One of the most critical dimensions of a business is branding and marketing. It is imperative that you get your name out to the public and distance your christian company from the competition. When business owners have to wear multiple hats, marketing typically takes a back seat. In order to stand out and become a leader in your industry, you need to create a strong marketing plan, have experts review it, and then execute successfully. Once launched, you must review results and make changes to stay at the forefront of your market.
Traditional marketing practices of the last 30 years have been a constant, allowing you to set your annual plan, post your goals, and implement your marketing strategy without too much research into new advertising mediums.
In today’s world, marketing has been influenced first by technology, and then by social interaction and feedback (by way of technology). In order to plan your marketing strategy, your christian company needs to research the new advertising outlets. Some of these marketing changes include:
- Pay As You Go Advertising – In the past, advertising was purchased and placed prior to results. Even if you are a wizard at tracking your marketing, you have to make an educated decision on where to allocate your marketing dollars. This was, and still is a viable option, but digital marketing has changed the rules. Now you can purchase Pay Per Click advertising that allows you to pay only when a customer clicks on your link and visits your website. Coupled with a larger marketing strategy including the traditional avenues, this can be an effective way to quickly increase your website traffic.
- Social Marketing – Having a presence for your business on all social networks has become a viral marketing trend. It is a necessity but cannot be entered into blindly. A good Social Media Marketing plan along with a strong, branded presence can bring success. While traditional marketing is you speaking to your customers, social marketing for a christian business is centered on your customers speaking to you, and your interactions with them. It will increase customer satisfaction and lead to increased brand loyalty.
- Options…Options…Options – With internet and mobile marketing, as well as other technological advances, you are now inundated with marketing options for your christian business or christian organization. Yellow Pages, Radio, Billboards, etc have been replaced by Mobile Advertising, Email Marketing, Website Business Directories, Local Marketing, Deal of the Day, Social Marketing, Pay Per Click, and so on. The toughest part is that each of these mediums include a boatload of companies touting their successes. Including some of the newer marketing options into your current plan is essential, but must be done with extensive research. When you are weighing your options, make sure to base decisions not only on volume of traffic to your advertisement, but on whether the traffic is relevant to your business, and whether the visitors are in a buying position.
- FREE Content Marketing – About 10 years ago, traditional marketing was starting to slowly morph from a “BUSINESS” to a “CUSTOMER” mentality. The key to this focus is offering relevant, free content to your customer base, and the public. When educating customers on various topics (keep them relevant to your industry or business brand), you will be giving them reason to keep your business name at the top of their list. When they are ready to buy, you have created a rapport and your christian brand is at the top of your new customer’s list.
Technology has drastically changed how a christian company can market their business and stay relevant. When you create and implement your marketing plan for 2012, be sure to include some web marketing strategies to tie into your traditional marketing. Also, keep in mind that as you go “social” and provide content, consistency is the key. Do not create a presence and then let it sit abandoned.
How has technology affected your marketing plan? Has it increased ROI?
Originally posted by Dan Detwiler on Fri, Dec 09, 2011
Be sure to claim your listing at The Shepherd’s Guide!