Marketing is an ever-changing field as new trends and technologies provide businesses with new ways to promote their products and services to interested consumers. Even so, it is important for a business owner to plan long-term when developing marketing strategies.
Long-term marketing strategies help a business make advertising and marketing investments now that will pay off well in the future. What’s more, long-term strategizing enables a business owner to properly assess the future growth rate of a business to determine if, where, and how to expand. While short-term goals are important, long-term goals are a must to enable a business owner to make smart, well-informed decisions right now.
So, which long-term marketing strategies should you start today? Here are five particularly important ones that are well worth your consideration.
A recent survey found that about 21% of consumers use the internet to find a local business on a daily basis while an additional 35% do so every week. In fact, only 1% of individuals don’t use the internet to find local businesses online.
Put simply, a business has to have a highly visible presence online in order to succeed long-term. SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, enables a business to rank highly for words, phrases, or questions related to what the business offers.
As the internet is set to be around for the foreseeable future, business owners will want to ensure a strong SEO strategy remains part of their long-term marketing plans. At the same time, it’s important to bear in mind that SEO tactics that worked well in times past could be ineffective or even counterproductive now. Continued testing and staying abreast of SEO changes are a must to acquire or retain a good spot on Google.
HubSpot is a good example of doing careful ongoing research to ensure its SEO tactics are meeting current and future needs. The company, which previously used keyword marketing to help companies identify keywords to rank for, switched over to topic cluster and pillar page creation because it saw that individuals would become comfortable asking complicated queries and expecting accurate answers, and the only way searchers would find what they are looking for would be if companies create pages with links to all its content on any given topic.
Content marketing, as the name implies, involves creating content to attract new customers and retain current ones. It includes all forms of content, including:
Content marketing helps you rank well on Google. It also makes it easy for people to share information about your business on their social media accounts. Furthermore, it develops brand loyalty as consumers become accustomed to hearing from you at pre-determined times.
Consumers expect legitimate businesses to have content on multiple platforms. This doesn’t mean you need social media accounts on dozens of sites, but you should have at least a few social media accounts that are updated regularly. You’ll also likely want to pick just a few forms of content marketing and stick with them rather than trying to master multiple content marketing techniques at once.
Customer experience marketing involves getting to know your target audience and taking measures to meet their exact needs at each step in their shopping journey. It includes:
Consumers crave authenticity. They want to feel connected to the company they do business with. Creating a positive customer experience turns one-time buyers into loyal patrons who will not only continue to do business with you but also recommend your business to their family members and friends.
Good customer experience marketing will also help you retain consumer trust if you have problems that could negatively affect your target audience. If, for instance, you are hit by a cyberattack, have to raise prices, or an employee makes a mistake and news of it goes viral, your customer experience marketing will help you retain consumer trust as you apologize for mistakes, explain the reasons for your actions, and come up with answers to current challenges.
Blogging is an important aspect of content marketing. It’s a platform that enables you to share vital information with your audience. It helps you boost your search engine ranking and shows you are a trustworthy leader in your field.
However, to be effective, blogging has to be done regularly. Choose which days you will post, select a time to post, and then stick with your schedule. People need to know when they can expect to hear from you.
Blogs often include a lot of written text, but there are other effective forms of content. Videos grab user attention and can be especially helpful if you need to show visual information. Infographics are eye-catching, easy to remember, and easy to share. You may also want to experiment with audio content to see if it captures user attention.
Tailor Brands is a good example of a company with an attention-grabbing blog that produces a steady stream of valuable information for its audience. The branding company uses high-quality images to make content come alive and formats its content to ensure it’s easy to read. Posts link back to helpful pages on the Tailor Brands website, so readers can learn more about topics that interest them. Content is posted regularly, so users know they’ll always find new tips and up-to-date information on the blog.
Every business needs a brand. An important part of this is a logo and business font that is consistently used on both online and offline platforms and marketing materials. You also need a business color scheme that matches your logo and business name.
A consistent voice is also an important aspect of brand marketing. Do you want to use a formal tone to communicate authority and knowledge, or use casual language to engage with potential customers on a friendly level? Do you use humor to make a point? Your tone helps people connect with you, so choose it wisely and stick with it.
Brand marketing assures current and potential clients that you can be trusted with their business. It helps develop brand loyalty as people know where and how to find you anytime they need your help. It also helps you appeal to your target audience by creating a visual image that resonates with potential buyers.
Long-term marketing means continually meeting the needs of those in your target audience. It’s not just about communicating your message but also making it easy for people to find you, connect with you, and receive the help and assistance they need from your business.
It’s not enough to just try to sell as many goods/services as you can in order to turn a profit for your business. If you want to succeed long-term, you have to pay attention to the long-term marketing strategies outlined above. While it takes time to engage in content and customer experience marketing, build a brand, and optimize your site for search engines, the time and hard work you invest in these tried-and-proven marketing strategies are sure to be worth it.