Not everyone has the time or the funds to totally revamp and revitalize their marketing efforts. The good news is, you don’t need to completely re-think what you’re doing in order to improve your marketing strategy. By incorporating just a few of the latest trends, you can see a marked up-tick in your marketing effectiveness while not breaking the bank. Here are four forward-thinking, cheap (or free!) ways businesses are boosting their marketing efforts.
Invest in PPC
Search engine results pages are becoming increasingly saturated by paid “results”; in other words, buying pay-per-click ads on Google is becoming just as important as ranking high in search results. Google a carpet cleaning product, for example, and you will see just as many ads as organic results—a few featured ads above the search results, a few more in the upper right-hand corner, and a few more on the right-hand sidebar.
Pay-per-click is becoming more and more popular because people have had success with it, and it is one of the best ways to give an adrenaline shot to your marketing campaign. Pay-per-click isn’t a guarantee of success, however; when used wrong it can become a drain on your advertising budget while yielding few benefits. Hiring a pay per click company is advised to get the most bang for your buck.
If you’re a business owner, you may be scared of online review; after all, it only takes one angry customer to smear a company’s good name for trivial reasons. But many businesses are discovering customer reviews are doing more good than harm and are encouraging their customers to put their thoughts online. A presence on sites like Yelp or Google Local helps you rank higher on local searches. Plus, customers read reviews religiously; a lack of online reviews is suspicious and unusual.
People are accessing the internet on their mobile phones more than ever, and this trend will only get larger as time goes on. Having a mobile-friendly website is something that many businesses overlook, yet it is so vital. If a website isn’t optimized for mobile use, the site will be slow and dysfunctional, if it works at all. Users have no patience for this, and they will leave. The last thing you want to do is alienate an increasing share of potential customers; your business website needs to work on mobile devices.
Social media is catching on as one of the easiest ways to connect with your current customers and attract new ones. Search engines now factor things like “Likes”, “re-tweets” and “+1’s” into the algorithms that determine search rankings; in other words, your popularity on social media now affects your Google search results ranking. Find the social media site that best suites your business; Google+ is great for tech companies, Pinterest is tailored for food, homemaking and fashion businesses, and Facebook works for just about everything.