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As an entrepreneur, you understand the role marketing plays in attracting potential customers as well as keeping your current customers. To grow your customer base there needs to be an awareness of your brand. But before your small business customer acquisition campaigns can really take off you need to have a marketing plan in place. A plan that details your target audience, the types of marketing tactics you intend to use, and how often you’ll employ them in an effort to optimize your investment and generate sales.
We’ve compiled a list of ideas below that you might want to consider as you develop your marketing plan.
- Research Your Market
If you don’t know your customers, you don’t know your business. If you don’t know your competitors, you’re fighting in the dark. As a small business, you can’t afford to make assumptions about your business. If you invest more time in researching your market, you’ll have the right information on your hands to make the right decisions. Additionally, when analyzing your competitors, you just might discover opportunities to grow.
After you complete your research, you should have enough information to define your buyer personas. They’re fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Having a deep understanding of your buyer personas is crucial to your success because can drive product development, content creation and new niches.
- Invest in Additional Niches
After you understand your buyer personas and their aspirations, you may want to invest in additional niches to complement your portfolio. Let’s say that if you sell baked goods, there is an opportunity for producing gluten-free or vegan products. If you provide wedding photography services, you can also offer baby pictures in the future.
Some entrepreneurs tend to ignore market changes, and they can spend years thinking that their target market is A instead of B. Don’t neglect your customers and always be alert to what they could suggest you.
- Embrace Social Media
From dentists to plumbers, lawyers to a personal trainer, small businesses need to be on social media. Not all channels are suitable for all industries, so you need to invest time to better understand which channels are best for you. An example: If your target is teenagers and Gen Z, Snapchat could be a good idea, but if you’re a house maintenance company, maybe a Houzz profile and an Instagram account could be more fruitful.
One of the most significant advantages of using social media is that you can engage locally with your customers. Managing events on Facebook, Bright Event and Meetup could bring you loads of traffic to your shop and increase sales and buzz.
However, it’s important to be constantly present on social media. A lot of small businesses have created pages and profiles and abandoned them after a while, sending the customer the message of a reckless company. Also, you need to be aware that being on social can bring up complaints and reveal flaws, and you need to stay alert to manage these bad reviews and convert them to learned lessons for the future.
- Make Information Accessible to Customers
Do you have that kind of business that only gives information by phone or in person? Do you dislike the idea of giving away rates by email or even make them available on your website? If yes, be aware that the times have changed.
The newer generations don’t love the idea of having to wait for information, and most of them declare to hate phone calls. If your website doesn’t have enough information, keep in mind that your competitor is only a click away. It’s time to rethink your strategy and adapt your business to be clearer.
- Use Content Marketing to Become the Industry Expert
All small businesses have experts that hold valuable knowledge that can be used to create content. If you share information on the internet, you can become the thought leader of your industry and increase your visibility. Platforms such as LinkedIn have a content ranking feature that classifies posts by relevance and increases your exposure to all users.
Another idea is a podcast channel. A person that records a podcast is naturally an expert because the only way to keep the audience on is to have good quality content, once there is a lack of visual resources.
- Invest in Online Marketing
In this age of Google, the first thing that people do when they want to look for information is to open their browsers and apps.
Most people trust on Google to suggest them the top companies in their region, and they aren’t willing to go through several pages of results. Your company needs to work consistently to be in the top results. You can check here a list of tools that can help you to be relevant on the Internet:
- Keyword research – is crucial to online success! You may want to consider using keyword phrases that are less competitive if you want to see some quick traction.
- Content creation – Start a blog section on your website with relevant content and proper keywords related to your business. You should also share it on social media.
- Pay-per-click (PPC) campaign – While organic traffic delivers a lower cost per lead, the quickest way to get traffic to your website is to pay for it. Start a campaign today!
- Video – is an important tool today with some people preferring to watch videos than reading articles. Create a short video and post it on all your social media channels as well as your website.
- Free Listings – Check your online directory listings and get listed in the most popular ones.
- Track and manage your online reputation. Ask your customers to write online reviews on Google, Yelp, etc.
- Don’t Stop Here
As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Obviously, customer care is a high priority. And then you’ve got your hands full managing staff and making sure your equipment is up to date. However, to sustain a steady stream of revenue, building your brand and reputation also needs to be a priority.
To ensure that you’re not wasting money be sure to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. There are many tools that you can use to do this. Start by integrating Google Analytics into your website. You can learn analytics with free online courses so that you can grow your business through intelligent data collection and analysis.
If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, or staff that understand marketing, then you may want to bring in brand marketing experts to minimize marketing waste and efficiently grow your small business. Combining brand marketing expertise with small business expertise, Mystique can help you craft the right brand message for your target audience and choose the most effective medium to deliver it at the optimal time to maximize the return on your marketing investment.
Build your brand. Grow your business.