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12 Proven Marketing Strategies That Get Results

12 Proven Marketing Strategies That Get Results

Marketing is vital for any business, whether you're just starting or are looking to take things to the next level. With so many options and strategies, it can be overwhelming to determine what will work. The good news is that while trends come and go, proven marketing strategies, concepts, and techniques stand the test of time.

Implementing these tried and proper techniques can provide clarity, focus, and measurable results regardless of your industry, product, service, or budget. This comprehensive guide covers 12 proven marketing strategies that top companies and entrepreneurs use across all major platforms.

Defining Your Target Audience and Buyer Personas

Wine Brand Target Audience

Before determining which strategies to use, it's vital to understand who you're marketing to clearly. Without defined buyer personas and target audience parameters, campaigns are essentially shots in the dark hoping to hit something.

Elements of well-defined buyer personas include:

  • Demographics – age, location, gender, income level, education status, etc.
  • Psychographics – attitudes, interests, values, lifestyle, behaviours, motivations, goals, challenges, pain points, etc.
  • Technographics – channels used, devices owned, platforms engaged on, tech comfort level, content consumption habits, etc.

Additionally, ensure you specify:

  • Where they are in the buyer's journey
  • Their role in the purchasing decision process
  • What messaging will best resonate with them

Here's an example buyer persona framework:

Name: Julia

Age: 28

Location: San Francisco, CA

Job Title: Marketing Manager

Goals: Grow brand awareness and leads to hit quarterly targets

Pain Points: Lack of high-quality lead flow, reporting challenges 

Interests: Running, travel, startup culture, business books

Preferred Content Types: Case studies, data reports, blog posts

Taking the time to intimately understand who you intend to market to will pay dividends across all strategies and campaigns.

Clarifying Your Core Value Proposition

The most effective marketing communicates what tangible value you provide to target customers better than alternatives. Your core value proposition (CVP) is the primary reason prospects should buy from you versus competitors.

Elements of a strong value proposition include:

Key Differentiators

  • Special sauce only your company can provide
  • Exclusive features or offerings
  • Proprietary processes, tech, etc

Benefits Statement

  • Outlines what's specifically in it for them
  • Focuses on outcomes over features/specs

Proof Sources

  • Awards, ratings, and reviews that reinforce claims
  • Credible publication citations
  • Notable client logos
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Every message you put forth across platforms should tie back to and reinforce your CVP. Consistency builds familiarity and trust.

Here is an example CVP highlighting the above elements:

Our proprietary MatchTechSM algorithm analyses thousands more data points than alternatives to match users with their ideal life partners. This results in 3x as many quality matches and long-lasting relationships vs competitors. Rated the #1 dating app five years running. Backed by leading relationship experts. Fifty million active subscribers and counting!

Optimising Your Website to Convert

Convertkit Email Marketing Services

Your website is often the first touchpoint prospects have with your brand. Making a solid first impression and seamlessly guiding visitors towards conversion requires optimising:

User Experience

  • Simple, intuitive navigation
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Quick page load speeds
  • Compelling designs

Metrics to track: bounce rates, time on site, pages visited per session

Content

  • An About section clearly explaining the services
  • Blog with premium gated offers
  • Resources reinforcing expertise

Metrics to track: traffic sources, top landing/exit pages, content downloads

Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

  • Primarily promote free trials or content offers
  • Some links to contact/demo requests

Metrics to track: CTA clickthrough and conversion rates

These elements work synergistically to educate prospects and nudge them to convert at each phase.

Crafting Captivating Content

Content marketing, done right, builds awareness, nurtures prospects, and fuels the rest of the sales funnel. Considering most buyers are 60% through their journeys before contacting sales, content is that critical middleman.

Types of High-Value Content

Blog Posts – Valuable insights formatted as long articles

Ebooks / Guides – Enhanced whitepapers with more visuals/graphics

Webinars – Educational presentations with engagement elements

Videos – Snackable clips showcasing offering benefits

Podcasts – Discuss industry topics and interview influencers

Infographics – Display complex data visually

Social Media Content – Curated images, quotes and facts

Research Reports – Data Revealing Target Audience Tendencies

How-To's – Tutorials for relevant processes

Listicles – List-based posts formatted for scannability

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Repurposing to Expand Reach

Create once, and distribute everywhere. Repurpose top-performing content into multiple formats:

  • Blog post => Video summary
  • Webinar => Infographic
  • Ebook => Blog post series

This allows you to maximise value from high-quality content.

Leverage an editorial calendar to organise topics and cascade assets across channels. Use analytics to double down on what resonates best.

Harnessing Influencers and Strategic Partnerships

How To Become A Social Influencer

Credible third parties discussing your brand organically or collaboratively can expand awareness exponentially.

Types of Influencers:

  • Industry analysts – Recognised subject matter experts
  • Journalists/reporters – Active media contributors
  • Bloggers – Thought leaders with engaged niche audiences
  • Celebrities – Household names with reach across domains
  • Employees – Tap passionate internal advocates

Partnership Opportunities:

  • Co-marketing campaigns
  • Content syndication
  • Referral programs
  • Guest contributions

This external validation signals trust and authority to prospects. Audiences value these opinions greatly.

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Choose partners strategically by assessing domain authority, reach, creation frequencies and audience demographics. Manage ongoing relationships.

Building a Scalable Inbound Strategy

Inbound marketing meets visitors earlier in their journeys with relevant, educational touchpoints over time to build familiarity and trust. This methodology can scale exponentially through automation.

Common Inbound Channels:

  • SEO – Improve organic search rankings by optimising pages and publishing new content frequently.
  • PPC – Bid on keywords prospects are searching to drive higher paid search volumes.
  • Email – Send targeted marketing messages and behavioural prompts based on engagements and time.
  • Social media – Curate industry insider perspectives and promote gated offers.
  • Website blog – Publish educational articles optimised for topics prospects care about.

Inbound Automation to Set Up:

  • New lead alerts to sales
  • Welcome and nurture email series
  • Retargeting audiences
  • Social media posting schedule
  • Landing page → Offer → Email capture sequences

Document workflows to streamline effective follow-ups at each conversion event.

Continually test content types/topics and customise journeys based on interactions over time.

Amplifying Reach Through Paid Channels

What Is Display Advertising

While inbound channels bring in visitors for free, paid advertising lets you instantly expand impression volumes and target narrow audiences.

Paid Channel Options:

  • Google / Facebook / Instagram Ads – Pay per click or impression for visibility in feeds and sidebars
  • Programmatic Display – Algorithmically determine sites and placements to reach new visitors
  • Streaming TV – Short marketing clips run before videos
  • Paid Social Influencers – Sponsor content from celebrities and subject experts
  • Native Advertising – Blend sponsored posts into surrounding editorial
  • Direct Mail – Physical flyers/postcards to engaged mailing lists
  • Podcast Sponsorships – Mention product benefits mid-show

Common Goals for Paid Efforts:

  • Drive traffic to landing pages
  • Increase registrations
  • Grow awareness at the top/mid-funnel

Monitor cost per outcome KPIs closely by channel and optimise spend accordingly. Attribution modelling can quantify the total value driven by each.

Leveraging Referrals and Loyalty Programs

Nothing provides social proof like getting new business through customer referrals. Loyalty programs also keep happy customers engaged longer.

Referral Program Best Practices

  • Make requesting/sending referrals frictionless
  • Incentivise both parties with rewards
  • Promote peer-sharing opportunities
  • Enable self-service referral tracking
  • Highlight key brand advocates

Loyalty Program Considerations

  • Offer exclusive perks and sneak peeks
  • Provide points towards monetary credits
  • Feature badges/levels for activity milestones
  • Recognise anniversaries
  • Send surprise and delight gifts

Tap into the force-multiplying effects of word-of-mouth and loyalty building to scale revenue and lifecycles efficiently.

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Testing and Optimising Rigorously

What's working today likely won't last forever. Consistently testing campaign variants and innovating on top performers is imperative.

Testing Approaches

  • A/B Test – Try content, messaging, and design options
  • Multivariate – Combine elements that lift metrics
  • Geos – Target different regions
  • Devices – Evaluate experiences across devices
  • Audiences – Compare segments

Analytics to Run Testing Programs

  • Google Analytics
  • Adobe Analytics
  • Kalman – AI Optimisation

Leverage built-in platform testing tools or dedicated software to remove guesswork.

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Let data guide decision-making on where to allocate budgets and how to refine strategies over time. Minor tweaks can have an outsized impact.

Tracking KPIs and Benchmarking Performance

Kpis In Customer Service

The only way to improve marketing results is by actually measuring what matters. Key performance indicators (KPIs) make this possible.

KPI Categories to Track

Demand KPIs

  • Site visitors
  • Lead volume
  • Content downloads

Sales KPIs

  • SQLs
  • Marketing influenced opportunities
  • Net new customers

Experience KPIs

  • Time on site
  • Bounce rates
  • Form fill rates

Loyalty KPIs

  • Renewal rates
  • Referral rates
  • Upsell conversions

Financial KPIs

Benchmark against historical performance, goals, and industry standards. Identify bright and blind spots. Layer lead scoring rules to focus on qualified inbound.

Executing Consistently Over the Long Term

Like compound interest, marketing pays dividends over time. One-shot efforts fail to break through. It would help if you marketed consistently to become a category leader.

  • Add talent and systems to ramp up capacity
  • Build processes to maintain quality at scale
  • Create 12 to 18-month strategies with quarterly planning cycles
  • Balance experimenting with optimising what works
  • Monitor weekly, then refine or double down monthly

Stay agile enough to jump on trends and opportunities while executing a long-term strategic blueprint focused on driving quarterly and year-to-year growth.

In Summary Key Takeaways

Marketing today is perpetually changing, but foundational strategies stand the test of time. Clarity on target audiences, positioning, traffic channels and metrics combined with continuous testing and refinements will stack the odds for sustainable success in your favour. Remember, growth comes gradually, then suddenly. Stick to these 12 proven marketing strategies long enough for compounding gains to kick in.

Frequently Asked Marketing Questions

What are the best marketing strategies for startups?

Startups should focus on inbound channels to build brand awareness cost-effectively and prove product-market fit before investing in paid efforts. Optimising organic search, content, and referrals should take priority. Avoid overcomplicating strategies early on.

How much should I budget towards marketing activities?

There are no hard, fast rules, but most B2B SaaS companies invest 15-35% towards marketing—set budgets based on business stage needs and expansion goals balanced with realistic revenue targets to calculate ROAS.

When should I hire an in-house marketing team vs an agency(ies)?

Bring marketing in-house once spending and complexity of strategies exceed $750K and three channels. Below that, agencies and freelancers can provide flexibility and niche expertise.

What tools are essential for marketing operations?

Start with Google Analytics for web data, social media management, email marketing tools like MailChimp, and A/B testing software. Expand into marketing automation and CRM down the line.

How do I demonstrate marketing's value to the broader business?

Marketing proves its impact through metrics tied directly to pipeline and revenue rather than vanity metrics. Showcase contribution to company goals based on campaign-influenced wins tracked closed/lost in the CRM.

Last update on 2024-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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