Choosing the right marketing strategy is the key to spending the least amount of money on marketing. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t realize that marketing strategies are something that you CHOOSE and not something that you do!
The three main marketing strategies for small businesses are:
- Direct Marketing: This is word-of-mouth marketing, referral marketing, direct sales, and email marketing. Ideal for local businesses and complex products or services.
- Content Marketing: Using video, written or audio content to inform, educate and persuade your audience to choose your business. Ideal for experts and thought leaders.
- Paid Advertising: Generating interest and traffic to your business by paying for either online or offline advertising. Ideal for niche businesses with limited sales resources.
If you want to market your business without spending money, you’ll have to invest some brain equity. That means “sharpening your saw”. Make sure where you choose to put your time, money and effort is going to give you the best results.
Relax – There are Only 3 Types of Marketing Strategies
Choosing a marketing strategy seems overwhelming – but it’s NOT. There are only three marketing strategies to choose from:
All of them are equally good. One is not better than another in terms of results. You can reach your goal using any or elements of all of them. It just depends on YOU and your ideal customers.
- Do you have more money than time?
- What type of marketing will your ideal customers connect with?
- What do you like to do?
80% of the time, these guidelines will help when you’re choosing the right marketing strategy.
When to Choose a Paid Advertising Marketing?
- You have more money than time.
- You really have no time or desire to sell, not enough money to hire a salesperson.
- Your business is in a solid, specific niche.
- Your ideal customer is searching on a specific problem that you solve with specific keywords that are not very expensive. For example “plastic thermoforming”
When to Choose a Content Marketing?
- If you have more time than money and your customers are national and international.
- You can sustain your business while you wait 6-18 months for your content strategy to kick in.
- You enjoy writing or creating video or posting on social.
- You have time to create content that answers your customers questions.
When to Choose Direct Marketing?
- You have money and time. You don’t need a lot of both, but you will need both.
- You can take the time to do sales yourself or you have the money to hire and train salespeople.
- Your product is so technical that selling online doesn’t really do it justice. Your customers need to have a personal presentation.
Can You Use More Than One Marketing Strategy?
Yes! You can choose more than one strategy. The way to do this is to choose a PRIMARY marketing strategy. This would be your cornerstone strategy. The one that you do most often and the one that every other strategy or tactic feeds into.
For example, if you choose a “content marketing” strategy, you can purchase Facebook ads to drive cold traffic. When new visitors see your content, they can leave their email to receive some value-added bit of information.
If you have this type of marketing funnel set up, you are primarily running a content marketing strategy that is supported by email marketing (a direct marketing strategy). In this case, you are using email as content. And your email marketing is supporting your content marketing strategy.
Choose Tactics That Support Your Marketing Strategy
Let’s get to the tactics that support your marketing strategy. Tactics are those specific turn-by-turn elements that drive marketing activities toward your ultimate goal based on the marketing strategy you’ve selected.
Each marketing strategy has an online and offline component.
In the end, you’re going to have both online and offline elements to your marketing strategy. You’ll choose whether you’re going to focus your efforts online or offline based on where you get most of your profitable customers.
If your business gets most of your customers ONLINE, then you’ll use mostly online tactics with a few offline tactics sprinkled in. If you get most of your customers OFFLINE, then you’ll use any of your online tactics to drive people to an offline conversion point.
Example: How to Use a Content Marketing and an Advertising Strategy
Let’s look at how a local elder law attorney uses an offline content marketing strategy and paid advertising to generate $2 million in sales.
Elder law attorneys are hyper-local. They help clients who are over 65 setup estate plans, documents and financial strategies to protect their assets in case they end up in a nursing home.
Because their clients are older, they tend not to want to drive more than 10-20 miles. The way these attorneys generate new clients is by placing advertisements and advertorials in local newspapers that funnel prospects into FREE seminars that they deliver either at their office or at a local hotel.
In addition to these paid advertisements, they may also use Google Adwords or Facebook Ads that are locally targeted to send people to their website where they can either register for a seminar online or download a free piece of content.
This strategy generates about 40+ people who attend a seminar with 75% making a free consult appointment onsite and another 50% converting on the first appointment.
Take This Quiz to Pick The Right Marketing Strategy
I’ll bet you’re wondering if you’ve chosen the right marketing strategy or maybe WHICH of these three marketing strategies are best for you.
I’ve pulled together a little quiz that you can take to focus you in the right direction.