Being a good marketer means knowing what marketing tools you need to have available to be successful. Everyone’s toolbox may be different depending on the role they play in their marketing. Either way, every owner and marketer alike should have a marketing toolbox at their fingertips.
The key is knowing yourself, your company and team and what you are capable of. You see, to be effective, you need to be able to understand the marketing tools you have at your disposal, how to use them, when to use them and what you and your team will be comfortable with.
Essential Online Marketing Tools
Item #1: Functional Websites and Landing Pages
Who has a website and why is it important? Well these days, who doesn’t have a website? With that said, not all of them are created equal and not all of them are effective or even functional. A website is essential to any business because it is your online face and presence.
Why Your Site Matters
Your website is where people get a feel for who you are, and what your business and brand is all about. Four of every 5 US adults use the internet, making an online presence necessary. In addition 40% of all Americans use search engines to find what they are looking for (which could end up being your business!).
Pick the one that meets your needs best if this is not an expertise of your own. Don’t try to do it yourself and fall short. Your online presence is too important to not do right.
Amateur work is obvious – it’s better to hire a professional, whether that’s an agency or a freelancer, than to have a cousin or friend do it for free. Customers will be able to tell the difference.
Basics to Include on Your Website
- Contact Information
- Current Content and Data
- About Us
Item #2: Newsletters and Email Marketing Campaigns
Newsletters are a great way to open a line of communication, and create dialog between you and your prospects and clients. Not only that, but newsletters today can be a great tool to get people to sign up online as well something you can give for free to get your foot in the door.
Email marketing campaigns are great for the same reasons, especially if you purchase software that does the work for you and manages all of your efforts so your sales team doesn’t have to. Drip email campaigns, promotions, and more are all tools available to you, and can be highly successful.
Marketing Automation Solutions
Newsletters and email marketing campaigns are also a great lead nurturing tool to have available to you. Again, there is software available that can take do most of the work for you by automating the process. Automated marketing saves time and makes lead nurturing an incredibly efficient process (learn more about lead nurturing here).
Item #3: Social Media
Social media has become one of the most popular channels for marketers; the number one reason being that it can be done practically at no cost at all. If you do choose to hire someone to provide you with these services, they can manage and automate many of your online advertising needs for Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube and many other social sites.
Not only can you have these services automated for you, you can also implement tracking and reporting results for each of these channels as well so you know what efforts are working and which ones are not. The key with social marketing is not trying to do them all; you do need to stick with the ones that make sense for your company and brand. For example Pinterest is a great to target a female audience, but probably wouldn’t work as well for the male audience searching for car parts or sports equipment ideas.
Item #4: Mobile Applications
Everywhere you turn, someone is on their smartphone to make a call, pay a bill, text a friend, check an email or browse for something online. In fact, I would say my phone is actually only used as a phone 15 – 25% of the time. The rest of the time for is spent searching online, checking my email, using social media application or managing my tasks and contacts. Apps are a great way to build your mobile presence.
Item #5: Blogging
Blogging has evolved from a simple social outlet to a big business marketing tool and worldwide entrepreneurs dream. There are many benefits of blogging for businesses of all sizes and individuals alike to simply express their opinions and beliefs. In addition to blogging professionally, I do have a personal page for family and friends as well. I find it a very useful tool to keep family and friends updated about what is going on in our lives.
There are many similarities to blogging for businesses as well. The intent for both is to engage your readers and keep them updated on the latest news and events about your company and newsworthy topics.
- Brand Building
- Search Engine Marketing
- Limited Cost
- Reputation Management and Building
- Social Support
- Position Yourself (or company) As An Expert
- And More…
“A one-size-fits-all marketing approach rarely fits.” – Mike Manea
Your online marketing toolbox should be customized to what fits the needs of your business and brand. With that said, the above tools are a great starting point for a variety of businesses. Choose which ones will work for you and add to your toolbox as you feel necessary. Just like the stock market, you should diversify yourself in different areas to reach your target audience as well as those in your outer circle.