Your Ultimate Guide to Small Business Marketing

So You’ve started a Small Business.  Now What?

Are you a small business owner?  Are you trying to reach out to new clients?  Starting a business is hard enough, and making your first sales can be even more daunting.  Small business marketing can be difficult and time-consuming, especially when you don’t have a large marketing firm or employees dedicated to the task.

We have put together a guide for you to help you efficiently grow your business through online marketing.  The more you know about your audience, your product, and your online presence, the better off you’ll be.

Know your Audience

Who is interested in your product or service?  For your business to be successful, you need to define your audience or your target market.  Marketing is a lot like fishing in the middle of the ocean; you have a tasty worm, and you’re hoping a tasty fish will bite.  You could be out there for days and still not catch anything. Or, perhaps, you could get lucky and get a fish right away. However, with a whole sea of possibilities, it’s hard for you to target one fish.

In marketing, you have one advantage over this fishing scenario; you can target your audience.  This helps conserve your resources while engaging the fish, or customers, that are most likely to engage with your product. Thus, it’s important to carefully define who your ideal audience members are, what they like, what they do, and how your product can help them.

Even more importantly, targeting a specific market does not necessarily exclude people who do not fit your criteria.  Instead, targeting puts your limited funds to good use by focusing on people who are most likely to buy from you. From there, it’s much easier to know when and where to market your company

In order to do so, you’re going to have to consider your current customer base.  Who are your customers? What do they buy? What do they do? Are they young? Are they old?  Do they share any commonalities, like interests or professions?

Also, do some reconnaissance on your competition.  Where are they marketing? Who are their customers?  Who are they missing? You can define yourself and your company based on who they are forgetting.

Select specific demographics to whom you can advertise.  You may need to consider categories like age, occupation, ethnic background, or gender.  Demographics can help you find a defined group of people who may benefit from your product or service.

You can also consider less-concrete items like psychographics.  Psychographics include behavior, lifestyles, values, and interests.  How can your or service fit into your target audience’s lifestyle? How will it enhance their lives?  Why should they spend their money on your business?

If you’re confused about how to learn all of this information, there are some easy (and free) resources to help you.  First, you can do some online searches for similar products on social media sites or discussion forums. You can look at published surveys, or you can discover blogs, journal articles, or magazines that may help you in your search.

Once you’ve found your target audience, it’s important to evaluate your work.  For instance, ask yourself: is this group large enough? Could these people truly benefit from my product or service?  Do they have enough money to purchase my product or service? How can I reach them, and is it easy?

If you can answer all of these questions affirmatively, congratulations!  You have found your target audience.

Know Your Product or Service

While you certainly have a good idea of what your product or service can do, it’s important to fully understand the benefits of your products or services; you may find some unexpected features that you might not have considered!  Learn from your own experiences or from those of your team members. 

Sometimes it can be helpful to get an outside opinion.  As customers for feedback and search online forums and social media.  You should probably also consider looking at competition p’s products and learn from our manufacturers.

When evaluating your product or service, it’s important to understand your product’s abilities and limitations, and it’s even more important to be honest about these features to your customers.  Build a relationship of trust through transparency to create a long-lasting customer base.

You may want to consider things like your product or service’s purpose, how it works, how it is shipped, how it is manufactured, and how long it may last.  How can these features benefit your target audience? How might they limit your audience? What are the most important features to showcase in communications about your product?

How are you Leveraging Your Website?

Now that you know your product and your target market, how do you use media to reach them?  Most small businesses do not put adequate time or money into the creation of their website. These days, a strong, professional website cultivates a sense of authority and trust in your target audience. Clarity is also key; put information like your location and phone number in an easy-to-find place on your homepage. Make sure that the flow of your website makes sense; can people easily find what they may be searching for?

The next important step to small business marketing is effectively driving people to your page.  One of the easiest ways to reach out is through the internet, and with billions of internet searches each day, it’s important for you to be able to pop up early on search engine results pages (SERPs).

One of the best ways to make sure your website appears on the first page is to use SEO.  Local directories function like Yellow Pages - searches on the internet take you to companies in your immediate vicinity.  Every day, people are turning to the internet to buy a product or service, and 59% of these people discover a local business from whom they purchase.

You’ll also need to invite customers to go to your site.  In other words, you’ll need to grow your online content and, subsequently, presence so that internet searchers can find new paths to your page.  For instance, you may choose to write a company blog or product descriptions. Create more landing pages. Make sure the content is relevant to your website and to your product or services. Ultimately, you’ll grow your online presence, and you will appear as an authority in your field.

You should also consider communicating with all of your web leads, which increases the likelihood of conversion, or sales. Put a contact box or a newsletter sign-up on your website, and send consistent messages.

Getting Your Business in Front of the Right People

So, you’ve defined your target audience, you know your product, and you’ve optimized your website.  Where do you go from here?

You need people to notice your business and to get your business in from of the right people and broaden your scope. You have to think creatively to get your audience interested in your products or services.  Small business marketing is not all social media and online searches! Consider getting out into your city and engaging people in person.

Firstly, it helps you to tell your brand’s story. Tell your story as much as you possibly can, especially if you’re just starting your business. You want people to be excited about what you sell and excited about your brand.  That excitement translates to sales.

Another great option is to get to know your customers through other local businesses. You should consider partnering with other similar business so that their customers are also aware of your brand.  Help each other grow by making referrals to each other, or offer promotions in tandem. Regardless of how you engage with new customers, make sure that the community is aware of your business’s offerings.

How to Convert Traffic Into Sales

Now that you have traffic from your local SEO on your website, how do you sell to them?  Conversion is hard, and it’s easy to get caught up in website traffic. However, you need that traffic to translate to hard cash, and this is where things get a bit more creative.

You can do a few things with your website to drive purchases: For example, you can define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP).  How is your product differentiated from the rest of the products in your field? 

Be sure to consider aesthetics and tone; your website should be engaging and efficient.  Your website needs to sell your product in a friendly, not smarmy, way. You can sell more sounding like a friend than you can a salesman!  You also shouldn’t overcrowd your website; leave space, and make all content very concise. Moreover, you want your landing pages to be customized and after your visitors leave your website, you should still be considering creative ways to attract them back.  For instance, email campaigns are an effective way to remind customers about your products or services. You can also re-market your brand to suit current trends or meet the needs of different target audiences.

Conclusion

Are you looking to grow your business?  Leave it to  51Blocks to do the hard work.  51Blocks can get your business to the top of local Google searches, and we know how to effectively optimize your website for specific keyword results.  Moreover, we know that converting visitors into customers is tricky, and we have proven methods to increase conversion rates. With 51Blocks beside you, you won’t be fishing in the ocean; you’ll be engaging the customers most likely to buy from you.

 

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