Five Small Business Marketing Tips
HOW TO | AUTHOR - 7 BRANCH DESIGNS | MAY 2013
1. Target Customer Focus
When initially starting your business marketing efforts, it’s natural to be a bit enthusiastic and want to reach out to everyone all at once. However, it is important to stay focused on reaching your target customers, those that are most likely to be in need of your services offered.Rather than casting out any type of bait into the sea to catch a specific type of fish, knowing what food the fish likes as well as their swimming habits ahead of time will save you precious time and money. Maintaining the proper focus will help you reach your target customers more efficiently, not to mention a better use of your limited resources.
2. Building Cooperative
Partnerships. Aligning your business with another business or organization that has complementary services to yours can be a huge asset; it also opens the door so that you can refer business to each other. Partnering with another business can also totally minimize your outgoing marketing costs. If you were promoting a new service/product via print advertising, you could use one side while your new partner takes the opposite side cutting your cost in half.
3. Community Outreach
Getting featured in your local news outlets is a great way to gain some brand awareness. Reach out to your local newspaper or radio and tell them about your new business venture, convince them why covering your business is worth their time and energy. Another option is to go back to your university or college, and see if they would be willing to publish your story in their student newspaper or website. Universities love to report on alumni who are doing cool things after graduation, so it never hurts to ask.You could also market your business through community outreach by sponsoring local events or competitions. Additionally, you could reach out to bloggers and send them a product to review, or hook them up with the service you provide. You should also provide them with a referral link for their review post so you can track your ROI.
4. Encourage People to Share
If you want people to talk about your business’ services or products, there's nothing quite like giving them an incentive to do so. Offer an immediate discount for tweeting about your product or service, or ask them to post about it on Facebook. Or, in exchange for "liking" your company — maybe they could receive some additional perk.Another way to encourage people is by offering a contest. Don’t be afraid to get creative with how you encourage your audience, just make sure that there is some value in it for them.
5. Leveraging Social Media Networks
One of the obvious tactics for marketing your business is using social media. However, there are right and wrong ways of using social media marketing. You want to make sure that you are posting consistently, and that you are engaging with your customers. You don't want your Twitter and Facebook platforms to just spout off promotional information about your company. Instead, post interesting and share-able information. You want the content you offer to have value — it's crucial to know your audience so you can give them information that is either helpful, interesting — or both.
You should always consider which platforms make the most sense for your business. If you can market your product best visually, focus your energies on Instagram or Pinterest. If you offer a service that is best expressed by sharing information, develop a strong Twitter or Facebook presence. With Twitter in mind, be sure to use it to engage B2B as well as B2C. Thank anyone who mentions your business in their articles, and even engage with your competitors from time to time — this puts your brand on the map, and can bolster relationships with people in your industry.