Terrific tactics to win more business

It’s always the right time to shake up your marketing.

It’s always the right time to shake up your marketing.

By paying attention to what’s working in your business and what’s not, you’ll be able to use your valuable time and money pursuing only those marketing strategies that really bring in business.

To help you develop your next marketing strategy, consider these tips.


Without a huge budget to spend on traditional advertising, generating free media publicity can lead to a rush of curious customers to your website, social media page, or store location.

Newsjacking occurs when someone attaches a story about their business to a breaking news story. The objective is to get the media to contact you for a comment – positioning you as a valuable resource or expert. The result can be plenty of free media coverage and social media sharing.

“Find a way to insert your company, product or service into an active media story to reap the rewards,” explains Patrick McCaully, owner of Toronto-based firm Pointman! Public Relations.

His firm has experience running newsjacking campaigns for clients. “For example, you could newsjack the holidays by offering a Top 5 list for reducing holiday shopping frustrations, be the first to comment on a new condo development and its impact on the area, or even newsjack an election by commenting on what small businesses need from the next government.”

Social media selling

While it’s nice to be ‘liked’ on Facebook, it’s even better when the time you spend on social media generates sales. Yet many business owners scratch their heads trying to figure out exactly how to do that – and end up getting frustrated with social media in general.

Call to action

The objective is to convert your followers, fans and connections into paying customers. To do that, apply some traditional advertising methodology to slightly change the tone of your social media messages.

Adding a clear ‘call to action’ coupled with a limited-time offer could entice people to click, call or visit. For example, a pizza parlour might offer a ‘Friday Fiver’ promotion asking online followers to click on the link to save $5 on their pizza order for that day only.

Cross promotions

Stretch your marketing budget and reach by partnering with a business in an unrelated industry serving your target customer.

Customers who put their trust in one business are more likely to put their trust in another business that’s recommended to them. You can promote each other’s businesses in your:

  • Blog – mention them when appropriate.
  • Newsletter – if they’ve got an event coming up, pop it in the newsletter.
  • Storefront – include their logo or brand.
  • Mailer – a great way to introduce them.

The classic example is the ‘dinner and a movie’ promotion between a restaurant and a theatre. Each business promotes the other in their respective establishments, or creates a combo package to save the buyer some money.

Cross promotions are particularly powerful on social networks where sharing is so easy.

Make money on free items

While giving something away at no charge may seem counter-productive, in this digital age you can actually make money with a ‘free’ strategy.

Some of the world’s largest companies will credit their success to a ‘free’ or ‘freemium’ strategy. Companies like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn give away plenty of valuable products and services, such as:

  • Free email
  • Free file storage
  • Free profiles
  • Free online tools

What’s the catch? While the majority of users will stick with the free product or service, some will upgrade to another level of service and happily pay the corresponding fee. To get the ‘freemium’ model right, make your free product or service so valuable that users excitingly share it with others.

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