As authors, we sometimes focus on online marketing to the exclusion of traditional offline marketing. Whether we're marketing for a book signing or a speaking appearance, considering all marketing avenues should be at the top of our marketing plan.
Effective And Affordable Marketing Tools For Small Businesses!
By Maya Johnson
In order to make good returns, any business regardless of size needs advertising. Many business owners are nervous about assigning money to advertising because they think it will cost more than they can afford. This just isn't true. In fact marketing and advertising is one of the most important things that every business should pay money out towards. There are 2 main forms of marketing in the world today - offline and online. There are many tools you can make use of from both forms of marketing. Below we have compiled a list of the best and most productive offline and online marketing tools that are often drowned out by banners, radio, SEO and television and therefore forgotten.
Online marketing became more prominently used by business when people started searching the internet for solutions to a problem or for a particular product.
- Forums and Reviews: In today's modern world people are more cautious when buying a product or using a service and check reviews before parting with their hard earned money. With that in mind it is important that you encourage/enable your customers to rate your services and products online and post their positive feedback and reviews. This will certainly make more people aware of your company and its reputation.
- Emails Generate Leads: Nowadays most people, including your customers, have an email address. If you know how to find your customers email addresses or know of a way to encourage them to give it to you, then you can send them promotional emails about your products and services. One of the best ways to encourage them to purchase your products or use your services is to email them a printable coupon or discount code that they can use at your shop.
- Blogging: There was a time when blogging was quite difficult to start, but nowadays you can set up and personalize your own blog easily and for free. Blog sits now even include step by step instructions and tips to help you. If you do feel the need to have your own domain name, this will only cost a small amount of money.
Offline or traditional marketing is an effective way to advertise your business without costing too much.
Classified Ads: Although you may think this method is too old fashioned to generate any interest, people do refer to these ads when looking for particular products or services. It doesn't hurt to sign up and it won't cost too much to have a decent sized advert, which the newspaper editor will place under the best section that describes your business.
Catalogues: Before you worry, a catalogue advertising your products and services doesn't actually have to be a very big one. The important thing is that all your products and services are displayed in a bright and eye catching manner. It is also important to lay it out and word it in a manner that makes it easy for your customers and potential customers to read and learn everything they need to about what you are offering.
Brochures: Creating and using a brochure can benefit your business in 2 ways. Not only will it save you time having to explain the answers to frequently asked customers questions, but it will work as an advertising and marketing tool. Your company brochure should have an easy to read format with every detail listed clearly. The cover should encourage and entice your readers to open it up.
Banners and Flags: It is important that whenever there are local events or gatherings where potential customers will be meeting together and taking part, to put up some flags or banners. Make them as alluring and pleasing on the eye as possible, but the most importantly make sure the information about your company is displayed in the most creative and simple way possible.
The offline and online marketing tools described above are all tried and tested, so they are certain to work. They are also fairly inexpensive, so you can maximise the money you put aside for marketing without wasting money.
Online And Offline Marketing To Drive Visitors To Your Website
In addition you may be interested to learn some techniques for bringing more traffic to your company's website. There are many easy and cost effective ways to achieve this, both online and offline. For instance, any of the offline marketing tools can be used as a method for advertising your website. Whether it is a brochure, banner, flag or catalogue make sure that your website's URL is printed clearly and easy to read. Driving traffic and potential customers online can be achieved by using a variety of methods including: link building; PPC advertising; distributing press releases; creating reviews of your website in forums and following the rules of SEO when it comes to the use of keywords and tags associated with your website. Other methods include uploading videos with user friendly and search friendly information so that they rank well and more people see them.
Clearly, marketing is not a waste of money and regardless of how much money you have to put towards the many streams of offline and online marketing is not important. What is important is that you actually make use of even just some of the tools and techniques mentioned in this article. If you do, you are sure to see greater interest in your company and an increase in sales.
Maya Johnson is a journalist who specializes in writing business related texts. Her experience, acquired at Star Outdoor, Australian outdoor marketing company that specializes in the production of flag banners, gives her insight into new trends in advertising and branding strategies. In her free time, Maya loves to travel.
Tony Eldridge is the author of The Samson Effect, an action/adventure novel that Clive Cussler calls a "first rate thriller brimming with intrigue and adventure." He is also the author of the Twitter marketing book, Conducting Effective Twitter Contests. His new novel, The Lottery Ticket, was just recently released on Kindle.