5 Unexpected but Powerful Marketing Tools for Businesses
When it comes to marketing your business, there are usually a standard set of tips on how to best market a brand, either through a more traditional route or online. However, sometimes, it’s the unexpected and smaller details that are not only optimizing your business and work environment, but are also indirectly helping market your business. With that in mind, here are five tools that can help amplify your reach and customer base, all the while indirectly improving your marketing as well.
1) The Power of Wikipedia
Wikipedia reigns online. Known and trusted by millions worldwide, Wikipedia is todays Encyclopedia Britannica. Search for any known company, celebrity or famous CEO, and their Wikipedia page will show up within the top 5 results. Even though Wikipedia is technically an open-source, volunteer project that anyone can join, it remains a highly respected source of information.
Having your brand or personal name on Wikipedia can immediately help bring more credibility and authority to your company. It adds a level of prestige to your business, as well as authenticity. It can produce an increase in sales and visibility in search engine results. In its own way, Wikipedia can become an incomparable marketing tool due to its ability to improve brand reputation.
However, adding information about your business on Wikipedia is no easy feat – volunteer editors abound and work to fight what they regard to be ‘spam’. Make sure to use Wikipedia properly as a tool for personal branding.
2) Implement Productive, Efficient Software
By implementing software to your business and website to increase the company’s productivity and efficiency, you can indirectly create a powerful marketing tool. In today’s day and age, clients want things done faster, easier and with a higher level of accessibility. Those that do not take into account the wants and needs of the 21st century client will be undoubtedly left behind, as frustrated clients move on to tech-savvy competitors.
Online booking software is an excellent example of integrating an efficient tool that can only increase your customer base. Among other things, it makes the company look more technology advanced, efficient, productive, organized, and up-to-date with helpful technologies. Clients will find it easier to work with the company, and schedule and book appointments. This is especially relevant in businesses that require close personal attention with clients and need to constantly book time slots for meetings, such as a doctor’s office. According to Timendo, 30% of appointments will move online once a service like this is implemented, and no shows are reduced by a whopping 80%. Time saver, money saver, and great potential for bringing in more clients interested in efficiently-run businesses.
Chris Bell said it best: when it comes to business, make the service as easy as a TV dinner.
3) Keep your Mind on Big Data
We are becoming an inter-connected global community, and as we do so, big data continues to expand through database collection. Data is collected through many of our regular day-to-day internet usage, from mobile apps, to websites, search engines and our social marketing profiles. As the internet expands and more and more apps are developed, so too does the use of big data collected online. This information is then shared through open source, globally-based API components, which provide access to the data for use on other apps, software or web programs.
We’re already seeing the data future coming closer as the expansion of use of big data makes its way into other systems. For example, in the future we can expect restaurant reviews to make a more severe impact on customer decisions. While Yelp is already influencing restaurant sales through customer reviews, it’s not difficult to envision a future where a user only need pass by a restaurant for a message to pop on their mobile recommending to stay away due to negative reviews, while recommending another competitor restaurant close-by instead. This is great marketing for the competitor restaurant, but a complete failure for the first restaurant that could easily end in bankruptcy as all clients are warned away at the door.
This only increases the essential need to be one big step ahead of the game. Add your website and company information to any relevant review or listing site, and work hard on positive customer service. Positive reviews are some of the best and most natural marketing tactics in existence.
4) Creative Content on the Company Blog
Company blogs are often left ignored or unused, and this is a rather unfortunate marketing blunder. By writing interesting and creative content for potential and current clients to read, a business can emphasize their expertise on the subject and their appropriate position in the market. People searching for information online could stumble upon the content piece as any blog post would be added to search engine results, increasing brand and service awareness. Great content will also bring in links and social media attention, which could then carry potential clients to the site.
However, when it comes to creative content, it’s not about filling the blog with just any thoughtless information. Genuinely use your expertise and knowledge to write helpful, interesting and attractive posts that expand on important answers and guidance. Avoid sounding salesy, and aim to be helpful and genuine. Research the type of questions potential clients may have that could guide them towards your blog post & aim to convert that into a sale.
5) Be Helpful in Online Forums
Online forums can be a great marketing tactic to expand your company’s reputation and potential client base. By answering questions related to your services, you will be seen as an expert in the field with high levels of credibility. Potential clients may view your information and be interested in hiring you for further services based on these answers. Additionally, your search engine rankings could increase, as could the authority attached to your name. Forums posts will also appear in online searches, which could bring people to your company’s site, who may have otherwise been unaware of your company and services.
Online forums make for an indirect marketing tool – while assisting others with their questions and doubts, you can convert readers and participants into sales.
When it comes to marketing, keep in mind that sometimes the smallest & seemingly disconnected tactics, are those that can be the most effective and powerful marketing tools available.