There’s no doubt about it, marketing is a complicated and costly process, but it’s an exercise critical to business success. Typically lacking in resources, such as budget and manpower, small businesses hence face a major challenge when it comes to marketing.
However, marketing can be a key part of the success and growth of a small business. If you want to build a strong customer base, you need to invest time into developing a good marketing strategy.
A successful marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to work. Once you have implemented these ideas, make sure to step back and measure if they are achieving the results you would expect.
Thankfully, there are now plenty of easy ways for small enterprises to grow their market presence. Most of these marketing ideas are inexpensive and doable instantly, thanks to recent advances in communication technology. With plenty of inspiration and creativity thrown in, small businesses can market their products or services effectively. For them, a fancy and expensive marketing and advertising campaign aren’t necessary to establish a foothold on the market.
So, let’s get going and take a look at some of the effective marketing techniques suitable for small businesses.
1. Supercharged customer referral program
It is typical for entrepreneurs to start growing small businesses via word-of-mouth marketing. This approach essentially relies on the business owners’ family and friends. Such a network is a potent source of customers and business endorsers. Notably, one marketing pundit claims that 92 per cent of consumers prefer friend and family recommendations over advertising messages.
You can use this base of family and friends to start a customer referral program. After establishing a market foothold, you can expand the program to include past and current customers or clients. The program can include referral incentives like free products or discounts on services for those generating leads for your business.
2. Up close and personal marketing
One-to-one marketing is another viable way for small businesses to win more customers. This approach primarily involves nurturing personalised customer interactions.
Personalising relations with customers doesn’t cost much, and what you’ll need most is just time. For instance, you’ll score cookie points with clients or customers by sending them handwritten postcards or personalised birthday emails. The beauty of the email mode is that you also have the option to automate this process. You can do this through a well-chosen customer relationship management software.
3. Level up with live videos
Take your customer relationship-building to a higher level through video and live chat. These tools have proved their worth for businesses staying connected with their markets during the quarantine periods of Covid-19.
Technology and consumer attitude are now on your side with regards to using live video. With the current crop of smartphones, you can easily create and publicly share your video instantly. Smartphone models now come with high-quality cameras that can allow you to skip hiring professional photo and editing services.
Significantly, consumers are now more open to watching amateur videos on social media platforms. They find such production more authentic while becoming increasingly skeptical about hard-sell professionally produced marketing videos.
It is worth a try streaming on Instagram or Facebook Live so that you can chat directly with a customer or client. Livestreaming in YouTube is another potent platform to enhance engagement with customers. Reports have it that 5 billion YouTube videos are watched daily. What’s even morethe recent average YouTube viewing session up 50 per cent to 40 minutes per day.
4. Add chat service to your website
Having a chat service in the toolkit of your website pays off. This feature will enable your customers and leads or prospects to be touch base with you at any time.
Even in your off-business hours, your website’s chat service can capture all messages from your market while you were offline. You can respond to inquiries or concerns quickly and keep a conversation going as soon as you go online.
5. Go gung-ho in email newsletters
Tap free email marketing platforms like SendPulse or MailChimp to start an email marketing campaign. This is an easy and inexpensive way to attract new prospects and build relations with your current customers.
With this tool, you can launch a regular email newsletter to keep customers and prospects abreast of what your business offers. Don’t forget to promote your newsletter not only on your website. Advertise it too in your social media platforms like Facebook and in your brick-and-mortar shop or physical store.
6. Enlist in popular online directories
Explore each nook and cranny of the internet to help bolster your market presence. There are plenty of online directories to consider especially on social media platforms. Your choices include Facebook’s events listings. Then there are the various review sites, Yelp, andmap apps, which are as potent in expanding your market base easily and the least cost possible.
Developing a marketing approach that is sustainable at this stage in your business, and that shows promising results will help you in growing your business further. At key stages of change in your business, you will need to reevaluate your marketing strategy and ensure it is still working well for you.
It is important to constantly reevaluate the progress and operational success of your business. If things aren’t achieving the same results, or you notice a need for major changes, it is better to be able to prepare effectively for these.
If your business is undergoing a period of change, such as change in ownership structure, succession planning, or preparation to sell, it is vital that you get a qualified business valuer to provide you with a business valuation. The valuation will give you clear insight into your financial standing, and your overall position in the industry and current market.
By keeping track of the progress of your business, and analyzing your position within the industry, you will be assured you are making the right decisions regarding the future direction of your business efforts.
Article Submitted By Community Writer