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Marketing

Posted 28/4/2021

Marketing goes hand in hand with graphic design, often in a larger company we’ll work as a team, with the marketing department. 

Today I thought I’d touch on the ways you can improve or work on your marketing. Of course, as a designer, the aesthetics and styling of adverts, flyers and other marketing items is very important, but you also need to think about the wording to use, your target audience or ideal client, where to advertise, and how often to communicate with your audience. 

Consistency

Consistency is key when you’re marketing your business. You need to ensure you promote your business regularly, even if you don't see an immediate response from customers. It takes time and commitment to build or grow a business and consistency is so important to achieve this.

A great way to do this is through social media. You need to maintain a consistent posting schedule, posting at least once a day, and you need to post quality content which gives your audience value. It’s also important to interact with your audience, by replying to their comments or messages. 

Sending out e-newsletters is another great way of doing this, to ensure your readers and past customers won't forget about you. Promoting the offer to subscribe to your mailing list is a great way to build your audience, perhaps think about offering something free to all subscribers, either a helpful guide or a ‘money-off’ offer maybe if you’re a product based company. 

 

Focus

I’ve been reading today about the Pareto's principle, which relies on the ’80/20 rule’. This states that approximately 80 percent of customers bring in 20 percent of sales, and the remaining 20 percent bring in 80 percent of sales. 

This encourages us to focus on building lasting relationships with our top customers. This can be via social media, e-newsletters, and also by sending messages or emails to customers on occasions such as Christmas.

The other 80 percent of customers of course also need to be happy with your service, and you’ll also want to attract new customers, but it’s important to recognise the benefit of repeat business and to keep returning customers happy! They’re also likely to recommend you to friends and other business owners, which is invaluable.

 

Data

Do you look at your insights on social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook? Don’t forget there’s also Google Analytics which is a brilliant resource for showing which marketing channels are bringing in the bulk of your traffic to your website. 

Remember to use this information to your advantage. Post on social media at the time of day when the majority of your audience is online, and try to work out who your ideal customer, or target audience is, and then see where and when they are online.

 

Ideal customer

The most important step in developing a marketing or advertising campaign is knowing who your ideal customer is. You should not only know what group the ideal customer belongs to (perhaps gender, age, location depending on your product or service), but you should also have an idea of their interests and what is going to appeal to them. You should also find out where your ideal customer is, finding out which social media platforms they spend the most time on etc. 

When you post on social media, or blog on your website, remember to use the keywords they'll be searching for, as this will enable you to be seen. Think about the problem you’re trying to solve, or how your product will help your ideal customer, and create adverts to market your product or service in a way that appeals directly to your audience. 

By getting your message to the right demographic through the right marketing channels, you’re likely to see good results. 

 

Traditional advertising

Traditional adverting, such as flyers, pop-up roller banners and adverts in local magazines etc are important tools to remember. Not everyone is online, particularly if your target audience/ideal customer is of the older generation. Some people still also prefer to get their information in a printed format, many people are conscious of reducing their screen time. Even if your audience is online, they are not active online all the time, and you won’t necessarily reach them if you only focus on modern marketing strategies. 

 

Social media

You probably already know that social media marketing is important for small businesses, especially if you’re reading this on one of my social media posts, you’re already in the right place! You need to remember though to keep your business information accurate and up to date. Make any changes as and when needed to ensure your social media accounts accurately reflect your business. Make sure your links to your website and to other social media platforms work. The same with your work hours, and any promotions you’re running, always ensure that these are correct and updated when necessary.

Ensure you’re posting fresh content, every day if possible, as frequent posts keep you in front of your customers. Post about new products or projects, show your followers who you are and how your business can help them. Remember that not all of your posts should be pitching for a sale, it’s important that your audience sees you, the person behind the business. 

 

Community

Find local events in your community and participate, either in person or through offering your services or sponsorship. Get your company name known in your local area and you’ll encourage people to find out about your business and hopefully become your customers! 

 

Directories

An easy way to drive traffic to your website is to make sure that you show up in local search results. You can do this by listing your business on free websites such as Yell, Google My Business etc, and other local directories.

 

Testimonials

You can attract more customers by getting reviews from people who have already used your business.

It’s also a good idea to put your reviews in multiple places, so potential customers are more likely to see them. After my customers have posted a review on Facebook or Yell etc, I then copy the testimonial to my website, to ensure they’re all in one place and also on a platform I have control over, and I don’t risk losing these valuable reviews.

Ask your customers to leave reviews either by prompting them with an email once you’ve completed a job, or by asking them in person, depending on your business and how you interact with your customers, whether you’re face to face or working remotely. You can even direct customers with a web link to where you’d like them to leave a review.

 

Promotions

Promotions and competitions can be a great way to engage your audience. Try and be creative with contests and offer prizes that your ideal customer would want. You could also offer promotions to celebrate local events or to connect with your local community.

 

Establish yourself as an expert

Establishing yourself as an expert in your field gives your audience the reassurance that you know what you’re talking about, and that they can trust you with their project or purchase. This is a long-term marketing tactic for small businesses, but can provide a big payoff.

Try to write blog posts that answer customers’ frequent questions. Join networking groups and perhaps offer yourself as a speaker at a local (or zoom!) event or meeting. Offer yourself as an expert to journalists for their stories, asking them to mention your business name when they quote you in their articles. 

 

Competitors

Have a look at what your competitors are doing. Maybe they’re running Facebook ads, or perhaps they’re posting more tips and advice on social media than you do. You don’t want to imitate what they’re doing, you always need to ensure your business is true to yourself and is individual, but perhaps there is something you’re missing which you could try as a marketing tool with your own spin on it.

 

Design

Ensuring your advertising and marketing materials look professional and reflect your business is key. This is where a graphic designer comes in, as we can take your message and marketing objective and produce a bespoke design to reflect your business and ensure your message is easily read by your customers.

It only takes a few seconds for a customer to make up their mind about your brand, and having a graphic designer ensure your marketing shows you at your best can be invaluable.

 

I hope this is helpful, as always, get in touch if you'd like to have a chat about your projects!

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