6 Ways to Make An Impact with Marketing in 2015

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There are many ways to make an impact with Marketing in 2015; but as inbound marketing is still be tested for different industries some strategies are falling short while others are proving to be surprisingly successful. We know you don't want uncertainty; that's why we've got 6 sure-fire ways to make an impact with marketing here...

1. Email Marketing

Although technology has come a long way in the realm of marketing, do not discount the power of promotional marketing via email. Based on a recent Forbes article, email marketing scored pretty low on the level of difficulty involved with set up and managing, yet it was still considered effective. Automated tools like Greenrope make email marketing a snap. And if you are already writing content for blogs, the heavy lifting is already being done. You can setup automated email summaries of your blog posts in a snap, even if you don't write new material for emails.

2. Landing Pages

AKA the online sales brochure is creating mega waves on the digital marketing scene under the umbrella of "inbound marketing." Landing pages offer a two prong approach. First, a landing page allows a visitor to focus on one product or service without the hassle of navigating on their own for more information. Everything they need to know including making the purchase is on one page. Second, creating multiple landing pages for specific targeted audiences increases effectiveness in your marketing efforts. You can deliver the specific content your buyer persona is looking for, and direct them where you'd like them to go next in their exploration and purchasing process.

3. Direct Mail

With digital marketing all the craze, you'd be surprised how a laser-focused direct mail campaign can make a big impact. We've had success with several clients choosing a very small list of high-potential customers and sending an upscale or 3D mailer that truly gets noticed. The win with this option is that your segmented audience is more likely to read information when it is physically in their hands, especially when the direct mail has personalization or a 3D aspect you can't ignore. This option does require more research but tends to drive big results.

4. Social Media

Target audiences where they spend their time - people are on social media, all the time, all over the world, and for various reasons. Social Media Marketing is one method that most campaigns should not go without if your audience is socially active. Whether you manage this internally or hire a pro to do it for you, the power of social media continues to increase and there are no signs of it losing traction any time soon. The trick with social media is to research where your target audience hangs out and then learn everything about that platform including best times of the day to post and optimal frequency. Social media can provide the most effective way to build relationships and connect directly to actual customers. The kicker with social media is transparency - we recommend using this to your advantage and if someone posts a complaint, address is quickly and directly so the world can see that you care and are attentive. When added to your promotional marketing arsenal make sure you have the proper team to post, tweet, and pin consistently as well as offer timely responses to your fans and followers.

5. Content Marketing

Creating awesome share-worthy content is the third leg of marketing. People want information and they want it all the time. But they do not just want information, they want valuable information geared toward the proper stage of their buyer's journey or their specific interests. Content marketing is the path to building trust with your audience. It's about providing the information your ideal customer is looking for - not just cramming goods and services down their throats. Your website designer should keep this in mind. Marketing is also about providing a positive personal experience, which makes content marketing and traditional marketing a powerful duo. People love to feel valued and will reward companies with their business when they feel they have received value even before opening their wallets.

6. Blogging

This brings us to the twin sister of content marketing - Blogging. Blogging is not only the mirror image of content marketing, it is a powerful search engine optimization tool. Written correctly with well researched target keywords in place, each blog is a tiny line of bait in a vast sea of content that may pull your ideal customer to your site. Consistent blogging about topics that interest your customers will build trust and relationships with potential customers.

If you have any marketing or sales questions, comments or feedback, please contact us at Alternative Advertising. We'd love to chat!

Inbound Marketing Effectiveness vs Outbound Marketing Effectiveness: Which path should your organization take?

Inbound Marketing Effectiveness vs Outbound Marketing Effectiveness are measures every company should consider when planning its marketing efforts. In some cases, it may benefit an organization to use a combination of both inbound and outbound marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the development of content designed to educate potential customers through a process that engages them and ultimately invites them to reach out to an organization. In other words, Inbound Marketing uses activities that bring potential customers in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention.

Sharing is caring and inbound is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.
— Hubspot

Outbound marketing, on the other hand, often involves cold calling and direct advertising. Both can be effective depending on what type of sales and marketing funnel an organization wishes to build, but in 2015 many companies are finding that Inbound Marketing is more effective at attracting customers to a company and building new relationships.

Did you know that, according to a CEB (Corporate Executive Board) study, "57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier?" This means that inbound marketing will effectively draw those customers who have already made their purchasing decisions, whereas outbound marketing, in this case, is more like a dog barking up the wrong tree.

Why is Inbound Marketing Most Profitable?

Using Inbound marketing and creating content designed to engage and educate, will reinforce a customer's decision to buy because the customer can enter into the conversation at the appropriate stage of the funnel. With outbound marketing, the marketer attempts to drive the identification of the appropriate stage and might lose the customer along the way.

According to an article on Customer Think, "Traditional channels like direct mail, email marketing, trade shows, and promotional marketing still perform in predictable ways." The author, Ian Michiels, Principal and CEO of Gleanster Research, explains that while outbound marketing effectiveness has been on the decline, its predictability still makes it worth pursuit. 

Tracking a potential customer's journey through the buying process is easy when you can track efforts such as outbound calls with a powerful CRM (Customer Relationship Management software). Inbound marketing draws more potential customers, but they can be trickier to track and ultimately hook, which is why using both types of marketing may benefit an organization rather than siding with one over the other 100% of the time.

However, there is no denying the rise of inbound marketing. At Alternative Advertising, we have staff that is Inbound Marketing Certified from Hubspot, we also use Greenrope automated marketing tools for our clients and we've been in the promotional product business for too many years to count. To learn more about how to engage your potential customers, please contact us.