Marketing is one of the essential ingredients of starting and running any successful business. Unfortunately for small business owners, it’s also one of the hardest to get right.
Most marketing cost too much and simply isn’t right for small business. Small businesses need marketing that is simple and practical—marketing that’s understandable and easy to use. If you are not happy with the results of your marketing efforts, you are not alone. The unfortunate truth is that many small business owners often feel lost when it comes to marketing.
The purpose of this post series is to help you market your business in a way that actually works.
1. Position and Plan
The first step is to know exactly who your product benefits and how you can communicate those benefits in a way they understand. Then, by looking at your competitors, you can create a unique position that will ensure a strong foundation for your success. Here are three (3) tips for positioning your small business for success;
- Get to Know Your Perfect Customer.
- Attract Customers With a Unique Market Position.
- Learn to Relate to Your Market.
2. Create an Identity
Every successful small business needs a clean, professional image or brand that customers can trust. These articles are about creating an unforgettable corporate identity that will make you naturally attractive to potential customers.
- Create an Attractive and Memorable Corporate Identity
- Be Credible, Professional, and Trustworthy
- Make Yourself Easy to Buy From
3. Defining Your Budget
Before you can determine if you want to fund a social media campaign, banner ads on popular websites such as Linda Ikeji or Bella Naija or some other marketing options, you need to define your budget. The fact is that you have a limited amount of funds available for your business marketing, so you want to channel these funds into the most cost-effective solutions. Defining your budget up-front before you create your plan will help you to determine how to best allocate your funds for a certain period of time.
4. Incorporate Social Media
If you are not already incorporating social media into your marketing efforts, you are missing out on a highly cost-effective way to reach out to your existing consumers and to branch out your presence in the marketplace. Most social media marketing is free of charge to you. For example, it is free to create a business presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other sites. Once you have created an account, you can use your business presence to announce promotions, build your brand’s image, promote contests, announce new products and more. This can be done free of charge, and you only need to develop a following on these social media sites and make an effort to use them regularly to enjoy great results.
5. Think About Corporate Gifts
As a small business, you may also benefit from investing in more personalized marketing solutions. For example, corporate gifts like customized magnets, pens, water bottles, golf towels and other items can be highly beneficial. Corporate gifts are most sought after promotional items. The best corporate gifts will be personalized with your company’s logo, a tagline if you have one and even contact information or your website address. These may be gifts that your target audience regularly uses, so they keep your company at the forefront of your audience’s attention.
6. Engage Your Audience
As a final point, when you are creating your small business marketing plan, think about how you can engage your audience. Marketing is generally viewed as a one-way method of communication, but the most successful campaigns often include some participation from the audience. For example, you can think about how you can create contests or use coupons to more actively engage your audience. Through interaction, you can create a buzz and keep your customers thinking about your company, and this can yield great results. One idea would be to offer a discount to any customers who re-tweet your promotional message on Twitter or tag the most friend to the pictures you post on Instagram.
The fact is that marketing can cost an arm and a leg, and you may be overwhelmingly frustrated by how much money you spend on campaigns and efforts that yield little return. As you can see, you can develop a marketing plan that is cost-effective for you and that incorporates many free or affordable solutions. Keep in mind that a great marketing plan may need to be revised and updated as new information about return on investment becomes available. However, sitting down today to develop an initial plan that includes some of these great ideas will help you to put your best foot forward as you reach out to your audience.