Featured in my book The Successful Mumpreneur is this list of marketing channels – its an A-Z list of marketing ideas you can try for your business. Marketing can seem overwhelming so pick off this list the channels you think will work best for your business. Make sure you test and measure the effectiveness.
My A-Z of marketing channels
The decision about which of these to try depends on your business.
Do more research on each and decide which ones you will try and measure the effectiveness of each one over at least 3 months.
Add on to existing clients – Sell other goods or services to existing clients
Adverts– Paid adverts in magazines and newspapers. These are usually expensive and in most cases, can be ineffective. Find out the distribution, call other advertisers and decide if your target market will read this!
Awards – many have a new business category- Great for PR if you win or are a finalist
Blogging – Post on a regular basis, weekly is ideal monthly is the minimum. Talk about ideas which solve the problems your customers have. Give away some valuable content.
Books – Write a book or an EBook Share your knowledge and showcase your expertise in your field
Case Studies – Use these from your customers to add to your website, social media, blog and You Tube
Cold Calling – This does work for some business types. Buy a reputable list – do not just pick off companies at random online.
Customer Retention – Look after the customers you gain. Set up referral schemes, keep in touch and give them special offers for repeat business.
Email Marketing – Investigate email software options such as Mail Chimp, Constant contact. Send out regular offers and updates. Buy lists only from reputable companies. Have a list building plan. Make sure you are compliant with Data Protection Law see www.ico.org.uk
Exhibitions & Events – Find local events and get involved by having a stand or visiting. This is a great way to build your brand and meet new people. Could you organise an event of your own to showcase your business? Check out The 3 Counties Expo
Facebook – Build a Facebook page, learn how to do Facebook Ads well. Most businesses in the B2C benefit hugely from Facebook but make sure you learn how to do it right!
Google – Set up a google business account. Google Places and Local will help you get found, make sure your website is optimised for Google search. Set up Google Alerts for key words to see what is being talked about online. Investigate Google Ad words – this might be right for your business. Make sure your website has Google Analytics installed. This is so you can monitor the traffic to your website. This will help you understand how your website is working for you
Instagram – If you have a product based business this may work well for you.
LinkedIn – A good profile well optimised goes a long way. If you are aiming at business to business customers then make sure you get proper training to use this site effectively.
Mail Out – Send something through the post! This can be expensive but with the right list and the right item sent this can be very productive because people don’t get much mail anymore! So consider a colour envelope, something interesting inside and information that is relevant to the person you are sending it to. Again buy a good list.
Networking – There is something for everyone! You could network morning, noon and night! Start by reading Networking for Dummies by Stefan Thomas!
Outdoor Ads– You can advertise on buses, bus stops, shop windows and bill boards. If you are using a venue you may be allowed to put up a banner outside.
Partnerships – Are there other companies you can do partnerships with?
Pinterest – Social media platform built around sharing images so great for you if you have a business which has great images to share.
Print and Promotional items – Consider carefully what you need. Most leaflet drops are a waste of money but for some companies it does work particularly well e.g. gardening and cleaning services, fast food and restaurants.
PR and press releases – if you have a newsworthy story see if you can get some press coverage. Talk to a PR agency and get their view. Try sending a press release to your local paper or magazines. Make sure you have an angel they are not interested in an advert but news! Tweet a taste of your story to #JournoRequest on Twitter and check the feed on this hashtag for journalists appealing for stories on a particular subject and you may fit the bill!
Public Speaking– You can raise your profile by offering to speak at networking events, industry events and local groups such as Rotary or Women’s Institute. Check out the PSA ( Public Speaking Association) or Toastmaster groups for help on public speaking. I can also recommend a book by Dee Clayton ‘Taming Your Public Speaking Monkeys: A Guide to Confidence Building for Presentations’
Referral Programme– Get existing clients or business associates to pass you leads. If they translate to paid business offer them an incentive.
SEO- Get advice and check out the information in my book The Successful Mumpreneur for basic advice.
Snap Chat– If your business is aimed at the under 21’s this may be a useful platform to advertise on.
Sponsorship- can you sponsor an event, a team or something which gives your business prominence to your target market
Twitter – Microblogging site, depends on your business whether it will be effective and the time you spend using it.
Website – See my top tips on building a website. You need a website – period!
You Tube– Upload useful content, tag it and promote via social media
This list is not exhaustive but gives you a lot of options to try. For further reading these are some books I recommend-
Dee Blick- The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book and Powerful Marketing on a shoestring budget for small businesses