By Jet Encila
GOING head to head with the big names in the online trade is no walk in the park, especially for startups or small firms venturing into unfamiliar territory called online marketing.
However, if you feel you have what it takes to join the fray and make a name for yourself in the highly-stacked competition, you have to make sure that you have enough “firepower” to launch an effective marketing offensive.
Check out these unique approaches to help guarantee that your company, no matter how diminutive it may seem, can stand toe to toe with the heavyweights in the trade ring:
1. Know the buzz
Take advantage of the power of social networks. Connect with friends, family and business associates to learn about the latest scoop through Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
These social networking sites provide more than just sharing of photos and knowing about your friend’s new pair of shoes, or the watering holes they have been hanging out of late.
For instance, research on the latest online marketing gimmicks from posts or sites shared by friends or former office colleagues or bosses on social network sites and find out how you can apply this new piece of information into your own online venture.
The things your learn just by spending a few minutes chatting and scouring the little corners of social sites for useful tips can be of great value which you can also use to share to others who may wish to seek advice or suggestions from you. It’s actually a two-way traffic: you share what you learn.
Be on the lookout for new developments and, as they say, find out where the smoke is coming from.
2. Sell yourself
Participate in local outreach programs in your community to create a solid foundation for your small business. By reaching out and joining civic or social events, you are making yourself exposed thereby giving out an impression that you care for the community and the people around you.
When you have established enough bond and trust with the community, it is now time to share to people your personal interests. This is where you introduce your business and share what you can offer.
Promoting your brand or service then becomes easy as you have already established some form of familiarity or friendship with those you now consider as “targets”, a.k.a. prospective clients.
By reaching out to the locals you are able to develop trust and where there is trust – there is a sale! Remember: sell yourself first and the rest will follow.
3. Get in touch
Once you have made your presence felt in the community, it is now time to show a little thoughtfulness and caring. After sealing a deal with your first few clients, find out how they are doing with the service or product.
This will show your genuine concern for their satisfaction. It will tell them that you are not just after the money but the value that they deserve from what you have offered them. Make them feel that you care. Better yet, tell them to call you anytime for whatever concerns they may have about you and your product.
Nothing beats a good follow-up; reaching out to know people’s thoughts about the stuff you have just sold. You may not know it, but your relationship with your clients does not end once payment has been made.
4. Make them like you
Promoting your brand through a consistent awareness campaign – online or otherwise – will bring you closer to people which is how most internet marketing is done these days by the way.
However, the whole process is not just about selling, getting paid, disappearing and never to be heard of again. Doing business must be a continuing bond, especially if there was a certain dose of friendship involved prior to a sale.
For a brand to etch its name into people’s minds, it must be served with a selfless act of concern for their satisfaction; a gesture that will make them feel good about the product’s quality as well as the reputation of the one promoting it.