Customers today have a million more choices than ever before. Every month, thousands of small businesses join the market and create an evolving competitive landscape for other businesses. However, rapid digital transformation and increasing competition require small businesses to stand out.
No matter what type of small business you are running, effective marketing is incredibly important. Implementing smart marketing ideas can help you reach more customers, build a stronger brand image and grow your business. Efficiently planned marketing ideas can help understand the needs and motivations that drive customers’ purchasing decisions and are most likely to become loyal to your business.
Here are 7 effective marketing ideas that small businesses can implement to boost growth and attract more customers:
Create an evolving marketing plan
A marketing plan is important to successfully promote your products to the target audience. It is crucial for small businesses to help identify product needs, differentiate from competitors, and target the right audience for their products.
In order to create an effective business marketing plan, you need to focus on five key functions:
- Business goals: A predetermined target that your business needs to achieve in a set period of time.
- Key metrics: Quantifiable performance indicators to measure success
- Strategic roadmap: A plan of action on implementation and how to achieve goals
- Execution: Coordination between different departments for carrying out specific tasks to achieve planned outcomes.
- Reporting: Analyzing KPIs periodically to strategize and take situation-based decisions
An evolving marketing plan ensures your business’s long-term success by allowing you to plan for the unexpected and develop a link between the brand and the target audience.
Establish your social media presence
Having social media presence is the easiest way for small businesses to interact with their customers, analyze their reactions to online marketing campaigns, and have one-to-one communications via chat box.
Social media platforms will help you define the brand image, increase customer base and build relationships. Building your social media following means posting regularly and joining in on fun weekly social media traditions that already have a loyal audience. Moreover, a unique Twitter handle on posts/videos, weekly catchy hashtags, blog posts promotions, and polls for feedback are a few of the options to drive traffic to your website. You can also keep tabs on your competitors and see what they post, and which of their posts get the most shares and likes.
Consistent and proactive social media engagements can help grow your small business while expressing your brand’s personality as per customers’ needs.
Go to networking events
Attending a networking event can be a great way of growing your reputation, building relationships, and finding new business opportunities. Networking events specifically designed for small businesses are a great way to extend your reach beyond a close circle of customers and partnerships.
Follow these simple steps to attend relevant networking events:
- Prepare an elevator pitch that effectively explains what your business does and what opportunities you’re looking for.
- Have plenty of business cards on you and offer these during conversations.
- A follow-up email or LinkedIn invite is a nice way to build your network of contacts for sharing newsletters or marketing campaigns in the future.
Incentivize customers with contests and coupons
Offering loyalty programs are powerful ways to connect and engage with your customers. A couple of free products, complementary services, or discounts can be enough to attract potential customers.
Apart from loyalty programs, contests are also a great way to gather potential customers’ data and spread the word about your business to other potential customers. For example, a small home baking business initiates a contest to follow their social media page and tag their friends in comments to win the high-selling brownies box. Similarly, you may categorize customers based on their demands and offer discounts coupons. A “get 20% off on your next order,” discount will make your customer feel special and encourage them to buy from you again.
5. Write for your audience
The most effective content is the one targeted towards your target audiences. Knowing your customer’s pain points and what they are interested in can help create relevant content for social media or blog posting.
Keyword and topic targeting is a useful tool to design appropriate advertisements relevant to the contents of your website. Google matches searched keywords with the most relevant content and shows it on top of the search results. This can help you place your ad on web pages that match your keywords. This is an affordable way to advertise your brand and get visitors to your website.
A company blog filled with useful posts relevant to your industry and customer base is a way to connect with your existing customers. Resharing your content on social media platforms can also attract potential customers for your business.
6. Personalized email marketing
A well-tailored email can add great value to your marketing efforts while an effective email campaign can build customers’ interest in your product or service.
You can use subscriber data to send personalized emails that highlight important product information and offers. It can be a subtle reminder of your brand value and if it conveys the right value that the customers are looking for. In this way, you can generate more orders for your business.
Potential customers aren’t always willing to share their email addresses. To gather their email addresses, create email opt-in on your website and blogs, offer free gifts for providing email addresses, or start monthly newsletters by email.
Email marketing with the right messaging can be one of the impactful marketing channels to speak directly to your customers in their inbox, at a time convenient to them.
7. Keep eyes on reviews
Monitoring customers’ reviews for small businesses is important to continue improving according to customers’ demands. Great reviews go a long way in promoting your business, however negative reviews show customer frustrations which should also be taken as feedback to improve and promote your business in a better way.
Small businesses must embrace reviews. They should focus on asking customers to leave reviews, keep a close eye on responses, and take out the time to respond to customer queries. This will portray to customers that your business cares about what they have to say and gain their trust.
Potential customers read reviews before purchasing from small businesses. Sharing your best reviews on social media can showcase potential customers about customer satisfaction and encourage them to buy from your business. Satisfied customers can also help in facilitating word-of-mouth marketing and referrals. For example, someone asking for equipment rental businesses on social media can be given a referral by your satisfied customer.
To sum it all up, marketing is a concentrated effort for small businesses to push their brand across multiple platforms to remind customers of their products and attract them to keep coming back.
Nisma Shakil is currently a Content Marketer at EZRentOut, a rental management solution, where she particularly enjoys creating visual content. She also enjoys capturing scenic beauty, sunset at beaches, and movie times with family.
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