Tag Archives: marketing strategy

Five types of marketing to invest in for your small business

As a small business owner, you know how important it is to market your business. You need to engage potential clients and retain your current ones. But it can be difficult to know exactly what type of marketing you should use to do so, especially if you are new to the world of business ownership.

If you have applied for business finance in South Africa you will need to start creating a marketing strategy from the get go. Not sure where to start? Below are the five types of marketing to invest in for your small business.

Google AdWords

Google Adwords is one of the smartest ways to use your marketing moolah. While you should try to improve your organic reach results using SEO (search engine optimisation) tactics, AdWords can certainly give you a leg up on the competition, especially when it comes to digital marketing.

Google searches are one of the top ways in which customers find your business online. Which means that spending money on an AdWords campaign is extremely effective. Be warned that AdWords is not an “autopilot” way of advertising, you will need to monitor your campaigns and make changes when necessary. While it might be costly, it is a marketing strategy that will pay off in the end.

Facebook advertising

Did you know that almost two million small businesses pay to advertise on Facebook? It is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to reach an audience that is interested in what you have to offer. And, almost everyone uses social media these days, so your customers are guaranteed to see your adverts.

Facebook ads excel at advanced targeting, which means that you can set up the demographics of who you want to see the ads, such as certain age groups, geographic locations, online behaviours and much more. For a small business that has just taken out business financing in South Africa, the affordability of Facebook advertising makes sense. All you need is a solid headline, some good descriptive wording, an inviting image and the right link.

Printed business cards

Many entrepreneurs feel that, because the world has become so focused on digital technology, printed marketing is no longer relevant. However, this could not be further from the truth. Business cards are affordable to print and you can create a truly unique design for yours using free software or by asking a professional designer.

Not only can you give clients and customers your business card, but you can also give them to potential business partners at networking events. You will need to ensure that your card design is relevant to your company and that your details are clear and easy to see. Be creative and think out of the box, for example, if you are a small artisanal doughnut store then design round business cards that look like the doughnuts you have on offer.

Email marketing

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to market to clients. And, if you are using business financing in South Africa, it is an option that will suit any budget. Email marketing is relatively simple to use and there are several software options on the market.

It is effective for small businesses especially because you will be able to reach an audience who is already interested in your products or services, those who subscribed to your emails in the first place. You will need to ensure that you send these emails at the right time of day so as not to annoy people and only send to those who have opted-in to the subscription.

Google My Business

For small businesses hoping to make a mark, Google My Business is one of the best types of marketing to invest in. It is completely free and is easy to use. All you need to do is provide your up-to-date contact details and allow the system to combine all of your information such as your Google+ profile, Google Maps profile, your Google reviews and more.

Ranking your Google My Business listing is one of the most important things you can do for your business, as this will allow it to show up in Google search results when someone searches for the product or service you offer. For example, if someone searches for “pet stores Cape Town”, they will see Google My Business listings before organic search results. Having your business in these first listings is imperative to boosting any small business.

Think smart for your business

Marketing strategies are highly important for any small business, especially if you will be using your business finance in South Africa for part of your marketing budget. With the innovations of technology, there are easy and affordable marketing methods you can use for your small business, such as Google My Business, Facebook advertising and Google AdWords.

You can also go the more traditional route and print out business cards to hand out to clients and at networking events. Be sure that whatever type of marketing you use, it is relevant to your business, easy-to-use and will not break the bank.

The right way to market and sell life insurance

The topic of life insurance is quite an entertaining one. Well, purely for the process that leads people to eventually buying life insurance.

Most people start out with an irritation towards life insurance sales agents and the prospect of their pending death being held against them as some sort of commodity. But, eventually, when marriage, children and life-changing investments come into the picture, we’re rather quick to go knocking on insurers doors.

One could argue that the “stigma” around life insurance marketing and sales pitches is the way in which they are presented to audiences who aren’t ready to hear: “have you sorted out your life in the event that you might die tomorrow?”. And who can blame them?

We’re going to be talking about a few ways to change your approach as an insurance company and change the minds of potential clients.

Find something in common

Salespeople, in every industry, need to have a knack for communication and connecting with people. And even more so in the insurance industry where the end of a person’s life is under discussion. You can’t start with a hard life insurance sell.

Start by learning more about your potential client and find something the two of you have in common. Not only will it help you personalise your sales pitch (and we’re getting to that), but it will also make your clients feel more comfortable to open up to you and trust you as an advisor for a huge life decision.

Personalise your sales pitch

Every customer is looking for a customer experience with a brand that promises to change their lives and then delivers. And it’s for that reason that an established relationship and personalised sales pitch is necessary. It’s also why generic cold calls and “threats” don’t work when it comes to selling life insurance.

It’s not about knowing each individual in your prospecting list of clients. But you need to narrow down your audience and know who you’re talking to. Through marketing campaign analytics and even your social media’s statistics, you can keep track of your audiences demographics, interests and needs.

And with this information and placing your audience into segments, you can cater for specific audiences and, in that way, personalise your sales pitch. That way, when you do your cold calls and know who you’re talking to, you can be more sensitive towards the prospecting client.

Calling up a twenty-something-year-old and telling them they need to invest in life insurance today and think about how their families would be able to cope without them. Not only do they experience that as insensitive, but their first reaction is that it’s irrelevant. Take a moment to change your perspective as a salesperson and rather communicate by speaking of the benefits it will have should they start life insurance now and what monthly payment options are available.

Relate through human emotion

Now, when we think about life insurance advertisements they’re either in-your-face life insurance or seemingly completely irrelevant. No one wants to watch an advertisement that consists only of experts sitting in an office and giving you the statistics on life insurance and how death affects a family (skipping over the entire grief period while they’re at it).

You need to find the balance between introducing the people of your company, the work your company has done and the lives your company has changed. Because that is what people are more interested in – someone or some story they can relate to.

Testimonials are a great way to get an audience to relate through human emotion. They want to listen to the people with similar stories and situations as them. They want to hear that it’s possible to save money, have living benefits and have life insurance pay out when the time came and the family was in need. Your target audience would rather find out that way that having life insurance is, actually, important and that the weight of responsibility that falls on those you leave behind can be tremendous and hard to deal with.

Young adults with no evident responsibilities won’t need to hear about how a middle-aged person with a partner and children is benefiting from life insurance because they aren’t in that stage of their lives yet and their answer to an insurance sales agent would be “I’ll wait until I need it”. What they need to hear is words coming from a fellow young adult who can rest assured because they know they’re covered should anything happen now and, even more so, later in life because they started now.

How you can do it

The right way to sell and market life insurance is to get to know your audience and give them whatever it is they need to relate to your company and your product. Take a look at your website and see what it says to people who have no idea what life insurance is about.

The AUL website, for example, gives comprehensive breakdowns on what they offer, who they work with, the people they help and what their mission is. It’s not about doom and gloom threats to get people to buy insurance from you, it’s about fulfilling a need and being a part of a process that will change their lives.

How is Your Hotel’s Conference Room Doing?

If you started reading this article, there is a high probability that people aren’t falling over themselves to make bookings. You’re looking for answers as to why not. Could it be that the croissants aren’t soft enough? Is the room too cold? It could be something this simple…

Or could it be because you’re not marketing the venue properly?

If potential clients don’t know that the hotel has a conference room or meeting venue, it won’t matter how great the food or perfect the conditions are – because they won’t come.

Here is how to get more bookings, more often:

Go to where the clients are

The first order of business is to find potential clients. The most logical place to start would be businesses in the area. Then find out which magazines they read and where they spend their lunch hours. Your advertising efforts should be concentrated around these three areas.

Secondly, approach events planners known for organising conferences and speak to PA’s. Offer to take them on a tour of the venue. This will establish a relationship and give them the opportunity to see the facilities for themselves. Nothing else will give them a better feel for the venue.

Harness the power of the internet

Create a page on your website dedicated to the conference and meeting venue. It should be easy to find and ideally it should be possible to reach it with one click from the homepage.

Once the page is up and running, get a professional to write a short article about the venue to submit to other websites. These could be industry specific or related to tourism (to snag international clientele).

Lastly, get the venue listed on local conference venue directories. This is an extremely cost-effective way to create awareness of your hotel and its conference and meeting rooms.

Please take note that you should include all available and appropriate information in the advertising. This would be the hotel’s address, the rates, the facilities on offer and the room’s capacity. Provide contact details as well so that people can easily get hold of you if they have questions.

It is of course not enough to get delegates to your hotel, it’s even more important that they return. You can achieve this with the following strategies:

  • Competent staff: Conference attendees should want for nothing on the day, from arrival to departure. By making only your best staff available, expectations can be met and exceeded.
  • Testimonials: Request testimonials from clientele and publish them on your website. In doing so, anyone that visits the hotel’s website would be able to see that others have had great experiences. This would make anyone more likely to make a booking.
  • Discounts: Offer discounts for big groups or for booking another conference within a specified timeframe. Referral discounts work well too and will get the hotel’s name out there.

Business should pick up with all of these marketing and retention strategies put in place. But if it doesn’t, perhaps the problem is the croissants after all.