Your business isn’t performing as well as you hoped it would. You don’t make any profit – you break even or even suffer losses. Your customer base isn’t as large as you aimed. You have a high bounce rate and you struggle with fostering customer loyalty.
Sounds familiar? Don’t worry: you can use some tried-and-tested marketing techniques that can be a lifeline for your business, like these eight.
But First: Understand What Went Wrong
Before you invest your time and money in implementing the techniques below, you need to understand why your business isn’t going well first. Or, at least, you should have several hypotheses about the possible causes. This is the only way you’ll be able to choose the right tactics!
For that, you’ll need time. So, if you’re not a full-time entrepreneur, you might need to make the said time. For example, if you’re also a student, you might need to offload your homework to services like WritePaper.com or cut down on extracurriculars. Once you have the time, think:
- Which business goals do you struggle to attain?
- How would you describe the problem? Make sure to be precise and clear.
- What is or could be its root cause? Does any data back your answer up?
1. Use the Surround-Sound Method
It’s likely that people from your target audience simply don’t know that you exist yet. If that’s your case, your best bet is to focus your efforts on building brand awareness.
The surround-sound method is one way to do so. It means taking your communication with potential customers beyond your own channels. Here’s how to apply this method in practice:
- Analyze where your customers spend time. Remember to consider social media, websites, review platforms, podcasts, etc.;
- Create a presence there. Negotiate collaboration with influencers, get featured as a guest in a podcast, guest post, and so on.
- Review Your Pricing
Sometimes, the root cause lies outside of brand awareness and audience engagement. Let’s say you have an online course to sell, and you set the price tag at $100. If it’s a short 15-hour course and your target audience doesn’t come from high-income households, few people will agree to pay that much for so little.
If you have an inkling that pricing might be the problem, compare your strategy with that of your direct competitors. How much does the product similar to yours cost? How well are their sales going?
2. Aim to Help & Educate, Not Sell
When it comes to any sort of content marketing, here’s one rule: your content has to be genuinely helpful to your readers/viewers/subscribers. Don’t go out of your way to try to sell your product in every article, video, or podcast episode.
If you’re not careful enough, your content will be perceived as a blatant ad for your business. In that case, you can forget about high engagement. Who’d want to share an ad on their social media profile?
3. Reward Your Customers
Repeat customers are the driving force behind the growth of any business. They bring more value – and more profit – than new ones. But retaining customers might not be as easy as you might think.
The key to building a good relationship with your existing customers is simple: reward them for choosing you. You can offer exclusive discounts, promo codes, or giveaways to them. Or you can reward them for helping you out by filling out a survey, for example.
But remember: these rewards should complement your customer satisfaction efforts, not replace them. Those efforts mean having a high-quality product, great customer support, and a well-thought-out customer journey.
4. Build a Community
This goes hand in hand with educational content, but it’s not limited to just that. If you want people to engage with your content and with you, you need to engage in conversations with them in return, too. In other words, you should make it a habit to give back.
What does building a community mean in practice? It can be as simple as creating and managing a Facebook group or answering questions on Quora, other forums, or social media. You can also host events that could be interesting for the community or create a support network for them.
5. Support a Good Cause
Today, where your business stands on social issues does matter – at least, in the consumers’ eyes. So, you might want to be transparent about your values and support a particular cause.
But it’s not enough to just declare that you support women’s rights or the fight against climate change. You have to act on these declarations, too. For example, if you run an online store, you can offer a delivery option with zero carbon footprint. Or, you can commit to donating a share of your profits to a non-profit. This will get you extra exposure, too!
6. Partner Up with Complementary Businesses
Let’s imagine you sell protein energy bars. In this case, your audience likely frequents a gym or fitness center. So, why not partner up with them and take your products right to your potential customers?
While you, gyms, and fitness centers all have a similar audience in this example, you’re not in direct competition with one another. This means it can be a win-win partnership for all parties involved. For example, you get your product in front of your audience, and your partners get additional marketing to your existing customers.
7. Set Up a Referral Program
If you want to harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing, creating a referral program is the way to go. It’ll encourage your existing customers to bring more people on board in exchange for a discount, a gift, or another perk.
If you want the referral program to work, you need to choose the right incentive and promote it well. Don’t forget to set up the analytics to see how well the program is going. Consider investing in referral program tools, too.
So, here they are, the eight marketing techniques that can make a huge difference for your venture’s bottom line. But be mindful: just because they work for many other entrepreneurs doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to work in your case.
The thing is, it all depends on the challenges that your business has encountered – and their root causes. Plus, any technique is only as good as its implementation as a part of the overall marketing strategy. So, make sure this or that tactic will be a good investment for your venture before committing to it!