As a business owner, getting and keeping the attention of prospective clients takes creativity. Being successful in today's climate requires skill and nurturing, and if you aren't continually working on your small business marketing strategy, you risk falling behind the competition.
Finding success doesn't have to be a mystery. Here are ten strategies you should incorporate into your marketing plan to stay ahead of your competitors.
1. Know Your Business and Your Competition
The first step to seeing success in any business is to know it inside and out. What is the "why" behind what you do, and how can your business meet a need? What steps do you plan to take to stay viable? Knowing the answers to those questions is also essential where competitors are concerned.
Conduct a competitive analysis to determine the products, sales, and marketing strategies of your major competitors. By doing this, you can learn how your competition works and where they are lacking. This will help you to identify opportunities to outperform them. It will also enable you to stay on top of industry trends to differentiate your company and effectively grow your brand.
2. Determine Your Goals
Before you can begin planning your strategy, you must have a clear idea of what you are trying to do. What numbers do you need to see in terms of sales? Is generating more leads a top priority? When you know what you are aiming for, you can tailor your campaigns to reach those goals. This also makes it easier to track the success of your campaigns.
3. Identify Your Target Audience
Develop a few buyer personas that reflect your target audience. Include demographics, how consumers use your products or services, and how they prefer to receive content. Once you understand your customers’ habits, you can post on the social media sites your audience frequents. Meet your customers where they are with content that is relevant to them.
4. Develop Your Brand
It takes at least five impressions for a consumer to remember a brand. Brand awareness can embed your products into consumer lifestyles and purchasing habits to keep your company top-of-mind. Branding helps you to establish trust and loyalty with your customers.
Strong brand awareness results from many simultaneous efforts to reach your customers, and consistency is the key. Presenting your brand consistently across all platforms can increase sales by up to 23%.
5. Start Blogging
Providing your customers with relevant information through blogging is an excellent way to build lasting relationships. Blogging drives more traffic to your website and brings in leads. Over time, your blogs stack up to generate results for years to come.
That's why you must not let your blogging fall through the cracks. Keep a blogging schedule and have a dedicated blogger or group of rotating bloggers to prevent that from happening—brainstorm blog ideas to keep your content fresh.
6. Consider Ad Retargeting
Ad retargeting keeps your brand in front of bounced traffic even after they leave your website. A small piece of code inserted into your site anonymously follows your target all over the internet. This serves your ads to previous visitors who are familiar with your brand and have demonstrated interest. Most marketers who use it see a higher ROI than they do from other channels.
7. Utilize Reporting and Analytics
Reporting and analytics involve tracking the health of a company to make informed decisions. Reporting is the organization of data to monitor how different areas of your business are performing, while analytics refers to the exploration of data and reports to gain insight into improving performance. Reporting raises questions while analytics tries to answer them.
If you're not paying attention to analytics, you can't understand what you're doing right or wrong, and you have no idea how to remedy things. Test and track campaigns to see what's working and make adjustments accordingly.
8. Make Use of Local SEO
If you don't advertise locally, the people in your neighborhood may not know that you exist. Even if your marketing focuses on a national audience, you may be missing out on business from consumers who want to support a local company. Local SEO attracts customers in your immediate area who may not have known about you prior to an online search. Statistics show that 78% of location-oriented online searches lead to offline conversions.
9. Try Low-cost Advertising Options
There are many budget-friendly advertising options available to you. Cause marketing helps you make a difference in the community while bringing awareness to your brand.
Additional opportunities include:
- Community events
- Customer referrals
- Social media engagement
- Online reviews
- Business cards
- Customer loyalty programs
- Trade shows and other networking events
The key is to meet your customers where they are using whatever means you have available to you.
10. Get Help From a Media Partner
Working with a media partner for your small business marketing can open additional avenues for engaging with your target audience. Integrated marketing tactics at their disposal include television advertising, digital marketing, email, lifestyle marketing, OTT, cause marketing, and strategic planning and research. Those who employ the services of media professionals enjoy access to an expanded email list, production capabilities, and competitive pricing.