It's 2022. We're still emerging from Brexit and Covid-19 and we are facing a cost of living crisis and possible recession. Now - more so than ever - is the time to ramp up your marketing. Because it's going to get competitive out there.
Here are my top 10 marketing tactics that your business should be using in 2022 to supercharge your growth.
How many can you tick off that you are doing already?
The number of online videos being watched has doubled since 2018 and that figure is set to boom. It's easier for people to digest video content than reams of text, and if you are uploading to YouTube, you stand a good chance of seeing your videos appear in general Google searches. Which is doubly awesome. It is also super amazing for your personal brand - if you are brave enough to step in front of the camera. If you do, your engagement will outstrip your competitors. Go forth and video!
2/Automated welcome email to subscribers
Okay, this is a suuppppper important one. One that tons of companies get wrong. Most companies allow a web visitor to sign up for an e-newsletter on their website. The moment someone drops their email address into that little sign-up form, is a moment of pure gold.
At that very moment, they are as hot as a lead can be. So hot, they are happy to part with their personal data. Damn, your company must be good! What most companies do is set up a generic automated message. Something like 'thank you for subscribing'.
And that's it.
Your new lead is as hot as they will ever be. You've had an opportunity to delight them, tantalise them, onboard them.
You've decided to serve them a generic message. And then leave it at that until the first monthly e-newsletter rolls around.
Not having an automated welcome email is a huge missed opportunity. If you don't have the time to set one up or the know-how, we offer a cool little welcome email package to get you up and running.
3/Local search marketing
There's no point having a kick-ass email welcome automation if no one can find your website. If you are trying to attract customers at a local or regional level you will want to get into local search marketing in a big way. It sounds rather fancy but it's super simple. Most people Google a business or service they are looking for.
For example 'web agency near me' or 'website company in Norwich'. In an ideal world, you will want your website to appear in your niche search terms so that potential customers can find you. Above your competitors. Google ads is one way to do this, as are YouTube videos (as Google now owns YouTube, they rank pretty high).
But one of the best ways of doing this is using Google's local search tools. It used to be called Google My Business. But you can now create and update a local listing from the Map or Search page. It's free but you will want to put your heart and soul into this. Opening hours, news updates, images - update your content regularly and Google will help you. You can also do this with Bing and create listings for your company on other directories and listing pages such as yell.com.
Online PR is great. If you can score a piece of online coverage in the EDP, East Anglian Daily Times, Business in East Anglia or a sector specific online publication, this is going to help your business in three ways.
Firstly, it's likely its going to attract the right type of eyeballs. Prospective customers, existing customers, suppliers and partners. Boom. Secondly, it's going to position you as an expert in your field amongst other businesses, aka your peers.
And thirdly, with any luck it is going to score you a back link to your website. Think of links as spider webs. The more webs you have across the internet to your website, especially from quality sites, the more Google likes it and propels you up the search engine rankings. It says your site has authority and is trust worthy.
5/Networking & networks
Attending networking events and being tightly involved in a business network are usually two separate things. The latter gleans AMAZING new business results. Well, they both do. But the more entwined you can be with a community the better the relationships and the better the outcomes.
Set a monthly budget for networking and another yearly budget for memberships. Good networks locally include the Norfolk Chambers of Commerce, the Norfolk Network, Buy Local Norfolk, MENTA, FSB East Anglia, Norwich Theatre Corporate Members and Norfolk ProHelp to name but a few.
You don't need to do all of them. Just the ones where you feel a connection. Try them out.
However, do more than show up for the free coffee (although this is always a bonus). Sponsor an event, offer to speak at an event, offer to co-host an event. Find out of they offer peer mentoring. See if you can get on a board. The more you put in, the more you get out.
Likewise, you can always volunteer time or services, or donate cash to local causes that you feel an affinity with. This helps widen your network, too. And helps the local community at large.
Most companies get the hang of creating a blog and starting the first few posts but the trick is to be relevant to your audience AND - most importantly - consistent over time. Useful blog posts (yes, like this one) and guest blogging on other people's sites can get you noticed.
Not only is it great for SEO, it also gives you the chance to really convey the essence of your company. Which will attract like-minded customers. Trust me. Make your blog posts longer than your competitors, more media-rich and super bitesize with headings and bullets to break up the content and make it more digestible. Sprinkle in internal and external links for extra Google house points.
7/LinkedIn personal branding
If you are working in the services industry or B2B, it is time to get serious about LinkedIn. LinkedIn is incredibly powerful. Like a virtual referral network, the best users are regularly posting useful content, responding to connections' content and bossing it. Video marketing is useful here.
People buy from people. Cliché but truer than true. Show up more and engage more and your business WILL grow. Be authentically you. Showcase your personal brand. Give info. Sell occasionally. Use LinkedIn to publish articles, share case studies and launch events.
8/Offer something of value
There is a psychological principle that if you give something, someone is more likely to give you something back in return. This is the theory of reciprocity. Think about what you can give. An introductory discount, can you launch a referral scheme, can you offer a free course or free consultation of some kind? Can you give away free downloadable guides? Can you help another business out just to be kind and helpful? If you can offer something of value and do-good, you will see your biz grow.
9/Have a clear sales funnel
Before you even think about doing even a smidgeon of marketing, make sure you have a clear sales funnel mapped out your biz. A simple sales funnel is below. Make sure you have all the vital ingredients for each stage of the funnel for your leads to flow!
10/Ensure your branding is on-point
Regardless of your budget or size of business, you can have BOOOTIFUL branding. Strong branding denotes quality and safety. Your potential clients will be in good hands with you. Design moves quick. Like, reeeal quick. Websites and brands tend to go out of date every 3 years or so. Make sure your branding feels contemporary.
Tools like Canva allow small business owners to have easy-to-use and free design software and templates at a click of a button. All your marketing materials - both hard copy and digital - should be aligned into a 'family' of literature. With a similar tone of voice, messaging, imagery and branding. We can help with this, if needed. We also love print, here is a useful post as to why.
Do you agree with these suggestions? What marketing tactics have you seen really work for your company's growth?