Small Business Marketing success.
Marketing any business is a challenge. But small business marketing presents its’ own set of trials. It is never as simple as broadcasting a message and then waiting for your target audience to bite. Consumers are a fickle bunch; what they liked or responded to yesterday, may not correspond with their needs today and, whilst a larger business can afford to move on and try a different tactic, for a small business, that slight change can have a huge impact.
So, how can you as a small business owner, ensure that your marketing is working as it should, boosting your business and pointing it down the road to growth and success?
Here, I have rounded up five top tips for small business marketing success.
Address a “pain point”
Always put yourself in the shoes of your target consumer. What are the challenges they are facing? The emotions that they are feeling? Their goals? From this information, you can then craft your message around how you can help them; about how you can provide a solution. Appeal to their emotions – emotions are a very “human” thing. As far as I am aware, although humanoid robots and their development are all over the news, they have not yet developed one who is able to display a trace of emotion. But, by tapping into the emotions of your customer, by eliciting an emotion in their response, you are displaying your human – side and your audience will respond to that.
Conversation is key!
How can you provide what your customers need, if you don’t know what that is? Conversing with your customers, by way of blogs, surveys, and polls or by simply asking the question on social media posts will provide an insight into your customer’s requirements. Similarly, dealing with any negative issues in a positive, pro-active manner will divert your audience’s focus from the complaint itself to your stellar response! Monitor all sources of customer feedback and distinguish what you are doing well (do more of it!) what you are doing badly (stop doing it!) and also what you are not doing at all (look at doing it!)
Whenever you get the opportunity to converse with clients, do it! Now, this can be online, but also in person. Customers love to see the “human side” of your business!
Take it online, Baby!
More and more customers are using the internet to form that crucial first impression of your business. This is not only your website but your social media profiles too. Many customers are now checking out businesses social media profiles in preference to website “About Us” sections. It, therefore, stands to reason that you should invest in a quality, well-curated presence wherever you appear on the internet.
Ensure your branding is consistent across all profiles and that you are providing consistent, quality content that is designed not to SELL, SELL, SELL but to add value to your customer, whether that be advising them of something that will save them time, present better value etc and position you as an expert in your field.
Your website can be a fairly major investment in your small business marketing efforts, but you should view this as a business investment, and ensure it is kept up to date. There should be a “loop” between your social media presence and your website, with your social media and any other online marketing you undertake driving potential clients to your website. Ensure there is value and content available there that will assist in converting those potentials into customers.
Rinse and Repeat!
Do not become entirely focussed on attracting new customers that you forget about existing customers. Ensure that you keep providing added value that will entice your existing clientele back to you to buy again. It will cost far less to retain a customer than the process to attract a new one, so juggle the two sides and ensure that if there is any possibility of upselling to existing customers, that you are taking full advantage.
Plan, Plan, Plan
You should have a clear plan of how you are going to achieve all of this, ideally created once a year, with the input of other team members, if that is feasible. But once you have made this plan, ensure that it remains flexible. Things change very quickly in business and your marketing plan will soon become unusable if it is too rigid. Flexibility is the key to any effective marketing and it is important, especially when budgets are tight, that you remain flexible in your approach.
Above all, take time at the end of the year to analyse how well your efforts have been received, what has worked, what hasn’t and adjust your plan accordingly.
I hope that this has given you some inspiration on how to maximise your small business marketing. Do please comment below if you have any questions, or points that you would like to add. If you would like help with your marketing; maybe your marketing strategy for the year ahead or how to even get started, then please do get in touch. I work with businesses of all sizes (and all budgets) to ensure they get to maximise their marketing effort. Please feel free to contact me for a discussion or see my previous post on other ways I can help you.