Some basic concepts remain the same. Two things that remain constant are the importance of good products/services and excellent customer service. Making both of them a top priority will make your marketing efforts far more effective. Read these tips on marketing small to medium-sized businesses.
What Is Marketing?
Let's get back to basics. A simple definition search on Google goes straight to the point: Marketing is the act or business of promoting and selling products or services.
Of course, it can involve various forms of advertising and can also involve market research, testing, analytics, software, third party agents, and more.
How to Choose the Right Marketing Strategy
First of all, there is no one-size answer to all of these questions. However, here are a few suggestions for starting or improving your current efforts:
Understand Your Business
You might think, "Of course, I understand my business. This is my business. However, it is important to take the knowledge you have about your business and add the thoughts and feelings of your customers to your perspective. If you deal with customers directly, you might get a valuable queue from these interactions. You might also have an idea of customer sentiment from the customer service record. Besides, you might want to share a short survey or questionnaire with your customers and politely ask them to participate. Having a holistic perspective about your business will help your overall marketing strategy.
Have a CRM system
A customer relationship management (CRM) system that can be run can be software that you put into the administration of your business, such as cheap (even free) HubSpot. It can also be a "system" that you have worked on to track your customers and your interactions with them. The most important thing is to have several types of customer and transactional information that you can use to market to customers and prospects.
Choose the Right Channels for Marketing
There are various ways to reach potential customers. It is necessary to note that although traditional forms of marketing still exist (TV, radio, print, letters, etc.) Marketing in the digital space (the web via mobile phones and computers) is becoming increasingly dominant. This isn't to say that you should not try variations that include traditional forms of marketing. Study as much as possible about the various outlets for advertising. Enter that knowledge with what you know about your business and your customers and test several methods. Yes, test. By experimenting, you will find out which form is most effective for your business. More about that later.
Here are some marketing channels to consider:
Website - It's a good idea for most businesses to have a website. Running and running a website doesn't always require special developers and big budgets like they used to. Quite affordable options are available through user-friendly platforms such as Wix and Squarespace. Such website builders are proud of the drag-and-drop functionality and relatively low setup time. Of course, if you need a stronger website, you might want to explore a higher level of functionality. Regardless of what you use to create your site, remember that you want your message to be clear, to talk to customer needs, and stay up to date. The website must have the following basics:
- Information about your company and the services it offers
- Contact information including online methods to be contacted
- The business credentials that you want to display
- Information that educates visitors about your service and sets the right expectations for those who are considering doing business with you
Email Marketing - This is a powerful tool that goes hand in hand with your customer relationship management (CRM). Email can be as simple or as simple as you want. Frequently, simpler is better. Email marketing can be divided into two categories: customer email and prospect email. For customers, you will want to maintain them through occasional communication that provides relative information or offers that they might be interested in. For prospects, you can send an occasional reminder about your product or service and provide a call to action so you can help them.
You can set up email marketing strategies through affordable platforms such as MailChimp (which has free options) and Constant Contacts. The advantage of using one of these methods versus say, your Gmail, is that you can customize professional-looking emails based on easy-to-use templates. You can even access some basic metrics to see how well your email is performing. Keep the following things in mind when working on your email marketing strategy:
- Keep the subject lines short and direct (don't try to trick people into opening your email).
- Always give an option to unsubscribe from your message.
- Be clear about the purpose of the email and what you are asking from them (buy, read more, visit, etc.)
- Follow the CAN-SPAM federal regulations (no one likes junk email).
Social Media - What was once thought to be a way for crazy kids to waste time posting pictures and gossiping is now a powerful method of communication for everyone, including businesses. However, before you log into every social media account, you can think of, consider using the platform and your ability to maintain a constant presence in it. Nobody likes to visit an abandoned account that was last posted something in 2014. Even worse, an account that shares something irrelevant to the viewer, business, or nature of the platform.
Influencer marketing - Most commonly, in the world of social media, influencer marketing has become a widespread strategy for businesses. Finished, influencer marketing can be an excellent way to build brand awareness and gain customers. They promote your brand, product, or service to their audience, and you replace it in return. Here are the 5 Steps To Take Before Starting An Influencer Marketing Campaign On Social Media, taken from Forbes:
- Ask yourself: Why?
- Find your influencer - use hashtag
- Embrace micro-influencers
- Determine your requirements
- Know your value.
Print— Although overall, the use of print for marketing has declined in recent years, marketing with brochures, leaflets, etc., may still be a viable option for your specific business. Remember that costs can add up quickly to design something visually appealing. There are also printing and distribution costs.
Reference marketing - Ask other people to market you. Remember, when you tried something because a friend or family member told you about it? That is referral marketing - word of mouth. This is perhaps one of the most powerful methods to market your business. Apart from that, it comes with little or no cost to you. The opinions of our colleagues affect us more than any form of advertising that we may know of because of the relationships and trust we have with those who refer to products or companies. A study by Nielsen (a trusted source for marketing research and consumer behaviour) found that 84% of us trust referrals from people we know. The second in a trust is the website by 69%.
The key to doing effective referral marketing is to be proactive. Although some referrals will come without much effort from you, growth in referral marketing comes with the great customer experience and, sometimes, little incentive. Think of simple ways you can encourage your customers to refer their friends and family with discounts for their next service or purchase. Consider sending them a $ 10 gift card or sending them a pair of movie tickets for each referral. You can determine the conditions that must be met for customers to get reference prizes based on your KPI (key performance indicator). Remember that your simple token of appreciation can be useful and keep your acquisition costs low. Just make sure that the incentives are right for your line of business.