Below are 5 ways that will explain why the use of marketing is not the only investment-wise decision, but also an effective selling channel that can help you nurture your business.Sarath Muralikrishnan
Assuming that you are a social geek and know all about marketing, let us begin with sharing the best ways to boost your social presence. You could lean back and wait for an inspiration to strike or take a more proactive approach to boost your revenues.
Marketing is known as the bread and butter of every business survival, whether it's a mega-corporation or the local business up the street. But, sadly for the latter, marketing is often put on the back burner, because a small-business owner has to deal with other things as well.
Below are 5 ways that will explain why the use of marketing is not the only investment-wise decision, but also an effective selling channel that can help you nurture your business:
Being a small business owner, the first thing to do is to take a sneak peek at what your immediate rivals are doing. Find out what sets them apart from the rest and how they are attracting customers. But, most importantly, you must figure out what is working and what is not.
Experts in this field say that "now is the time to revisit your competitive research."
Let's suppose you are opening a location-based business, like a restaurant. Conducting competitor research may include going by other venues in-person to judge the quality, aesthetics, service, and other different factors through which you want to modify your own business.
This is also an excellent time to acquaint yourself with other local entrepreneurs. However, if you have an e-commerce business, you will be conducting a lot of research work online.
Make sure to script your findings: you can make a graph to demonstrate your strengths and weaknesses alongside your competitors. For example, you may find that you are the only restaurant in the zone which is not offering a loyalty program to draw in customers. And if this is true, it is the right time to bounce on that bandwagon.
Online presence is the most crucial part of the marketing strategy. You might think that you own a local restaurant whose online presence won't benefit as customers are usually local. But that's where you got things wrong. By going online, you will be able to attract new customers in your area and beyond.
One-third of all mobile searches are related to location and 78 percent of local mobile searches result in offline purchases. You will surely want people to find you online when they are looking for a business in the area, whether that's on Google, Instagram, Linkedin or Facebook.
Get hold of your competitors, take inspiration and focus on improving your efforts to stand out. Dig a little deeper, and ask questions like:
Which keywords are often targeted?
Which businesses show up in Google's local pack?
What social media marketing platforms they use?
What kind of content are they sharing online?
After this, you will have an idea of how other businesses in your area are presenting themselves online.
When it comes to ranking in local searches and attracting new customers, reviews are crucial. In fact, reviews are an important piece of your online presence. A recent study shows that 72% of the population says that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. Moreover, 92% of customers say that they will go to the local company only if it has a 4-star rating.
It is quite obvious that having positive reviews for your business is an incredibly strong tool. Therefore, a part of your marketing strategy should always be directed towards collecting honest reviews from your current clients. Choose one or multiple platforms that you want to direct people to. Examples of such platforms are:
Google My Business
The most important task is to ask your customers to leave reviews on these platforms actively, and you should encourage them to post reviews because people often need a small push to share their opinion.
You always have the option of asking them personally, through your website or with the help of a mobile app. Prompt your customers at the right time, after they have enjoyed their meal or received their order in the mail.
#ProTip: Don't be discouraged by negative or mediocre reviews. Negative reviews give you valuable insights into what else you can do to enhance your small business.
You don't have to do all the marketing yourself. Relax, cheer up and give some to the local press coverage. We are not talking about getting covered by The New York Times or Forbes, but beginning with the local media outlets in your area who are always looking to cover local news is a great start. Begin by sharing your story with different media outlets. After all, it's not about the brand; it is always about the stories.
Turn your best customers into brand ambassadors who will market for you. Do you know, Word-of-mouth is ten times more effective than traditional forms of marketing and advertising? So, how do you generate that word-of-mouth marketing? Simply, exceed your customer's expectations!
The Missouri Business Development Program states that all successful small businesses have one thing in common; They have found a way to make them stand apart, to rise above the commercial fray and to put the "WOW" factor into their business.
To put it differently, you need to pamper your customers and make them say WOW. Maybe it is by sending them a handwritten note or offering them a unique gift with purchase. Be creative and surprise your customers. They will not only become your loyal customers but will also spread the word for you.
Doing business without marketing is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does. The above marketing strategies can help small businesses gain new customers and generate a good amount of income. Many of them also overlap and work together to set your business apart from the rest.
Moreover, adding a "WOW" factor to your business can trigger positive reviews and, in turn, strengthen your online presence. Email marketing can help you build your brand. However, when it comes to digital marketing, email does not have that charming appeal of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or most other social networks. But, a recent study proved that:
"Email is the little train that could continue to chug down the digital marketing landscape ahead of all others regarding return on investment (ROI)"
There are hundreds of people making a comfortable living by following these business strategies. The revenue may vary from time to time, but that's a matter of supply and demand. Try a few and put all your efforts behind them so you can get results. However, don’t spread yourself too thin.
That is one reason why so many people fail to boost their small business. They keep leaping from one thing to another without ever giving 100%. Try these business tips and work hard to build your business into your dream company!