A marketing strategy is a business’s overall approach to how it will reach its desired customers. That being said, having an effective marketing strategy in place is hands down one of the best marketing tools you can use.
There are many different types of marketing strategies. But how many of them will actually work for your business? What types of marketing strategies should you choose to pursue and why?
First, let’s narrow down the number of marketing options. We’re going to focus on the most effective types of marketing strategies for small businesses like yours. And these all center around digital marketing. The main types of marketing strategies for the online world are: social media marketing, SEO, PPC, email marketing, and content marketing. All of which we offer as a service here at LYFE Marketing.
Why The Focus On Digital Marketing?
Digital marketing strategies are very cost effective for small businesses, unlike the more traditional ones like radio, billboards, newspapers, etc.
But besides cost, what are some of the other benefits of digital marketing?
Here are the main ones:
- You can easily measure the effects of your marketing and see if your strategy is effective or not.
- You can reach a wider audience on the internet than you ever could with a local billboard or newspaper ad.
- You can also engage directly with your target audience and encourage them to take the desired actions – something that’s impossible to do with traditional advertising methods.
And it’s for these reasons why our focus is on digital marketing. It’s how we help small businesses succeed in their goals.
The Best Types Of Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses
To determine the best types of marketing strategies, one first has to ask what is most necessary for their business. A big business can afford the traditional methods of advertising, so those types of marketing strategies can sometimes work well for them. A big business likely already knows their target audience, has built up an engaged following already, and could benefit a lot from more exposure.
But what about a small business? What works best for them?
To become a big business someday, a small business will want to learn their target audience, build up an engaged following, and get exposure as affordably as possible. And there’s no better way to accomplish all of this than with digital marketing. So let’s begin with social media marketing.
1. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is one of the most popular and effective types of marketing strategies. And it’s not hard to understand why when more than 2.8 billion people use social media.
That’s approximately 37% of the world’s population!
This huge number includes people from all age groups. Even children as young as 10 years old have started to use social media regularly.
Add to that the fact that all the reputable digital marketing news sites support social media marketing. According to WeAreSocial, SMM is almost guaranteed to improve your level of engagement and brand awareness.
But perhaps the biggest reason for the widespread adoption of SMM is its ease of use and low barrier to entry. The value per dollar spent on SMM is also excellent.
And social media isn’t just limited to social networks like Facebook.
There are also social media networks that cater to professionals, the most popular one being LinkedIn. LinkedIn is great for helping professionals to build long term relationships thanks to the relaxed nature of social media.
Social media also encompasses a wide array of places where people are social and interact with each other. Many of these places present opportunities for businesses too.
So no matter who your target audience is, you’ll be able to reach them and interact with them!
But despite the fact that it’s one of the best types of marketing strategies, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. However, keep in mind that the challenges social media poses can all be overcome, especially with some help.
Social Media Marketing Challenges
As we said, there are a lot of marketers on social media. According to an AdWeek survey, more than 88% of companies in the U.S. use it. So you will have to invest a lot of time to compete with them. Or work with social media experts who can help you cut through all the white noise.
To many businesses, time is as precious as money, And you’ll have to spend a lot of time each week doing the following:
- engaging with clients
- answering questions
- posting high quality content on a regular schedule
Part of the learning process is making mistakes. Mistakes like:
- Allowing your message to get misconstrued.
- Your CPC (cost per click) for social media advertising gets out of control.
- Reading your audience wrong.
You might come to find that the learning curve is just too much for you to handle, which is another reason why working with a social media marketing agency can be beneficial.
Social Media Marketing Advantages
Now let’s talk about the main advantages of social media marketing and why it’s one of the best types of marketing strategies for small businesses.
Ease Of Use
The easier the platform is to use for you and your audience, the better. That’s because if it’s easy for them to use, then they’re more likely to be spending a lot of time there!
Advertising on social media is done with a PPC model. According to AdEspresso, the average PPC cost is only $0.28 . And you will only pay that when users take a desired action.
SMM forms a symbiotic relationship with your other marketing efforts. You can combine it with other forms of content marketing, like photos, videos, your website links, etc.
According to psychographic data, social media targeting is unmatched in terms of targeting. You can laser target just about demographic by any metric imaginable (personality, habits, interests, location, etc).
It’s for these reasons why SMM is among the best types of marketing strategies for reaching your target audience effectively. You have complete control over who will see your ads, saving you time and money.
According to Dreamglow, 71% of customers who had a positive experience with a company on social media are likely to recommend it to their friends and family.
What does this number show? It shows that building brand loyalty and long term relationships with customer and clients will ultimately help the bottom line. Being on social media and showing everyone that you’re human is what it’s all about.
Measure Your Success
It’s getting easier and easier to track interactions on social media (tweets, downloads, likes, etc), and these are pretty effective metrics for measuring success. All you have to do is compare your most successful metrics to your profits and then you can easily see which of your efforts produce the best results.
SEO simply refers to how you can get free and organic traffic to your website. Basically, if you get to the top or at least page one of the SERPs, then you’ve succeeded at SEO.
Long Term Strategy
Getting on the first page of search engines takes time and patience. You’ll have to continuously fine tune your SEO efforts to make your website rise up on the results pages gradually.
We touched on this in the last section, but it should be said again. SEO is not instantaneous like, say, paid ads are. With paid ads, you will always see an increase in traffic while the ads are up and running.
SEO also has a lot of competition. SMM does too, but in different ways.
With SEO, not only will you have to outrank thousands of other websites, but you’ll also have to keep your position at the top of the search results.
This may prove challenging, because there will always be competitors who will observe your SEO strategy and try to copy it. Therefore you should always stay up to date with the latest SEO tips and changes.
Too Much Business
Yes, you read that right. It’s actually possible to get more customers than you can handle from SEO. This is even more likely to occur for startup businesses.
To prevent this from happening, make sure that you have your business setup so that you can handle an influx of new leads.
This is the biggest advantage of SEO. And frankly, not much more needs to be said. Quite simply, SEO will bring more visibility to your business, and this will ultimately mean more revenue for you.
Also according to Moz, web searchers are 8.5 times more likely to click an organic (free) listing than a paid result. So the visibility of SEO is actually worth more than the visibility PPC ads give you.
SEO helps you build trust with potential customers and also with search engines. Why?
- Customers are more likely to trust your business if you rank at the top of the search results.
- Search engines will also start to trust your website as you rank higher. Giving your website more authority and making your future SEO efforts even easier. This is the snowball effect in action.
And last but certainly not least, SEO can give you continual free traffic to your website. This isn’t the case with PPC. That’s not to say that PPC doesn’t have its uses. It certainly does, and that’s what we’re going to talk about below.
PPC is one of the costlier types of marketing strategies, but the return is worth the cost. Basically you pay a fee each time one of your ads is clicked
But one of the main reasons for the widespread usage of PPC advertising is how much it’s promoted by Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It’s easy for these reputable companies to gain the trust of business owners.
But of course, these companies are in it to make money (just like you!). With that being said, that doesn’t mean that you can’t come out ahead with PPC! After all, these companies want you to succeed so that you’ll keep using their advertising tools.
Keep these facts in mind for PPC:
- Be sure that you place your ads in a prominent position and let your call to action entice visitors to come to your site, meaning they click your ad.
- The price you pay per click will depend on your chosen keywords as well as the demand for what you are providing. For example, if you are using PPC ads in the legal industry, then you can expect to pay a very high CPC!
- And also keep in mind that prices can fluctuate by the minute, just like the stock market.
First let’s talk about the main challenges of PPC.
Ignoring Sponsored Ads
A Google survey recently revealed that 85% of people claim to ignore sponsored listings. But the more you make your ad look like a regular listing than an ad, the greater response you’ll receive.
Advertisers compete for the top ad position. So, advertisers can sometimes get into races to the bottom where no one wins in the end (except the search engine). So it’s important to always stay calm and pay attention to the numbers.
Charge For Each Click
This is worth keeping in mind. Clicks run up fast, and you’ll need a pretty heavy budget to get the most out of PPC. For most small business owners this is expensive.
Every Click Costs
There is a slight distinction in this point compared to the one above. Clicks run up fast because, unfortunately, even if users are searching for fun, you’ll still have to pay.
And this is why you need a great combination of keyword management, compelling ads, and highly optimized landing pages to get the most out of all clicks.
In summary, every piece of your PPC campaign has to work together. Including: keywords people are searching for that match your business, and attention grabbing ads.
With PPC, you can get up and running and get targeted traffic in less than 48 hours. SEO on the other hand can take 6 to 12 months before you start getting targeted traffic for competitive keywords.
But the best thing to do is combine SEO and PPC together – they complement each other very well!
Track Your Ads In Real Time
Search engine PPC, like social media PPC, also offers excellent ad tracking features. The detailed levels of tracking will paint a clear picture of who your viewers are, which includes demographic and profiling data.
Retargeting simply means re-showing your ads to your previous website visitors. This is one of the most effective types of marketing strategies for newer businesses that haven’t gained credibility and trust from people yet. After all, not everyone is so easily convinced the first time around.
But planting a seed in their heads over and over again is a good idea, and it works.
Local And Global Reach
PPC is one of types of marketing strategies that can catapult your business in front of local and global audiences. Needless to say, the more your business is “out there,” the better odds you’ll have of getting new and repeat customers.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the types of marketing strategies that work far better than its traditional counterpart. For one, gathering email addresses is much easier than gathering mailing addresses. And two, the costs are much lower because there are no printing and postage costs with email marketing. Sending emails is practically free by comparison!
Even though email marketing sounds great compared to traditional mailing, that doesn’t mean there aren’t mistakes and pitfalls that can make you lose customers. We’re going to go over some of these challenges and how to avoid them.
Noticing a trend? Yes, all types of digital marketing strategies have a lot of competition, but that’s because they work so well!
Anyway, competition is inherent to email marketing. Most people get hundreds of marketing emails everyday from different companies. This is largely thanks to bulk email marketing programs that can send hundreds of emails out instantly.
This is a big reason why many companies consider a 20% open rate for an email to be excellent. 20% may not seem like much, but when you see those 20% of people take action and make a purchase, it becomes more than you think.
If you’re not careful, email marketing can hurt your brand image. For example, if you’re sending out hundreds or thousands of emails indiscriminately to people who aren’t already on your mailing list. They will rightly consider your emails to be unsolicited spam.
Buying email lists and sending emails indiscriminately is the easier path of least resistance – but can be harmful to your image in the long run and also illegal if the user did not agree to receive emails from you.
To avoid being labeled as a spammer, only send emails to people who have opted in to your mailing list already. And if you care about your brand image, don’t buy email lists.
Email marketing is one of the types of marketing strategies that only works if you do it on a regular basis. Inconsistent sending reflects poorly on a business. But with that being said, you also must balance how many you send out so that you aren’t spamming.
Ease Of Use
This is also a challenge because it’s a double edged sword. If it’s easy for you to send and receive emails, then it’s also easy for your readers to unsubscribe from them. That unsubscribe link will always be there. If they get annoyed or your content is not relevant, all they have to do is click it.
Approximately half of all internet traffic comes from a mobile device. To leave a good impression, your emails must have a responsive design.
Because of the nature of email marketing, it’s relatively impersonal compared to other types of marketing strategies. Now having said that, you can still improve personalization in a number of ways. Examples include using first name tags, city tags, etc.
But this doesn’t make up for the lack of personalization completely; people know that you’re sending a template email. The only way to make up for this negative aspect of email marketing is to write valuable content.
Projecting a professional appearance can be more challenging with email marketing. For example, if you’re writing emails in a hurry, you might make grammatical mistakes or spelling errors. This can leave a bad impression on your audience.
Now let’s look at some of the advantages of email marketing, of which there are many! All of the challenges are only possibilities that can be avoided with due diligence and good business practices.
The following reasons are why email marketing, in the right hands, is one of the best types of marketing strategies for small business owners.
- You can track your emails to see which ones are received, which email addresses are no longer active, and which subscribers opted out of your emails.
- It’s easier to measure the effects of an email campaign than a standard mail campaign.
- With almost every email marketing platform today you can see which emails are engaging people most.
This information will let you know if you’re reaching your intended target audience. It will also show you if your other marketing efforts are bringing in the right people to your website.
Email marketing offers superior targeting options, allowing you to tailor different emails for different demographics.
A new marketing email can be made and sent out in just a few hours and be received by millions of people in a matter of minutes. With email marketing, you have the power to respond quickly to new happenings in your niche.
Conversely, email marketing can help your brand if done right. Doing it right means continuously directing people to your website in your emails. This will keep your business in your readers’ minds. And when they’re ready to buy something that you provide, they’ll think of you first.
But you may be wondering how you can constantly direct them to your site without coming across as a pushy salesman? Simple. Don’t be a pushy salesman.
Offering sales and discounts to bring visitors to your site is fine on occasion.
But a surefire way to get visitors to your site is to offer up some freebies. This is worth doing because you’ll be building a loyal customer base. And oftentimes a loyal customer base is willing to drop more money on a brand they like, even if it’s more expensive than the other options.
You can send out thousands of emails every month for only a couple hundred dollars (or less!) per month with some platforms. For most businesses the revenue this generates is enough to pay for the cost of sending the emails.
If someone likes what’s in your email, all they need to do is “forward” it to their friends/family and boom – free exposure!
5. Content Marketing
Content marketing is different than the other types of marketing strategies. It’s different than traditional advertisements too. And it’s also different from the humorous posts on social media.
Content marketing can influence someone’s thoughts without them even knowing it. But it does require a lot of time, dedication, as well as some skill in writing.
Content Marketing Challenges
The first thing that people get stuck on with content marketing is what to write about.
Our best advice is to do some research about your audience and devise a plan. Create a content marketing calendar and plan out your writing topics in advance. Topics can revolve around FAQs, challenges your clients are facing, or even their success stories.
As you can see from the previous point, content marketing is a bigger commitment than the other types of marketing strategies. And it’s something that needs to be done consistently.
But if you can’t keep up with writing content, then there’s no shame in hiring someone else to do it for you.
Like SEO, content marketing is a long term strategy for success.
Picture a potential customer for your business who reads your blog regularly. It may take them a year of reading about your product or service before they decide that it’s right for them.
So if you don’t see an immediate surge in new business, don’t give up on content marketing!
Content Marketing Advantages
There are some big advantages of the long term types of marketing strategies. Here are the biggest advantages of content marketing:
Content marketing is one of the best types of marketing strategies for keeping an audience engaged. And when someone is ready to buy something that you offer, they’ll think of you first because you were already a useful resource for them.
To become a resource for them, you’ll have to do your best to stand out. Product reviews, manuals, and videos are great ways to do this.
In fact based on a recent study, it was stated that 90% of the online consumers surveyed said that watching product videos help them make purchasing decisions. Also, 37% of them prefer to watch full online videos about the brand they’re eyeing. So, if you are running an ecommerce store, be sure to include some how-to or tutorial videos in your content. Doing so will better showcase your product and increase conversion.
Regular content marketing also feeds into SEO, because it shows Google that your website is active. The reading time of visitors on your website will also show Google that your website is trustworthy.
Producing educational and relevant content will show your audience your experience, skill, and knowledge. Eventually they’ll be confident enough to take the next step.
The key thing to remember is this – social media will make people like you, and content marketing will make people trust you.
So don’t squander the opportunity to build trust with your audience through content marketing. Your writing shouldn’t be overly promotional. But instead should provide insights on common questions and fears that you often see in your target audience.
So Which Are The Best Types Of Marketing Strategies?
Now after looking at all of the options, you should be able to choose the best ones for your business. As you can see, all of these types of marketing strategies have great synergy together. And it’s up to you to decide which ones fit you and your business best.
But if there’s one thing you should take away from reading this, it’s that digital marketing trumps traditional marketing in every aspect for newer, smaller businesses.
Still need help deciding what to do? You can reach out to us here. We’re here to help!