time to change your marketing strategyIf business has been slow and sales of your company’s product or service have stalled, it’s obviously time make some changes to boost sluggish operations. While you may recognize that an online presence is just as important as other advertising methods, you still may need to kick your old promotion efforts to the curb and start fresh. You can improve sales by changing marketing tactics and utilizing new tools.

1. Keep in mind that your company’s reputation precedes it. This means recognizing that your customers have knowledge about you and your business, while you may be short on information about them. The best way to figure out who your clientele is and what their buying preferences are is to look at your sales cycles and sources. You need to find out how these customers are landing on your site, the search terms they're using, and what types of information they’re seeking before they find you.

2. If you’re not providing value up front, you’re already at a disadvantage compared to your competitors. In the new age of internet marketing, improving sales by changing marketing means offering content. You need to generate interest through blog entries and social media posts that are educational or entertaining. Only through generating content will you earn the attention of your potential customers. From sparking their interest you can eventually turn the prospects into leads, and ultimately convert sales.

3. Don’t rely on networking to bring customers through the door. While relationships and referrals are important to maintaining a strong business, your clientele wants to feel comfortable that you are educated and experienced in their field. Stay on top of market trends, news, events and product releases, and make sure your leads know that you have the latest scoop. Encourage your customers to follow you on social media, and ask that they invite friends to do the same. There are also low cost outlets where you can issue press releases to increase your online visibility and draw traffic.

4. Focus more of your efforts on inbound rather than outbound marketing. The difference lies in the process you concentrate on to draw traffic to your site, and whether you’re earning their attention or buying their interest. An educational blog post on a timely topic or an announcement of an industry related event on social media will lead potential customers to your website. Once there, the chances they linger are much stronger than if they find you by flipping through yellow page ads.

5. While it may have worked with traditional marketing methods, pursuing leads during certain budget cycles doesn’t necessarily translate into more sales with modern advertising. Think outside the box, especially considering the shifts in the economy and buying trends that may fast track your customer’s projects. Never let budget cycles prevent you from presenting innovations and technological advances to customers simply because they don't have the funds to spend on new solutions. If they're really interested, they can usually find a way.

Improving sales by changing marketing methods may seem like a lot of work, but it’s important to consider the alternative and understand the impact on your bottom line. Your business can’t survive without turning a profit, and your advertising campaign depends on attracting potential customers to get a leg up over your competitors.

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