What marketing strategies work for businesses today? What are the best ways to get customers to know about a business, contact them or make a purchase? Finding the right marketing strategies for a small business has always been challenging, but the growing number of marketing channels makes it even more difficult to decide what marketing strategy to use. So, what is the best way of promoting your company? Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed marketing idea that will send a steady stream of customers to your door. No matter what your business does, you must use multiple techniques to attract and keep customers.
Firstly you will need to identify who your target market is. It’s no good planning an amazing marketing strategy with no idea who you want to aim at. What type of person will buy the product or service? How old is the person likely to buy it? How much money will they need? Where are they most likely to look for this product? There is a myriad of profiles that your ideal customer might be. Narrowing down the target audience for specific marketing strategies will help make them more successful at gaining the customer you want.
You have to promote what the customer wants to buy. Most of the time a customer will not want the service you perform; they want a solution to a problem or the benefit that the service provides. For example, with a plumber, the customer doesn’t really care about plumbing; they just want their leaky pipe fixed. If you need help finding out what your customer’s want to buy, ask them. You can use this information to get better results from your marketing by focusing on specific problems your service solves or benefits you provide. Making yourself a trusted resource to your customers and prospects will help when your marketing plan goes live. Customers like to buy from people they know and trust, and don’t like being ‘sold’ a product. Become a trusted source by providing information to help customers make a good choice, rather than forcing a sale of something the customer doesn’t want, they’ll be less likely to trust you or provide you with any more custom. Setting up professional profiles can really help with a marketing strategy.
It’s a well known fact that a huge number of the public use public media. Set yourself or your business up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ and include a link to your website on all of these pages. If you meet a potential prospect and they happen to lose your business card, if they type your name into a search engine they will be more likely to find you through social media. You can also use discussion groups to put across useful information or resources, widening the chance of a bigger audience for any marketing campaign.
Now to start with actual marketing techniques, the most basic would be to write articles to post onto your website. Although this may not attract people, it will help once people to come to the business. Well written, expert articles can help the credibility of your business; as long as the articles are related to your products or your services they will have a better impact. Don’t be afraid to include an ‘about the author’ section to give customers a little bit of information about yourself, or whoever wrote the article.
A really simple way to start marketing is with brochures or flyers, you can print off a small amount and hand them out in the local area, attend some membership group meetings and hand them out here if allowed. It might seem like a basic and flawed method for finding customers, but if you start locally, you are onto a winner!
Volunteering to speak at local business groups, which are always in need of interesting speakers to attract members to their meetings, can really help attract other business to you if you’re B2B based. Talk a little about yourself and what your business specialises in, but mostly focus on the audience’s information needs and problems they want solving. Use your social media presence to connect with people. Tweet, mention, comment, like, link to your articles, use others articles. Just staying active on social media can be a really effective way of marketing. Social media can help grow your name and get you speciality seen by the customers you want to see it. As well as social media you can use email to stay in contact with people and grow your name, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations, get your name out there. Having a fully functioning and attractive website is the perfect way to show you are a legitimate business and using your website to promote your business can also be a very good technique for marketing. As a majority of people will use the internet to find any product or service they need, making sure that your website is running smooth and is great at grabbing attention will be key to marketing well. A poorly organised, slow and boring website will give a very bad opinion to customers about your business.
Finally, never stop marketing. Once business starts coming in, it’s easy to think that you can ease off of marketing or networking yourself, but this would be a massive mistake. In order to keep customers coming in regularly, you need to keep the pressure up on your marketing strategy.