One of the biggest challenges faced by small business owners is the question “how to market effectively?” there are literally thousands of techniques and methodologies which you can follow, but that means that you need to filter through the clutter of the internet or go through the aisles of particularly-large libraries – don’t have time for that? Well keep on reading.
The ‘right’ approach may be waiting for you right in the corner, maybe it’s in a blind spot and you cannot see it, however, IT IS THERE. The problem is not the technique you use, the main issue is the budget, now that is a constraint which may force you to select your mode of marketing. That is why marketers are always scratching their heads, smoking and using weird humor to fight the challenge of ‘small budgets’ and ‘big dreams’.
Alright, your budget is important but is it the most valuable tool you have? NO it is not. The most valuable thing any small business has is a solid marketing strategy which is tuned according to its demographics. People don’t respond if they don’t understand your brand, so the first part would be LANGUAGE. More in particular, I am talking about nuances; you need to speak the language of the people. A 250 pound muscle head won’t respond to a….let’s say a TEA advertisement unless you HARDCORE-IT-UP by giving this demographic a REASON and a visible BENEFIT. In this case, a muscle head would be more concerned with caffeine which may aid him/her during workouts. Expecting this demographic to sit down with other muscle heads and having a tea party is not recommended…or possible.
This is a three part guide and in this article we will discuss the most effective strategies for 2016. Something that will help you connect to your audience helping your business grow.
- BE RESULT ORIENTED
Do you have a website? Good, make it more….attractive but, make sure it is professional. The best way do that is to hire a critic, just kidding, you can hire a website reviewer (yes people make a living with that job). Your website should be functional and should have the ability to FACILITATE your customers – this means that your website should be up-to-date.
- Can’t afford a mainstream web design? Not a problem, there are several sites which can help you run your business cost effectively. You can also design your own web template and write you own content.
Not only is blogging an effective tool for marketing it’s also a staple for you business – a great way to keep yourself connected with your audience. Obviously need to set aside a few hours per week to write, if you don’t have time, you can hire a freelance writer.
- Get the most out of your blog by writing humorously, people like funny stuff but it’s not a prerequisite. You can write DIY articles which are helpful to your audience
- Increase your publishing frequency, this will build TRUST.
- BUILD AN EMAIL LIST
While we all know the vast benefits (or complete uselessness) of email marketing, many business fail to build an EFFECTIVE email which can aid them in leveraging their website. Email marketing won’t work effectively if you don’t have subscribers and followers on your website/social media. You need people who would follow you and are interested in what your posting.
- Have a simple sign up on your website, this will produce results.
- Send your audience weekly newsletters or a freebie (eBooks, whitepapers etc.)
- PRESS RELEASES
A great way to promote your business is through weekly or monthly press releases. Of course you will need to follow editorial guidelines so that your press release is accepted on major press release distribution sites.
- Follow the correct “copywriting” concepts to get your message across; being visible is irrelevant if your message is boring.
- Contact your local newspapers and magazines to get the best results.
- PROMOTE CONVERSATIONS
What you need is TRAFFIC and nothing gets traffic to your site than spicy conversations. The audience from your blog and social media should be converted into customers.
- Have an awesome call to action on your site; use the same with all of your marketing material.
- Your call to action should be visible for your customer to click.
- DON’T COPY YOUR COMPETITION – LEARN FROM THEM
Copying your competition is never going to work out for your business in the long run. Instead of copying, learn from them, find out how they do what they are doing and ask yourself, “what can I do to bring similar results?”
Everything is at your disposal, your competitor’s website, Facebook profile, twitter profile, LinkedIn profile etc. Study their methods, their techniques and create your own unique strategy.
- Use competitive-analysis tools; give your business an advantage.
- Be inspired with your competition and learn new ways to tackle their marketing strategy.
- OFFER DEALS
Everyone loves a discount, offering them in the form of deals will help you connect with more customers; this will give your business the extra coverage which you were looking for.
- Use articles and blog posts to promote your deals.
- Make offers through social media.
- Send email offers to your email list.
An effective way to market your business is through running competitions, a good prize can be used to entice your audience, obviously your prize need to be relevant. This will help your brand, you want people to discuss your brand, try it and comment on it, this is an awesome way to become the ‘hot spot’ of the social media town.
We will be discussing more in part 2 of this series, we will discuss video marketing in detail and other techniques, stay in touch!