Small businesses have a tough job ahead of them. This is especially true for those who are just starting out. Entrepreneurs are required to have the same type of skills that larger corporations employ entire teams for. Every sale, every time that the public sees you, and every bit of exposure – in any capacity – is dependent upon the marketing strategy used to create the opportunity. Here are winning marketing strategies small businesses need to succeed.
Social Media Marketing Strategies
Don’t ever neglect the power of social media. Your entire online presence can be built on these platforms.
Share Your Knowledge Freely
Don’t treat your knowledge as a heavily-guarded secret. Be open and transparent as to who you are, what you do and how you do it. Transparency builds credibility. People will look for you the next time they need your type of service. Give a little at a time, but don’t hold back.
Focus on Network Growth
Always be focusing on the growth of your network. This is more than just a “mudslinging” technique where you throw content around recklessly and hope that some of it will “stick to the wall.” Treat each contact as a friend and get to know them. It is far better that you have 10 people in your network who know you and will buy from you than 100 people in your network who have no idea who you are.
The Easiest Way to Use Twitter
Use Twitter as a promotional platform. Ask a question about your product and the first person who answers wins. Or, when you sell a product, make sure the receipt says, “Retweet upon receipt,” to enter into another contest.
Connect with Your Clients
The difference between a mediocre company and a stellar one is the way they treat their clients. Go the extra mile and do things that add a personal touch, such as taking them out for coffee and remembering their birthdays. You may be surprised at how this can instill a sense of loyalty in people.
Remain Active on LinkedIn
Connect with as many LinkedIn groups in your specific industry or niche as possible. Periodically, not obsessively, post a question or a tip to make sure that it reaches those groups. This is an excellent way to become an authority in your niche.
Facebook It and Tweet It
Over 80 percent of traditional businesses do not use social media marketing as a part of their marketing strategy. Don’t become a part of that statistic. Use the NOTES application in Facebook to create promotions and coupon codes and always be using Twitter to share a photo or two.
Traditional Marketing Strategies
Just because most of the marketing industry has gone online does not mean that traditional marketing methods do not work.
Create a Blog Tour
Use other bloggers to your advantage, not your competition. Have other bloggers create promotions using your products. Send the bloggers free products for them to promote and try. This is an excellent way for you to use someone else’s network for exposure that costs next to nothing.
Give Your Clients a Reason to Call You
When you send out communication pieces to people, give them a reason to call you. Offer them a free donut just for calling, or an excellent discount for mentioning and add. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and give them a reason to call you that is unrelated to your product or service.
There are gift bag requests every Friday in the second edition of Help-A-Reporter-Out. Be on the lookout for decision-makers in your niche at events that are a match for your service or product. When two things like this come together, it provides an excellent opportunity for networking.
Everyone knows about frequent buyer programs. Don’t be one of those people. Instead, make it a little more personal. Surprise them with a different type of gift. It can be an invitation for coffee, a gift card or other marketing trinkets. Surprises work well to instill loyalty in people.
Feed the Masses
If you want to get people’s attention, offer them free food. Organize events at local restaurants and partner up with other noncompeting businesses in your area. This is an excellent way to use other people’s networks to your advantage.
Contribute to Employee Perks
Call up the Human Resources departments of local businesses and ask them if you can offer their employees a special discount as part of their employee perks programs. It is an excellent way to get noticed and put yourself in front of an entire corporation of working professionals.
Content Marketing Strategies
Even with all the market talk about switching over to video, the written word still gets major business – with content marketing at the heart.
Use Immediate Gratification to Your Advantage
The biggest reason for bounce rates on websites is because the people who run those sites don’t offer information that can satisfy immediate gratification. Your content has to be written in such a way that your viewers can take something valuable away from it immediately.
Write for Trade Publications
Unless you’re an in-house writer, trade publications will not generally pay you for your articles. However, if you can manage to get your article published by Time magazine, Huffington Post, or some other significant trade publication, as soon as it is published, you’ll have exposure to their entire audience – often millions of viewers at a time.
Learn to Tell a Story
Tell a memorable and convincing story about someone using your product. Make it a case study. Show how your product or service solves an immediate pain point or need in the eyes of the consumer. This is how you give people a reason to call you.
Write for Free
Don’t consider your market secrets as secrets. Whatever you know, chances are someone else knows it, too. A sale happens when someone has a need for your service or product. Just because they may not have the need right now doesn’t mean they won’t have a need in two months. Get your content out there for free so that people know who to look for when the need arises.
Self-Publish Your Own Book
Publish a book and get it out there. It doesn’t matter if it’s 50 pages long or 200 pages. You can self-publish your own book on platforms such as Amazon for their Kindle readers. Once you are a published author, you can use that title to demonstrate how you are an authority in your niche.
Become the Host of a Tele-Seminar
Become the host of your very own teleseminar. This is a webinar that you can use to your advantage to drive the point home and be able to interact directly with your audience members. Open up the last 15 minutes of an hour-long session so that you can answer questions from the audience.
Web Branding Marketing Strategies
Your brand says a lot about you. Everything you do will be connected to your brand in one way or another. Here’s how you can do it right.
Use Keywords Efficiently
Over the years, Google has changed their search algorithms. However, one thing has not changed. A well-optimized website using keywords effectively can consistently put you at the top of the search engine’s results page. Keywords are how customers find you.
Go Where the Referrers Congregate
Participate in trade associations. This is where you can impress prospective referrers with your skills, products or services. Not only will you increase your visibility, but you will be given the opportunity to create lasting networks and relationships.
Google Adwords Can Be Cheap
The easiest way to figure out if you have an audience for a product is to use Google Adwords to perform the market research. Using their free keyword planner tool, you can find out which keywords are being searched for and which keywords will end up being a waste of money.
Enter a Business Award Competition
Find out which businesses in your local area perform business competitions – like the Better Business Bureau, trade organizations, universities and sometimes even banks. Being able to claim a prestigious award for your business can strengthen the visibility and reputation of your business in ways that no other method can.
Don’t Neglect Your Email List
Your email list is the most powerful marketing tool you have in the online world. However, many people neglect this. They think email marketing is dead, confusing and difficult, or they don’t want their name to be connected with spam. There’s a right way to do it, and there’s a wrong way to do it. Do it the right way, and it can become the lifeline of your business.
Create a YouTube Channel
Create a YouTube channel and use it the same way you might use a blog. Create content that people can use. Give people a reason to watch your videos. Video marketing is on the rise. If you’re not using it to your advantage, you’re missing out.