Welcome back to #AskMeOnMonday. This week we discuss the best way to market your business. Thanks to Catherine Salat from Just Imagine Finance for the question. I run through the different types of marketing channels business can use and tell you the best ones to use if you sell a product versus a service and if your target market is individuals or other businesses.
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Top tips from this week
Businesses can use the following sales funnel to map out their customers’ journey and win new business:
- Create awareness of your brand and attract traffic to your website;
- Convert traffic to leads; and
- Convert leads to customers or clients.
There are many marketing channels available to help attract traffic to your website an create awareness among your target market.
Commonly used marketing channels in the online space include your website (and SEO), social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Whatsapp, your blog or vlog, eBooks and eMagazines, online listings and directories and online advertising.
In the offline space, marketing channels include networking and meetups, presenting workshops, speaking events and expert panels, books and magazines, offline advertising such as TV, radio and billboards, and cold calling and emailing.
When deciding the best marketing channel to use for your business, ask yourself these two questions:
- Who is your target market?
- What are you selling, i.e. a product or a service?
You want to be where your target market is, so check the typical user of each marketing channel and only use it if it matches your target market.
And different channels work better for services than for product-based businesses. So use visual platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest to showcase products. Or use a combination of online and offline marketing (for example, use LinkedIn plus networking) if you have a service-based business and need to develop and nurture face to face relationships.
When in doubt, the following rule of thumb works well for most businesses:
(Please note this is general advice. You should consider whether this is suitable for your business, including whether it aligns to your business and marketing strategy and you should always test the various marketing channels before investing too much time or money on any one marketing channel.)
- For product-based businesses >> use Facebook plus other social media platforms used by your specific demographic, e.g. Snapchat, Instagram
- For service-based businesses (selling to individuals) >> use Facebook
- For service-based businesses (selling to businesses) >> use LinkedIn and networking
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About the Author: Angeline Zaghloul is an expert in business strategy, client management and business processes, and is the Managing Director of Peer Business Consulting, a Sydney-based consultancy providing strategy and operations support to startups and SMEs. Angeline also publishes a regular blog which provides research, advice and tips on key issues facing businesses.