Marketing is a big drive that contributes to business success, whether your business is a trendy startup or a long-established mom-and-pop store. Developing a marketing plan helps you get started on the path to success, and to that end, here are eight approaches to marketing your small business.
1. Have Products or Services Worth Marketing
You can do all the top-notch marketing in the world and it will not amount to much if your products are flimsy or your services subpar. Identify the unique assets and benefits your products or services offer, and explain how they solve customers’ problems or pain points.
2. Make It About Experiences
When you hear the word Disneyland, what do you think? Many people picture fun, laughing people, and families. When they picture BMWs, they may imagine luxury, class, elegance. Focus your marketing on the experiences your products or services deliver. For example, say you sell homemade jewelry and are launching a new group of bracelets. While you certainly should discuss physical attributes such as the color of the beads on the bracelets and the fabric the bracelets are made of, it’s essential to include experiences as well. You could focus on family by sharing a story about a customer who used a bracelet purchase to bond with her daughter or focus on independence by showcasing the daring, quirky and edgy women who wear the bracelets.
3. Do Not Neglect Current Customers
It costs a business much more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one; expect a cost of at least four to 10 times more to land a new customer. Therefore, it is important to include marketing efforts toward established customers as well as new ones. Possible approaches include loyalty programs such as word of mouth referrals or a free purchase for every 10 purchases, and product upgrades every two years for a discounted cost.
4. Develop and Optimize a Dynamic Website
Your website is how many customers find you, and first impressions are critical. Aim for quickly loading pages, reader-friendly text, transparent information, and sensible, logical organization. In addition, have a mobile website, as more folks now surf the Web from smartphones and tablets rather than from personal computers. You also need to optimize your website for Google and other search engines. One way to accomplish this is to use keywords relevant to your business and its location.
5. Understand Your Target Customer Base
Conduct marketing research to find out demographic information such as the age, sex and income of your typical customers. Identify their needs, wants and pain points. It’s a good idea to develop a profile of your “ideal” customer and center marketing efforts on this customer. For example, how much time does he or she spend online? Is he or she more likely to drive to work or walk? Doing this research helps you pinpoint if you should spend more of your marketing budget in areas such as website blogging, social media, trade shows or print advertising, such as billboards.
6. Match Marketing to Your Personality
With a small business, you must be passionate about the marketing you do. If you are shy and the idea of meeting with people in person at a trade show scares you to death, you may prefer to send someone else to a show or to focus your marketing efforts on Internet methods.
7. Measure Your Efforts
You must know which marketing efforts are successful and which leave much to be desired. For example, you can use analytics to track how many folks clicked on a call to action link in an email campaign.
8. Price Appropriately
One way to help your business stand out could be to market an inexpensive price or a free promotion. Just be sure you have sound reasons for the pricing strategies you choose. For instance, if you want to price your products on the high side, market them so that it’s clear your business offers exemplary value and service.
With these marketing tips, drawing attention to your small business is easier than ever.
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