Wednesday

Small Business Marketing Strategies Proven To Work

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As a small business owner, it can seem impossible to compete with entrenched players that seemingly have unlimited resources. They can do social media, email marketing, paid ads, and everything in between while you’re stuck with one or two channels.


Small Business Marketing Strategies Proven To Work


This is an advantage in disguise. You get to become a true master at one or two channels, connect with your customers on a deeper level, and reap the rewards.


In this article, you’ll learn the marketing strategies that are working right now. Choose one or two and own them. Soon, you’ll see the uptick in engagement and revenue in your business.


First – understand your audience


Here’s the truth. You won’t get very far if your marketing campaigns don’t appeal to the right people. It’s important to take the time to understand what motivates your customers to buy from you. When you get that right, many other things will naturally fall into place.


You can do this with simple surveys sent out to your customer base. If you don’t have many customers right now then focus on people who fit your ideal customer profile.


Send out a Likert scale survey to understand the degree of feeling towards something. For example, you can include a question that asks how often they use your product or a relevant product.


“How often do you wear yoga pants when going to the gym?”


  • Very often

  • Often

  • On occasion

  • Seldom

  • Very seldom

This is also known as an interval scale and makes the answers you receive easily quantifiable. If you see that people wear yoga pants very often or often, it may be a good idea to focus on them in your marketing.


At the same time, you should add open ended questions in your survey. This will allow you to get voice of customer feedback that can be used in other places throughout your marketing. Once you’ve gotten sufficient survey answers (at least a hundred) and a clear understanding of your audience, it’s time to start implementing marketing strategies.


Content marketing & SEO


Content marketing takes many different forms. For some, it’s about blogging. For others, it’s about forum marketing. Many people also focus on creating videos to engage with their target market.


In reality, it doesn’t matter which method you choose because if you can master it, you’ll gain the rewards. Here are a few things to consider with content marketing.


No matter the route you take, keywords are important. Google and YouTube are search engines so if you want to make it on the platform, you need to be discoverable. There are many tools you can use such as KeywordFinder, Ahrefs, SemRush, etc. They’re all more or less the same so choose one and stick with it.


Find a unique angle. Anyone can create content about sneakers or home gardening. The hard part is standing out in a crowded space. Think about how you can differentiate yourself from the crowd. Will you create an infographic for every article you produce or will you include commentary gained from your years of experience?


Finally, you have to be consistent. That doesn’t mean you need to post every single day but it does mean you should show up at the same time on the same day when you do decide to make an appearance. If people know they can count on you to be there then they’re more likely to show up.


Podcasting


Podcasting is having a moment. According to IAB, marketers spent $479 million on podcast advertising in 2018 which is a 53% increase from 2017. Not only that, podcasting has reached the point of common acceptance with over 50% of the population knowing what it is.


The icing on the cake?


There’s roughly 1 podcast for every 10,000 people. To put that into perspective, there’s 1 blog for every 7 people. Podcasting is far from saturation and the fans are loyal.


It’s important to note that podcasting is a bit more difficult than blogging. You need specialized equipment such as a microphone, professional headphones, and audio editing software. All of this can be gotten for less than $200 dollars and help you produce quality content.


After you’ve secured your equipment, there’s still something else you need to do – find your niche. This may be obvious on the surface but it’s a nuanced exercise. For example, if you sell clothes, you may want to start a general fashion podcast but that would be a difficult sell.


Instead, you may want to focus on mature men’s fashion or men’s street fashion. It’ll give you access to a more targeted market and make it easier for you to stand out from the crowd.


Webinars


Webinars are a proven way to generate high quality leads, connect with your audience, and do sales at scale. They’re not for everyone but for the people who can master them, they’ll yield a lot of benefits.


There are many moving pieces to a webinar such as your follow-up email sequence, the way your offer is presented, and the tools you use. In addition to that, the audience you’re targeting and the perception of your brand matters.


Here’s a suggested path to success:


  1. First, choose a webinar tool that meets your needs such as WebinarJam. It has tons of features and is one of the most affordable on the market.

  2. Test your targeting and messaging with inexpensive social ads on Quora or Pinterest. Once you can prove certain audiences are effective, you can then roll it out to larger platforms like Facebook.

  3. Create multiple presentations to see which one resonates the most with your audience.

  4. Continually tweak your messaging and offer until your webinar is profitable and grows your business by leaps and bounds.

Email marketing


Email marketing is the workhorse of the internet. Billions of messages are sent every single day and the majority of those have commercial intent. If you do nothing else, make sure you’re getting the email address of your customers whenever they purchase (it doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline).


You can also create a landing page to gather email subscribers and turn them into customers down the line.  Once you have a mailing list – no matter how small – there are three email sequences you should set up.


  1. Welcome series. The goal of this email sequence is to introduce people to your brand and instill the right buying beliefs

  2. Abandoned cart sequences. This email sequence will help you recover revenue from people who almost bought but stopped the purchase beforehand.

  3. Sales sequence. This will let you introduce new products and services without burning out your list.

Strategic partnerships


Partnerships take many shapes and forms. For example, they can be a referral or affiliate partner that gets a cut of the revenue. You can set this up through affiliate software like Post Affiliate Pro or Impact.


Conversely, you can create comarketing partnerships or other incentives that make sense for you and the brand you’re partnering with. Before starting there are a few things to consider.


  • What can you offer?

  • What do you want to gain

  • What does your ideal partner look like?

  • Where will you find them

  • How will you incentivize them

If you can answer these questions then you’re well on your way to creating a strong partnership program for your company.


Conclusion


If you’re a small business owner, you don’t have to be worried about competing with entrenched players. Instead, choose a marketing channel that makes sense for your business and focus on it to the exclusion of everything else.


Once you’ve mastered it, you can then move on to the next platform.


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