develop an image to market to your chosen crowd and to tweak that image accordingly when expanding into new markets.

So, how do you develop your brand? First off, examine your niche. What is your product and to whom are you marketing it? While your product may seem (and it should to you) to be the perfect product for everyone, there are few blanket products that everyone needs and wants. And even within those products (toilet paper, engine oil, loaves of bread, etc.), there are ways to develop your brand further and target specific demographics.

Therefore, examine your product closely. Do some market research to determine who is buying your product. Then tailor your advertisements and brand image to either align even more closely to this demographic or tweak them to speak to a new market. Use images, slogans and emotional context that appeals to your target demographic.

Use these processes to aid you in your brand development and improve marketing across the board.

Use these processes to aid you in your brand development and improve marketing across the board.

For example, say you sell a skin moisturizer. Your demographic is mainly 20 to 30-year-old women, but you want to sell more. So, you’ve got to develop your brand to reach a wider audience while becoming more appealing to your current one. Research current marketing trends for that demographic and apply them. But spice it up a bit. Make your ads a bit sassier, a bit more serene, a bit funnier. By doing so, you develop your brand character — and thus have more appeal to a wider audience. You also become well-known and more successful.

Organic Content Marketing and Offline Advertising

Once you work on developing your image, the next step is advertising. Today, you have to market in any way you can, both on and offline advertising, done in a way that emphasizes your brand while being designed to reach the widest audience.

Therefore, you must diversify. And though you’ve probably already discovered the world of pay-per-click advertising on Google, if you haven’t already, consider investing some money into Google and Facebook advertisements.

It’s also a smart idea to branch into the world of organic search marketing. Pay-per-click ads are useful and relevant, but research shows that organic search results receive 8.5 clicks for every one click a paid ad receives. Because it’s not likely that many people will search through pages of Google results to get to your site, you need to rank higher on Google.

That’s where search engine optimization or SEO comes in. It’s the art of creating and maintaining organically made web content that’s high quality and full of relevant keywords to keep you ranking high on Google. However, it’s difficult to navigate the world of SEO. Running a business is a full-time job as it is. So, consider hiring out your SEO needs to be an essential part of digital marketing.

Both pay-per-click ads and SEO have advantages and disadvantages as digital marketing tactics, so make sure you use an intelligent combination of the two.

Both pay-per-click ads and SEO have advantages and disadvantages as digital marketing tactics, so make sure you use an intelligent combination of the two.

However, online marketing is still only part of the advertising you must do. Even if you run your business solely online, the world goes on outside. You have to throw yourself into it. So, how can you do this effectively?

Events are a good way to connect with your community and promote yourself. Host a workshop or give a speaking event on the making of your product and invite everyone to come out and see what makes your company tick. Give away food, drinks and maybe even some keychains. You can also make it a monthly event in the community to ensure a continued connection and sense of loyalty.

However, don’t keep your audience captive too long, unless your event is interactive. People are much more likely to respond to this kind of advertising when they come away having gained something, which can be anything from laughing at a joke you told to a free company coffee mug to an invitation to the next event.

Consider posting flyers around your city as well. Print flyers are read at bus stops, train stations and on the subway. Consider where the most traffic will pass by and set out an eye-catching flyer for potential customers to read.

Remember your call to action. When presenting your market with a flyer, the last few sentences should be devoted to making sure the reader does something with the information instead of just tossing the flyer aside like yesterday’s news. Ask them for a specific action like visiting your store or attending your next workshop. Be sure to indicate how this will benefit them.

The same goes for the end of your speaking event or workshop. Bring your audience together one last time to call them to action to complete a specific task, which will result in them buying your product.

Give a Little to Get a Lot: Giveaways, Deals and Promotions Matter

The best thing you can do for your business? Give your product away for free. But this doesn’t mean you should go broke doing it. Giving away freebies and rewards to new customers is a good way to draw in business. People are drawn to any company from which they get more. You can see the success of this practice work with online gaming such as the online enterprise Wink Bingo a gaming site offering up all sorts of newbie promotions — a unique social room, sign-on bonuses and continued rewards make this site one of the most popular in the U.K.

It’s also vital to reward your loyal customers (i.e. the ones who spend the most money on your product) as well. Use purchase-centered rewards wherein your customers receive discounts and freebies the more they spend.

People are much more likely to stick with a business that they connect with, are aware of and gives back to them. You can be that company! Develop your brand image to reach out emotionally. Advertise yourself to the top of Google and the front of the community flyer board. Reward your customers. And by the end of 2018, you could be twice as successful.

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