In spite of all the hoopla, the bottom line for most small business owners is simply profit. Are you earning enough money to pay your overhead and employee salaries? Each year, some pretty big companies file for bankruptcy, so it makes you wonder how your business can possibly succeed if a giant like GM goes under.
The biggest thing to remember is that large corporations can’t control their overhead. They’ve got offices and employees all over the world. Most small business owners can tell you where they’re spending their money. They can identify areas that aren’t profitable and fix that stuff pretty quickly. Marketing is one of those areas where you can spend quite a bit and not get much of a return on your investment. And this can be frustrating.
That’s why it’s so important to examine your marketing strategies from time to time and see what’s working and what’s not. You may be ready to implement some new strategies. Below are 5 tried-and-true marketing methods that can offer a good solid ROI.
- Cold calling & Telemarketing: most people shy away from this because it has a pretty negative reputation across the board and that’s because some big players have abused its tactics to try and squeeze more out of it. But this type of marketing can still produce good results if you set it up correctly. It works especially well if you’re promoting a big event and have a targeted prospect list. Just make sure that you abide by all the laws, such as Do Not Call Lists. Robocalls are also against the law, so you would need to have actual people call for you.
- Digital Marketing: this covers just about any type of online marketing from landing page ads to Search Engine Optimization. SEO has one of the best ROI’s but it is a long term process and may take 6 months to a year to achieve results. Google Ads on the other hand are a quick way to get traffic immediately and if done right it can produce excellent results. Social media marketing is big these days but again, you have to set it up right and follow a few rules to see the best results. You can also get an intern to help with some of these tasks to keep the costs low.
- Video Marketing: Let’s face it! Everyone loves to watch funny or unique videos. I’ve seen people sit and watch a 5 minute video on how to create unique wall art. Or how to bake homemade cinnamon rolls. There’s an art to creating a great video that people will want to watch. “How To” videos are great. Think of ways you can produce “How To” videos for your own business, which may lead into additional traffic and clients for you.
- Email marketing: People will also open an email if it has a catchy title and includes some interesting content. This is one of the underlying secrets of successful marketing these days. All your content must be engaging, informative and unique. Many businesses do not take advantage of this powerful tool. If you have at least a 100 emails in your database of clients or prospects, you should be emailing them something on a monthly basis. Think of producing an informative newsletter or sending out monthly promotions.
- Traditional marketing: This includes your mailers, print ads, trade shows, radio/TV ads and door-to-door ads. All these old-fashioned marketing methods still work if you know what you’re doing. Pizza joints often place door hangers house-to-house with coupons for 20% off. Guess what? People grab those things, go in the house and call the place to order pizza.
The bottom line is to get good results with whatever you’re doing. Testing is also key to success. You need to try different marketing methods and see which produces the best results for your business and stick to that.
Some businesses have a keen eye for this sort of thing and others are better off hiring a pro to handle their marketing. With so much competition, you can find a marketing agency or consultant for just about any budget.
About the Author:
Pierre Zarokian is a digital marketing expert and entrepreneur that runs several companies, including Submit Express, an SEO company and iClimber, a social media marketing company. Pierre Zarokian also writes for Search Engine Journal and other marketing publications.