There are many ways to market your business, but it’s important to know the right marketing strategies that will help you grow your business to a new level and set you apart from your competitors. Once you have come up with some ideas on how to market your business, be sure to implement them properly. At the end of this article you will learn more about effective marketing strategies that you can use to grow your business today! Let’s get started!
Why a Marketing Strategy Matters
Marketing is not only a necessary part of any small business’s success. But it is also the primary way that small businesses are able to stand out from the competition. Without marketing, you won’t be found by customers who could potentially buy your product or service.
The goal of marketing is to get in front of as many potential buyers as possible and convince them why they should choose your company over others. For this reason, a marketing strategy needs to be carefully thought-out and developed in order to maximize its potential.
And while it might seem like there are an infinite number of ways to approach a marketing strategy, there are actually just five essential elements that every successful one will include:
- Objectives: What you want to accomplish
- Audience: Who you want to reach
- Message: How you want them to perceive your brand
- Delivery Systems: How you plan on communicating with your audience
- Evaluation Processes: How you’ll measure whether or not the plan has been successful
Set Clear Objectives and Goals
Knowing what you want is the key to developing a successful marketing campaign. Start by setting clear objectives and goals for your company. Once you know what you want, it will be easier to develop strategies that will help you reach those goals.
Objectives can include increased revenue or more leads. Goals are typically quantifiable, such as $1 million in revenue or 100 qualified leads per month. The clearer your objectives and goals, the better chance you have of achieving them with an effective marketing strategy.
Develop an Inbound Strategy: It’s not enough to just market outward anymore. To stay competitive, companies need an inbound approach where they provide valuable content online to bring people in versus going out and finding prospects themselves. Define Your Audience: The next step is to determine who your target audience is so you can create messaging that resonates with them specifically.
Target Your Key Audience
It’s important that you know who your target audience is and what they care about. Once you know this, marketing can be pretty simple. Keep in mind the following when coming up with a marketing plan:
Help your customers solve problems- Focus on how you solve customer problems and how much time it saves them. Make sure the content is clear and concise. Offer a solution- If a problem arises, offer a solution quickly!
Share customer feedback- Show people how happy other customers are by sharing testimonials or reviews of their experience. With your company online or through social media sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Include a link back to your website so they can learn more. Create loyal fans- Encourage word-of-mouth advertising by giving away free products or services, such as air fresheners for cars during allergy season.
Get them excited and ask for permission before sharing any information with their friends. Social Media is an excellent way to connect with customers and create brand awareness. Encourage word-of-mouth advertising by providing incentives for referrals such as discounts or gift cards.
Offer valuable content to keep people engaged – whether its educational material, advice, entertainment, etc., provide something worth reading.
In addition, make sure your site loads quickly, has videos embedded if appropriate, and has relevant links throughout. You want visitors to be able to find everything they need without having to hunt for it.
People are drawn in by quality content; don’t cut corners just because you’re afraid of spending too much money on a blog post or ad campaign. As long as the content is relevant, professional-looking and helpful then people will share it.
Organize and Automate Your Process
Organizing and automating the process of running your business is one of the best ways to avoid wasting precious time. The more time you spend on execution, the less time you’ll have for things like customer service, content creation, or social media marketing.
The following five tools will save you a ton of time:
1) A CRM – An organized inbox will allow you to stay on top of all incoming leads with ease.
2) Calendly – Make scheduling meetings effortless by letting other people book times that work for them with just a few clicks.
3) Slack – Chat with team members about what’s going on in real-time and keep track of everything happening at once.
4) Google Sheets – Collaborate, share, and automate tasks in real-time using this spreadsheet app from Google.
5) Zapier – Connect all of your apps so they automatically transfer data back and forth without ever having to do it manually. For example, if someone unsubscribes from an email list, Zapier can also remove them from Facebook Ads targeting or Instagram ads. These are just some of the strategies you can use to organize your time and scale up quickly.
It’s impossible for anyone to manage their day-to-day activities well enough to be able to handle every single task on their own, so invest some time into automation as soon as possible.
Allocate Necessary Resources
Marketing is a crucial part of the growth process. It’s time-consuming and may not show immediate results, but it’s worth the effort. The first step in executing an effective marketing strategy is allocating resources for this initiative.
A company must decide how much money they want to invest in marketing and how many people should be allocated for this task.
Additionally, this includes whether or not you want to hire an outside agency for help with marketing or if you’re able to handle the workload internally. Do what feels right for you and your business. It’s important to note that just because a company has been around longer doesn’t mean that they don’t need marketing. Remember, even established companies are always looking for new customers.
Be Sure Your Target Audience Knows You Exist: Once you’ve determined who your target audience is, create ways for them to find out about you on their own.
Types of Marketing Strategies for Small Business
Marketing for small businesses can be difficult because of the lack of money, time and resources. But there are some marketing strategies that you can use that might be more cost-effective and easier to implement than others.
- Social Media – A lot of people use social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on a daily basis. This makes it an excellent place for small businesses to advertise their products or services. Not only is this free but also very quick to do so.
The downside is that not everyone uses these social media platforms so it may not reach everyone who needs to see your advertisement.
- Public Speaking – There are a number of companies looking for guest speakers at events they’re hosting. It’s easy enough to find out who those companies are and contact them about speaking at one of their events. You’ll need to give a talk or presentation related to what you offer and have slides/visual aids ready in advance. You will then earn income from being a speaker while getting your name out there as well!
Just remember, though, that if you want to do this professionally, then you’ll need to invest in some public speaking training first. Make sure you research how much experience other speakers in your field typically have before deciding which courses to take. In addition, you may also want to speak at conferences instead of company events since they will likely pay better rates.
- Content Creation – Another way that many small businesses try to market themselves is by creating content such as blog posts, videos or podcasts.
The advantage with this type of marketing strategy is that you get a chance to put yourself out there while potentially reaching people all over the world. The downside is that these types of projects require a lot of time and energy. If you don’t already know how to create any of those three things, then it could be costly to hire someone else too.
- Networking – Networking isn’t just for your personal life; networking with other entrepreneurs and potential customers can actually help promote your business too!
Your network will become like an extended family and when someone needs something, they’ll come to you. Even if they don’t buy anything right away, they’re still going to remember you when the time comes. Remember: it doesn’t matter where you meet people as long as you build relationships with them!
- Direct Mail – Sending mailers through the post is still a tried and true way to let people know about your product or service.
Just make sure you send them out regularly and provide interesting content that will capture peoples’ attention.
Create a Business Website
A website is the cornerstone of any marketing strategy. It should include some information about what you do, what sets you apart from other businesses, and why people should buy from you. While a basic website will do for now, it’s worth investing in a professional site as soon as possible.
Make sure your site includes links to all your social media pages so that anyone who visits can easily find you on all the major networks. Use analytics tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to learn more about who visits your site and how they found it.
That way, you’ll be able to make smarter decisions about where to spend your time and money when it comes time to expand your digital presence.
Create Social Media Accounts: Your Company needs at least one Twitter account, one Instagram account, one LinkedIn account and one Pinterest account–and ideally many more accounts across different platforms. For each account, create an attractive profile that entices followers with interesting content. Post new content regularly, but don’t overdo it. Pay attention to what works and adjust accordingly.
Utilize Free Promotional and Productivity Tools
One of the best marketing strategies to help grow your business is utilizing free promotional and productivity tools. These tools allow you to create a professional looking blog or website, design a logo and marketing materials, and manage social media accounts at no cost. Examples include: WordPress (free blogging software), Canva (free graphic design software), Hootsuite (free social media management tool), and Buffer (free content scheduling tool).
When choosing a promotion method for your business it’s important to know what type of consumer base you are trying to reach in order to understand what medium would be most effective. For example, if you have an innovative product that requires education on how it works then digital advertising might be an appropriate choice but if it is more consumer oriented then physical ads in print might work better.
Other considerations include where your target market hangs out online. If they are highly active on Facebook than perhaps running a campaign there will be more successful than say Twitter which isn’t as popular with this demographic.
Social Media is great for companies because it can provide one-on-one interaction with customers and potential customers. It can also serve as a platform to generate new leads by posting about events, sales, and new products without directly asking people to purchase something.
Make Video Tutorials
It’s easier than ever to get started in the video marketing space. The first thing is choosing a platform. YouTube and Vimeo are two popular options, but there are also other platforms like Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories.
A good way of figuring out which platform is best for you is by considering how much time you want to dedicate to video production on a monthly basis and what type of videos you want to make. For example, if you want to make quick tutorials that don’t require editing, then YouTube might be better suited for you.
If you’re looking to create longer content or develop a personal brand, then Vimeo might be the better option. Once you’ve decided on a platform, it’s easy to start creating videos with just your smartphone.
There are plenty of apps out there that will allow you to shoot, edit, and upload without any additional equipment necessary. Another great tool is Adobe Spark Video – it has templates for all different types of formats (video slideshows, product demos, interviews) so it’s really easy to create professional-looking content without needing advanced technical skills.
Grow Your Business Blog
Grow Your Business Blog: If you’re looking for a great marketing strategy, you should make sure you’re constantly providing value and solving problems for people.
One way of doing this is by answering questions. The more questions you answer on your blog, the more attention it will get. Make sure to ask yourself how many questions people are asking that I can answer in one post. You should also include a call-to-action in every post. A CTA (call-to-action) lets readers know what you want them to do next – whether that be downloading an ebook or signing up for a webinar.
You might also want to use guest bloggers who have their own niche audiences to promote your products or services. For example, if you’re running a pet food company, find an author who specializes in writing about dogs and get them to write an article on the benefits of healthy dog food. They’ll reach their audience and yours as well.
However, don’t forget to always give credit where credit is due. Don’t just publish someone’s work without giving proper attribution and linking back to the original post or website. Even if someone doesn’t mind being used for promotion purposes, it’s not fair for others in the same field who may not want their content shared elsewhere.
Plus, plagiarism is frowned upon by Google so you won’t rank high in search engine results pages (SERPS). Some other great ideas for marketing strategies would be sending out direct mail campaigns to potential customers with information about the product or service. Another thing would be using contests and sweepstakes to incentivize engagement with your brand online. Be creative!
Manage Relationships with a CRM
A CRM is a customer relationship management system. These systems can be implemented in many different ways, and they serve a variety of different functions, but the common thread is that they’re designed to help you better manage your relationships with customers by providing a centralized place where all customer-related data is stored.
A CRM allows you to keep track of what the customer’s needs are, what stage of the buying process they’re in, and how much money they’ve spent with you. Plus, it also gives you a list of upsell opportunities for products or services related to the customer’s interests. You can also use it to schedule follow-up communications or deliver customized content based on their preferences. The benefits are nearly endless!
Personalize Your Customer Experience
Personalized customer experiences are now more important than ever before. As a small business owner, it is important that you make sure your customers feel valued. One way to do this is by sending them personalized coupons based on their purchase history or demographics.
You can also send out emails with helpful content tailored specifically for them. Provide Clear Call-to-Actions: Your website should always have clear call-to-actions directing the user where they need to go next. If a user visits your homepage and sees only one call-to-action button, then they know what they’re supposed to do next.
On the other hand, if there are three different buttons and no obvious call-to-action, many visitors will be left wondering which action to take. It’s imperative that you provide clear instructions so users know exactly what they’re supposed to do. People don’t want to spend time figuring out what they’re supposed to do next, so they’ll leave your site and find another company who provides easy navigation.
Focus On SEO
Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website or web page in search engine results pages (SERPs) by using on-site optimization techniques. This includes making sure that the site shows up in relevant search queries and also ensuring that it ranks as high as possible for those queries.
Achieving high SERP rankings can lead to more traffic and ultimately more conversions. One of the best marketing strategies is SEO. It’s a way of getting your site higher in search engine results. The more people that find you through search, the more likely they are to purchase something from you. Ranking well on Google can also lead to other important features such as social media shares and an increase in organic traffic.
Employ Influencer Marketing
A great marketing tactic is influencer marketing. This strategy can be used in many different ways, but the most popular form of this is using social media. Influencers are people with a large following on social media such as bloggers, celebrities, and online personalities.
The idea behind this type of marketing is that if someone with a large following likes or shares your product then their followers will see it and want to try it as well. You can search for influencers by checking out which posts get the most engagement, who has the largest following or highest engagement rate.
You can also use platforms like FameBit where companies looking for influencers post what they need done and you choose which campaign you’d like to join. Once you find an influencer you’re interested in working with they’ll usually provide a rate card that tells how much they charge per thousand impressions (CPM).
If you’re only looking to promote one specific post then CPM is irrelevant and you’ll just pay based on length of time your post gets promoted.
It’s best to set up goals for your project with the influencer beforehand so both parties know what success looks like. If there’s no mention of goals it’s best not to work with them because there won’t be any way of measuring whether or not the project was successful.
Create an Affiliate Program
An affiliate program is a great way to incentivize advocates of your brand, give them the tools they need, and drive traffic back to your site. The best part is that you don’t have to spend a dime on advertising. All you have to do is partner with another company and offer them exclusive access to sell your products at a commission rate.
They take care of all the advertising and promotion for you, so all you have to worry about is providing top-notch customer service. Plus, they’ll provide feedback on how to improve your product or make it easier to use. It’s an easy way to find out what people think of your brand while generating revenue without doing any work.
A Quick Wrap
Marketing is a complicated and time-consuming process, which is why it’s important to do some research before diving in. There are many strategies you can use, but the best ones are those that are affordable, effective and easy. The two most popular marketing methods are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Social Media Marketing. The beauty of these two methods is they’re both very low cost with high ROI potential if done correctly.
Another strategy I recommend implementing is joint ventures. These are when you partner with another company to jointly promote each other’s products or services for mutual benefits. While this list doesn’t cover every strategy there is, I hope it helps guide you towards what works for your company!