Considering all the marketing options available, it can be tough for small business owners to decide what steps to take. Marketing is the process of making potential customers aware of your brand. The more often customers hear about your company or product, the more likely they will remember you when they need your product or service. Don’t forget about your social media presence, as well. Modern shoppers use social media for reviews and information about local businesses. If your budget allows, you may want to consult a professional advertiser or marketing expert. This service can save you hours of time that you can spend on what you do best. Don’t have a big advertising budget? Check out this outline as a guide to marketing your small business:
Get Yourself Organized
An organized plan should be the launching point for any marketing plan. Sit down and give this some thought. Start with ideas you want to explore, including theme and get things on a list of things to do or a calendar. Keep things simple to start. Do the things that require little or no monetary outlay first. Create a business pitch that informs people about you, the business, and of course, your services or products. Keep it to less than 30 seconds, but make it interesting. Try to make an excellent first impression and welcome customer input.
Build a Company Website
Moderns customers rely on Google to find businesses and products that are of interest to them. Business owners need their own website to establish legitimacy and provide a platform for potential customers to find information about company services and products. Your website must be mobile-friendly since most searches are done on phones. Optimized for the search engines. Look for an SEO service that provides a plan and offers accountability. Be leery agencies that promise you too much too fast. Many things influence rankings on the major search engines including Google, Bing, and Yahoo, but done correctly, it will be a gradual process and may take six months or more to see your desired keywords ranking in the top 3 positions on Google. Keep in mind that being too frugal on this step may result in slow growth for your business. There are plenty of DIY website building and hosting services, but depending on the competition in your niche and the kind of website features you need, it may be better to at least partner with an agency to do the things that you with which you have no experience. Choose an agency that is flexible and able to scale up or down to match your budget.
Take Advantage Of Social Media
The world runs on social media in the 21st century. If you aren’t at least using Facebook to promote your business, you are missing out on a ton of exposure. You can create and manage your own page content until you can afford to hire someone to create content for you. For instance, if you are a local plumber you can post pictures of your recent plumbing projects and helpful hints to homeowners. In recent years increasing numbers of seniors are hopping on the social media bandwagon to keep in touch with the younger members of their families, including children, grandkids, as well as their friends. This makes older people good brand ambassadors, so do not leave this opportunity on the table.
Claim Your Own Business Online
Your business is going to be online, even if you choose not to promote it, so it is essential that your business information be accurate. The best practice is for you to be proactive about controlling what potential customers find out about your business services when they Google you. You can search the different browsers to see what kind of description and information is listed for your company. Claim everything you can and make sure the information is correct. Start by verifying your business with Google My Business and then keep all of your listing information consistent across the internet. Your agency can help you with this if you do not have the man-hours to do it yourself.
Google AdWords Can Help You Get Leads
While you are waiting for your website to rank, AdWords PPC advertising may be useful to draw new customers. Focus on a few quality keywords, and don’t forget to include negative keywords as well. AdWords can be used for targeting your specific local geographic location. A word of caution, AdWords can eat up lots of cash without any ROI if not done correctly. Be sure that you can track where the leads are coming from. If you are not experienced at PPC, you may fare better by letting a professional handle your lead generation campaigns. A good ad manager will be able to provide you with a good ROI, even after considering their fee.
Networking Is Crucial To Business Growth
Join your local chamber of commerce or local business and professional associations. Getting involved with the community is a wonderful way to find new business leads as long as you have something to offer in return. You are able to make new contacts and spread the word about your business. You will be able to give and receive referrals. Sponsor events that benefit a worthy cause. This allows you to promote your name and support your community at the same time. Promotional gadgets and items and with the business contact information and logo on them can be a source of additional advertising for you that goes a long way.
Inspire Brand Loyalty
Coupons for free or discounted products and services encourage loyalty. Happy customers return again and again and also refer their friends and family to you. Your friends and family make great brand ambassadors by helping to promote your business.
You May Still Need To Advertise
While you are waiting for your web presence to grow to reach out and let people know who you are and why you are better than competitors. Advertising will take some experimentation to see what works best for you. And don’t forget, encourage every happy customer to leave you a review or Google or social media. People care about what kind of experience you age their neighbors. A request is not a step that can be skipped. You should get in the habit of collecting emails or cell phone numbers so you can formulate an easy review request that you can send out later if you do not have the time to ask customers at the point of service. This can be done by text or email. There are also affordable applications out there like Zurvia help with this process.
The biggest reason people won’t buy from you is that they do not who you are yet. Focus on consistent, repetitive branding since studies show that it may take multiple exposures before an individual interacts with your company. People need to hear or see your message as many as seven times before they take action. Reach out and be heard.