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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Online marketing

Content marketing has become a core business activity. For small businesses, sharing useful content online offers a powerful way to engage with customers - via blogs, case studies and email newsletters.

At the same time, social media is helping new types of content to fly - as videos, infographics and more are all shared on the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook.

What can content marketing do for me?

Relevant, interesting and valuable content allows businesses to build relationships. By sharing useful information that solves your customers' problems, you can improve your customer service and inspire loyalty and trust.

By providing evidence that you can meet your promises - such as case studies and testimonials - you can also convince prospects to become customers without having to resort to a hard sell.

Today, everyone expects to find the answers to their questions on your website. The right content can demonstrate your expertise, show you understand your customers and their needs, and position you as a leader in your field.

Marketing content works incredibly hard for businesses. It can show your brand values and prove that you're up to date in your field. What’s more, it can attract more website visitors, improve your search rankings and widen your reach.

Getting help

For small firms, content marketing can pose challenges - such as finding your voice and finding the time to post regular updates as well as running your business. Not everybody is a writer, either - although following a few simple rules will help you get things right.

If you can't fit the time into your schedule or just don't have the writing skills, employing a copywriter could be a good investment.