Updated: Apr 3
Marketing choices used to be simple - print, television, radio.
Small and local businesses focused most of their attention on print and radio because they were the most cost effective, while national brands dominated television advertising. It may have been simpler then, but it wasn’t easy for small businesses to get big exposure. In today’s tech-saturated world this is no longer the case.
This is why it’s important to diversify your marketing.
There are a whole myriad of ways businesses of all sizes can get noticed. Google ads, social media “boosts,” podcasts, blogs, YouTube ads, not to mention the traditional routes of print, radio and television, allow businesses to be seen in multiple ways across multiple mediums. However, not all mediums are created equal. Some types of marketing work better for specific types of businesses. And, just because one marketing source works well for your business, don’t stop your efforts there. It is important to not put all your marketing eggs in that particular basket.
Yes, it can be complicated, but diversifying your marketing across several platforms will do more for your business than putting all your dollars in one platform.
Utilize whatever platforms you choose correctly
Your business may not have the time of resources to use every type of marketing platform. Your website, a few print ads and social media may be all you can handle at the moment. Large corporations have a team of employees handling their marketing, so if you can promote your business through three marketing channels that's great! Just be sure you are utilizing those channels to allow your business to get the most out of every hour and dollar you spend.
When it comes to social media, not all platforms are created equal. Spend the time and do the research to see where your customers are spending their time on social media. Facebook is not the be-all, end-all of social media sites.
Generation Z or “Zoomers” (age 18-24) spends 4.5 hours a day on social media while Millennials (age 25-40) spend 3.8. According to the National Retail Federation, “the top social media platform for Gen Z is Instagram, followed by YouTube and TikTok. In contrast, the leading social media platforms for millennials are Facebook, YouTube and Facebook Messenger.” Gen X (age 41-56) and Baby Boomers do spend a lot of their social media time on Facebook, but not in the way younger generations do. Gen X and Boomers rely on the platforms to socialize more than to learn about businesses and products. So make sure the social media platform you use is the same one your customers are using.
Create opportunity for different types of content
Diversifying your marketing also allows you to create different types of content. This is an opportunity to showcase your business in different ways. Print media is great if you have a local newspaper or magazine that will be highly distributed. This type of marketing will allow you to create a look for your brand and allow you to be as specific or general as you would like in talking about your business.
Email marketing will reach out to a very specific customer base - usually those who already know about your product or service - giving you an opportunity to be very specialized in your message. It can also link them to your businesses’ website and social media pages. Marketing on social media can give your business the opportunity to create video marketing. Show a how-to video about your product or service. Showcase a staff member or highlight a positive way your business is giving back to the community.
Creating different types of content will reach a wide-range of customers, including customers you may not expect. The world is growing smaller and your video showing off your new line of candles may reach across the globe and find customers in need of just such an item.
Whatever type of marketing platform you decide to use, it is important to direct customers back to your website. Your website is the backbone of marketing your business. Make sure it has the answers to all the questions your customers may need, ways to order your product or get more information about your service and is user friendly. It all should come back to the website.
Diversifying spreads out risk
It is important to spread out your marketing efforts. A financial advisor would not put all your businesses money in one type of investment, so you should not put all your marketing funds or both time and dollars into one marketing platform.
The risk of not diversifying is two-fold. One you may miss out on a large population of potential customers by limiting your marketing to one type of platform (say social media or email marketing). While much of the world is on social media, not everyone is online or on the same social media platform your business is utilizing. Google ads are great but if that is the only place you are putting your marketing dollars you are limiting the scope of where you can reach and who you can reach.
Diversifying is also beneficial in case of any sudden changes. If your business only has print ads in the local newspaper and the newspaper shuts down, your business is back to square one. If Facebook or Google suddenly change their policies and your ads are no longer able to be seen, what then?
However, by having your businesses marketing on both social media and Google, as well as email marketing campaigns and an ad on the local radio station, if one of those platforms suddenly shuts down, there are several other ways customers can learn about your business without a hiccup in the process.
Be meaningful and purposeful
Whatever type and however many marketing platforms you use for the business, be sure to be meaningful and purposeful in your content. Customers have high expectations and want to know thoughtful and meaningful information before giving their businesses to a company. Statistics from 2021 show that customers want positive online engagement, the ability to trust your brand, safety, convenience and flexibility.
So, while it is important to diversify your marketing, be sure to do it in a meaningful and purposeful way with the customer’s needs in mind.
HMG / HWD
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