Advertising and marketing professionals and small business owners. What do we all have in common? We all love new, shiny things. And, if the things give us a competitive edge or make our been-there-done-that eyes light up, all the better.
The hard part about going full speed ahead with anything too new to have withstood the test of time is that the results may not live up to expectations, and there’s the risk of epic failure. Lackluster results and failure can lead to growth and success. We all know the stories of entrepreneurs who failed multiple times before finally reaching success. But, it’s always comforting to have tried-and-true tips to fall back on. If you’re looking to balance out new with the proven or just need a win, these 10 small business marketing tips will never fail you.
- Track and measure everything, so you know exactly what’s working and what’s not.
Most everything in marketing is trackable and measurable today, from where and how visitors are interacting with your website to who opens your sales emails and clicks on digital and social media ads. Google Analytics is your means to measure advertising and marketing ROI, plus track your video and social networking sites and applications. We recommend taking advantage of its features (data collection, analysis, monitoring, visualization, reporting and integration with other applications) that can help you identify trends and patterns in how visitors engage with your website.
- Know your value proposition to your customers.
Most likely you already know your value proposition, but it’s always reassuring to validate it. Have your service or products improved? Implemented any new policies or procedures that benefit customers? Take note and ensure your value proposition is still accurate. It can be a guiding force in making business decisions and your marketing tactics.
- Build a strong customer and prospect email list, and use it.
Email lists. Can’t live without them. They can be the heart of your marketing, yet if they get stale or aren’t kept up to date, they’re failing you. Building a strong customer and prospect email list is worth your time and effort. Once you have one, use it. These are contacts who want to do business with you. They are your lowest hanging fruit and a sure thing.
- Scroll through your website and walk your store like you’re seeing them for the first time through your customers’ eyes.
Website links break. Images get dated. Store fixtures get dusty. Carpet gets dirty. We could list off many things we become blind to because we get used to seeing them. Updates and freshening up are a wise investment of your time.
- Develop audience personas.
As an advertising and marketing agency, we develop and use personas all the time. Given we are speaking directly to our clients’ customers, we need to know everything we can about them. Personas are helpful for small businesses, too. By creating them, you have a tool you can use for sales and training because we know it’s easier to make a connection to people we understand.
- Be on the same social channels as your audience.
Review your audience personas. Do you want to meet them in the professional or lifestyle space? Or both? All small businesses need a social presence today. However, to really get insights into what your target audience wants and needs, follow the same things on the same social channels as they do. Think causes. Think events. Think organizations. Follow them. You’ll gain insight into other areas that will help you position your service or product better.
- Understand that marketing is a repeatable, ongoing process.
There are some small business tasks that are one and done. Marketing is not one of them. It used to be that you could expect to communicate with prospects seven times at minimum before they would consider buying. Today, multiply that exponentially, given the inundation of advertising messages in our lives to make an impression. No one digital or social ad, one mailer, one campaign, one touchpoint can stand alone. It takes time and repetition for results. We all want results after a little effort, but real results take time and ongoing effort.
- Ask your customers what they want and need.
There is no such thing as a dumb question, and most people are more than happy to share their opinions with you. Your inquiry can be as informal as asking a question on social media or as formal as hiring a firm to conduct surveys. Either way, it’s a surefire way to know find out what your customers want and need.
- Check in on your competition.
Check their websites. Visit their stores. Try out their services and products. Are yours better? Do you or can you outperform them? By all means, don’t copy everything they do. But, don’t worry too much about what they do that you don’t. Sometimes, they’re wrong and you’re on the right track. Take a look at your value proposition and compare it to what your customers want and need. Between being aware of your competitors’ offerings and what you offer, you’ll know whether any changes are warranted.
- Find a marketing partner you trust.
A trusted marketing partner can help you determine which shiny, new things are worth exploring and when it’s better to stick with the proven marketing strategies. Your partner will invest time in understanding your industry, business and customers, so that your marketing efforts will be effective. Not to mention, your marketing partner can run with the tasks you don’t have time to manage yourself.
Looking for the Perfect Blend of New and Proven Marketing Strategies?
If you’re looking to create an overall marketing strategy, launch new digital marketing and social media campaigns, engage in effective content marketing or add new tactics to reach new audiences, an outsourced marketing agency is a better way to do all of these. An agency like EAG…let’s talk.