We sent out an email newsletter last week and it was exciting as we had an extremely positive response from several of our clients within in minutes, and by the COB day 1 we had just under a 30% open rate which is fantastic.
However one of our clients also happens to mention to me through email that they are having an uphill battle with convincing her management to embrace more online tools than just their website. Now my first thought was this is crazy this is 2013 and this is not something I thought would still be a question i.e. should we do some form of online marketing? Let’s get something crystal clear… some form of online marketing is an absolute imperative. Implementing online marketing is not a question of if, it is when, and if you are not marketing online, you should start today.
In todays’ world we have so much to choose from when it comes to online marketing opportunities; Websites, Email marketing, Pay Per Click Campaigns, Facebook Pages / Advertising, LinkedIn Advertising, Twitter, Video/ Youtube Channels, Blogging etc. So I think the biggest challenge is in fact not that management don’t want to implement online marketing, it really probably comes down to not knowing where to start.
It should come as no surprise that as we are a printing company we certainly believe in the value and power of print and can demonstrate that it continues to work well in today’s market. However, we also suggest that it is important to have a good marketing mix with some online channels as well. In short, we 100% embrace online and electronic marketing opportunities in the development and growth of our business and it is working for us.
Developing and implementing a good cross media Marketing Activity Plan (MAP) is not only beneficial it is a necessity for the ongoing success of your business.
If you have the same or a similar challenge in your business with your boss, senior management or it could even be yourself not wanting to try something new – take one step at a time. How do you eat an elephant? Well, one bight at a time!
If you are not sure where to start, here are 4 suggestions:
Start by creating and implementing a mix of an online and an offline Newsletter to your existing client base – and it does not need to be war and peace. As a suggestion produce an offline (printed) version once a quarter and the online one every month. This way not only saves you some dollars in doing a printed version and distributing it every month, it will allow you to test and measure almost instantly what is grabbing attention in the electronic version to role out in your printed version.
Now with your printed version there is also some great tools including QR Codes and pURLs that allow you to take your reader from offline to online. Even in today’s very mobile device world, you still cannot discount the value of a printed version of a Newsletter when produced right. In my opinion print has benefits that online doesn’t. In addition to the touch & feel aspect of a printed newsletter, printed items are likely to float around in the office, providing greater marketing longevity from your investment.
Like most things in life, good solutions and tools do require some investment. There are a lot of great email marketing tools to produce professional electronic newsletters these days. So whether you are looking to set up a self-managed account right, or need an ongoing mostly outsourced solution including content creation, there are solutions available.Our sister company Joomba is a Constant Contact Partner, so if you are looking for a good solution that we trust, touch base with them to learn more. Click the link above to access a 30 Day Free Trial.
Search Engine Optimisation
While Search Engine Optimisation is certainly something you should be working on to help drive traffic to your website, we cannot recommend highly enough to create and commence a good Google Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign. The beauty about a pay per click campaigns is that you can start as small as you like, set what you are prepared to pay for a click and limit the daily, weekly and monthly spend. It’s all within your control, tweak and adjust instantly, do split testing and it is not as difficult to set-up as you might think. Or you can do what we have done, we started ourselves, we were not bad at it if we do say so ourselves however we now outsource to an expert. After all, we like to concentrate on doing what we do well and helping our clients with our assisting them in creating great and effective design and quality printed products that help them with their offline marketing opportunities – including collateral and communications to help find & nurture clients and promote products and services.
Create and update a Facebook page – especially if you are in the business to consumer (B2C) space. This can be a great way to build an audience of clients and prospects who are interested in what you have to offer and or what you do – and to build them into raving fans. We have several clients who are having a great deal of success with their Facebook pages, ourselves, we are still working on it, and while we believe we will build it up, from research so far it seems to be a bit more of a challenge for business to business (B2B).
Create a blog on your website with content like product tips and tricks, or industry related content that helps add value to your clients businesses or personal lives.
There is obviously a lot more to creating an effective MAP than looking at these four online marketing options, and it is without a doubt an ongoing investment of both time and dollars. When done right you will reap the rewards, but certainly don’t just go throwing money at it. Start with a good (even if somewhat basic marketing plan) to begin with. There is no silver bullet to any marketing initiatives whether offline or online, but to keep moving ahead ensure you are always doing something, remember to test and measure, and continue grow your marketing initiatives over time.
Depending on the size of your business, allocate someone to be responsible for your marketing initiatives moving forward from tomorrow and if it is you, be accountable. After all, no matter what business you are in, you will have no business without sales and marketing. It is an important business activity that helps you to generate leads to convert into sales to ensure the continuity of your business.
Remember, even when time is short, don’t miss out on an opportunity to promote your business.
Wishing you all the best for creating and actioning effective and efficient marketing in your business this week.