Online marketing hasn’t changed all of the basic principals that we grew so accustomed to with our offline efforts. Yes, we all know about the importance of inbound marketing now, but single use of media as your marketing strategy will never be as effective as a cross-media campaign.

This can be a “penny wise/dollar foolish” approach for many businesses, whilesome other businesses are trying too many avenues and therefore, not doing particularly well with any (such as focusing on QUANTITY of social media without concentrating on QUALITY of the most appropriate social media).

I’d suggest that exploring a more thoughtful and concentrated approach with only a few marketing mediums may be most effective to achieve your business related goals.

Combining email marketing with other types of marketing

Even if you’re fortunate enough to have a good deal of success with email marketing, you should try other types of online efforts such as a strong website presence, participation in industry-related message boards, placing banner ads, building a quality social media network and generating inbound links to your website.

It’s possible that not all of these strategies will be effective for your business, but your likely to find at least one other option that provides a kick to your email marketing and helps you achieve new levels of sales success.

You may even wish to combine your email campaign with traditional marketing strategies such as radio, television or magazine ads or perhaps direct mail postcards or brochures. Advertising both online and offline can allow you to reach a larger target audience. This is especially helpful for those whose market is mainly local.

Banner ads and message board participation

Banner ads and message board participation are online efforts that are relatively simple, but combining these with an email marketing campaign can create a powerful statement.

Make sure your emails offer quality, useful information related to your products or services and purchase banner ad space on websites which may be of interest to your potential customers. Seek out and participate in industry-related message boards (LinkedIn is a great place to look for B-to-B companies) where you can earn respect and interest of potential customers.

The power of your brand

Even when potential customers don’t currently require your products and services, recognizing your business name has a branding effect.

Branding is essentially the process of creating a unique and identifiable image and feeling in your target market that creates a sense of trust and, in turn, more likely to select a product or service from this company than the competitors.

Your brand should be built through everything that is seen, heard and even touched and smelled regarding your product or service. Careful consideration should go into creating your logo, business cards, website, slogan, mission statement and content development. These are the foundation of your future marketing efforts.

If you move forward with multiple forms of advertising, be aware that it can be difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of each marketing strategy – especially if the strategies are implemented concurrently. When using only one type of marketing, its easy to surmise that changes in sales or website traffic are a direct result of the marketing strategy. However, with multiple strategies, determining which strategy is producing the desired effect can be difficult.

This dilemma can be handled by not making changes to more than one marketing strategy at a time; helping pinpoint which changes are most productive… and which are counter-productive to your sales and website traffic.
Finally, don’t forget to ask that ones who matter the most – your customer! Consider using social media and/or polls on your blog to have customers and prospects answer survey questions about their desires and to also provide information as to how they learned about your products or services. You be surprised by the findings!

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I hope that you find this information inspiring and informative. Author: Barry Edwards, principal and creative director, Edwards Communications | Dynamic websites and marketing communications that target your audience for maximum impact

Over 50 Starting Over marketing tips for the middle aged entrepreneur

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