Not every topic, not every article has to be a giant brain buster filled with oohs and aahs and attention-grabbing headlines. Sometimes, we just need to talk about some of the basics. Today, for example. It’s always a good time for business owners to think about effective small business marketing ideas, so we’re going to toss out a few to get your marketing juicers flowing.
Know Your Audience
You’ve heard this one a thousand times, and there is a reason for it. Marketing is already often “guessing” to some degree. Not knowing your audience is like flying blind and carrying your entire business in your parachute pack. Anytime you are considering a new marketing idea, think about your audience.
- Who are they? What is their age range, gender majority, and where do they live?
- What do they do? What are they doing that you want to be a part of?
- How can make it better or easier to do?
- What type of personality are they?
One potential customer might need a blunt, get-to-the-point message that promises quality and a fast checkout. SOLD. Meanwhile, another potential customer wants to see your reviews, check out the ingredients, understand how or why you do what you do, will check out your return policy, find your spelling errors, and after inspecting you thoroughly, they’ll finally return for the sale. SOLD. Know your audience and you’ll know what to say, when and where to say it, and what your chances are they’ll buy.
Don’t just tell your customers, SHOW them. Visual content just continues to grow in popularity. Considering we are visual beings that can processes far more visual information in a short time than we can process reading an article.
What does it mean to create visual content?
Video? Yes, we said it. If you’re up for it, get yourself in front of that camera. Set up a script or go freestyle, it’s all up to your skill and confidence levels. But if you can get in front of the camera, do it! Show your product or talk about your service. And when video isn’t available, make sure you have great photos to work with! Photos of your venue, pictures of your product, imagery of your team hard at work… And when those aren’t available, you can purchase or have illustrations designed to meet your needs. Of course, there are always Meme Makers you can use!
Embrace a CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s interactions with customers and potential customers. Consider it your online Rolodex that can follow-up emails for you, remind you of their anniversary, and provide you with data-packed reporting on demand. Using a CRM can improve business relationships with customers by specifically focusing on customer retention, ultimately driving your sales growth. A solid CRM will help you make insightful decisions, accelerate productivity, generate more leads and can help you close more deals. There are a crazy number of CRM’s to choose from, so pick carefully. Some are free, while others come at a hefty cost (but with some cool tools for the charge!). If you’re not sure, ask around! We’re particularly fond of HUBSPOT ourselves (VantagePoint), and will even set our clients’ accounts up for them because we feel it is so detrimental to our clients’ success. Hubspot is free forever- Everything you need to organize, track, and build better relationships with leads and customers. Yes, it’s 100% free. Of course, the free option doesn’t get you a few of the bells and whistles, but for a free product, I’d say this is one of the most robust “free” programs a company could depend on. And, if you do want the bells and whistles (you likely will) the added cost is only $50/mo. Not bad for the number of ways Hubspot will improve the way you communicate with your customers, track your sales, and increase your closing rates.
Optimize Your Emails
(Which you can totally do even easier with Hubspot…)
Email marketing is still hot and heavy, even as people complain about getting too many emails. The trick is to be relevant. Get to the point fast because the email will be skimmed before it is either entertained or sent to the trash. So how do you get the viewer to click any other button than the trash icon?
Try this checklist:
1. Address: Are your emails coming from a recognizable, internet-friendly name?
2. Subject: Is your subject line relevant and appealing? Be blunt, be exciting, be real.
3. Design: Is your layout easy to read on mobile and desktop? Do you have images and CTAs?
4. Call to Action: What is your call-to-action? What do you want your viewer to DO with your email?
While every email presents its own unique set of challenges, understanding the basics might help yours get opened and have action taken- The goal of every email.
Keep Yourself “In the Know”
How are you keeping yourself up to date on today’s technologies, ways of making sales and doing things the way the next generation is doing them? It’s not always easy to keep yourself in the know, but it is important to do what you can. Discipline yourself to follow a helpful blog every week, or take up a course on www.Lynda.com. Of course, there are always networking meetings, but we’d never recommend any other than the SBC as one of the best ways to stay in touch! However you want to get your information, just keep it coming. This digital world isn’t slowing down, and it’s forcing many industries to learn new tricks of the trade to keep up. Don’t get discouraged, just remember to keep it as a priority to learn, branch out, and explore what today has to offer that yesterday didn’t!
If you enjoyed this quick little article, stay tuned with The Small Business Circle for more basics and easy tricks for every small business!