Can a business succeed without marketing? It’s not likely. Even businesses who aren’t currently invested in a long-term marketing strategy have done some form of marketing at some point to get the word out.
Digital ad spend is up 19% in the last year alone, accounting for nearly 55% of all advertising dollars in the United States. In addition, 75% of marketers are increasing their content marketing investments, while the industry as a whole is expected to be worth more than $412 billion by next year.
These numbers are a powerful testament to the benefits of marketing. Your marketing strategy is the lifeblood of your business. It drives sales and conversions, fuels your brand image, and develops ambassadors that will proudly support your business.
Therefore, a well-developed marketing strategy isn’t something to leave to chance.
Take a look at some of my favorite methods that have been proven by other businesses to fuel revenue growth.
Increase Market Penetration
Studies suggest you’re 60%–70% more likely to sell to existing customers than to gain a new one. And that makes perfect sense — people who already buy from you are familiar with your brand. They already like you and you don’t have to try as hard to convert them.
Market penetration is the official term for this process, where you drive deeper into your existing market by offering upsells, cross-sells, or new products to your existing market.
Amazon is a prime example. The eCommerce giant offers product recommendations on every page, and these recommendations are tailored to each user’s experience and search history on the site.
This case study shows that revenue increased by 4% by optimizing the placement of upsell opportunities on a page. Another case study details how one luxury hotel brand generated an extra $2.4 million by training their employees on how to upsell and cross-sell one of the hotel’s suites.
You’ve already got their attention, so why wouldn’t you try to make yourself more valuable to them?
Develop Video Tutorials
Video marketing is a key channel, especially since YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (second to Google). But successful video marketing isn’t just about creating commercials.
Instead, skip the sales pitch altogether and focus on video content that provides instructions and solves problems. People don’t just want to read about how to do something — they want to see it. Most importantly, they want to see how the experts do it.
Think about your products or services: what questions will your users have so they can get the most from their purchase? If you sell makeup, do a video tutorial on how to apply it. If you have a software product, do a video demo. Walk them through the process. Hold their hand and give them confidence. When you provide them actionable value, customers will be more likely to see you as a reliable expert.
A great example is Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays. I’ve followed them for years have always enjoyed the tips and tricks they offer within these videos.
Work with Micro Influencers
Influencer marketing is on track to becoming a $15 billion industry by 2022. When most people think of influencers, celebrity endorsements and individuals with millions of fans spring to mind.
For this reason, micro influencers are a promising alternative.
The term “micro influencer” refers to those who have between 10,000 and 50,000 followers. They have very niche audiences, and, because of this specialization, their influence can have just as much pull as any celebrity figure.
MINI Australia leveraged micro-influencers for a campaign, partly because they reflected the MINI name and partly because the company wanted an authentic, non-invasive promotion. It worked with five micro-influencers to put them behind the wheel of a MINI and document their experiences. The results: it reached more than 147,800 consumers and gained engagement from more than 8,100 users.
Word-of-mouth marketing has taken on a new form in the digital era. Instead of people talking about your brand with others, they’re now leaving star ratings and online reviews, dropping comments on social media, and even sharing your content (and yes, they’re still talking about you in person).
Nearly 65% of marketers say that word-of-mouth marketing is their most effective outlet. It’s believed to drive $6 trillion in revenue and nearly 13% of all consumer sales. What’s more, 90% of consumers trust recommendations from family members or friends, making them more likely to buy.
Word of mouth is considered to happen on its own, but there are ways for you to take control of it, to a degree. And, with numbers like the ones above on the line, why wouldn’t you?
You can spur word-of-mouth marketing by offering incentives to anyone who refers business to you. When someone makes a purchase, the person who referred them will earn a reward. Remember, not all rewards need to be monetary: for example, if you have employees, you could come up with special staff incentives like a day off with pay.
A unique way to incentivize word-of-mouth marketing is by creating community among members. For example, customer stories have been the anchor of success for fitness movement Crossfit. Its entire culture is based around telling people about Crossfit, to the point where the internet has turned it into something of a joke.
With millions of loyal followers and a multi-million-dollar brand, Crossfit has turned its best customers into loyal brand ambassadors. This ongoing participation and involvement is the incentive in this case, making members want to continue being part of a life-changing movement.
World of Warcraft is a more classic example of referral incentive. Players who refer others to the game can get amazing in-game benefits and even special access to play alongside each other, regardless of game level.
In summary, there’s no getting ahead without a marketing strategy. You can look at what’s worked for others, but, ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you.
That said, make sure you continue fine tuning and testing out different channels to see what yields the best results. You can also check out the some of my latest posts to help get you started as well:
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