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How to Improve the Marketing Efforts of Your Small Business

Running a business is difficult, but one of the single hardest parts of it all is marketing. You could have the best product ever but without good marketing, people likely won’t know about it. While most companies are aware of the benefits of marketing, many companies still don’t put a lot of time or money into marketing, which could be hurting them.

With that in mind, this article is going to go over a few different ways that small and medium sized businesses can improve their marketing efforts.

Try Out a Variety of Methods

When it comes to marketing, there are many different methods and strategies that people can employ. These include paid advertising, word of mouth, transactional marketing, and many more.Instead of just choosing one and going with it, you need to be sure to try out a few different ones and see which works the best for you.

Some methods will work better for certain companies, while others will not. You should employ several different strategies early on to see which give you the best results. The ones that offer you the best ROI and get you the most customers and sales and generally the ones you should use.

Research and Test

In order to improve the marketing efforts of your business, you need to educate yourself on what makes good marketing, what you should be doing, what works and what doesn’t. The internet is full of helpful guides on marketing (like the one at https://blog.waveapps.com/small-business-marketing/) that can help you brush up on important information and tactics.

It is important that your research goes deeper than just an quick Google search.  Keep in mind that your competitors have the same access to the internet that you do.  This means that information is a commodity.  In order to really get a competitive advantage, your research should be followed by testing and validating.

What this means is that you should be ready to test and try different marketing strategies.  This also means that you should be clear on what you want the outcomes of those tests to be.  Whether you are testing a full campaign or just want to just evaluate just a few variables, it is important to clearly identify your marketing objectives. 

You can also conduct a few a/b tests.  A/b testing, or sometimes called conversion rate optimization (CRO) , is an effective way to get a good idea of how your marketing efforts will perform when targeted to a larger audience.  These types of tests can be valuable because audiences respond differently to different brands and businesses . Something that works for one company may not necessarily work for another.

When you perform a CRO, you can take a specific variable and test it with a portion of your audience.  This is crucial because it allows you to gather information and insight that can make your full marketing campaign more successful.

Utilize Testimonials or Reviews

When people are searching for a product or service to use, they often want to know what other people think of it. As a result, testimonials and reviews can be some of the best marketing material for your company. You should proudly show these testimonials on the homepage of your website.

In order to show off your great testimonials to potential customers, you need to get some first. While some individuals will love your company and write some great reviews, others might need a little nudge. It couldn’t hurt to offer a small bonus or free e-book or something for people who leave you a review, but that is up to you to decide.

Use Social Media the RIGHT Way

With well over 2 billion people using social media, it is one of the single best ways to reach out to potential customers and market your product. Marketing on social media is easy and can often generate a very good ROI compared to other methods. It can help you reach a certain group of people and allows you to build relationships with people, which is incredibly important in marketing.

But most small businesses think that using social media means having a Facebook, Twitter and/or an Instagram account.  There is much more to social media than just having a profile.  Successful small businesses utilize social media the right way.  So how do successful small businesses use social media?

The first way is to understand which platform is best.  With the changes that have been made to organic reach in the last few years, it may not be worth the time of many small business owners to understand the complexities of each platform.  Instead, you should focus on the platform where you think your business will thrive.

For example, a wedding planner may want to focus on Instagram due to the fact that IG is a very visual platform.  Creating stunning Instagram visuals can help drive attention to the business as well as create a stead stream of leads.

A business owner who runs a business that sells products may want to learn the ins and outs of Facebook advertising.  When it come to direct advertising, Facebook is one of the best places to spend your marketing and advertising dollars.

Another way to use social media is to build your personal brand.  In recent years, building a person brand has helped many entrepreneurs grow and launch their businesses.  On social media, building a personal brand can be easier than building a corporate brand.

People want to interact with people.  In fact, social media was designed to allow individuals to do just that.  So, of course, when person is interacting as opposed to a brand, people will be more likely to relate and respond. 

Facebook is creating a platform for individuals to broadcast themselves to groups and their connections.  Facebook is doing this by prioritizing Facebook Live and Facebook Stories.  Here, a business owner has the opportunity to connect with their circle of influence in a more personal way.  As a small business owner, it is crucial that you understand the opportunity this creates.  If you haven’t already, begin thinking about how you are going to use these tools to connect with your customers and clients.

Be sure to still  provide valuable content, commentary and Q&A in addition to your marketing links or calls to action.

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