No matter how long you’ve had your business or how confident you are in your marketing abilities, it’s always a good idea to go back to the drawing board and give yourself a business health check-up.
Whatever the genre of business you are in, you will need continued marketing to drive your sales. It can be quite demanding for many small business owners to excel at marketing while also working hands-on.
If there is one thing on this list that you are not currently doing, dedicate some time to it. Here are a few of our marketing tips for small business:
- Stand out from your competitors
We all have competition in business and many small businesses struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors. What is your unique point of difference? Is it a particular product? Your customer service? The ambience and décor? Use your unique selling points in your small business marketing plan to stand out from the competition. Keep an eye on what your competition are doing with regular competition reviews including their product, pricing, and positioning. Always ensure outstanding customer service which results in word of mouth advertising and great online reviews.
- Website health checks
Is your website clear and concise? Easy to navigate with regular ‘calls to action’? Is your SEO up to speed and do you feature on the first page of Google without having to pay for it? A website health check helps identify where to improve your website to optimise its marketing potential, as well as making your site look and function great. You may personally love your website, but ask a third party professional to look it over for you.
- Find a good designer to represent your business
Finding a good designer to best represent your brand through the eyes of your potential clients is imperative. Using cheap overseas substitutes can jeopordise your company’s ethos, ambience and its brand. If you have an outlet or a business that is not solely online, then if possible ask your designer to visit you before they take on any work. They need to see your product, meet the person behind the brand, sample your business culture, and gain and understanding of your target market.
- Write a regular blog
Blogging is a great way to utilize SEO and to get your small business noticed. You can engage your audience by writing a regular blog that is based on a subject relevant to your business, and of interest to your readers. Using SEO keywords and links within the copy will lead to more visitors to your website, increase your leads, and help your business grow. Accomplishing a regular blog might mean hiring a copy writer, or scheduling your own time to write a blog each month.
- Social media (organic)
In Australia, more than 15 million people use Facebook and 9 million people are regular Instagram users. If people can’t find your business via social media, they will look for your competitors who are present. These free forums are a way to engage with thousands of people on a regular basis and if your business is not utilising them, I strongly suggest you start now. Keep your audience engaged and increase your social media followers by regularly posting a variety of images, videos, live videos and relevant articles.
- Facebook & Instagram Advertising
Besides posting on your social media pages, we recommend Facebook and Instagram advertising. This is an extremely low-cost advertising option with a high reach. Two million small to medium sized businesses advertise on Facebook alone! Audiences can be specifically targeted by age, sex, location, interests, and there is no financial commitment as you can cease advertising at any time. If you don’t have an in-house marketing person to do this for you and you simply don’t have the time to do it yourself, there are freelancers that can cover your digital marketing (posts and advertising) at very reasonable costs.
- Email Marketing
Email marketing is beneficial to the growth of a small business, however you need to keep in mind that no one likes spam emails. Your email marketing should be focused on content including industry news, how-to guides, interesting stories, and links to your blogs. This can be best done through a regular e-newsletter. Don’t upset customers by solely emailing regular sales offers (which will only lead to un-opens and unsubscribes). Bear in mind when creating your email that if it’s something that you wouldn’t want to read, then your customers probably wouldn’t want to read it either. To collect email addresses of your potential customers you can use website popups and contact forms. You can also offer giveaways to get your audience to share their details. Each time you have a new subscriber, then can be sent an automated email welcoming them, with links through dedicated website landing pages.
- Deals Deals Deals
Everyone likes a bargain, right? Take a look at how you can incentivize a sale by adding an inclusion, or offering a special price for a limited time. This gives clients a reason to purchase from you and not your competitor, and makes your clients feel a sense of euphoria after saving money. Deals sites such as Scoopon and Groupon can bring in mass sales to your business as well as great exposure to their large databases. They usually require a 50% discount off your full rate, so first you’ll need to do your sums and ensure profitability. You may also be overwhelmed with the amount of sales you will receive, so make sure you can accommodate this.
- Promote your business face to face
As well as an awesome online presence and targeted digital marketing, if you are looking to gain local business, there is nothing more personal than meeting with somebody face to face. A good idea is to print some fliers with an offer relevant to your target ‘face-to-face’ audience and do some door-knocking. You’ll be surprised at the outcome and the networking that ensues.
If you are going to the effort of running campaigns and promoting specific offers, reporting is vital to your ROI. Digital campaigns are extremely easy to obtain results, with Google Analytics and social media pages generating reports for you. You are able to see in an easy-to-read automated report how many people have visited your website, viewed your social media posts and adverts, how many clicks you’ve had on certain pages, landing pages and links, and the list goes on. Not only does it measure the success of your website and your digital advertising campaigns, but it gives you an insight into who your target market are.
These are just a few ideas to kick-start your small business marketing plan. Once you start thinking about it there’s so much you can offer. Don’t forget Actual Marketing can help you market your small business.