Marketing is the lifeblood of your business. If you neglect it, then those cash arteries are going to clog up and start closing down! If you’ve noticed that sales are down or sluggish, then chances are it’s because you’ve become complacent about marketing.
Even if you have developed a great marketing process, it is going to need an overview and up-date every so often. It is important that your business and your messaging looks fresh.
Unfortunately, some business owners forget the importance of boosting their marketing strategies and end up losing potential customers. Or, they neglect to fine-tune their strategies according to the products they are selling and target them effectively to the right audience.
The following are a few ideas to help you get started on giving your business a marketing boost.
It seems that no one buys anything these days without first looking up reviews online, or asking their friends and family.
Depending on the nature of your business, find a way of gaining testimonials or reviews.
For example, if you run a professional consultancy-type business, then a testimonial from a named client is very powerful. If asking for a testimonial feels awkward, try the ‘recommendations’ tool on LinkedIn; it automates the process and makes it much easier.
For consumer-focused businesses, reviews are pretty much essential these days. If your business is location-based, then make sure you register on Google My Business and use their review tools. Encourage happy customers to leave a review. This will boost your rankings on Google as well as your reputation.
Similarly, if you run an online store you need to integrate a review tool or better still use a trusted independent customer feedback tool like Feefo or Trustpilot.
Take Advantage of Social Media
You probably already know the importance of utilising social media. However, it’s not just a matter of having an account or a simple page. Your business’ social media presence needs to be sharp, dynamic, and continuously refreshed with interesting content in order to boost your clientele. You should also always make sure that your business account information is up-to-date and accurate at all times.
If you have enough followers on your channels you will be seen as a niche authority. Different platforms have different audience profiles; for example, Twitter is a great place to connect with millenials. The trick is to learn how to grow your followers and online presence. You can save a lot of time and effort in growing a targeted Twitter following by using a tool like Twiends and building connections and knowledge with their free resources.
No, don’t start a personal blog. But you should definitely have a blog for your business, that is linked to the main website. Posting fresh content online – and not just pictures of your products – can make a huge impact with people who stumble upon your wares online. It helps to forge an intellectual and emotional connection with a future customer who finds your ideas compelling and will, therefore, want to purchase your wares right away. The internet is a problem solving platform, people go there to find solutions to questions they are asking. So, it can help to write each blog article as the answer to a common question people ask. It doesn’t matter how detailed or obscure the question is, in fact in blogging terms that is an advantage.
Blogs will also help boost your rankings on search engines — and as only 10% of people ever look to page two of search results, you can’t underestimate the importance of that for almost every business.
You can also secure the help of other bloggers and major websites to produce sponsored content for your website as well as advertise your products. The more buzz there is about your business, the better.
Having competition from a neighbouring business is not just healthy, you might learn a lot from a similar establishment. In fact, the best way to improve your marketing is by researching what your competitors are doing and figure out the ways you can apply their strategies to your own products. Find out how they are attracting more customers — are they running more Facebook ads? Or, are they reaching out to people directly offline? Figuring this out might help you stumble across that “a-ha!” moment that steps your business up to a new level.
Reach Out to Targeted Marketing Specialists
If you’re in a particular niche business that makes it hard to draw customers to you the more conventional way, then perhaps you should look into enlisting the help of strategic experts who can help you cut through all the noise of traditional advertising. This can be especially true for medical or health-oriented businesses who struggle with making their more serious message palatable to the general public. Our friends over at Telos Digital Marketing are keenly aware of this problem and have developed a few tried and true methods of dealing with the variables between different fields. The advice of experts in this realm is always helpful to smaller businesses, especially since they do plenty of research on their own to figure out the best methods.
When it comes to marketing, it is easy these days to forget the real world out there! But in so many cases the old-fashioned, traditional methods are still highly effective. That is especially the case for high-value customers.
The key question is — where do your target customers hang out?
You may think your anime enthusiastic audience is always online, but you do know they have fan conventions too. Make sure you are there.
You may get most of your design commissions from online platforms, but what’s the harm in going to that local business meetup — you might meet a long-term customer who wants a face-to-face connection with their designer and is prepared to pay premium rates in return.
Anywhere your target audience flocks to — make sure you are there too. That could include: conferences, fairs, expos, trade shows, meetups, networking events, professional associations, farmers markets, craft fairs and so on.
At the end of the day, having a business is like taking care of a baby. As it grows it doesn’t need any less attention, but it does need a different approach. The secret to good marketing is to constantly evolve, listen to your customers, and reach out to the general public as often as you can.