A friend's business is losing money, and she needs to do something to stop it. Her B2B consulting agency is having difficulty getting the attention of her existing clients, and the company's sales pipeline is drying up. They've never done any formal marketing so there's no budget, nor is there a marketer on her team. Where should she start? After listening to her situation, I suggested three types of online marketing strategies to get things flowing in the right direction again.
Given the chance, she would have done things differently to prevent this from happening—including creating a marketing plan. But for now, we're focused on solving the problem of reduced revenue.
If you're in the same boat, or if you're just looking for a few low-cost ways to keep your sales pipeline full, these three types of online marketing strategies may be useful for you, too.
1. Meet your customers where they are—on email.
Marketing is about getting your business in front of your target audience so that when they need something that you provide they think of you first.
Email marketing is one of many types of online marketing strategies that can help you do that. If you're not already engaging with your customers on a regular basis via email, then you could be missing out on an opportunity.
My friend, the CEO of the aforementioned B2B consulting agency, had heavily relied on personal relationships for business development. Lunch appointments and phone calls were her primary ways to stay in touch with clients. And new leads came via referral.
Connecting one-on-one is great, but with most of us being short on time, it can't be the only way you're staying connected. That is where different types of online marketing strategies—email marketing in particular—can help.
The point of email marketing is to stay close to your customers by connecting with them in a place that's easy and not intrusive. To get started with email marketing, consider creating a simple email marketing content calendar that includes sending an email to all clients and potential clients at least once a month.
The focus of the emails can vary based on what's going on that month. Consider including a “happy birthday" email based on the client's birthday, as well as other holidays. For example, you could send out a “Happy New Year!" email in January along with a blog post on how to be more efficient in the new year. Then maybe in February, you could offer up a friendly reminder about an upcoming industry conference or a link to your latest white paper or post.
2. Send strategic updates regularly via a company newsletter.
When it comes to different types of online marketing strategies that you could consider, digital company newsletters are a typically inexpensive option. Newsletters are a great way to get the attention of new and existing customers. They can also help keep your business top of mind.
In some cases, previous or current clients may need your help or your product, but they just don't know it. A newsletter can be a great way to get in front of your customers regularly and to subtly remind them of what it is you do and how you can help.
The format and frequency of your newsletter will depend on your audience. For example, if you're a product company that does a new release every two weeks, your customers may find value in hearing about what's new and improved at every launch.
My friend's company offers consulting services to large corporations, and her target audience includes senior-level executives who are trying to solve problems or capitalize on opportunities. In her case, I suggested that her team share resources that touch on the needs of her existing and potential clients. I also suggested including case studies on the projects they've worked on to help bring attention to their offering.
Newsletters—in addition to the timely e-blasts you're sending each month—are one of the types of online marketing strategies that allow you to be strategic and offer meaty content to your audience. This is an online marketing strategy that can work for many different industries and can be done at anytime.
3. Focus on existing clients and use retargeting campaigns to connect in several places.
My last suggestion for my friend was to invest in a series of brand awareness advertisements using their social media platforms and Google AdWords. Because she's losing money, I recommended focusing on a retargeting campaign directed toward her existing clients and another campaign for look-alikes, or individuals whose profiles match her existing clients.
By connecting with clients via email and appearing on various platforms, you can start to gain more visibility for your brand. Visibility when paired with the right communications and lunch appointments and calls can be the difference in a customer choosing you over a competitor.
Marketing doesn't always have to be complicated or expensive. If you are struggling and need to do something quickly to get in front of your target audience, give these three types of online marketing strategies a try.
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