No business can survive without effective marketing. Especially when it comes to small businesses, having solid marketing techniques is extremely essential for its survival and success against some challenging competition in the field.
As a small business owner, you must be having some kind of plan or strategy on how to take your business forward.
However, if you stick to the same old marketing techniques, chances are that your marketing strategies will lose their effectiveness.
You must learn new methods and practices that would help you improve your visibility and presence in front of your audience. In case, your business still lacks luster even after all the marketing strategies you have applied or in case you are still wondering what to do, here are 5 steps that can help your small business marketing to improve.
1. Look Up and Understand Your Competition
You can’t compete with others in your line of business unless you understand what they are doing and what strategies are they applying to improve their business.
You need to do thorough, in-depth research on which strategies are working for your competitors and which ones are backfiring. If you own a local store-based business, then the best tip for you is to visit your competitors’ stores. Observe how they are operating and what are the key factors that attract customers to them.
As a small business, you should start by looking at what your direct competitors are doing in the area. Make notes about everything and do not forget to note down what your competitors are not doing.
This will help you in sculpting your marketing plan and you can add that missing factor to your small business to gain customer support. Along with that, it is also a golden opportunity to fraternize with your local, small business community. However, if own a small e-commerce business, then it boils down to extensive research online.
Here are a few things you can do while you are studying the competition and researching the market
- Make notes– Document everything you have researched and found
- Create Charts – Compare your strengths and weaknesses with your competitors. The visuals make it easy to remember and understand everything. Offering a loyalty program or discounts not offered by other business owners
- Same strategies – List down all the strategies that you can also make use of without creating any conflicts with others in the same business. For e.g, creating a Facebook page.
2. Display Testimonials on Key Points
A very effective business strategy for small business owners is to work on eliciting genuine testimonials from the people who have used their products. With so much competition and so many different offers, people prefer to read reviews about them.
Be it a restaurant or an eCommerce store for baby clothing, they put faith in reviews. Buyers want assurance that whatever they are buying, be it food items or any other product, they will get good value for their hard-earned money. Also, the reviews can help convince potential customers why buying from you is a better choice than your competitors.
If you have a website, then it is best to place the reviews written by customers who have already purchased from you in multiple places strategically so that potential customers don’t miss these reviews.
Social media is also a great platform to have your customers leave their reviews on. Some good reviews on social media platforms like Facebook can help your small business to grow.
3. Embrace Modernism – The Social Media
Embracing modernism in today’s world means ensuring that as a small business you have a strong online presence. There is a lot of misconception about the local businesses that they only attract local customers and thus you don’t need to be present online.
It is a false notion. With an online presence, you will not only be able to attract new customers within your area of operations, but you will also be able to attract customers beyond your surrounding area as well.
A very good example is a donut seller in Folsom, California. Now, this particular donut shop is so famous because of its donuts that it has been attracting customers from beyond their vicinity for decades. However, in recent years, their business has increased manifold because of their online presence.
Now, they have customers not only from all over the USA but donut lovers around the world make sure to visit this shop when they are visiting America.
According to statistics, three-quarters of all mobile searches are location-based and the turnover is more than 75% offline purchases.
Your online presence and interaction with your customers on Social Media platforms ensure that when visitors are searching for local businesses, yours does not miss the train. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram all are platforms where you can engage with your present loyal customers and have a line potential clientele waiting for you.
Here’s what you can do to make sure you are a step ahead of your competitors on social platforms:
- Updated Account Information: Accurate updated account information is indispensable. It includes addresses, website, pictures, logos, and working hours and reviews too.
- Daily Dose of Fresh Content: Fresh and frequent content in the form of fresh posts including quizzes, games, current affairs, and other popular topics should be posted regularly so that your customers can’t forget you.
- Sales and Deals: Come up with unique deals and whenever something is on sale on the local front, the news should first reach your social media platform. It will keep your customers happy and enthusiastic about new posts.
4. Be Visible in Local Marketing Platforms
Socializing is not only important on social media but on the local platforms as well. Whether you are an entrepreneur working from home or your business is present in a storefront, you need to interact with your customers-personally!
Are your customers come to you, that’s good but to completely leverage your clientele, you need to go out where they are. It means going to all the local business events.
Whether it is a booth, a table, or whether you are a service provider, be there and make sure people visiting can see you.
Keep tabs on all the events happening in the local market. Go to all kinds of customer market expos. Flea markets, farmer’s markets, festivals, and fairs, or any other local event where there is a chance to introduce your product or service, be there.
The question is that is it important that your products get sold at these events. The answer is no. It is not necessary that people may buy your products.
They may not buy at the time but by introducing them a sample, giving them a brochure and business card can lead to potential clients or you can simply ask them to sign up for your emails by giving out miniature samples. Simply put, it is the rock-solid advertisement for your small business, so it is worth the investment.
5. Stay Steadfast and Persistent – Don’t Waver
When it comes to small businesses, your biggest strength or your greatest weakness can be your will power. It is something that can make or break your business.
The key to help your small business to stand up firmly on its feet lies in persistence. You need to stay steadfast and persistent when various challenges from the lack of sales to bad reviews are thrown your way.
There may be times when it would look easier to simply give in to the competition and close down the small venture that you have started. However, that is when you need to be adamant and face the challenges bravely.
The tips given above are tried and tested ways to help small businesses make their mark. Don’t waver. Study and observe yourself and other successful businesses.
See what is lacking in yours and what can you do which will give you more exposure and what strategies will bring in more loyal customers – believe in yourself that you can do it.