Venngage recently spoke to 100 entrepreneurs and freelancers to find out what marketing strategies they had tried adopting, which ones worked and which strategies were best avoided.
You can read some of the top findings below or take a look at the handy infographic based on the findings.
The first fascinating find while analyzing the results is how much is being spent on marketing. The people Venngage spoke to were freelancers and solopreneurs, who don’t have as much capital to invest in marketing—and the majority of respondents said they were spending less than $5,000 on their marketing per year. A very small minority spent between $5,000-$10,000, and a tiny number spent more than $10,000.
They are clearly trying to optimize their investments and focus most of their marketing strategy on methods that do not require much budget, such as blogs, SEO, social media, networking and referrals.
Key takeaway: Optimize your marketing spend by focusing on low-cost, organic means of reaching your target market.
Choose Your Strategy Wisely
It wasn’t long ago that cold calling was one of the more popular ways to reach an audience. But today, it’s been deemed a waste of time by nearly half of the respondents, closely followed by print advertising—also seen as an effective method of reaching clients just a handful of years ago.
Instead, social media and Google are being leveraged as platforms for connecting with audiences and finding clients—with LinkedIn dominating the professional landscape for most of the freelancer and entrepreneur respondents.
Google was named the second-best way of discovering new clients, both organically and via Adwords, while Facebook, including Facebook groups, was the only other social media platform that had any discernible impact. Pinterest, YouTube and Slack scored the lowest.
Key takeaway: While having a presence on several channels works to some extent, optimizing your LinkedIn presence, including your LinkedIn summary and your LinkedIn advertising should be a top priority.
Popular Marketing Visuals
As a visual content creation tool, Venngage was interested to learn what kind of visuals are used most often in marketing strategies.
With social media being the most popular method of outreach, it wasn’t surprising to learn that the majority of respondents used social media graphics more than other kinds of visuals.
As mentioned previously, blogs and SEO were also found to be great tools to reach clients—with graphics being used in these arenas as well. Following social media graphics, blog headers are the second-most popular visuals being created.
Slide decks followed closely behind, which was particularly interesting because webinars, where slide decks are most often used, did not rank highly as a marketing strategy in the survey. (The slide decks are likely being used for networking events, which is a popular choice for reaching clients, according to the survey.)
Key takeaway: According to the survey respondents and the latest content marketing statistics, visuals are an effective way to attract attention online and have the power to boost your engagement and should be part of your strategy, particularly on social media and blogs.
The Biggest Challenge
The online world is constantly flowing with content and it comes as no surprise that one of the biggest challenges facing respondents is a lack of time. It is increasingly difficult to create content on a consistent basis to reach audiences when they’re online. Tools for online template making and creative collaboration could be the answer to this problem.
About the author
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. Ronita is interested in a variety of topics related to digital marketing, visual content and online engagement, which she enjoys researching and writing about.