Creating a marketing strategy is a very important step when starting a new business, but many small business owners have little experience in online marketing. Figuring out all aspects of marketing isn’t as easy as new methods and techniques emerge on a daily basis. In addition, what might work for one business might not work for another. It all depends on your goals, niche, target market, branding, etc.
However, there are several marketing techniques that are always effective and can help any small business to get new customers and increase sales.
In this article, we’ll help you build an effective marketing strategy to help you attract new clients and grow your business.
1. Define Your Goals
The first thing you need to do is define what you want to achieve with your marketing goals. Pinpoint your USP and highlight what differentiates you from the competition.
Try to be as specific as possible when defining your goals as this will allow you to customize your marketing strategy and save you tons of time, resources, and effort in the long run. In addition, specific goals make it easier to monitor and measure the performance of your marketing strategies.
2. Understand Your Target Audience
Once you’ve defined your goals, you need to identify your customers. Get in touch with your existing customer base via email, phone, or surveys to find out what they like or dislike about your brand. Ask the following questions:
- What are their concerns and pain points?
- How can you help alleviate those problems?
- How would they describe your brand?
- Why did they pick your company instead of your competitors?
Collect data on your audience demographics, such as age, gender, geographical location, professions, habits, spending capabilities, etc. Finally, try to determine which social platforms they prefer and how they find brands they like, whether through Google search, social media, references from others, email, etc.
3. Have a Website and a Blog
Having a website for your business is a must, whether you decide to build one from scratch or work with a website broker to buy an already established one.
Once you have a functional, professional-looking website, make sure to add a blog. Having a blog allows you to connect with your customers, share news and updates, and establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Moreover, blog posts are vital for SEO, which drives organic traffic to your website and business.
4. Have an SEO Strategy
In order to make sure that potential customers discover your website, you need to have an SEO strategy in place. SEO is a set of tactics that aim to improve a site’s ranking on SERPs. Having an effective SEO strategy can boost your rankings or even help you reach Google’s first page. Here are some of the most widely used SEO tactics:
- Use the keywords your target audience is searching for;
- Focus on writing high-quality content;
- Try to get published on other sites relevant to your field to build a solid backlink profile;
- Ask customers to leave favorable reviews on review sites like Trustpilot and Yelp.
5. Launch an Email Campaign
Despite the rise of social media, email remains an effective marketing tool, with nearly 65% of businesses citing it as their most effective marketing technique. Email campaigns are very cost-effective, returning about $38 for every $1 invested.
But this incredible ROI will remain elusive if your emails are random and sporadic – you’ll need to create a comprehensive email marketing strategy. Here are some guidelines to follow:
- Decide which email service provider you will use.
- Decide how often you want to send emails
- Think about the kind of content you want to include in your emails: email drip campaigns, newsletters, product updates?
- Build your email list by including a sign-up box on your site.
- When composing your emails, make sure your subject line is compelling enough to urge your recipients to open the email.
- Keep your copy relevant and concise and use conversational language.
- Include links to your social media profiles, as well as a CTA encouraging recipients to visit your site or physical store.
- Give cold emails a try. Cold email is still one of the most effective outreach methods and, if done right, it can get you tons of new customers.
6. Use Social Media
Besides having a website, being present on social media is non-negotiable. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to have profiles on all social networks. Stretching yourself thin across all major platforms won’t do any good. That’s why you need to make sure you choose the platforms you’re sure you can manage or, even better, the ones you know your audience uses.
But just having social media profiles isn’t enough; you need to be active and engage with your customers. Here are some tips to help you pull off a successful social media strategy:
- Share various types of content: products images, pictures of your employees, and video stories;
- Share exclusive discounts;
- Use a social media management software to manage all your accounts from a single location, as well as plan and schedule content.
At the end of the day, the most effective small business marketing strategies are those that help you build and maintain relationships with your customers. You can achieve this by making sure you keep the focus on the customer, not the products. Emphasize how your products or services can help alleviate their pain points and why they should trust your brand over your competitors.