Do you ever feel like you want to close the doors of your small business for good? Well, you are not alone, and giving up shouldn’t necessarily be your first option. Many successful businesses we look up to today have been there too. Sales hitting rock bottom, the business itself sinking deeper and deeper into debt, auctioneers at your doorstep, impending bankruptcy, you name it. But you know how they all weathered the storm? It’s simple. They never called it quits; they acted.
General Marketing Tips and Ideas
- Participate in LinkedIn Groups that are about your industry. Use those groups to gain insight into what your customers are looking for and what your competitors are doing.
- Don’t forget the 80/20 rule, 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers. Are you remarketing to your current or past customers? If not, today could be a good day to start.
- Ask for referrals. Referrals can help in growing your business and most people will trust their friends, family, and associates over a marketing message or advertisement. Why not ask for referrals.
- Measure your marketing, know what works and what doesn’t and obviously spend more time on the efforts that get your results. What campaign brought you the most results and have you tried doing something similar to it lately? Your answer could be right in front of you.
- When stuck sit down with a notepad or idea journal. Just start writing – you’ll be amazed and what you can come up with by just letting your mind wander and jotting down your ideas.
Product Marketing Tips
- Know your market. If you are selling to a B2C audience focus on the features, if you are selling to a B2B market focusing on the benefits is the way to go. B2C is about how you make them feel. B2B is about how you save them time and money.
- Use social sites like Pinterest and Instagram to showcase photos of your products. Make sure the photos are good quality and really show the craftsmanship of your product.
- Product testimonials can help you in getting consumers interested in purchasing your product. Your testimonials don’t always have to be written, how about utilize video technology and really add an impactful statement. The video is also great for showcasing a demonstration.
- Evaluate your marketing channels. Are they reaching your intended audience? Are there other channels you could try? Think about it, if you are marketing to young mothers you will find them in very different spots than you would 50-year-old men. Why not brainstorm and explore some new channels?
- Are you collecting reviews and ratings on your product? Reviews play a big role with consumers when it comes to decision-making.
Service Marketing Tips
- Take a look at your marketing message, how are you competing? Service businesses tend to see great results when their marketing message is geared towards the value that they provide.
- Do you provide services to residential customers? Go ahead and try using an incentive for them to give you a try. You can target specific zip codes and market using a service like Groupon or ValPak.
- There is no such thing as “one and done” when it comes to marketing your service business. Stay in touch with customers on a consistent basis to ensure that they think of you when they need your service again.
- Position your business as an expert in your industry. Write about your industry, speak, do lunch and learns. Get out there so that when consumers are in need of your service, they think of you.
- Lead Q&A webcasts inviting consumers to join you and ask questions. Google+ Hangouts makes this very easy.
Online and Digital Marketing Tips
- You don’t have to be on every social network, but do a kick-ass job on the ones you are on.
- Make sure your website projects the professionalism and the message that is a true representation of your business. Oh, and while you are reviewing your website be sure and make sure that contact form works. You’d be surprised at how many don’t.
- Use compelling and engaging copy online. If you can’t stand to read your website what makes you think others will want to?
- Set up alerts so that you know when consumers are talking about you or looking for your product or service. We use Google Alerts and Social Mention for social alerts.
- Write, write and write some more. Content is becoming a huge component of online marketing. If you aren’t a writer, find someone that is.
Content Marketing Tips
- Be consistent. That will be key in your content marketing success.
- Content isn’t just text. Content includes can include photos, graphics, video, and text. Be creative.
- Don’t judge the success metrics of your content until you’ve spent a year building content. Results won’t come quick, but when they start there will be no denying the investment of time is worth it.
- Write as if you are having a conversation, you aren’t writing a term paper and you want people to read it.
- Spend most of your time on evergreen content or content that will still be relevant in one, two and even five years.