Marketing Small Business – 5 Tips for Success

When it comes to marketing small business, all the ins and outs of what to do and how to do it can get really overwhelming.  What areas should you focus on?  What strategies fit your budget?  What works and what really doesn’t?

These kinds of questions are very common for business owners and, while strategy and specificity does have a bit of a science to it, there are some universal tips to help you market your business better, now. 

Social Media
You don’t need to be on every social network – you just need to be where your audience is.  Consider your target market’s age and lifestyle, and make a social media choice based on that (Facebook and Instagram are the most popular). Next, decide what you want your social media presence to do.  Do you want to promote your business? Push people to an event page or website?  Your content should centre around your primary objective (more on content below).

In addition, customer service nowadays is moving onto social media, and your presence there should be treated like another iteration of your website.  In fact, due to how often social media is updated, a company’s social media sites will often come up first on Google!  Social media presence matters, so update often and communicate what you want people to think and say about you. Make every post and message an intentional move toward achieving the brand image you want. 

Client Social Success Story: K9 Gentle Dental

Using our unique software, we are able to achieve big results on Instagram for a modest budget. Check out K9GD, who gained over 1300 TARGETED followers in just four months.

Website
Gone are the days of code-heavy websites that require extensive experience to build.  With huge companies like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix offering templated themes built by world-class designers, you really can modernize your website in under a week.  Having an updated, sleek website is truly imperative in this technological, web-based age.

Far too many websites don’t serve any purpose other than to be a placeholder – if this is you, you’re missing out on big opportunity.   Start out with evaluating whether the basic must-haves exist on your website – your hours, location, how to get in contact, etc.  Next, consider whether or not your site offers the user an experience.  What motivation does a customer have to come back?  Do you have a regular blog, advertisement of sales, or other dynamic content?  If not, start!  Not only does this encourage people to keep you top-of-mind, but fresh content is fabulous for SEO. 

CLIENT website SUCCESS STORY: The store upstairs & Airdrie pharmasave

After the modernization and seo optimization of the website, both businesses received increased in-store sales and has already collected over 100 emails for their email newsletter.

Content
All of your content across all of your channels should be deeply integrated with each other.  Your content is part of your overall strategy and needs to be well thought out and well placed.  Although tempting to share the latest meme or cute animal video, this type of content does not translate into revenue.  Once you know who your audience is (see data collection), cater your copy for the demographic you want to target.  Use technology to create content that is unique and interactive – photos and videos (including 360 degree videos) get the most engagement.  Use employee amplification strategies, making sure your employees are aware of what content you’re producing so that they can be your ambassadors.  Finally, it should go without saying that your copy should be free from spelling and grammatical errors. Language blunders are quickly noticed and can tarnish your image.

CLIENT content SUCCESS STORY: Destination christmas

we shot this commercial at both locations and aired it on ctv & Citytv. The commercial was seen by over 150,000 people with an average impression of 2.2. the client saw a direct correlation with when the commercials aired and in-store traffic and sales.

 

Data Collection
Another critical component of marketing strategy is data collection. There is so much rich information that can be gleaned from your visitors, and that info needs to be continuously monitored and assessed so you can have an informed strategy. Marketing is all based on your audience, and great marketing focuses in on a very specific niche. General marketing is a waste of time and money, so the more accurate you can get with who your customer is, the better return on investment you’ll see. 

Facebook has analytics that will break down your most engaged demographic, which is helpful for starting out with niche discovery.  Newsletter engines like MailChimp will give you reports on how many people opened your email, clicked on links, and unsubscribed from your list.  Google Analytics takes it further, telling you everything about how someone is interacting with your website – right down to mapping their journey from start to finish!  This can be helpful for understanding how well your content is performing – for instance, if customers are always bouncing at your About page, that’s a good indication that something there isn’t quite working.  Knowing how people navigate your site can give you a treasure trove of information to make it even better, so if you’re not taking advantage of this you’re truly missing out.

Surveys are the last type of data collection I’m going to talk about, and they’re usually the one that goes largely untapped.  Surveys are easy to do and, with an incentive (gift card, chance at a prize, etc.), most people are happy to answer some questions.  They can be used for a whole range of different reasons like testing out a new product or campaign idea, floating a new logo or colour for your brand, or gathering feedback on customer service.  Marketing should be about what your customers want instead of your assumptions of those wants, so polling your audience is critical if you want to deliver an experience that will get traction.

CLIENT data collection SUCCESS STORY: big small

Did you find this blog post from an ad on Google? that’s because we used keyword data to create this blog post and ensure people would see it. This data was generated from google analytics and google adwords combined.

Reviews
The final tip today for small business marketing centres around reviews.  Most business owners are terrified just thinking about (and dealing with) customer reviews.  The reality is that consumers make their decisions based on user reviews, and Google Maps will suggest close businesses in order of how many reviews they have.  I recently reviewed a business with a blurb and a photo, and my review was viewed 1000 times in less than a month!  So you’d better have some kind of review-generation strategy if you want to get noticed, either to build up a lack of reviews or to make up for a less-than-stellar score.   

Getting reviews is as simple as asking your past customers to provide them.  Avoid getting them from obvious family and friends, and provide a few different options for people to participate.  Spell out the process for them – where do they go?  Facebook, Google, and Yelp are the most common avenues.  What kinds of things should they review you on?  What medium do you want the delivery?  Video testimonials are the most trustworthy because they put a face to a name and instantly convey a genuine feel, but even handwritten reviews can be transferred onto your website.  Ask your customers for what you need, and make the process easy for them.  You’ll thank me later.

I hope these tips have given you some great insight into strategies you can employ in your own business, today!  Stay tuned for more helpful tidbits so you can make your money work for you.

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