What are the best business marketing strategies in 2020?
Today, you learn what business growth strategies are working right now. They’re strategies that work for me, my clients, and the experts I’ve included in this article.
For example, here’s a result one of my clients got:
Excited to learn more about the strategies that will help you grow your business fast this year? Read on!
1) Social media marketing that works right now
2) How to use paid ads today
3) Video is increasingly popular
4) Grow your audience in 2020
5) Use these sales strategies
6) Double down on webinars
7) Get clients with your emails
Bonus: Tips to hit your goals faster in 2020
1) Social media marketing that works right now
Wondering how you can use social media in 2020 to get clients?
Look: Instead of hoping that social media will work for you, make sure you use it in the right way.
When I first started my business, I used what worked then and ultimately, made 6 figures in my first 4 months. Much of it still works today (you just need to know what strategies to use) but some things have changed (for example, I used the app Periscope to send livestreams and it’s pretty much dead now).
This is how social media works in 2020.
Use Instagram for high engagement
You know, marketing keeps changing and so do social media platforms. While Facebook still works great (and is one of my favorite platforms to get new clients), there’s one platform that gets a ton of engagement. What platform is it?
Instagram. In fact, 63% of Instagram users log in daily. 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile every day.
Features like Instagram Live and Instagram TV make Instagram a great place to engage your audience.
A great way to use these features?
Use this quick script:
“Did you know that ___? (Insert curiosity-evoking fact about your services, such as “you only need 30 minutes a day to get abs”)
I have used this strategy___. (Insert either your own or a client story about how you’ve gotten specific results)
The strategy is___. (Insert a specific, but quick, strategy that helps people get one specific result)
Want to learn more? Go to this link to ___. (Insert a call to action, like asking people to sign up for a call with you)”
Several of my clients have picked up their own clients on Instagram. For example, my client Cristina was able to get one of her first clients from Instagram.
Expert Tip: Sue B. Zimmerman
“In order to attract lots of targeted followers and convert them to paying customers on Instagram in 2020 you need to show up consistently with content in all 4 of my Neighborhoods: The Feed, Stories, IGTV + Live.
When you show that you are the go-to authority in your industry in each neighborhood you will build brand awareness faster, stay top of mind and reach your target audience easier. Be aware of sharing content in the format that is most native to that neighborhood.
Finally, don’t forget that there is a real person behind the follower. I believe that it’s the real conversations that lead to opportunities on Instagram. Focus on your engagement strategy; like, follow, comment and direct message with others on the platform for continued growth and impact.”
Who is Sue?
Sue B. Zimmerman is an insightful, energetic, and in-demand online marketing educator, influencer speaker, and a no-BS business coach who has been named by Huffington Post as one of the “Top 50 Must-Follow Women Entrepreneurs”, The Top 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers by TopRank Marketing, and Top Female Business Influencers of 2019 by Fit Small Business. Sue’s blog was ranked as one of the Top 10 social media blogs in 2017 by Social Media Examiner. Read more about Sue here.
Pinterest is still an up-and-coming platform
Pinterest is another platform with a lot of potential right now. Why Pinterest? Because Pinterest is still an “up-and-coming” platform that lets you build your audience fast. And this doesn’t just apply to visual brands.
As a service-based business, you can get people to your blog and other pages with the help of Pinterest.
Now, Pinterest isn’t exactly a social media platform. It’s also a search engine because people use it to search for things. At the same time, people can interact with each other, which makes it a mix between social media and search engine.
Here’s how I use Pinterest to drive people to my content.
Need a Pinterest checklist to get started? Here you go.
Step 1: Start creating pins with an image editor (you can use Canva, which has a Pinterest template).
Step 2: Create a couple of boards to your Pinterest account. These should be relevant to your services (so a health coach would create boards about workouts and nutrition).
Step 3: Start pinning to your boards. Pin the image, add a title and a description. Pro tip: Use keywords, so words your audience is likely to use when searching for your services.
Stand out by knowing your audience
You know how it is:
Social media is getting so competitive it’s hard to get anyone to notice you. What worked a few years ago doesn’t necessarily work today.
It’s like Eugen Schwartz, one of the most successful copywriters in the world, puts it. There are five levels of sophistication for a market. When things get more competitive, you can’t just throw up something and hope it’ll stick.
Instead, the solution to standing out is simple: You need to know your audience.
How do you know your audience? Get to know them. Here’s how:
Go to the social platform they’re hanging out on (like Reddit or Facebook) and ask them to sign up for a quick call with you. That’s when you interview them to understand exactly why they want to buy your services.
Here’s how one of my students used this:
Post quality content consistently
Finally, social media only works if you post the right type of content. THAT’s how you get people’s attention.
By posting quality content on a consistent basis, you build up a loyal following.
This post is already a few years old. But the same principles will help you stand out today:
Post content that helps people interact socially with each other. For example: Ask people about their interests.
Post informative content. For example: Ask specific questions.
Entertain people. For example: Share fun quizzes and facts.
Share your opinions. For example: Ask a question to get people’s opinions on a topical question.
2) How to use paid ads today
You’ve heard that paid ads can help you make $2 for every $1 you spend… But how?
After all, ads are getting increasingly sophisticated. While you need to know your way around ads these days (you can’t just slap up a random ad and hope it works), ads are still a great way to drive traffic and leads.
Here’s how to use ads in 2020.
Expert Tip: Rick Mulready
“For the past several years, ad costs have been going up and it is no secret that it continued in 2019. This is only going to continue in 2020, especially because it’s an election year. So we’re going to continue seeing higher ad costs as we get closer to November. Here’s what I recommend for getting the best results possible from your ads and making them work for you and your business:
#1: Focus on building your warm audiences with list building. Continue building your email list so that you can input your email list into Facebook and then retarget that list on Facebook and Instagram. This also allows you to build a lookalike audience from your email list. Even better: If you have a list of at least 1,000 buyers (customers who have paid you money), input that list into Facebook and create a lookalike audience from that audience as well. That could be your best performing lookalike audience because it’s an audience of customers. So build your warm audience: Your email list, website traffic and people who are engaging and watching your videos. You can then turn around and create lookalike audiences of all of these audiences.
Note that if you’re launching in your business, do not wait to run ads just for your launches. You need to be running ads all year long in between your launches. You don’t need to be spending $100s every day on your ads, but you should be creating engagement audiences on a daily basis and building your email list. This way, you build your audience and Facebook is going to reward you during your launch periods because you’re consistently running ads throughout the year.
#2: Video. This is nothing new but video is so important. Specifically short-form videos (30 to 60-second videos and under, so Instagram and Facebook story videos). You should continue uploading videos on Facebook and using videos on your Instagram feed and also live videos. You could be building the engagement audiences based on how long people are watching your videos and then retargeting those people. If you’re not doing video now, you should be doing it. If you’re not leveraging Instagram stories and running Instagram story ads (often the best performing ads), you’re missing a massive opportunity.”
Who is Rick?
Rick Mulready started his career working with brands like AOL, Yahoo!, Vibrant Media and Funny or Die before starting to teach small business owners and digital marketers how to use Facebook ads to build their businesses. Today, he hosts the Art of Online Business podcast where he teaches online experts who are working toward the 6 and 7-figure mark how to build a business and life that lights them up. Read more about Rick here.
Traffic costs are getting higher
So, ad traffic costs are going up. Why? Because the competition is getting tougher. You have more people competing for the same clicks and platforms like Facebook are running out of ad space.
Does that mean ads are worthless? No, it just means that you need to get better at creating targeted ads.
One way of doing this is to constantly rethink your ads.
For example, this ad was one of my recent, best-performing ads. It wasn’t clear from the start that it would perform so well, but because I’m testing new ads consistently, I was able to figure it out.
Foundational things still matter
Ads are not the same “easy” way to market your business as they were a few years ago.
That said, they WILL work if you know what you’re doing. And the things that work are still the same foundational things that worked a few years ago.
Here’s an ad I used when I first started my business:
It could still work today because I had the basics in place.
You need to know your audience.
You also need compelling copy.
And last, you need an attention-grabbing image.
That’s it. If you have these elements in place, your ads will work for you even if the competition is getting tighter.
Expert Tip: Lauren Vanessa Zink
“BE UNEXPECTED. — When it comes to sales copy, formulas, blueprints, and templates are great. (Heck, I sell them!) But at the end of the day, what’s gonna separate you from Sally? The stuff that makes you weird. So that means no more towing the line, watering down your words, and parroting what other people online are saying. And a wham bam yes ma’am to showing off your personality in your work (especially the parts that would make your old boss blush!).”
Who is Lauren?
Lauren Vanessa Zink helps rebels with big hearts and big shit to do in the world find their voice, nail their messaging, and write incredible, sales-making copy. Armed with a B.A. and red lipstick, she’s taken tens of thousands of coaches, consultants, and creatives from “Who are you?” to “Holy cow, where have you been all my life?” Read more about Lauren here.
The basics of copywriting
One of the “secrets” of well-performing ads is that they use copywriting to their advantage.
To use ads today, you MUST know how to write copy.
To do so, you can use the classical marketing acronym for writing great copy, AIDA:
- Attention: Your copy must grab your audience’s attention. What would make your client interested in learning more?
- Interest: Your copy must be interesting and show how you can help your audience.
- Desire: Your copy must make people understand why they want your service. This includes talking about the benefits of your offer, not just the features.
- Action: Your copy must have a specific call to action. What is it people should do next?
3) Video is increasingly popular
You might know that video is extremely engaging. For example, 55% watch videos every day. 68% of customers say they want to learn about a product or service by watching a video rather than reading a text. But how can you use video in your business? Here’s why video is one of the best small business marketing strategies that work great today.
Video is now a “must-have”
Why does everyone rave about Facebook and Instagram stories, YouTube, livestreams, and LinkedIn videos?
Because they work so well.
When people see you, they feel like they’re talking to YOU. They feel like they know you. And that’s one of the best ways to build trust, which, in turn, makes it easier for them to say “yes” to your offers.
The best thing is that you can make it pretty simple. You can share a short tip or strategy, turn on the camera, and you’re set.
How do I do this? Instead of using hours on my video content, I’ll take a couple of minutes to think through what I want to say… And then I record my video.
What video content should you create?
What video content should you then create? The type of content you create for your other marketing efforts:
- A quick strategy or tip.
- An insightful story.
- Content that makes your audience get that “AHA” feeling.
Here’s one of my own recent videos. It’s quick, insightful, and people will walk away with a feeling that they learned something new.
Expert Tip: Brian Dean
“The #1 thing you can do to create more engaging videos is to focus on the first 15 seconds. YouTube’s own internal data has found that the viewers largely decide to stick around or leave depending on what they see in that 15-second window.
To be fair, there’s no perfect formula for structuring your intro. It depends on what your video is all about. And your brand. But in general, you want to avoid:
–Intro sequences that run longer than the 15-second window
-Unpolished shots (unless you nailed the first take)
In fact, I actually write out every word of my intro in advance so that it’s super crisp and polished. I also do several takes so I can choose the most compelling one. It’s a little bit of extra work. But to me, the boost in engagement is totally worth it.”
Who is Brian?
Brian Dean is the founder of Backlinko and an internationally recognized SEO expert. Brian created Backlinko to teach the lessons he learned about using SEO to build online businesses. Brian is known for publishing insanely practical strategies that marketers can use to grow their online business. Backlinko is now one of the most popular marketing blogs online and Brian has been featured on sites like Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur. Read more about Brian here.
One of the best ways to build a strong connection with your audience? Use livestreams. This is no new strategy and in fact, I used it successfully when I first started my business.
But as video content is a “must” in your marketing, livestreams are also getting more important than ever.
My best tip for making your livestreams work for you? Use them as a way to give value to your audience. In the end, by using your personality and offering value, you’ll build a lasting relationship with your clients.
4) Grow your audience in 2020
How do you grow your audience in 2020? Here are the strategies I recommend that you focus on in 2020.
Expert Tip: Susie Moore
“The only difference between people who get media coverage and people who don’t is that the former are pitching themselves and the latter aren’t.”
Who is Susie?
Susie Moore is a former Silicon Valley Sales Director turned Life Coach. Her work has been featured on sites like the Today Show, Oprah, Business Insider, Forbes, and more. She is a resident Life Coach Columnist for Greatist. Susie’s work has been shared by thought leaders like Paulo Coelho, Kris Jenner, Sarah Blakely, and Arianna Huffington. She’s also the author of “What if It Does Work Out”, which was named by Entrepreneur as one of the 8 Business Books Entrepreneurs Must Read to Dominate Their Industry. Read more about Susie here.
Guest posting still works
Think guest posting is dead? Think again. Guest posting is still one of the best marketing strategies used by companies who want to tap into other people’s audiences and build a highly engaged audience.
Think about it: When you guest post on someone’s site, that person has already built an audience of people who trust her. And when you get in front of that audience, they’re much more likely to trust you and sign up for your email list.
But there’s one thing you need to keep in mind with guest posting in 2020. Instead of guest posting everywhere, focus on quality niche-sites.
For example, my guest posts on Business Insider get me a lot of traction… And sales! This one netted me 5 figures in sales.
My best tip for finding high-quality guest post opportunities?
Google these search phrases:
“Guest post” + “keyword” (replace this with your niche, like “health”)
“Guest writer” + “keyword”
“Guest submission” + “keyword”
Then, reach out. Here’s a simple script you can use:
“Hi NAME OF EDITOR,
My name is (your name) and I am (include something relevant about yourself).
I’d love to submit a guest post to (name of publication). I researched topics that would do great on your site:
- Topic suggestion 1
- Topic suggestion 2
- Topic suggestion 3
I’ve previously written guest posts for (include a few sites if you’ve previously written guest posts):
- Link to example 1
- Link to example 2
- Link to example 3
Let me know if these look interesting to (name of publication)?
Focus on pitching podcasts
A GREAT way to build your audience in 2020? Podcast interviews. This is THE time to do podcast marketing because podcasts have gotten enough traction, but at the same time, they’re not overly competitive (yet).
And there are podcasts in literally every niche. You’re bound to find podcasts that attract your audience.
For example, a podcast episode I recorded for SoMoney gave me a ton of great exposure.
Podcasts are engaging and they let you quickly build a connection with them.
My best tip for finding podcasts? Google:
“Podcast” + “keyword”
“Top podcasts (year)” + “keyword”
And here’s a script you can use for reaching out:
“Hi NAME OF PODCASTER,
My name is (your name) and I am (include something relevant about yourself so the podcaster understands why YOU are the right person to feature on their show).
I’d love to set up an interview for (name of the podcast). Here are a few topics that I think your audience would love:
- Podcast topic suggestion 1
- Podcast topic suggestion 2
- Podcast topic suggestion 3
Let me know if these would be interesting to (name of the podcast) listeners?
Expert Tip: Selena Soo
“If you want visibility, you have to schedule time in your calendar for it. It can be as simple as reaching out to 5 podcasts a week.”
Who is Selena?
Selena Soo is a publicity and marketing strategist for visionary entrepreneurs, experts, and authors who want to reach millions with their message. She has helped her clients get features in places like O, The Oprah Magazine, Forbes, and Inc, as well as national TV. She has herself been featured on sites like Forbes, Fast Company, Business Insider, Success, and Huffington Post. She has been a guest on podcasts like Entrepreneur on Fire, Smart Passive Income, and Mixergy. Read more about Selena here.
Create the right type of lead magnet
You might know just how important your email list is. After all, 59% say that marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
But how do you get people to join your email list?
That’s right. With a lead magnet they download. In exchange, they give their email address to you.
But what type of lead magnet works right now?
Well, because people have so many options, you’ll want to make it easy for them to say “yes” to your PDF. If you offer them a long ebook, most people will think, “When will I have time to read that…?”
Instead, give them a simple solution to their problem. If you’re a health coach, that might be a simple ab workout people can use every day. And as a career coach, it might be that you give a strategy that helps them improve their resumes.
My own lead magnet? You can download it here:
A few example titles include:
“The 3-step strategy to (results people get from your service) in 30 days or less”
“How my client achieved (results) in 3 months without any previous experience”
5) Use these sales strategies
I know what you’re thinking… You love sales! I’m only kidding, most people’s palms start to sweat and they think, “Sales?! I don’t want to be salesy.”
But here’s the thing: With the RIGHT strategies, you’re not salesy. Instead, you’re making it easy for your audience to decide if they should or shouldn’t work with you.
That could save them years of their time! Not to mention money, effort, and energy.
Use case studies
My first sales tip? Use case studies, just like I use here on the case study page of my signature program, Employee to Entrepreneur:
This page works great and clients often refer to it as a reason for why they signed up with me.
Case studies are so effective because they help people who’re interested in your services see if other people just like them are getting results. If they are, then that helps them see how they can achieve those results, too.
Ask clients (either people who have paid you for your services or people you’ve helped for free) to give you a testimonial. You can use this template:
-How did you benefit from our work together and what results did you get?
-What did you like best about working with me?
-How did the experience make you feel?
-Would you recommend my services? If yes, to whom?
The best testimonials are results-driven. So instead of saying, “You helped me a lot!”, they would say “I lost 6 pounds in a month.”
Tailor your pitches
If you’re using pitches to grow your business, you can’t just cut and paste the same email over and over.
Just like this pitch I got the other day:
The problem with this? I deleted it right away.
It’s in no way tailored to my business. It doesn’t tell me how this person can help me, specifically.
Instead, use a custom template. I like this one:
I noticed that (include something specific from their website that relates to your services, like “your ads could drive $XXX more in sales if better optimized”).
I’ve been doing (your service) for (how many years) and I’d like to offer (how you help them).
This would help you (how your services benefit your clients, be specific!).
Are you open to receiving a few ideas on how to help?
Expert Tip: Brian Tracy
“The best strategy for you and your company is to focus on improving the quality of your product or service so that it is universally recognized as being superior to anything else available. Once you have achieved this perception, you will sell more, at higher prices, easier, at a lower cost of customer acquisition, and will enjoy greater repeat sales and referrals than with any other strategy.”
Who is Brian?
Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. As the top-selling author of over 70 books, he has consulted for more than 1,000 companies and addressed more than 5,000,000 people in 5,000 talks and seminars throughout the US, Canada and 70 other countries worldwide. Learn more about Brian’s sales advice here.
Focus on ONE offer
The biggest mistake you’re probably making when it comes to your offers? You’re selling tons of different things, whether that’s services, courses, or something else.
But here’s the thing: You need to focus on one thing. That’s how you stand out in 2020.
And note that your one offer could take a few different shapes and forms.
In my business, I have always offered one main service/product:
Guidance and support (in the form of coaching and courses) to help people start their own businesses and quit their jobs.
This helps me create the best content in my niche, which helps my clients get amazing results. These results help me get even more clients for my offers.
6) Double down on webinars
Wondering how to use webinars? My recommendation is this: Double down on them. They’re one of the best business marketing strategies out there.
Webinars work great in 2020
I love webinars! Some might say that they’re on their way out, but that’s not at all the case. You just need to know HOW to use them.
Webinars are still one of the best ways to convert your audience. After all, with webinars, you have your audience’s undivided attention for an hour.
I use webinars in my own business. They’re one of the best sales tools you can scale (so you don’t have to take dozens of sales calls to sell your course or similar).
With a strategic webinar, you show the value of your offer. But that’s only if you keep it focused on sharing value, not telling your own story for 20 minutes or more.
For example, share a strategy your audience can use right away. Show the “what” but leave the “how” to your offer.
So as a health coach, you might show people a strategy you use for getting your clients in shape. But you leave the specifics, like workout techniques and food recipes, to your program.
Promote your live webinars
Listen: Most webinars are prerecorded and automated and people know it. That’s why your live webinar will stand out. After all, people get a chance to engage with you live and ask you questions about your program.
So when you set up a live webinar, make sure you promote it as much as you can. People will love it! You can expect them to be much more interested in your webinar than they would be if it was automated.
My best webinar promotion checklist? Here you go:
- Set up an email funnel if you have an email list. Send out 3-5 emails leading up to your webinar.
- Share the word on social media (your own pages and groups you’re a part of).
- Promote it in your lives.
- Create an ad funnel that leads to your webinar. Here’s how I used ads and a challenge to get people excited about my webinars.
Automated webinars work well, too. However, a word of warning:
When you create an automated webinar, make sure to be transparent. Don’t treat your audience as if they’re stupid (hint: they’re not). They know if your webinar is automated so don’t make it feel as if it’s not.
Remember: Being inauthentic and misleading will hurt your brand. But by being transparent and honest, you win people’s trust.
7) Get clients with your emails
Next up: Email marketing. Think emails aren’t as relevant as they used to be? Wrong, emails are still a great way to win clients. Here’s why.
Double down on email
The biggest reason to use emails is to build your audience so that you’re not dependent on any other platform.
Now, if you’re thinking, “But emails are so annoying… No one reads them!”, you’re right. To a certain extent.
A lot of emails are annoying because they’re not written for the subscriber. But if you know your audience through and through, your emails can’t go wrong.
Then, they add tons of value to your audience’s lives and email inboxes.
For example, emails like these help me build a strong relationship with my audience of 60,000+ people.
Send emails frequently
One of the MAIN things you need to know about email marketing? It’s no longer about sending out emails once in a blue moon.
Instead, you need to be in touch often. I usually recommend my clients to send emails 3-4 times a week.
That’s right, 3-4 times. That’s because people WANT to hear from you if they’ve signed up for your email list. Plus, you’re kept top of mind. That means people are MUCH more ready to buy from you once you make an offer compared to if they heard from you every two weeks or so.
Wondering how you should write emails every day?
It’s not too hard (if you know your audience). I usually set my timer to 15 minutes in the morning, write my email and schedule it to go out.
Expert Tip: Laura Belgray
“Make every email an EFAB: Email From A Bestie. That means, keep the tone intimate and conversational, write as if you’re writing to just ONE person, use an informal and intriguing subject line (As Opposed To A Formal Title), and share personal stories and details. That’s what we want in our inbox. It’s what we’ll open first. You’re not a business writing to a business; you’re a person writing to a person.”
Who is Laura?
Laura Belgray is an award-winning copywriter and the founder of TalkingShrimp.com. She’s written TV spots for clients like NBC, Fandango and Bravo; and she helps entrepreneurs find words that make buyers go bananas. Her course with Marie Forleo, The Copy Cure, helps you find your voice and sell anything. Read more about Laura here.
Write relevant emails
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make?
Their emails aren’t relevant to their audiences. And as people’s inboxes are filling up, you’ll want to make sure you’re kept top of mind.
To be relevant, you need to intimately know your audience.
What are those things they’re struggling with? What do they hope to achieve? Give them that and you keep your emails relevant.
Bonus: Tips to hit your goals faster in 2020
You have big goals and business marketing strategies that will take you there. But how do you make sure you get it all done? That’s what this bonus section is all about.
Avoid chasing “cool” new trends
You know, if you want to get big things done, you need to avoid getting stuck in chasing trends and shiny objects. Focus more on creating better content rather than jumping from one platform to the other.
So don’t get stuck on platforms like TikTok and other new, “cool” platforms. First leverage the platforms you’re already active on and where you know your clients hang out.
When I got started, I used a (then) relatively new platform, Periscope. But I became really good at using that platform instead of jumping to the next thing.
Focus on a few platforms
Second, you’ll want to focus on just a few platforms instead of a ton of them. That’s because it takes time to master one platform and build a following there. Choose just 1-2 platforms and use them first before branching out.
When I first started my business, I leveraged Facebook. I used it to engage in other people’s groups and to create my own Facebook group. And because I was busy in my 9-5 corporate job, I didn’t have the time to spend hours in several different Facebook groups. So I chose 5 and stuck to them.
The result? $1 million in sales in my first year.
Fill up your calendar
One of my favorite ways to get more done?
Relentlessly focus on the most important things in your business. Do this by filling up your calendar. That way, you don’t have a choice whether to do something or not because it’s already in your calendar.
When I started my business, I focused on just a few things but I made sure to schedule them. I would use 15-minute blocks where I got things done, like engaging in Facebook groups or writing content.
Do the same for your business and 2020 will be an EPIC year for your business.
Want to use these business marketing strategies in 2020?
There you have it. Now you know how to use successful marketing strategies in 2020 and what to focus on.
What it comes down to is this:
Focus on the MOST important strategies in your business and double down on them.
What’s your #1 marketing question for 2020? Let me know in the comments below.