Marketing, in any form, is essential to a small business.
Marketing will affect the success of your small business - it’s one of the easiest ways to get the businesses name out there and in front of people
Without marketing, it will prove extremely difficult to gain potential customers.
But, does your small business know any helpful marketing strategies? It’s important to do your research before you dive head first into marketing, as it’s not as easy as people think it is. You have to get everything right and be certain of what you’re doing; before you do it.
Implementing a marketing strategy into your business isn’t the easiest. But here are some marketing strategy ideas to get you started…
Define your brand
This is an obvious. It’s absolutely vital you define who you are, what your brand stands for, and so on. A brand definition will become the heart of your business. You must consider:
If your product or service has special features that you can incorporate into the brand
If there are certain qualities you want to associate with the business
After considering these, and anything else you deem necessary for your brand, you will near enough have a definition for your brand. Defining your brand enables potential customers to know who you are and what you stand for.
After defining, start with the basics
Once you’ve defined your brand, you need to start with the basics. This can range from logos, slogans, business cards, and so on. All of these ‘basics’ will become elements that are associated with your brand. A logo will become your business identity; it will represent your business and be recognisable by people.
Figure out what you do differently
You’ll have more than likely looked into your competitors and be fully aware of what they do in comparison to the services you offer. At the beginning of your business, it may feel that your competitors are doing so much more than you and they’re better than you, but in time you’ll figure out what you do differently.
As your business grows and you gain more customers, you need to continuously gather any data you’ve found that sets you apart from your competitors. You need to decipher what you do better than them, what you do differently, what they do that you don’t, what you’re missing, and so on.
Turn customers into brand ambassadors
Customers can easily turn into returning customers - we see it happen everyday, a customer is happy with the service they’ve been provided, and so make the decision to return to that service again. This is where you can begin to turn these customers into brand ambassadors and focus on them promoting your business. It’s completely up to your business how you go about this, but having brand ambassadors is one of the easiest and most trustworthy ways of earning more potential customers.
It’s important to build a website strategy that will show an audience what your business is, what you do, how you can help people, who you are, and so on. A website is one of the first things people will look at and nailing a website strategy is absolutely essential.
Make it responsive
Having a website is all well and good - but is it responsive? Your website needs to be absolutely responsive in terms of looking great no matter what device people are using. Your website needs to be readable, attractive, engaging, and so on, across all devices - desktop, mobile, tablet, etc.
It’s good practice to test how responsive your website is. View pages on different devices and figure out if they’re good enough. If not, this gives you time to update them and make them much more responsive for a better user experience.
Give every page a purpose
You may not even think about ensuring every page on your website has a purpose. However, your website is not just there to be looked at. You want to earn engagement and interaction from it; conversions, hopefully. In order to ensure these conversions take place you must have an action or purpose on each page that a website visitor can take/follow. This action can either convert them or take them elsewhere to give them more information.
Speed up your site
A slow site will only deter people from waiting to see your website. Be sure to remove anything like unnecessary plugins that will slow down your site, and make it as fast as it can be. Website visitors are all too often impatient and won’t wait to see content. That’s why it’s important your website loads fast and gains visitors attention straight away.
Fix problem areas
Once your website has earned a fair few of visitors, you’ll be able to analyse elements within your content and see what is necessary and what isn’t. There will be a few areas on your website that are problem areas or that are irrelevant, and it’s best to just get rid of them or improve them if they can be improved. You want to listen to your visitors and how they use your website.
Do thorough keyword research
Whenever you’re publishing content, whether it be on your website, a blog post, etc. you should be doing keyword research and finding out what keywords people are using to find similar content or websites. It’s important to implement these keywords into the content so your ranking in search engines is improved and it’s easier for new audiences to find you.
It’s vital you consistently monitor any backlinks to your website. Backlinks are links from other websites or blogs that link back to your website or a specific web page. Backlinks are seen as good when it comes to search engines ranking your website’s quality; yet, there is a catch. There can sometimes be backlinks from sites that have low credibility or reliability - and this can reduce your potential ranking. Be sure to always monitor where your backlinks are coming from and if some are suspicious, remove them.
Create actionable content
When creating content, always try to make it actionable. This means making an effort to make sure readers and consumers of the content can take an action after reading the content. Whether this be signing up for an email newsletter, subscribing to your site, buying off you, etc. Whatever action you want your readers to take, make sure it’s easy to take after consuming your content.
Create content that fits your brand
Since the beginnings of your brand you should’ve had a clear definition of who you are and what your brand stands for. This means that the content you create needs to be aligned around your brand - its voice, message, and so on. You need to implement the values and beliefs of your brand in every piece of content you do.
Promote your content
This seems simple - but you can’t just write content and expect people to see it. You have to continuously promote and market the content you’ve written in order for new audiences to see it. Content must be promoted whenever it can be. Don’t forget that even though you’ve promoted a bit of content, new audiences may not have seen it so it’s worth it recycling the old content and making sure every audience member has chance to see it.
Have a consistent presence
Being on social media means you need to have a consistent presence; always keep up-to-date with your accounts and continuously show your presence. It’s all about implementing this presence and ensuring people see you and become aware of your brand. If you start to use social media; you must continue to have an ongoing social media presence and show that your brand is very much still there and running. People will turn to social media for a more personal view of your brand; so give them what they want.
Social media also provides forms of advertising. This is available on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and so on. Advertising on social media allows you to reach a more targeted, informal audience. It allows you to reach new people and show those new people who you are; show them your personal side straight away. Advertising on social media can increase website traffic by diverting people back to your site, increase number of leads/likes/followers, increase brand awareness and increase any possible conversions (e.g. downloads).
People always jump at the opportunity of winning things. Whatever you’re offering - if people know they have a chance to win something they’ll more than likely get involved. You can create various amounts of entrances to the contest, for example getting someone to like and share your Facebook page. All these entrances spread your businesses page and gets more people talking about you.
Marketing does not have to be all social media as you can see. Marketing is an all round activity that is simply the promotion of your business and its services. For small businesses, it’s absolutely vital to get your business in front of as many people as possible. The only realistic way this is going to happen is through marketing.
There are tons of marketing strategies that businesses can follow. Not every business is going to use every single marketing strategy known to mankind, as they simply won’t all work for every single business. It’s important to experiment with what works for you and what gets you the most engagement and highest levels of interaction; as well as highest levels of other metrics such as conversion rate, website traffic, etc.
A business without any form of marketing isn’t going to be as effective as a business that focuses on marketing and getting their name known