As a new business owner in the political industry, specifically in a niche market, advertising has been the key to our early success. Now, we’ve been fortunate to have received vital introductions leading to a profitable first quarter, but it’s difficult to secure enough of those to sustain a growing business. Even in our industry word of mouth isn’t powerful enough to reach every potential activist that will take the leap and run for office in the coming year.
Knowing this going in, we developed a marketing strategy that would spread awareness and provide information through coordinated branding and messaging. By creating consistent content and promoting it on different digital platforms, we’ve been able to gather leads to put into the sales funnel.
Once a potential client is put into the custom sales funnel, they’re taken on a customer journey where they’re provided free resources and consistent branded messaging through email marketing. They’re given the opportunity to participate in free webinars with leading experts in the political industry and shown how our company can provide value to help solve their problem.
Using a combination of referrals and advertising is fundamental to a new firm to add more potential clients into the sales funnel, increase company awareness, and secure more business. Here are five ways that new firms can and should be advertising to reach beyond their established networks:
1. Use social media to increase brand awareness.
Social media is an obvious choice for business promotion. In 2021, 72 percent of U.S. adults confirmed to use at least one form of social media. Firms can spread their message to thousands at the touch of a button, but to be most effective you need to have catchy content that grabs your readers and tells them why you can help them achieve their goals. The messaging needs to be consistent in order to build name recognition and confirm legitimacy.
Be sure to track everything. For instance, your Facebook pixel should be connected to your website to see what appeals to your potential client and how each post contributes to your goal. Our company has found success in paid social media advertisements, specifically Facebook, and using the tracked metrics on what works to help to build the post for the next ad.
Facebook has been the most cost-effective cost per click for us and has contributed to webinar signups and website views. Still, Facebook is picky and the first few posts you try will most likely be rejected. Keep fine tuning your language until you hit the sweet spot of spreading your message accurately, while also staying within their terms. Based on our success, I would recommend using Facebook ads as lead generation. The ads can help put prospects at the top of your funnel, and gives you the opportunity to nurture leads moving forward in your sales process through emails, retargeting ads, and follow up calls.
2. Make sure you have an email marketing program.
Email marketing isn’t going away anytime soon: 64 percent of small businesses use email marketing to reach their target customer. It’s advised to build your email list from Day One by collecting every business card you can and encouraging mailing list sign ups on social media.
Email marketing can be used to inform your target customer about the benefits of using your service, give information that can help them succeed, and invite them to events. It’s cost effective and a great way to spread your message frequently to your ideal customer.
3. Use webinars to promote legitimacy and spread valuable information.
Webinars have been a highly beneficial avenue for our company. Everyone wins when you mix passionate experts with hungry first-time clients for a one-hour monthly webinar. The expert is granted access to the list of attendees, the participants have access to ask live questions, and the company is seen as the mediator that provided this excellent resource to candidates. These events drive leads into your sales funnel, confirm legitimacy, and help to close deals on potential clients in the pipeline.
4. Lean into traditional media relations and online directories.
A new firm cannot go wrong by seeking out blog opportunities, podcast guest appearances, and any print media advertising their mission. It’s recommended to have a press release ready to email key media personnel the day you formally launch your firm. Just like a campaign on announcement day, a firm launch day can be the best day for earned media and gaining momentum.
Online directories can help increase SEO, connect the firm to a market, and provide some validity. It’s important that someone who types in a question relating to your firm’s mission populates with your contact information. To ensure this happens, you’ll want to have your information on Google business, Campaigns & Elections, and any other free online business directory.
5. Informational articles on your company website.
Writing articles to host on your website can help boost SEO, and gives potential customers information to help them make the decision to buy from you. By creating content frequently, you ensure your business is credible, sustainable, and knowledgeable in your area of expertise. Make sure to include custom SEO behind each article so that search engines portray the information you want viewers to see should they stumble on your article.
To make sure all your content is aligned, you may use your website blog posts as social media posts or even as part of a series. It’s helpful for a potential customer to see several different marketing avenues that all drive the same message when they’re making their decision.
Morgan Bonwell is the founder of Right Strategies. She resides in Grinnell, Iowa with her two beautiful toddlers and husband, Michael.