Use Multiple Marketing & Sales Channels for Success Nicci Troiani With so many ways to market your business and try to make sales, it can seem overwhelming, and a lot of times costly. While it’s easy to fall into a rut and stick to one way of marketing as many small businesses do– that means you aren’t reaching out to your full audience potential and could be missing people who need your service or product. If you aren’t utilizing all of the marketing and sales channels below, you are missing out on many (mostly free) opportunities. 1. Written Content Written content overwhelms many small business owners, but it doesn’t need to be anything scary. You’re an expert in your business which makes you qualified to write about it. It’s free to start a blog and write your own content. If you’re busy, just try to write one blog a week and ask another employee to do the same. The hard part is coming up with the topics, so in your free time, brainstorm a list of 20-30 topics and then you won’t struggle for coming up with one at the last minute. If you want more in depth content that you don’t have time to write, consider hiring a writer (look at sites like zerys.com or BlogMutt.com as examples). 2. Visual Content Not all businesses have intriguing visual content, but people in general are drawn to things that are visually appealing. If you are a retail store or restaurant, pictures of food, clothes or other products can inspire the prospect to want to purchase. Photos of items like this are great for e-mail newsletters or sites like Instagram or Pinterest. If you are a small business like an accounting firm or insurance agency, most likely images of your products on Instagram are not going to inspire sales. You might have to dig a little deeper and hire someone to create an infographic using stats related to your business to get something visually appealing. 3. Videos Interviews and testimonials make great marketing and sales tools. Ask some of your best clients if they mind being interviewed. Any video content used for marketing/sales purposes should be kept short (think under 3 minutes) so it doesn’t need to be a lengthy, Oscar-worthy production. Promote videos like this across your social media platforms (including Pinterest which allows you to post videos) or in an e-mail campaign. 4. Webinars For businesses that have a lot of competition, educating your prospects is what will set you apart from the rest. Hosting even a 30 minute webinar about some common pains and solutions of your industry will educate your prospects and help them realize that you are there to help, not sell to them. Webinars can be used as link bait as well. Promote the webinar through your social media platforms and make sure you ask for sign ups to get the contact information. After you have that, you can send the contact other marketing materials. 5. E-mail Campaigns Don’t count out e-mail. It’s extremely cheaper than direct mail and has a higher response rate. Even a monthly newsletter that is informative and educational can help convert leads. An e-mail campaign could be a well thought-out educational drip campaign over the course of a year or it could be a simple 2 step e-mail campaign telling a prospects the benefits of using your business. The possibilities are endless in campaigns and the frequency and content varies depending on your business. 6. Social Media Business who aren’t using social media now are going to get lost among those who are. It is a FREE marketing tool and reaches out to people who want to hear what you have to say. However, if you are a small business, developing a following on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram will take time and the only thinng that will help is consistent posting of your content as well as timely responses back to your audience. If used like that, your social media accounts can become hubs for educational information as well as your number 1 customer service rep.