Good Marketing Strategies can save any business. A couple years ago, I found myself in a tough spot. Having recently opened my own tour guide business in Colombia, I quickly realized that the competition was crushing me with their experience and Brand popularity. I had entered a saturated market in a place where most touring agencies had successfully built their reputation to the point where word of mouth was all they needed to have their clients walk in on a daily basis.
At the time, my idea was that I was setting up shop in a country that was still developing its tourist industry, and thus, I was ahead of the game. I predicted that Colombia would emerge as a massive tourist center in the coming years. But, what I didn’t think of was that other entrepreneurs had that same prediction years before me.
It was time for me to come up with a plan that would give my business some breathing room to grow under the pressure of other tourist giants in the region. I eventually learned through trial and error that my specific niche had some marketing strategies that worked really well and others that produced no return. At the end of the day, the ones that truly worked for me were corporate gifts, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and mobile marketing. Not only were the factors that led to the development of my business but when applied correctly, can be used to market any product or service. Check out how you might be able to incorporate them in your own way:
1. START GIVING CORPORATE GIFTS
On August of 2017, Incentives Corporate Gift IQ Survey showed that 77% of businesses use corporate gifts. The idea to create my own unique gift came from a very simple situation. While looking for a new banking institution to open an account, I remembered one specific bank that always offered delicious lollipops which were shaped as their logo whenever they set up stands in the street, promoting their services. That’s when I realized, I opened an account with them based on a piece of candy.
In my case, I had some agency logo keychains made. Every time a client came in to get a quote or to inquire about our tours, we gave them a keychain. The result was overwhelmingly positive, with many clients stating “a keychain” as their referral.
Of course, this was just when dealing with B2C situations. With our more high-level clients or other businesses we collaborated with, I started sending packages that were custom made for everyone. What that means is that no one ever got the same corporate gift, and at the same time, each of them felt unique. I remembered birthdays, holidays, and kept in touch to maintain the feeling of ongoing ventures. I even found out whenever my clients became ill and sent them a get well soon package.
The importance of giving corporate gifts in today’s day and age is more important than ever. In some cultures, like that of Japan, corporate gifts are essential to do proper business. In fact, there are now entire companies dedicated to the organization of custom gifts, rounded with their packaging and delivery. The whole nine yards. Corporate gifts make clients and other businesses feel as though they have a long-standing relationship with you, and not only that, but they help you market your brand.
2. GET SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) WRITERS
In short, SEO is the art of hiring writers to churn out articles which use keywords so that what you’re trying to market makes its way up to the first page of Google, Yahoo, Bing, and so on.
It’s safe to say that SEO has become an essential part of marketing any product or service because, in our technology age, 97% of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses. Having said that, it’s clear that dedicating some resources to digital marketing are an absolute necessity.
For me, it was all about getting to that number one page. I needed my agency to pop up first whenever someone googled keywords such as “Colombia tours” because there were many others on those lists. Having your business as one of the first hits on search engines speaks for itself.
3. MAKE MOBILE MARKETING PART OF YOUR CORE STRATEGY
According to Forbes, Americans spent an average of 10 hours per day on their cellphones in 2016, which means roughly 500 hours annually. That was two years ago. With those statistics, it’s clear that we’re now using cell phones more than computers. Most people I know have their entire lives connected to their phones. Careers such as influencers on Instagram allow people to make thousands of dollars by posting pictures and having millions of followers. Times are changing.
By developing apps, sending SMS messages, or in-app advertisements, you’re ensuring that everyone who has a smartphone will receive your ad, instead of simply passing it by on the street and not looking up.
There you have it. SEO is essential, corporate gifts help maintain relationships, build new ones and develop your brand and mobile marketing is becoming a powerful tool. There are tons of marketing strategies out there for B2B or B2C, regardless of which one you’re aiming for. These are the ones that saved my business, and who knows, maybe they’ll help yours, too.
How have these strategies worked for you? We’d love to hear from you. Comment below!