Old School Marketing Methods that Help Social Media and SEO
When it comes time to build a marketing plan, most business owners limit themselves by thinking inside the constraints of their budgets and daily operational politics. But if you allow yourself to think freely and creatively, you can come up with some marketing concepts that can be shaped into practical strategies you may actually be able to use. This is how marketing students think, because they aren’t yet working with “real” clients that are bound by financial and public relations restrictions. Here are some tried-and-true marketing tips for small businesses, straight from the marketing classroom:
Get out there and find your customers.
Yes, you invest in SEO efforts so that they can find you. But when you first start an SEO campaign and have a few weeks to wait for your rankings to kick in, get out of the office and go find the customers you want. Visit them at their businesses, and tap into your inner salesperson by forming old school business relationships with them. It can’t hurt and it might help.
Give them an incentive.
If you are an online retailer, you can use Skype or Google+ to video chat with a few key customers that you would like feedback from (be sure to take notes while they talk so you can reflect on their ideas). Offer them a $5 gift card (i.e. Starbucks) or a free item from your business in exchange for their time. This could also work in the scenario above, where you are meeting with them in person. People appreciate getting something of value, and it shows them that their time is valuable to you as well. This could also work with social media followers you have formed a relationship with.
Let them hear your ideas.
When you’re meeting with those customers, the point of the exercise is to get their ideas and receive their feedback about yours. Don’t take it personally if you propose offering a free trinket with every purchase and they don’t get excited about said trinket. Just use it as an opportunity to learn. Ask, “What kind of free item would interest you, then?” Then, offer it (or something close to it). Share it on your social media pages, and be sure to add it to the content on your website (remember, refreshing your web content also helps your SEO).
For the sake of your business, stay on your best behavior when using these traditional marketing methods. But be yourself, too – just like the marketing textbook says. Today’s consumers want transparency from everyone, including the companies they buy from.