Build up your traffic with a fresh approach to marketing

Finding the resources for a marketing campaign when your business is small is always a struggle. Too many companies pour money into it but end up getting nothing in return because they’re going about it in the wrong way. Successful marketing isn’t just about advertising individual products or services. As more and more business owners are discovering, it’s also about promoting your own unique personality and vision and forming a connection with your target customers that results in good word of mouth, bringing more and more traffic to your website.

Establish your brand personality

Successful marketing is based in part on psychology, and this includes an understanding of the value of personal connections. To put it simply, people are much more willing to buy from somebody who they feel that they know and can trust. This is often more important to them than price. This doesn’t mean that people with naturally pleasing personalities have an automatic advantage in business because it isn’t really your personality that matters – it’s the one you create as part of your brand – one that everybody working for the company will adopt when communicating with members of the public.

Branding begins with deciding what sort of personality best represents what you do. It could be youthful and bubbly, erudite and authoritative, warm and approachable, or something else. All your marketing and presentation will be built around this, from your logo and signature colors to the channels you use for advertising and the choice of words in your social media posts.

Get to know your target customers

As well as knowing who you are, you’ll need to understand who your target customers are. Market research specialist Alex Friedman, the co-founder of Jackson Hole Economics, argues that this is the foundation of any successful project. If you’re not in a position to fund or directly undertake your own research, you can draw on multiple sources of data already available on particular customer groups. If you provide a service aimed at young 20-somethings, for instance, you can use data like this to build up a more complete picture of their interests, the places they like to spend time online and off, the way they talk to each other, and the amount of disposable income they’re likely to have. All these factors and more can help you design marketing campaigns that really speak to them and hold their attention.

Build up a relationship

Getting people to take an interest in your business and visit your website isn’t just about making sure that they see your name or hear about your products or services once. It’s also about establishing a presence in their lives so that yours is the business they think of when they want or need what you have to offer. This can be done by advertising frequently in publications they read or on broadcast media they watch or listen to. It can also be done by engaging with them on social media. Don’t be naive about this, though – while it might seem like the more affordable option, time is money, so be disciplined about it and don’t get sucked down a rabbit hole.

Create shareable content

When you build up a good social media presence, you can use it to get advertising done for you through shareable content. The precise form of this will depend on your brand and target market but, in essence, there are two ways to go about it. You can create something that people find useful, such as an explainer or a how-to guide, or you can create something that produces a strong emotion in your target customers. This could be a beautiful or inspiring image, an amusing cartoon, or a short video that makes people feel excited about the chance to learn more. Don’t forget to include a call to action.

Invite participation

Marketing isn’t just about telling people about yourself. It’s also about giving your target customers the chance to talk about themselves, because most people really enjoy this and feel much more positively about organizations that they feel are listening to them. Running surveys on social media encourages people to engage with you, and it’s simple to invite them to visit your website to see the results. Feedback surveys for people who have made purchases from you also increase the sense of connection, and they have the additional advantage of helping you identify the best and worst thing about your products or services and your sales process.

Keeping up relationships like this over time is important in helping you to maintain a loyal customer base. You can do this by offering a variety of ways to stay connected: text, email, social media and so on. Competitions and discount offers will keep people paying attention. All of this generates good word of mouth and keeps new customers coming your way.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.