7 Steps to Boost Your Marketing in 2011

3. Adopt the Publishing Model

The definition I use for marketing is “Helping someone with a need, to know, like and trust you”, which relates back to the Marketing HourglassTM described above. People don’t buy without trust, so you need to change your marketing approach from trying to land a sale with a ‘one-off’ ad, and looking to build trust with a prospect before they buy.

One of the most effective ways of building trust is through the use of content. Content that positions you as an expert on your particular topic, whether that’s tax or employee law or retirement planning or building complex data integration systems. The content can be presented in a number of different forms, for example blog posts, articles, white papers, presentations, podcasts, videos or events.

Plus you’re also able to inject some personality into the content through stories, and bring your business and brand to life.

Action: Commit to producing content that builds trust and educates.

4. Create a Total Web Presence

Gone are the days where you developed a website, and then didn’t touch it for 2-3 years. When people are looking for answers, the first thing they do is go online and ‘Google’, searching for content-rich information to answer their particular problem. To increase your chances of ‘being found’ online, your website should be organic, growing on a week-by-week basis.

Let’s start with your blog. If you write one post a week, by the end of the year you’ve added 52 pages. Now overlay any tweets, or updates to your Facebook page, both of which are linked to your website, and that further increases your website footprint. Expand that even further with videos on YouTube or maybe even a Podcast, and your footprint gets larger still.

And when other people start re-tweeting your posts, or distributing your content, your links start to multiply. And those links tell the search engines that your website is a trusted source of relevant information for *insert your particular subject here*, and increase your ability to be found online when someone is searching for what you do.

Action: Develop a plan that takes advantage of appropriate social media tools to improve your SEO and increase your chances of ‘being found’.

5. Orchestrate the Lead Generation Trio

Your lead generation should include 3 core components that work together in an integrated way, and utilise the internet and technology to make them more effective.

  1. Advertising: whether that’s Google Adwords, print ads, directory listings, direct mail, leaflets or even signage, you should have a combination of different advertising that targets your Ideal Customer.
  2. Public Relations: nothing is better than someone else saying how great you are, and PR is a great way to increase your awareness and position you as an expert.
  3. Referral Marketing: having a system in your business to promote word of mouth marketing will improve your sales conversion and increase your overall profitability.

Action: Harness technology to create multiple ways of generating leads via advertising, public relations and referrals.

[Next: Drive a Lead Conversion System]

  • Great article and no mistaking the Duct Tape flavour echoing their 7 steps to success

  • Thanks Harry, much appreciated.

    The great thing is that they really are the 7 steps to small business marketing success – all of my clients have had great success with it, as have I, so I know that it works.

    Cheers, Joel

  • With respect to the marketing hourglass, there are other ways companies can view the customer process, notably the Galaxy Model developed by Corkindale et al at University of SA. I don’t agree that trust is the third step in the consumer buying process, as usually behaviour and experience impacts on attitudes and important attributes like trust. Trust then results in repeat purchase and referral.

  • Hi Harry, thanks again for your feedback.

    You’re right there are alternatives to the Marketing Hourglass, however I have found from experience that it’s the easiest for small business owners to understand. It simplifies the process and presents it in a practical, user friendly manner.

    I would argue that Trust is a critical factor in the initial sale though, particularly for business-to-business sales where purchases involve high ticket items, and protracted sales cycles.

    However a prospect has to Like you first, after all, people buy from people! And I believe your point of ‘behaviour and experience impacting on attitudes and trust’ is correct, and I see them covered under “Like” (#2) in the Marketing Hourglass.

    As with most things, it is personal preference. The primary objective is using something that is relevant and appropriate to your target market.

    Thanks again.

    Cheers, Joel