Thinking Outside of the “In” Box

marketingEach year, businesses all over the world push to find new ways of reaching new clients, making sales, and increasing revenue. While it appears that some marketing strategies have proven to be more effective than others, one thing is for certain: email will always be a part of any solid business marketing strategy, as it easily correlates to mass mailer marketing and other traditional business outreach methods.

However, because email is such a popular method used by nearly every industry, the positive effects begin to dwindle. Users who subscribe to e-newsletters and email marketing voluntarily will always be there, but those that businesses are attempting to reach for the first time have become numb to the mass mailing stimulus, and have learned to tune it out similar to the decreasing effectiveness of television commercials.

Fortunately, for businesses looking to reach out to new customers, part of the problem is also the ideal solution, and that comes in the form of social networking.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

In the past, the only way others would hear about your business was through word of mouth. While this still stands to be somewhat true, particularly if you are a small business, it’s much easier to spread the word through the online communities and through social networks.

Social networks allow both businesses and clients to connect with one another, which is usually much more than an email marketing campaign can accomplish. Businesses need to adapt and develop a more personalized, one-on-one approach.

Customers today don’t want to be talked at; they want to be talked to, and they want to feel as if they have an influence or say in how businesses treat them. Social networking sites and blogs allow businesses to be more transparent and open with their audience, making sure that they are both reaching out to more people, and that their outreach has a strong impact.

Engage & Listen

By sparking conversation, discussion, and word-of-mouth marketing, businesses can get valuable feedback from their customers, while targeting their needs and wants more closely. Obviously, one of the most effective ways to accomplish this is through customer interaction, and social networks offer numerous opportunities for business growth.

With social media, businesses today have the unique opportunity to reach out to vast number of potential customers. By holding exciting, valuable, or popular “conversations” throughout these networks, you will not only grab the attention of your target audience, but form a stronger connection and develop rapport with those connections. Brand loyalty will be awarded to the businesses that customers feel comfortable working with, and this is most easily accomplished by having a conversation with them, something that the social web space has made simple today.

Keep It Simple

Another way that business can have targeted audiences seek them out is through blogging.  Users today want to be up-to-date on the people, products, and services that they use most often, and blogging is a great way for businesses to foster that interest.

Blogging offers a way for potential customers to understand a business on a different level, without the business having to reach out to each person individually. All of this work culminates in an effort to get people talking. Social media conversations, blog posts, and web events act as catalysts that businesses can use to get their potential customers reaching out to each other.

By maintaining web events such as discussions, reveals, or exclusive information/marketing opportunities, businesses will give customers something they can be excited about being a part of and sharing. The web and social media space offers outlets to ensure that businesses efforts are reaching as far as possible. Just as they always have, businesses will be relying heavily on word-of-mouth, but the web offers new marketing opportunities that easily allow more meaningful messages to reach a significantly broader group of people.

E-mail marketing is far from being abandoned. In fact, it should be embraced by all businesses as an outlet to keep current customers interested.  Businesses should use the newest technologies available to them, though, to find new customers and to interact with them on a more consistent, meaningful level. Today’s marketing is all about presence, and the businesses that are being talking about are the ones that potential clients will be drawn to.

Mark Kirkpatrick is a writer who is passionate about the tech and business industries. His blog, GlobalTollFreeNumber.com, also covers customer service, business solutions and mass communications. He believes that in order for a business to be successful, it must be willing to try a variety of marketing methods.