In this guide, we attempt to put together concepts that can propel a small business to grow and sustain itself in the best possible manner. To put things in perspective, without marketing, you might just be hard selling to people who don’t recognize your brand and don’t even realize they have a problem to solve. The chances of making a sale in such a scenario are quite remote.
This is meant for those small business owners who feel constrained and lack the arrogance to urge the marketing done when there’s ample marketing scope and possibilities. Here we go:
Know your Audience:
Everyone cannot be your customer. Although established brands can boast of having wider market appeal, it is not in the interest of the small brand to emulate the strategy. While starting, every small business must identify a niche and appeal to that select segment of the audience where they are most likely to make a sale. You need to understand their pains, problems, and priorities completely. And top of that, imbibe what triggers a purchase and find out why your product is likely to provide fulfillment or happiness. These help craft a message to the select few who make an ideal customer or buyer persona.
Create Brand Awareness:
Now, you have a brand and the target audience, it is time to create awareness. Make it a point not to spread the net wide. Rather, stick to your buyer persona. Higher awareness translates to a more likelihood of eliciting a purchase. Brand awareness can be created through written content, print, audio, and video ads, where the effort should be on how the product or service will add value to the customer. Content marketing and social media marketing are some of the options available to the marketer but always focus on the message, whether it is meant for the target audience. Once the brand is in front of the right people, half the battle is won.
Start Paid Advertising
Building your online presence on social media through organic means has become a “thing of the past” because the “pay-to-play” model drives more platforms. With “pay-to-play” tactics, one must target buyers with high intent who are more likely to convert into sales. Presently, paid ads aren’t restricted to static image and text ads. there’s an entire lot of variety to settle on from, with video ads topping the list. you’ll easily create video ads with the assistance of the InVideo video editor for your brand. Alternatively, you’ll even consider Google Ads, a sort of inbound ads where the audience is served ads to the answer they’re trying to find with their search.
Stay Focussed on Singular Goals Initially
The thing about marketing is that it can take you in myriad ways. To prevent this from happening, you must remain focused on singular goals and objectives in the initial phases. Identify one key area in marketing that is restricting your growth. Set a performance goal around this area and focus your time, resources, activities, and tactics on fulfilling this goal. If possible, double down your efforts in reaching this goal. As you come nearer to the goal, start pivoting and expand your marketing efforts into other areas as well.
Calculate the Marketing Budget
Doing all your marketing in-house may not be the best proposition. Instead, you could hire a consultant on a one-time basis to figure out the budget to fulfill your marketing goals. Budgets are known to vary considering the niche, competition, and product or service being offered. Hence it makes sense to hire an expert to finalize your marketing budget.
Theoretically speaking, you could spend as little as possible but how much you spend makes a crucial difference to the overall marketing strategy you will mount. The rule of thumb says businesses need to spend 5% of their revenue on marketing if they bring $5 million or less. And 8% if they cross $5 million. Ultimately, your budget also helps narrow down your marketing ideas where price points can decide the viable marketing options.
Creating a blog is a great way to generate organic traffic to the website. It is particularly helpful with an audience that has not made up their mind for purchase. With a blog, you can seek to create credibility and reputation as an expert in your domain. Starting a blog does not require any high-end technical expertise, and you can easily sign-up for the available free sites.
Publishing blog posts once a week regularly is enough to get online visibility and allows the scope to educate customers on your product or service. It can also serve as a great tool for customers on why they should place their trust in your brand. Finally, put in the Call-to-Action (CTA) at the bottom of each blog post to prompt visitors to subscribe to the blog and receive emails. This is a great way to receive leads and a chance to offer information about the brand if they are not ready to buy from you.
Manage Relationships with CRM
Email marketing may be best to send personalized emails to potential customers. This process begins with a customer database or customer relationship management (CRM). The CRM serves as the repository of information on your customer, leads, and prospects. Hence you can easily keep track of customer interactions and easily find sales opportunities within these conversations.
Engage with Online Tools
A website and presence on social media are not the end of the road for small business marketing. As a business, you need social proof as customer reviews. For this, you need to be registered with third-party websites like Yelp, where customers provide feedback, and you are expected to reply in kind. There are also tools like the Google Business Page (GMP), where getting your business listed helps you maintain visibility on the search engine. Apart from this, there are discussion forums where active participation can create opportunities to promote your product or service to a highly engaged and motivated audience who are likely to take action (purchase).
While there are many marketing strategies available, it only is sensible if you as a business owner are to travel with strategies that bring results. It’s quite easy for entrepreneurs to lose their way with marketing as there are innumerable possibilities to travel with. A successful entrepreneur can remain grounded and specialise in their priorities. Else, you’ll find yourself doing many things but with none results. Overall, it’s about choosing your strategy with discretion without getting swayed by the longer term , which is yet to manifest. You remain the foremost important thing about making it happen.