Most small business owners are not aware which marketing ideas to use or which strategies will get results for their business. This results in a lot of trial and error along with a dwindling marketing budget. Small business marketing is a system. It takes a consistent effort to generate new leads from people who are interested in what your product or service is.
Instead of blindly going down this path, you need a proven small business marketing system. You need to have the ability to build relationships with your prospects while you educate them on why your product or service is the best choice for them.
Advertising works because of a combination of things:
- Relevancy of your message
- Reaching the right target audience(s)
- Frequency – reaching your target enough times
- Timing – is your message received at a time when someone is ready to listen, learn or buy?
Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to kick-start your marketing efforts:
Don’t Market like a Big Business – Big businesses advertise to create name recognition and future sales. You can’t afford to do that. Instead, design your advertising to produce sales. One way to accomplish this is to always include an offer when marketing to your audience – and an easy way for prospective customers to respond to it.
Have Stopping Power – Social media is the quickest way to get yourself and your business known. How things can spread viral and how quickly makes this a very powerful tool. Try to creating videos. For example, if you are selling shoes, feature special videos on the craziest shoes of the year. If you are selling wine, have a video of yourself (or someone else) wine-tasting and explaining what to look for in a good wine. People like to watch each other and gain information while being entertained. If you are worried about quality – don’t be. Videos like these are better left looking amateurish. If it looks like a commercial, your target could be conditioned to ignore what you are saying. If you are trying to create a viral video, ask yourself one question: “Is this a viral video that will make sales?” Sometimes creative ideas can draw attention, but the great ones also improve sales. If no one will remember your business or be compelled to buy or go further with your product or within your site, you should probably go back to the drawing board.
Start Appealing to the Underlying Reasons Why People Buy – Most are emotional reasons. Create advertising that makes both an emotional and rational appeal. Your ad must address both the customer’s right and left brains. Start with the emotional appeal first and follow up with rational reasons to buy or try your product or service. Take a step back and look at your product or service from the customer’s point of view. What is the experience like? What are the feelings associated with it? What is positive or rewarding, and in what way does that transpire?
Offer a Cheaper and/or Premium Version – Some are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in price rather than quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price.
On the other hand, many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can increase your average sale by offering a more comprehensive product or service. Another option would be to combine several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price.
Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods – There is always room for unconventional marketing methods your competitors are probably overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition altogether. Research some guerilla marketing techniques and think about how to apply them to your business.
Trim Your Ads – Reduce the size of your ads so you can run more ads for the same cost. You may even be astonished to find that some of your short ads generate a better response than their longer versions.
Set up Joint Promotions with Other Small Businesses – Contact some non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market. Offer to publicize their products or services to your customers in exchange for their publicizing your services to their customers. This usually produces a large number of sales for a very low cost.
Go to Your Established Customers – If your customers know and trust you, it is easier to get more business from them. Create special deals just for your existing customers. Develop incentives for them to tell associates and friends about the value of your products or services. An endorsement from them is more effective than any amount of advertising or marketing – and it comes cheaper.
You need to take charge of your small business marketing efforts. Revamp your small business marketing plan for the 21st century! If you want more customers and revenue then you need to let them know that you exist.
Have your own ideas to share? Need more how-to information on any of the topics listed above? Let us know!