You know you need to focus on bagging the right customers for your business, you just are not quite sure if you are doing it right. You probably do not even know if the current marketing you are doing is helping your business at all. Here are some of the current things you should be focusing on.
1. Reach a targeted audience with solid messaging.
2. Set yourself apart from your competitors.
3. Set and maintain a marketing budget.
4. Develop a cohesive Marketing Strategy model.
5. Track your performance and ROI.
As a small business owner, you must be able to reach potential customers that are in proximity to your location. A lot of businesses are trying to be like Fortune 500 companies, when they need to just focus on a Hyper-local level in their neighborhood. Customers today want the same things customers wanted a generation ago. They are looking for products and services to solve their problems and personalized service. These are the things small businesses excel at and that set them apart from bigger competitors.
If you are a small business owner, ask around your community if you can leave marketing collateral with your branding on it. Offer to do the same for them in return. I personally am always looking at local community message boards, and rack cards, with with branding from local businesses in the area.
Customer testimonials are very important in establishing trust, and integrity for your business. It adds content to your site, and helps your business look more valuable to potential customers. Testimonials not only help you market your services, they're an opportunity to connect with your audience on an emotional level. There are neurological studies which all confirm that people rely on emotions-not logic- to make decisions.
At the heart of your testimonials are stories, characters who had a problem or unfulfilled desire, and and found the solution in your business. Stories are scientifically proven to tap into our brains in a unique way.
Customer testimonials are an essential part of building your online business. They help greatly with the conversion rate of visitors to your business website. A lot people don't realize how hard it can be to persuade someone to open their wallet, testimonials are the most important thing that helps potential customers mitigate as much risk as possible. They make people feel more comfortable making a purchase if they know people have made the same purchase for similar reasons.
One good way to get those testimonials and positive reviews started, is to offer customers, and potential buyers a discount to write something about their buying experience with your business. It can be tempting to have people write fake reviews about your business, however most times this will backfire. Shoppers are getting better and better at discerning businesses with fake reviews, so please do not go down that road. Good luck with that Holiday traffic this year. Make sure to keep your business Top-of -Mind in your customers heads.
LinkedIn has to be the best platform for establishing a B2B client base. This platform is a great way to target your ideal customer. I normally focus my efforts on Facebook and Instagram, now that I am becoming more familiar with the B2B marketing landscape, I have found that LinkedIn is a better way to go. Even the Freemium version is great, because you can attract followers and build brand awareness by posting content on your free profile.
Success for any business really depends on their customer base, and potential supplier base. LinkedIn offers connection to both. Any business can raise and develop its brand awareness, while also taking advantage of advanced search. Also, very professional talent throughout the world uses LinkedIn, and the platform makes it incredibly simple to connect with potential employers.
As with any social media network, it can be used to deliver traffic to your website and any landing pages you have created. A professional LinkedIn company page is an outlet that can help engage shareable content that your audience finds relevant and beneficial. It is superb at educating potential clients and building a repository of businesses to keep a dialogue with.
After the first of year, I will be upgrading to their premium service. It is a must because cold calling potential clients is getting harder and harder every year. It is not that I am giving up calling people over the phone, however it is important to always look for other ways to find potential clients.
It is well known in the merchant services industry, that there has been numerous problems with businesses being able to trust there merchant service provider. Due to companies like Amazon encroaching on small business market share everyday, it is important that brick and mortar storefronts maximize revenue per square footage. Usurious merchant service fees can eat into those profits really quickly.
The vetting process for the right merchant service company can be very daunting. It is important that the company you work with understands your business type. And also is in alignment with the same the same core values, and business goals as your business. The merchant service companies that are providing the most value, are constantly trying to be creative in making sure their customers are taken care of. Due to more federal regulation, merchant service providers can't be disingenuous about what they are providing customers.
When choosing your next provider, make sure you check out their social media presence using SWING BLADE, and also be diligent in reading reviews about their experiences with past customers. Ask for references from current businesses they are working with. I felt that this would be a good subject to talk about, cause at the end of the day, money saved on merchant fees can be deployed elsewhere to help the business.
In today's hostile competitive retail environment, it is important to win the loyalty of your customers, so they can be associated with your brand for a longer period of time. You have to find ways to better serve your customers, a couple of the ways is to give customers the ability to go from chat to your support inbox when they have a question. Then provide them with documented best practices to make the most of their experience with your product or service.
It is important to retain customers, because customer churn is truly disappointing to witness. It sucks when you spend a lot of time, and tracking on a single customer to get them to the purchase stage, only to lose them to a bad experience with your product of service. If you keep track of your cost of acquisition, this can be particularly painful. No business wants to spend more money acquiring a customer than they will pay over their lifetime as customer.
When customers churn, you also lose the opportunity to learn and glean insights into what might have made your service or product better.
A good customer retention strategy bridges the gap, and makes communication easier between the business and the customer.
It is very important at some point, to do a short informative video for your business or Brand. Videos are a great way to build content, and market a consistent message for your company. It took us many, many years to finally do a video for our biz1 Media. And although it is a short 16 seconds, it gets our companies point across, and also offers a call to action to potential clients.
You want to define your video strategy in 3 simple steps. First, in order to create the most effective content, you need to think about the basics. From your goals to your distribution plan. The first question you ask yourself.
Should you produce video in house or outsource?
Also think about writing a powerful and engaging script for your video. This will make all the difference in ensuring your video meets its goals and guidelines.
Once you get the basics down, always research new video formats and technology, this will allow you to take your video to the next level. Consider how you can expand your horizons, by incorporating advanced functionality and adding new platforms in the mix.
Most important of all, video content helps with the overall Seo value of your website. Googles algorithm loves video, and we do not see that changing any time soon. So get with your people and formulate a plan to do a video for your business. This will also help with building a creative process that promotes a more creative culture.
I just want to start out by saying that it costs a business 5-25X more to acquire a new customer, than it does to sell to an existing one. Existing customers spend 67% more than new customers. In the long run customer loyalty programs end up paying for themselves.
It is very important as a small business owner, you really need to have a strategy in place to keep customers returning to your business. 82% of adults say they are loyal to brands that they like. I personally use my Panera Bread (TM) loyalty program the most, because I love their pastries. I definitely end up spending more money with the company.
Customer loyalty is a customers willingness to buy from, or work with, a brand again and again. Its the result of a positive customer experience, customer satisfaction, and the value of the products or services the customer gets from the transaction.
While most companies say they have a value proposition for their business, most do not implement it in their business model. Ok, lets look at the definition of value proposition. An innovation, service, or feature, intended to make a company, or product attractive to customers. It is a critical ingredient for businesses to stand out in the marketplace. In order to sustain in the long run, and survive against competitors, a business has to differentiate their product or service, as much as possible. Our service based business, competes in a very competitive field, so to stand out in the crowd, we make ourselves available to
clients on the weekends. A lot of business owners are too busy during the week, to communicate with their marketing people, so it is important that we make time to meet with clients on the weekends.
So for anyone working the 9-5 grind, might think that starting their own business, they can fire their boss, WRONG! When you go in to business for your self, you will have a whole new set off bosses. YOUR CUSTOMERS! And to be successful at this, you have to start with the value you bring to customers.
Your VALUE PROPOSITION.
Due to the changing landscape that every business faces, and staying on top of consumer demands, it is a must that businesses keep an updated content blog on their company website. While having a website is very important for having an effective online marketing strategy, it's your company blog that will help help build out your online presence, and keep you competitive in Google search.
Blogging is a very effective, and inexpensive way to drive targeted traffic to your site. It also is a great way to augment inbound marketing efforts, and attract more perspective customers.
According to research, over 85% of companies that keep an active blog, as part of their marketing efforts, have seen in increase in customer engagement on their website. Combine that with a strong social media platform, and it would be over for your competitors.
Here are the exact benefits of blogging for your small business.
1. Huge boost in search engine optimization.
2. It builds engagement with existing, and new customers.
3. Establishes your business as an industry leader.
4. Provides a way for web visitors to engage with your brand.
5. Most importantly it creates opportunities for sharing.
If you are worried about how to start a blog, or unsure about what topics to write about, keyword your specific industry in Google, and then keyword blogging. See what comes up in search, this will give you lots of ideas on what to write about. Its also not a huge allocation to outsource your blog to a professional blog writer.
At this point, Instagram Marketing is probably the the most effective platform for reaching your target segment. It has become the Go-To platform for marketing, and advertising of several retail brands of all shapes, and sizes.
By focusing on content, and user engagement, you can easily build a local community of fans.
Instagram allows you to form a deeper connection with customers, which in turn engenders a longer business relationship. With the Instagram Monitoring tools, you can easily track your engagement with customers, and be able to set improvement metrics to better the experience.
So initially, you want to Influence your potential customers. The majority of Instagram users are Millennials, they are the juggernaut user demographic, and if you are marketing to women, Instagram is a 68% female platform.
The good thing about Instagram Ads, is that it gives the business owner a well rounded creative funnel to draw in potential target customers. They also fully integrate with Facebook Ads.
There are over 700 million monthly active Instagram users, and there have been over 40 Billion photos posted on the platform to date.
Does this sound like a good reason to be on Instagram? Your competitors are already taking advantage. What are you waiting for?