Today, there are so many ways to market your business. Some people swear by traditional forms of advertising, while others preach about websites. In this article we’re going to separate the wheat from the chaff and give you 10 practical tips you can use to make sure you’re doing all the right things. 1. Get the basics right: build a solid marketing message Before you think about buying new software, building a website, or embarking on an expensive PR campaign, you need to do some planning first. You need to figure out who your ideal customer is, where you’ll find them (offline or online), and what information will actually resonate with them and attract them to contact your business. Depending on who your audience is, your tone will be different, you’ll want to talk about different benefits and brand values, and some mediums of communication might take precedence over others (LinkedIn versus Twitter or vise versa). Once you know who you’re trying to target, what they desire and where you’ll find them, it’s then a matter of using the tips below to execute your marketing campaign and attract them to your business. 2. Design engaging and strategic social media posts Most businesses (and the people in them) are on social media. You can therefore use social media to attract prospects to your brand. If you create material that adds value or communicates your USP in an engaging way, you might just find your inbox full of leads getting in touch, wanting to work with you. In general, social media content should do some of the following things: Communicate brand values that prospects are likely to find attractive (e.g if you’re innovative, show it off!) Show off the competence of your business at solving a specific problem Move people to your website for additional information on the post you’re sharing Provide value so that people keep coming back for more Make sure you plan your content with these things in mind, as these are the types of posts that move the needle. The best content is always content that is engaging but also plants the seed in your prospects’ mind that you are truly the best at what you do! Whenever creating content, you also need to remind yourself who your audience is, as this will affect how you say what you say. What level of knowledge do they have about your product? Do they know they have a problem to solve? Do they know what the solution is? Are in doubt about who will provide the best solution? By putting yourself in your prospects’ shoes before you create content, your posts are more likely to strike a cord. 3. Post consistently Whatever platform you’ve chosen to communicate with your audience, make sure you do it consistently. The more positive information about your product or service the prospect has about you, the more likely they are to become a buyer. Salesforce has a great blog post explaining why it’s important to do this! 4. Social media ads Organic content is hard. Every year, it seems like social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are making it more difficult to get engagement. That’s because these companies are prioritising their paying customers and advertisers. Social media ads are therefore a great way to guarantee exposure to your audience, if you’ve got the budget. 5. GMB listings Google My Business is a must-have in this day and age. If you have a GMB page, when someone Googles your business, your details will come up, including photos, reviews and more. What’s on your listing can affect whether or not your prospects have confidence in you, so make sure it’s regularly updated! If you keep your GMB updated and optimise your page, you might even find your brand on the Google local pack for searches like “printing companies near me.” Be warned, getting ranked on Google’s local pack can be very competitive, but by being consistent and making sure your profile optimised and updated, you increase your chances of getting there. 6. Email newsletter Creating an email newsletter is a great way to grow your business. If you direct people to sign up to a newsletter, you can keep in constant contact with them via email, which is far easier than praying that they see your social posts. Unlike traditional brochures, email newsletters can also be tracked for engagement using email sequencing software such as HubSpot’s email function and Mailchimp. 7. Design a funnel Funnel building is all about taking people on a journey from being completely unaware of your brand to becoming customers. There are hundreds of ways to design this journey using funnels. You might focus on building a blog with valuable content that encourages people to sign up to your newsletter where they’ll be exposed to your latest offers. Or maybe you use advertising to guide people towards a pre-recorded webinar or video where you tackle common objections and demonstrate your product. Attendees are then “sales ready” and can be approached by sales reps who can try to close the deal. 8. Measure your progress Whatever you decide to do, make sure you’re tracking progress. While tracking traditional marketing, like leaflets, brochures or newspaper ads is notoriously difficult, there are hundreds of ways to track digital campaigns. By doing this, you’ll know what’s working and what isn’t so that you can make adjustments along the way. Google Analytics is the most well known tracking tool that allows you to track website visitors. It can give you reports about traffic, including what pages users visit, whether they leave your website after visiting the first page (bounce rate), and information about signups. Other tracking tools include Twitter Analytics, Zoho Social, Talkwalker and more. 9. Automate your workflows Marketing automation tools complete the menial tasks for your team, so they can focus on creative activities that require their expertise. CRMs like HubSpot allow you to automatically sequence marketing emails, so you don’t have to waste time manually hitting send. They also allow you to manage campaigns more effectively, with task reports and automatic task management. 10. Never stop adapting Marketing is always changing. The tools and strategies that work today might not work tomorrow. Keep learning by reading blogs and watching videos about marketing. Some great resources include HubSpot (all-round marketing) and the Ahrefs blog (SEO). If in doubt, head to Google and type in marketing trends *current year*, to make sure you’re staying ahead of the curve. For more marketing tips, check out our comprehensive guide to Marketing Quick Wins for Small Businesses.