Updated: Jan 19
The success to most small business marketing plans is consistency and messaging. In this post, I'm going to talk about the six core marketing ideas every small business should incorporate into their annual marketing plan.
Let's start with the purpose of your website and then we'll dive into the role it plays in your business marketing.
Most people who will be spending money on a product or service are going to look at your business website to see if it is a legitimate business. Most users report they look at a website's professionalism, content and customer testimonials to validate a business' credibility when determining if they want to do business with you.
When setting up your website, you have to determine what the goals of your business are and what purpose you need your website to serve. Do you need your site to serve as a:
Place to house your portfolio
Resource for customers
Source of credibility to your brand
Make sure the focus of your site is the end goal of the prospect, not your business' end goal. Your website needs to be immediately clear what you do for your customer and then walk them through their journey to provide what they need.
For businesses, social media can be an effective tool to help you reach your marketing goals. But, remember social media is meant to be a platform to connect with your customers, and being social is a two way street (not just "buy my awesome product").
Here's how to effectively use social media:
Produce high quality content to attract your ideal prospect.
Engage with your prospects and followers by asking questions.
After you have established a relationship, offer your solutions to them (not your product) and share how you have helped others.
I have already covered your website and social media, but there are additional opportunities to market your product or service using digital channels. Examples include:
Images and videos
Paid advertising (PPC, Google AdWords, Meta Ads, YouTube)
As with all marketing activities, it is important your messaging is directed to your ideal client and takes the customer through the marketing funnel with unique marketing activities.
Examples: your email newsletter can be a behind-the-scenes of a new product in development video, you can collaborate with an influencer to run an awareness campaign using a fun game that can be related back to your product, ask clients for video testimonials using your products, or offer a guest writer the opportunity to share their insight and knowledge with your readers on your blog.
As with all other core marketing activities, it is important to develop and consistently execute multiple digital media strategies into your marketing plan. The great thing about digital campaigns is that you can easily deliver messaging to customers at any stage of the customer journey and because they are digital campaigns, you are able to view and evaluate the results of your efforts.
Is print media dead? There's no doubt about it - if you do what everyone else in your industry has been doing for decades, it feels like print media is not the way to go. Traditional print media campaigns typically result in a 2% response rate. If you're in an industry where 2 clients out of every 100 mailers would be a great return on investment, keep that print strategy in play. Keep this in mind: you don't have to send a postcard, letter, flyer or brochure in a print campaign - how about a piece of origami, a fortune cookie, or a pizza to prospects?
You've likely heard the expression "It takes a village" originating from the African proverb "It takes a village to raise a child". The meaning is clear: you need support from your community to achieve success. Networking provides an opportunity to meet other business owners in your own community, some of whom serve the same clients, and others who see the value in your products or services to help champion you and your business. Developing your village takes time, consistency and commitment. Although you can now build relationships through social media, connecting with people face to face keeps you visible and relevant.
(Read additional blog post on Networking here.)
Event marketing allows you to interact with prospects and current clients in person in order to:
Build brand awareness
Promote products or services
Connect with customers or prospects
How to market your business with events:
Customer appreciation events
Community events such as street fairs or fundraisers
Before you plan or participate in an event, confirm this type of marketing aligns with your target client and your business goals. Generally, events will help you meet new prospects, increase brand awareness and build on the relationships you have with existing customers.
As a business, it's important to make sure you are conducting several different types of marketing activities throughout the year to support your marketing goals. Using creative methods, you can use these six core marketing ideas to increase brand awareness, provide resources and authority to your ideal clients, develop a relationship and ultimately convert prospects into paying customers. And that will help your small business grow!
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