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What is Experiential Marketing? 5 Creative Examples to Boot

experiential marketing

Experiential marketing has become all the rage in an age where brand differentiation is harder than ever.

To make your brand stand out, customers can’t just see or read about it — they need to experience it.

Quick Takeaways

  • Experiential encapsulates any interactive experience between brands and their consumers.
  • Brand experiences are one of the best drivers of word-of-mouth marketing.
  • The best experiential marketing taps into customer emotions.

What is Experiential Marketing (and what is it not)?

Experiential marketing brings brands to life by creating interactive, memorable experiences between brands and consumers. It comes in many forms — events, contests, viral content, product launches and demos, online challenges, and more.

It’s also one of the most effective forms of marketing. A whopping 98% of consumers are more inclined to make a purchase after having a positive experience with a brand. To boot, experiential marketing improves brand perception and boosts sales.

experiential marketing stats

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One common misconception about experiential marketing is that it’s simply another word for event marketing. It’s important to note that while experiential marketing includes events, it also encapsulates so much more.

In fact, we’ve learned more than ever over the past year that experiences don’t even need to happen in person — digital engagement can be just as effective (and often has a much wider reach) than an experience tied to a specific location.

The biggest benefit for brands implementing experiential marketing is its impact on word-of-mouth brand advocacy. Consider this:

  • 92% of consumers trust brands recommended by their peers
  • People who enjoy a brand experience tell, on average, 17 people

If 92% of those people trust that recommendation, you’re earning 15 potential customers from every person who has a positive experience with your brand!

When you’re planning experiential marketing campaigns, remember that it ultimately needs to be about your brand. There’s no sense in planning a really cool event or a fun challenge if it doesn’t lead customers back to your brand and make them feel like they know it better.

5 Creative Experiential Marketing Examples

Milka #TheLastSquare

Milka is an international chocolate brand whose tagline is “dare to be tender.” In 2013, they set out to make customers experience this sentiment using their product as the vehicle.

Milka altered their manufacturing process to produce 5 million chocolate bars with exactly 1 square missing. In place of the square, customers found directions to a website where they could choose to have the square returned to them or send it to a loved one with a personal note.

In other words, Milka invited consumers to dare to be tender by sharing their last piece of chocolate.

The results? More than 800K web visits, 500K last squares sent to loved ones, 95K social media shares, and 1.3 million euros in earned media. Not too shabby.

Lean Cuisine #WeighThis

Lean Cuisine shifted away from their focus on diet marketing and instead posed a question to consumers: How do you want to be weighed?

In 2015, they created a powerful campaign around this question, asking women about their accomplishments and showing how those accomplishments (children, relationships, degrees, travel, personal triumphs, and more) weigh in on the scale.

A year later, they created a pop-up experience in Grand Central Station, asking people passing through to write down how they want to be weighed and adding it to the brand display.

This experiential marketing effort created an important shift in brand perception, from Lean Cuisine as a diet food to a brand that cares about their customers true worth, regardless of a number on the scale. It’s obvious from the videos that it resonated with customers.

WestJet Christmas Miracle

WestJet Airline capitalized on the busy holiday travel season by putting a boarding pass scanner at an airport departure gate. When travelers scanned their passes, Santa appeared to ask them what they wanted for Christmas.

Children and adults alike made their Christmas wishes, asking Santa for everything from big-screen TVs to cameras to Thomas the Train sets to socks and underwear (ah, an old classic). Little did they know that a WestJet team was working to have those gifts ready for them upon arrival.

Customers were surprised and even overwhelmed by the gesture. WestJet took what is typically a stressful experience (holiday traveling) and infused a feeling of Christmas joy.

As for the ROI? They created long-time loyal customers who felt valued by WestJet.

White Castle Valentine’s Day

The pandemic forced brands to get creative with experiential marketing in a time when in-person events were mostly off the table. WhiteCastle didn’t want their customers to miss out on their annual Valentine’s Day reservations and created a drive-in restaurant at 300 locations where couples could park, receive restaurant-to-car service, and eat their dinner.

The experience came complete with a “Slider Lover’s Luv Channel” playlist and personal shoutouts and stories from customers. It might have looked different, but White Castle got creative and kept their 30-year Valentine’s Day tradition alive.

White Castle Valentine’s Day Invitation

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Doc McStuffins Clinics

When Build-a-Bear launched their product line in partnership with Disney’s Doc McStuffins, they made it experiential by launching pop-up “bear clinics” in retail stores where children could bring their bears to be sewn and stitched up or just undergo a regular check-up (for healthy bears, obviously).

Children were given the role of Doc McStuffins and took part in diagnosing and treating the bears. More than 8000 children visited the clinic locations in the UK and 75% of parents rated the experience as “excellent.”

via What is Experiential Marketing? 5 Creative Examples to Boot

 

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5 Ways Providers Can Improve Patient Experience

5 Ways Providers Can Improve Patient Experience

The pandemic led to a loss of $22.3 billion in elective revenue while healthcare systems had to focus on providing critical COVID care. There are now opportunities for providers to refocus on patient elective procedures and other profit-generating business operations. LaneTerralever partnered with the Convince and Convert team to produce the Post-Pandemic Healthcare Patient Insights Report 2021 to better understand the patient journey and areas with room for improvement.

66% of patients had to delay elective procedures during the pandemic, and 39% of them don’t plan to reschedule.
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Using feedback from 617 recent and prospective patients nationwide, five valuable patient insights were discovered. Here’s how you and other healthcare systems can aim to recover and grow their elective treatment business.

Dedicate Time for Reputation Management

Patients don’t evaluate many providers during their research process, so once they find you it’s game on! You have a small window to convert a patient, so make sure your online presence reflects you well.

lective Healthcare Report Press Release Provider Charts

Make sure digital feedback and online reviews are addressed in a timely manner. Set aside time to manage your organization’s reputation every week. Also, prepare providers with possible patient concerns using intel to overcome known obstacles and establish trust from the get-go at consultations.

 

Nearly 50% of patients only evaluated one provider and upwards of 78% of patients evaluated no more than two providers.
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Prioritize Patient Education

Many of today’s buying experiences begin online. Patients will enter those crucial keywords and seek out answers to their medical and health questions. The goal is they will find your office and be presented with answers and more. Your website should serve as a trusted resource and ultimately present you as the prime choice.

Think about what stands in the way of that choice being made.The patient may not understand the process and whether you can help them with their specific needs. Ease the minds of patients and head off misunderstandings with patient education. Tell them what you do and don’t do. Get creative and serve all the learning styles with visual infographics, interactive quizzes, and short videos.

In addition to your online resource hub, make sure staff is educated and that information is clearly understood and shared with patients. This will create consistency and enhance patient experience.

59% of patients are looking for information about the procedure on a provider’s website and yet 44% of patients felt their provider’s website either didn’t or only somewhat answered questions.
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The Patient Journey Does Not End At The Procedure

There’s a lot of build up pre-op, but post-op is just as critical to your patient experience. Afterall, your patient has placed their lives in your hands and the outcome impacts whether they will feel positive about the experience and share good reviews online and by word-of-mouth.

“It felt like they sold me on the procedure, and once it was done, they were finished with me.” — John C., 61 years old, Cosmetic

What are your patients expecting? Show them you care and do not forget to follow-up. 56% of surveyed patients shared their providers did not follow-up after their procedures. That’s more than half of providers not proactively making the effort to tend to patient relationships and that’s a huge area where you can recover and build up your reputation. A simple step is allowing for one-on-one touches using phone calls and personalized emails.

 Patient Journey - Elective Healthcare Report Press Release Patient Journey

56% of providers are not proactively following up with patients post-op
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Build Trust with a People-First Mentality

Healthcare procedures are a cause of uncertainty for patients. Afterall, they are ultimately their own strongest advocate and they need to make sure they are making the best decision for their health and their wallet. Before the patient steps in your door, they need to have confidence. What sets you apart and makes you a trusted provider for the patient? Be transparent with them by making information accessible online and allowing room for questions at consultations. This relationship is what you make of it. Share your knowledge and maybe up the rapport with a gift, but most of all don’t hold back on the kindness!

Don’t Ditch Traditional Communications

Digital transformation is the buzzword. We are changing the way we work and how we interact with others, but one thing remains the same for elective healthcare patients: they want good old-fashioned communication. Take your operations to the next level with brand management solutions like Podium, but don’t ditch traditional communications. Patients still want to retain personal touches and prefer phone or in-person interactions.

To stay ahead of the competition in terms of technological advancement but provide the best patient experience, take value in conducting a survey. Gain feedback from patient experience and have that lead the way as you try to get patients back in the office.

You Win When Processes Meet Hospitality

As with all things in life, there is a balance to the patient experience that you need to own. Work smarter with technology that connects your patients to information they need but don’t forget to be with them every step of the way. Don’t rely on automated calls and emails to build the trust your patient deserves.

There are great opportunities for improvement identified in the report, so take a look and see how to improve patient experiences and meet their current expectations and needs.

via 5 Ways Providers Can Improve Patient Experience

 

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How to Create Winning Sales-Enablement Content

Would you like more sales?

Who wouldn’t?

To increase sales, many businesses invest more in marketing or hire more salespeople. But there’s a more affordable – and fundamental way: Create more effective sales-enablement content.

What is sales-enablement content?

Sales-enablement content is any content asset used in the sales process – by the sales team or the prospect. (Sixty-two percent of B2B customers say they can make their buying decision based solely on digital content.)

62% of B2B customers say they can make buying decisions solely on digital content, according to @Forrester #research via @Forbes. @CMIContent @SEOSmartyClick To Tweet

The content comes in different forms, including case studies, use cases, statistics, infographics, video tutorials, and video walk-throughs. How can you create that content that helps your company close more sales? Here are a few suggestions.

Visualize any time you can

Any good salesperson (or public speaker) knows this already: Minimize written words in your demo or presentation. Instead, use graphs, charts, and even memes. Images capture and hold attention like words cannot.

Visualize  in meaningful ways, such as:

  • Creating easy-to-understand data comparisons using pie charts
  • Visualizing steps and processes with timelines and flow charts
  • Emphasizing an important point using a well-fitting meme

Innovate product demos

Demonstrating your product is a crucial sales-enablement asset, yet at least many salespeople consider it the most challenging because too many things can go wrong, from unexpected software bugs to an unexpected, off-topic shift in the conversation.

This is where Walnut, a new sales solution, can help. It enables salespeople to reuse and customize your product demos to create a more predictable experience. The platform is codeless, so there is no chance of the demos not loading properly.

Since each demo is saved in the system, you or others can duplicate and personalize any of them and even use it on your site to create effective top-of-the-funnel content. These features also allow you to turn the demos into lead magnets.

[email protected] software lets you save product demos so others on the team can duplicate and personalize, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent.Click To Tweet

The platform also is equipped with analytics so you can identify your best-performing demos and discover the features most appealing to your prospects. Each saved demo can be annotated for your prospects to follow the steps independently when they independently share the demo with other decision-makers.

Keep different decision-makers in mind

In the B2B world, you can expect to deal with the decision-making unit (DMU), which often consists of at least several people. You should take that into consideration when creating your sales-enablement content.

Take into consideration all members of the decision-making unit when you create sales-enablement content, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent.Click To Tweet

Ask yourself what roles the decision-makers might have and how you can appeal to all of them. For example, the DMU for SEO software probably would include the head of an SEO team. So, you don’t create the sales-enablement content to sound like your software is so great they won’t need an in-house SEO team. Instead, you emphasize how it only simplifies tedious tasks and offers more data to work with allowing an in-house team to focus on other important tasks.

To learn your target DMU:

  • Use your brand’s sales experience. After each demo, note who was involved on the prospect side.
  • Talk to your company’s customer team and the more experienced salespeople.
  • Use your site’s analytics to understand prospects’ behavior, from age, gender, and interests to device use and more.

Answer questions

Question research is a helpful tool for salespeople to better understand the flow of any sales call or a demo. Here are a few niche question research tools I use a lot.

Text Optimizer

Text Optimizer provides a good overview of popular questions on any topic. It is a good way to get a quick overview of what interests your target audience:

An SEO tool, Text Optimizer can help a sales team better understand the searches that indicate the prospects’ struggles.

An #SEO tool, @textoptimizer can help a sales team better understand the searches that indicate the prospects’ struggles, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent.Click To Tweet

Answer The Public

Answer the Public relies on your target customers’ searching behavior: It pulls questions from Google’s suggestions, which often are based on the most common related searches previously typed in the search box:

Answer the Public results appear as a mind map (organized by a question word) and a downloadable spreadsheet. I recommend looking at both.

Use @answerthepublic to pull questions from @Google suggestions, which often are based on the most common related searches previously typed in the search box, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent.Click To Tweet

Google’s People Also Ask

Google’s People Also Ask boxes indicate possible follow-up questions relevant to the query. They can be helpful to understand the flow of a discussion. Encourage your sales team to make a few relevant searches and note (and record) interesting questions they see showing up:

Include your influencer-drive social proof

In TopRank Marketing’s 2020 B2B Influencer Marketing report, 78% say their prospects rely on advice from industry influencers, while 74% say influencer marketing improves the prospect and customer experience with the brand.

In @toprank’s 2020 #B2B Influencer Marketing report, 78% say their prospects rely on advice from industry influencers, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent.Click To Tweet

Have you thought about using influencer-driven social proof in your content? Seeing recognizable and well-respected industry faces in your demo or other sales-enablement content may work wonders for your sales team’s performance.

Reach out to those influencers you and your team already know well and invite them to beta test your newest product or tool and provide feedback. Much of that feedback may turn useful for your sales-enablement content.

via How to Create Winning Sales-Enablement Content

 

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Jul
20

The Complete Guide to B2B Pricing

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The Complete Guide to B2B Pricing

B2B pricing

Can you believe that 80% of B2B companies feel their pricing strategy needs improvement?

We hardly could either, but it’s true. Despite the fact that just a 1% price optimization improvement can yield an 11% profit increase, many companies are admittedly not prioritizing their pricing strategy.

Our guess? The complexity of the process gets in the way. But it shouldn’t. Ineffective pricing means your company is risking lost revenue and lower customer satisfaction.

If you know your company needs a better pricing strategy and you’re not sure where to start, you came to the right place.

Read on for a complete guide to B2B pricing.

Quick Takeaways

  • Value-based, competitive, and cost-plus are the three most common B2B pricing strategies.
  • Value metrics, pricing models, and buyer personas set the framework for choosing a pricing strategy.
  • Surprise fees, low-price tunnel vision, lack of customer segmentation, and ignoring competitors are common mistakes made in the B2B pricing process.

Common B2B Pricing Strategies

First thing’s first: what even is a pricing strategy? In short, it’s the method by which you determine the price of your product or service.

There are three common pricing strategies used in B2B sales.

Value-Based Pricing

We’ll start with the most complex of the three because it’s also widely regarded as the best option — when companies are able to implement it effectively.

Value-based pricing is about the actual and perceived value of your product. This value depends on several factors, including customer segment, competitor pricing, and brand reputation in the industry.

Consider this:

A man is getting ready to buy a new car. When he gets to the dealership, he’s shown two options.

First, a used sedan that’s a few years old, has some wear and tear, but is in great driving condition. The price is a total bargain.

Next, a brand new convertible sports car. It costs more than a good down payment on a new home, but it has top-of-the-line features inside and out.

Which car will he choose?

Of course, it depends. To know the answer you’d need to ask a ton of questions about who this man is, how much money he has, and what he cares about (i.e. what he perceives as valuable).

That’s the simple foundation of value-based pricing.

In practice, things get a little more complex. Implementing a value-based pricing strategy requires significant research into your target audiences and market landscape to understand the real and perceived values of your product.

Using a data-driven approach, you’d then assign a value-based price to your offerings. But even with data to support your decision, this strategy can be quite nuanced and always a bit subjective. It takes experience and industry expertise to determine an accurate value-based price point.

There’s a lot that goes into this final determination. Take Marketing Journal’s B2B Value Pyramid, for instance, which includes 40 contributing factors to perceived value.

B2B Value Pyramid

Image Source

Competitive Pricing

Competitive pricing takes customer value out of the equation and focuses totally on the pricing of other competitors in the market.

If that sounds simple, that’s because it is.

Basically, competitive pricing is like taking a classroom full of elementary school students and telling them to line up tallest to shortest. The tallest kids get to be in the front of the line just because they’re tall, which is fine on the surface because the lineup is easy to understand and it follows a clear line of thinking.

But it doesn’t really tell you much about each student, and even their height order can’t totally be trusted.

In fact, if you took the time to line up these same students in a few months, the order might be different. Some kids might be at the front of the line right now because their growth spurt arrived earlier, but long-term their height will fall right in the middle. Some might have platform shoes on, so their position in the line isn’t even accurate.

Just like this height lineup, using a competitive pricing strategy means your place in the market is relatively straightforward and easy for customers to understand. It’s a low-risk approach and can be a good option when cost savings is the top priority for your buyers.

But it’s also potentially inaccurate. When you position your company on competitive price alone, you’re not really looking at the value comparison. You’re also trusting that the way other companies positioned themselves is accurate, when really they might just be wearing platform shoes.

Cost-Plus Pricing

Cost-plus pricing is the simplest of the three most common B2B pricing strategies.

It’s sort of like the word problems on your third-grade math test:

Suzie is selling necklaces. She wants to make a $1 profit per necklace. If it costs Suzie 75 cents to make each necklace, how much does she have to charge to make her desired profit?

If you answered $1.75 (we sure hope you did), then you understand cost-plus pricing.

But just in case: cost-plus pricing means totaling the costs of producing and delivering a product, then adding a profit margin to arrive at your final sale price.

Like competitive pricing, cost-plus pricing is easy to determine. It also covers your expenses and produces predictable revenue numbers. Cost-plus pricing is a decent option for companies who have limited resources or who are just starting out and have no customer data to lean on.

But a cost-plus pricing strategy not only leaves out customer value as a determining factor, it also ignores market competitors and can potentially result in arbitrary market positioning.

Comparing the Options

All three B2B pricing strategies have their pros and cons, and there are situations where a cost-plus or competitive strategy is the most practical option. But there’s a reason value-based strategies are generally considered the most effective.

Here’s a good overview of the benefits of a value-based strategy compared to the two simpler options:

Choosing Your Pricing Strategy

Here’s what to consider when you’re deciding which strategy is right for your company:

Know Your Value Metric

Your value metric is how you measure your product’s per-unit value, and ultimately one of the main factors in how you arrive at an actual price. If you’re selling a straightforward product — say, pencils — your value metric would be per pencil. If you’re selling a consulting service, your value metric would likely be per hour.

Decide on a Pricing Model

Value metrics also help you determine your pricing model. Your pricing model depends on whether you’ll charge one price for a product or different prices based on product packages or levels of service.

Your pencils, for instance, would likely follow a flat-rate pricing model (every pencil or pack of pencils costs the same amount). Consulting services, on the other hand, may require a tiered pricing approach where buyers can decide on the level of service they need and be priced accordingly.

Utilize Buyer Personas

Buyer personas can be used to determine the price buyers would be willing to pay for your product. A customer purchasing a high-volume of office supplies (like your pencils) is likely to have cost savings at the top of their priority list.

A large corporation purchasing an enterprise-wide software system and consulting service is likely to put more focus on value and relationships, then worry about price as one of many contributing factors.

Consider all Factors

Once you know your value metric, pricing model, and buyer persona, you have the framework in place for deciding on the pricing strategy.

Some recommendations for making a decision:

  • Decide what’s most important for your company. A value-based strategy might be considered the holy grail in the B2B world, but if your product and business model are simple, a cost-plus or competitive approach could work for your company.
  • Build a cross-functional team to contribute to the discussion. Your marketing, sales, and accounting teams are all going to have different perspectives, and the right strategy decision usually lies somewhere in the middle.
  • Be flexible. Monitor your results and adjust your pricing strategy when necessary. Don’t stick with a strategy that’s not working just because you decided on it in the past.

What Not to Do: B2B Pricing Edition

Always Aim to be the Lowest

Don’t get stuck playing price limbo with your competitors — it’s not always about how low you can go.

Competitive prices are part of a comprehensive pricing strategy, yes. But they’re not the whole story. Don’t sacrifice assigning a fair price that aligns with the value of your offerings just for the sake of landing lower on the price scale than your competition.

Instead, be compelling about the added value that comes along with the higher price so that potential buyers understand that by paying more, they’re getting more.

Fail to Segment Your Customers

B2B offerings often include a wide range of products and services, and packages differ based on individual customer needs. That means prices will vary, too.

Don’t lump all of your customers into one pricing category. Instead, consider your buyer personas, their unique needs, and their budgets. Put together packages that align with those factors and offer options to your buyers.

Ignore Competitors

Don’t ignore competitor pricing, even when you don’t think it’s critical to your pricing strategy. Instead, know their value propositions and how they stack up with yours — and that doesn’t always mean thinking in terms of better or worse.

No two companies — even those in the same industry and with very similar product offerings — are exactly alike. Find out what makes your company and your products unique, and be ready to talk about it with your potential buyers, including how those differentiators contribute to price differences.

Leave Surprises Waiting

Have you ever booked a flight with a budget airline only to arrive at check in to face exorbitant baggage charges? Before you knew it, your extra carry-on bag cost about as much as the more comfortable plane ticket you passed up in the name of getting a bargain. It’s annoying!

Nobody likes surprises when it comes to making a purchase. When you tack on additional fees later in the buying process without mentioning them first or being clear about what they’re for, you show poor transparency and a lack of respect for your customers.

When you’re pricing your products, don’t leave surprises waiting for buyers after they decide to make a purchase. Include everything in your original quote and be honest.

Your buyers might ultimately pay the extra fees you add on (just like you paid for your extra carry-on bag) but they’ll likely lose some trust in your company, too — a loss more impactful in the long term than that small bump in profit.

via The Complete Guide to B2B Pricing

 

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9 Best Marketing Channels For Your Small Business In 2021

9 Best Marketing Channels For Your Small Business In 202

The last few years have seen a huge increase in internet penetration and web technologies worldwide. Consequently, the marketing landscape has evolved to give us bigger and better marketing channels to reach the right audience at the right time.

However, not all marketing channels are well-suited for a small business. For example, if you’re a local eatery, you wouldn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a nationwide TV commercial.

As such, you must be aware of the small business marketing channels most likely to make a positive impact on your specific product or service.

Best marketing channels for small business

Here’s my list of the best channels to consider when promoting your small business. I’ll walk you through a brief explanation of each channel, why it matters, and how to get started.

#1. Email Marketing

Despite being an old channel in terms of internet years, email still has the potential to reach 3.9 billion people as of 2020, and this number is expected to touch 4.3 billion users in 2023.

This makes email marketing an ideal way to drive leads and conversions for your small business.

Email marketing can not just reach a wide audience, but also delivers the best returns. As per an industry census, 73% of people ranked email as an excellent marketing channel.

SaleCycle

Image Source: SaleCycle.com

Plus, DMA states that every $1 spent on email marketing leads to a $42 average return on investment.

Writing a series of emails and sending it to potential customers based on a carefully planned timeline can help you establish a relationship, build trust and make them interested in your product or service.

To get started with email marketing, you’ll need a way to build an email list and send emails to your contacts at regular intervals. That’s where an email marketing software like Mailchimp can help.

It will allow you to capture email addresses through your website, social media accounts, marketing events, and other avenues. In addition, you’ll be able to create a series of emails, along with an automation workflow, to send these emails to your contact list.

#2. Organic Search

According to Bright Edge, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.

Whether it’s for research, entertainment, or shopping, a search engine is the first place most people start with. And then they’ll click one of the top results that show up on the first page of organic search engine results.

This is what makes organic search another effective marketing channel for a small business.

Bright-Edge

Image Source: BrightEdge

When a customer searches for a query related to your product or service, the goal is to get the pages from your website to rank higher than those of competitors. Doing this will ensure a consistent stream of traffic and leads into your sales funnel.

The process of getting listed and strengthening your website’s presence in organic search engine result pages (SERPs) is known as SEO. It will involve researching the best keywords you want to rank for, and then optimizing the pages on your website for your selected keywords.

#3. Mobile Devices

Mobile usage has been on the rise for many years now, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. 50.88% of online traffic in 2020 came from mobile devices.

Desktop-VS-Mobile-Internet-Usage-Statistics-In-2020

Image Source: High-Speed Internet

Customers prefer businesses that can provide the information and communication they need through SMS, WhatsApp, and other mobile apps.

So it only makes sense to promote your small business to users of mobile and tablet devices.

There are a number of ways to capitalize on the mobile trend, the most prominent of which is having a mobile-responsive website. It’s no longer acceptable to have an outdated website that doesn’t adapt to different screen sizes.

#4. Word-of-Mouth Marketing

It’s no surprise that people trust other customers over you and your marketing team.

Marketers usually have an agenda, but a customer will spread the word about a brand, whether online or offline, only if the brand has truly delighted them. That’s why 9 out of 10 customers read reviews when considering a purchase.

There’s no shortcut to using this marketing channel for your benefit. You will really need to put in the work to ensure a great customer experience throughout the buyer’s journey.

Then set up email automation to reach out to customers to ask for feedback on their experience, and if they’re happy with your product or service, request a testimonial.

#5. Video Marketing

If you haven’t yet jumped on the video bandwagon, there’s no better time to do so.

When asked how they prefer to learn more about a product or service, 69% of people in a survey mentioned watching a video.

If you run a small business, you don’t need a big production team to start video marketing. It’s possible to create videos affordably. For instance, you use a camcorder to record videos that answer customer questions, introduce your team, or showcase customer testimonials.

These videos may not be as polished, but they can still win over your audience with their authentic look and feel.

#6. Business Blog

A blog is a must-have marketing channel for your small business. With a business blog, you get a dedicated platform to educate current and potential customers on the topics related to your niche.

Six out of ten buyers say that blog posts are valuable at the start of their purchase journey.

Oberlo

Image Source: Oberlo

A business blog is like a central content hub that attracts prospects, helps you turn visitors into leads, and strengthens your online presence on other marketing channels.

With several intuitive blogging platforms available online, starting a business blog these days is relatively easy. All you need is a domain name, hosting, and content management system, the most popular being WordPress.

#7. Social Media

Next up on our list is Social Media. 72% of US adults say that they use at least one social media website.

Pew-Research

Image Source: Pew Research

Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more allow your small business to build rapport with your audience.

When you interact with your customers at the same place where their friends are, your business becomes a part of their personal network.

Plus, social media posts are easy to share, leading to word-of-mouth opportunities.

To get started with social media marketing, pick the social media platforms where your target customers are the most active and work on building an active presence.

#8. Paid Search (Pay-Per-Click Ads)

Paid Search refers to advertising your website near the top of search engine result pages, instead of getting found organically.

Order-Online

You are required to pay only when a user clicks on your ad, which is why another name for paid search is PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising.

This is a drastically different model from traditional outdoor advertising, in which you pay for your ads to be displayed, regardless of whether they trigger any action from the viewer.

Paid search ads may cost more than some of the other marketing channels on our list. However, they offer a unique benefit that no other channel can – the potential to generate results fast. In fact, 66% of CMOs expect to increase spend on paid search in 2021.

The most common way to get started with paid search is to create a Google Ads account and launch a search engine advertising campaign.

#9. Display Advertising

Display ads allow you to use image banners and videos to show an offer to your target audience on the websites they are likely to visit. Here’s an example:

Dropbox-For-Business

Google’s Display Network, for instance, allows you to create display ads with the potential to reach 90% of internet users worldwide.

These ads can also be shown on email platforms, social media, and other digital channels that provide ad placements.

You can use them in isolation, but the real game-changer with these types of ads is targeting people who have already visited your website or opted into your email newsletter. This is referred to as remarketing.

via 9 Best Marketing Channels For Your Small Business In 2021

 

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