Marketing strategies are constantly evolving with technological developments. What used to work solidly is no longer the way things are done, your target market is no longer shopping the way they used to and with access to more options than ever before, you have to be seriously savvy, authentic, people-oriented and innovative if you want to stay ahead of the game.

1.  Out with bluff and baloney, in with authenticity

Fabricating false stories is a huge no-no, just look at the furor surrounding fake news. Do you really want your business to get caught up in a scandal?

All publicity is not good publicity.

Consumers are switched on to lies and deceit, they’ve become alert to marketing tricks of old, they can see right through half-truths and people want to do business with people they like and trust.

Be authentic in your approach to marketing, be open and honest.

Go behind the scenes with videos of day to day office work, introduce your staff, introduce yourself, show consumers the personalities behind the brand.

2. Stop telemarketing and start direct mail marketing

Not only is telemarketing annoying to the recipient, think PPI calls, it is also a time waster for you too. How many calls do you screen? You aren’t alone, chances are your call will be screened too and you won’t talk to anyone.

Instead focus your efforts on targeted direct mail marketing. Use The Mailing Co to find your key targets much like keyword searches online. Approach only those people who are interested and you’ll find yourself pushing against an open door.

3. Don’t rely on intuition, do your marketing research and create a great lead magnet

Never assume you know what your customers want. You’ll never guess. Always rely on statistics, feedback and a thorough evaluation of your research.

To really sweeten the deal build a great lead magnet. something that when presented to the right audience will explode your sales. The only way you can effectively do this is by identifying your customers pain points (through marketing research) and present your solution in your lead magnet.

4. Don’t be mysterious and hard to get hold of, let your customers contact you easily

No one wants to spend hours trying to hunt you down. And more than likely if you don’t openly display multiple easy ways for customers to contact you on your website, chances are you won’t be taken seriously and they’ll move on to someone who appears more legitimate and trustworthy.

5. Don’t stuff your online material with keywords, understand SEO and write for real people

Keyword stuffing used to work for Google’s autobots, now it’ll get you penalised in the rankings. Only create content that is worthy and useful for readers, otherwise what is the point of going to the effort of putting it up online, you’ll just look like a fool for perpetuity.

Write for your audience, not for Google and you’ll reap the rewards both in terms of readers and page ranking. Write quality, not quantity. Search engines can tell the difference between good and bad copy. For ranking purposes, value is placed on the number of shares an article has, not the number of backlinks you’ve stuffed in.

6. Don’t make up testimonials, use authentic validations

Fake news is not good news, ever. If you’re starting out find someone who is already trusted to recommend you. Peer review is the future for sales. 

7. Don’t assume the mountain will come to Mohammed, go to the mountain and start blogging about your journey

Don’t think you’re too late to the blogging party if you haven’t started already. If you think you’re just going to be shouting into a vacuum, start posting blogs on an authority site like Medium. You want to be viewed as the go to person for whatever it is you’re selling, so get out there and position yourself as the authority figure.

Again, don’t just post for the sake of it though, post quality content that adds value for the reader.

8. Don’t be an island, leverage the power of the people and influencers

If you don’t have time to build up a social profile or you want to get the word out there quickly you want to leverage influencers, people on social media with a very large following.

You don’t have to try and befriend the person with millions of followers, you could set your sights on micro-influencers, the people with tens of thousands of followers will work just as well, if they are in your niche and appropriate to associate your business with.

You aren’t just spreading your message far and wide, you’re spreading it to a audience who want to hear what you have to say.

9. Don’t take a scattergun approach direct mailing, target your recipients carefully

Target your specific audience with our search criteria: age, interests, geographic location. Narrow your direct mail recipients down until you can almost guarantee they will call you because what you’re selling, is what they need.

10. Don’t be left behind, learn, understand and harness the power of social media

The most logical place for all businesses to start marketing, regardless of budget, is to build a social media following. It can be free, and it can be hugely effective.

You don’t have to look far to recognise a few faces who have built their business off the back of social media success. It can be intimidating to start with, but once you get into the swing of things it will become second nature, and you may even enjoy connecting so personally with your customers.

Be authentic, be you, post about you, post about your business, post about your products. Post about the industry you’re in, build awareness, collaborate with other business owners. Run competitions, engage with your followers. It can be time consuming, but it’s effective.