You hear it everywhere. “If you’re not on Facebook and Twitter, you’re missing a golden opportunity to sell your products or services.” While it’s true that social media are important to capture a segment of the market, you have to remember, they are not the only avenues to successful marketing. In fact, you must supplement your social media campaigns with other more traditional marketing, according to Econsultancy.
For example, older people usually don’t have social media accounts and, if they do, they don’t use them much. Also, traditional media sites still want press releases and public relation pitches.
Consider this, you must send your message to your target 14 times before they remember who you are. It takes 21 times before people will buy from you. That’s why successful companies market through as many avenues as possible so they can reach that 21 times.
Think about the ways McDonald’s talks to you. The fast-food chain advertises on the radio, on television, on billboards, in newspapers, at bus stops, on social media sites and other digital places.
You can’t go more than a block without seeing something about McDonald’s. In addition, the chain is sending press releases with positive news, doing community events and helping sick children. When you want fast food, you are more likely to pick McDonald’s over any other restaurant.
This same example is true if you plug in the local personal injury attorney into the formula previously listed or a local business that is well-known for its products. Successful companies know that social media are not enough to reach the magic number where people buy.
What Options Do I Have?
Many new business owners have budget issues. They don’t have a huge marketing budget, so they use social media alone. This will work for a while, but it is not enough. However, you can come up with free or low-cost solutions to spreading the word.
- Press releases. If you write to them yourself, they cost nothing. You can send via e-mail directly to the right journalist. This is effective in getting local media to run stories about your business. If nothing else, your business is listed in the calendar and new business sections of newspapers and their digital sites. You also can choose to hire a professional writer to do the work at a reasonable cost.
- E-mail campaigns. A study by predictive analytics firm Custora found that customer acquiring via email has quadrupled in the 4 years and now accounts for almost 7 percent of customer acquisitions. Organic search is the most powerful acquisition channel, accounting for 16 percent of customers acquired while Facebook FB +0.94% and Twitter lag far behind. What’s more, customers who come back to businesses via email tend to buy more and pay more. The Custora study shows email customers are eleven percent more valuable than average. Organic-search customers are fifty percent additional valuable than average. Facebook customers are average, and Twitter customers are twenty-three percent less valuable than average. Again, these can be accomplished by yourself without spending money.
- Holding community events. You can have an open house where you invite local residents, businesses and government leaders. This is effective in getting your business in a word-of-mouth type of way. They will then tell others and post on their social media. An added advantage to hosting an event, you can send a press release and an email campaign.
- Blogging your business. All businesses should be engaging their target market. You can engage them through social media but don’t forget to post a blog on your website. This does three things. You get credibility for the products or services you offer and you are more likely to be picked up in search engines. Blogs also make you an expert in your field. People are more likely to buy from an expert or at least remember an expert. Social channels are inherently built for sharing and engagement, making them the perfect place to cultivate valuable business relationships. Integrating social media marketing (benefits discussed at this link) into each marketing campaign your run will move you from a company-to-buyer marketing model to a peer-to-peer influence model. This not solely builds trust and brand loyalty. impacts on your ROI (Return on Investment). Again, this is an inexpensive way to proceed.
- Postcards and marketing materials. Postcards are cheap to produce and can be handed out at networking functions. You can promote super sales, limited sales or just offer something special to a specific group of people. For example, if you want to reach real estate agents, you can create a special just for that group. Marketing materials, such as brochures, can be expensive or inexpensive depending on how you do them. The key is they are handed out wherever you go and giving people another avenue to remember who you’re and what you are doing.
- Networking. This is the easiest way to talk about your business without spending a lot of money. Look for events that are low-cost or free. Attend as many as you can. Talk to people, hand out business cards and follow up the next day.
- Of course still, do social media. And, you still want to be on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to engage your target market.
When you become more successful, you can add radio and television advertising, but the return on investment is not high. The more you spread the word about what you do in as many ways as possible, the more you will win new customers.