When it comes to advertising and promoting your business, creative marketing presents several benefits for you and your consumers. To compete today, you must master a variety tactics and apply properly them.
As a business owner, it's important that you know how to leverage and market your business.
With the web, every business site is a platform to display and promote their voice and product. This means that the online marketplace is more competitive than ever.
You'll need to get creative with your marketing tactics.
Studies show that people are introduced to hundreds of advertisements every single day. It's critical that your ads set you apart or become little more than white noise on a radio channel.
Television commercials, radio ads, and even billboards just aren't always effective like before. Your focus needs to be on creating a more thoughtful, engaging form of advertisement.
Below we discuss 10 ways you can incorporate some creative marketing into your business.
1. Creative Marketing Tools: Know Your Audience and Figure Out Where They Are
Before you can create a strong new advertising campaign, you must understand who you cater to – your target audience. You likely have analytics sitting around, so it's time to put the data to good use.
Find out as much specific information as you can. Some things to consider include:
- Time zone
Once you have these basic elements in place, you can get a bit more specific with your advertising.
For instance, if your audience is comprised of 18-25-year-olds, you'd want to figure out where they spend the most time on the web, where did they hear about you,
To really be persuasive and create a great marketing strategy you’ll want to go much deeper and create personas.
Your market is not made up of identical people, mere clones of each other. Your customers are individuals and come with specific traits not just demographic differences; they buy for different reasons and even for different quality levels.
That’s why you need to create personas, that is, fictitious people who represent the general characteristics of each of your customer groups and describe them in detail, where they find you, what they are seeking from your product or service. You want to engage them based on the conversation going on in their head to tap into their true emotions to stand out and be noticed.
It’s not a trivial job to do well but it will give you insights that will make talking persuasively to each group in your ads and on your website far more effective.
The advertising world used to run on a push model. In this traditional method, the advertiser had far more power. But since we have dozens of avenues now, it's important to go where your audience is.
Doing your research before you begin your campaign may seem like a huge time investment, but you'll save yourself money in the long run.
2. Understand What Sets Your Business Apart
Your audience has tons of other options available – what sets you apart from the competition? If you can't answer this question, it's time to go back to square one.
Start by asking yourself what your mission statement is. What is it that made you want to go into business? Once you've figured this out, you can begin focusing on the 7 Ps of marketing (Product, Prices, Promotion, Place, Packaging, Positioning, and People).
People identify with brands that feel less like a corporation and more like a group of people. They want to see you and relate to you.
Use the About Us page on your website to demonstrate to your audience who you are and what your business is about. Think about it less as of a sales pitch and more of a dialogue with your customers.
Figure out what makes you unique in the marketplace and feature your uniqueness in your creative marketing.
3. Focus on Creating a Great User Experience
One of the best ways to draw audiences to your website is to create a simple, easy to use website.
Make sure that your site is compliant with current SEO practices. If you're not careful, Google can penalize your site and lower your search engine rankings.
There are a few things to consider when building a strong, user-friendly website, and just like having a splenectomy, it’s not a good idea to do it yourself. Hire a good web design and development group locally. It will cost you a little but the payback in increased business over years will more than offset the tiny cost and time saved.
You'll need to create a sleek design. Try and incorporate your company's colors to create a cohesive look; there are all all stuff that a good web development team knows to do and more.
You'll also want to make sure there are a few key elements present on your homepage, including:
- Contact information,
- A short paragraph welcoming users to the site,
- A link to a sitemap on the bottom of the page,
- Attractive and professional imagery,
- A simple, yet effective menu system, and
- A search bar.
It's crucial that your site has a fantastic mobile design, as well. Since the introduction of Mobilegeddon, many sites have suffered Google's wrath because their sites look poor on a mobile device.
4. Make Your SEO Work for You
A great design is one thing, but mastering SEO is an entirely different beast. And since Google changes algorithms all the time, it's important to keep up.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make your SEO work for you, instead of vice versa.
Make sure that your URL is conducive to usability. For instance, you can use hyphens instead of underscores to improve your page ranking on search results.
You'll also want to pay special attention to how your site looks on a search engine. A few things are necessary to grab your audience's attention:
5. Get Listed on Google My Business
While Google runs the SEO world, they've made it easy for businesses to get noticed.
In fact, signing up for Google My Business is perhaps the smartest thing you can do for your business. Especially if you're concerned with your local SEO ranking.
My Business is a free service that lists local businesses when a user searches for a specific term.
Let's say you run a painting company. The customer could Google ”painting companies” or “painting companies near me.” With good local SEO and a Google My Business listing, they'll ultimately get the same result – your website.
Once you're listed on Google, users will see all of the information provided by you. Be sure to include a photo of your business, your hours, an address, and contact information.
You can even check analytics to see how you're doing in terms of local and global search results!
Using My Business may not be “traditional” creative marketing, but it's certainly smart marketing.
6. Pay Attention to Your Reputation
Now, I specifically left out one key piece of information about your My Business page.
Users who search for your business will see your overall Google review ranking.
Your review ranking is determined by users' experiences with your business. Accordingly, it's paramount that you pay attention to your online reputation.
Remember a few months ago when United Airlines found itself at the center of a debacle? They still haven't recovered. Yet reputation management isn't something businesses think about until it's far too late.
Try and nip any problem in the bud. If a customer contacts you on social media, for instance, try and get back to them as soon as possible. And always take any problems out of the public eye.
It can be as simple as replying with a kind message and the info of your support line. But don’t believe for a second you can plaster over shoddy merchandise, rude staff, failure to deliver, or doing a bad job.
7. Reach out to Brand Ambassadors and Influencers
The most popular creative marketing method these days doesn't even involve you!
Because of channels like YouTube and Snapchat, content creators have huge audiences. Accordingly, you can reach out to these influencers and work with them.
Start thinking about ways that you can contact out to these influencers and propose brand deals.
In fact, influencers are so popular that people treat them as tastemakers. They rely on their favorite influencers to tell them about the best products.
Remember that push-pull terminology from before? These examples are perfect examples of how the ad environment has changed.
8. Podcasts: A New Way to Find Your Audience
I mentioned earlier that radio advertising is dead. While that's true, it doesn't provide the whole story. Two things have happened, one is radio shows have evolved and the second is for radio advertising to work well, you need an extremely high-level ad and that costs a good bit of money to get. Check out Roy H. Williams Marketing at www.rwh.com and Ivan Levinson Copywriting www.levison.com for example.
Consider turning to popular podcasts for a cheap, easy way to build some creative marketing.
Podcasts like “Welcome to Nightvale” and “Serial” draw in thousands of downloads each episode. That's a lot of new people for your brand!
And it doesn't matter if your brand isn't tangentially related to the podcast. Brands like Leesa Mattresses and Blue Apron, for example, place ads on video game podcasts.
You can use your analytics and a bit of research to find out what the most popular podcasts are for your demographic.
9. Foster Engagement with Your Community
In a previous post I discussed how personality played a factor in scaling your company.
Use your social media channels less as an advertising platform and more as a way to connect with your audience. Make sure that you reach out and regularly engage with consumers.
10. Go Live
Use Facebook Live to update your audience on your latest product, or take questions. You can also use short-form video like Snapchat and Twitter.
Building Better Brands
While the creative marketing dynamic has changed dramatically, it isn't going away. With a little bit of persistence and some foresight, you'll draw in more customers than ever.
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