We all know that marketing plays a pivotal role in driving brand awareness, sales, customer acquisition, and much more. Unlike established brands, small business owners don't have the luxury just to focus on marketing. They have to be whatever their small business needs them to be at all times and if you're not a natural salesperson or marketer, this can be even more difficult.
Don't worry, we've got you covered with a few tips that can help generate leads, make sales, and help you save money.
1. Sell the benefits and don't worry about comparing
How you market your business is all about highlighting what makes you different. There are a few ways that you can do this.
Cost (Know how to price your product)
Quality (If you know your product or service is better than your competitors, say it)
A combination thereof (you offer the better value)
How you sell your business is different than how you market your business. You can tell someone that you provide a product or service that is cheaper or more effective than that of another business, but that doesn't say how much better you are going to make your customer's life.
Selling is all about the benefit. Comparing products may highlight the differences in what features you offer, but remember you are always selling the benefit.
2. Listen to your customers
Listening to customers is about connecting with them. It involves paying close attention to their needs and understanding how you can help them achieve their goals.
The goal of customer service is to make people more comfortable with your business. Part of that is communicating with customers on channels that they prefer to work on. This requires your team to have an in-depth understanding of your customer base.
3. Market your product or service before it's ready
Some companies wait until their product is ready for launch before they start building any brand awareness and start any marketing campaigns. This can cost a business in the long term. More importantly, how can a business expect to sell any of their goods or services if no one knows about it.
It's better to start building brand awareness before launch. You can sell the benefit of your product before it arrives.
4. Think outside the box
Marketing has changed a lot in the past year since the pandemic hit. Brands are posting less on social media, but brands are connecting more 1:1 with their target audience. There is a bevy of free marketing tools that help you create content, manage contacts, build thought leadership, and much.
5. Test fast. Fail Fast
Marketing that you can’t measure is failed marketing. Sure, you may spend money to do some advertisement, and you may even see an uptick in sales around the same time you ran the ads. But how can you be sure what you spent on ads correlates with sales? Maybe it was something else altogether. Maybe there is a natural, seasonal uptick for what you sell that will go away in a month.
If you’re going to commit time and money to a marketing campaign, make sure you can measure the results. Set up ways to track conversions that stem from each marketing campaign. Also, run multiple types of marketing campaigns in distinct, small batches. This will allow you to compare marketing channels and see which performs best. Toss out the ones that don’t work and keep those that do.
6. Advertise from multiple angles
It’s good to test multiple marketing channels and ideas to see what works best. Often, it’s not any one thing but a combination of all of the above. When your customer hears you on the radio, sees you in a search engine result, and then finds you mentioned in a blog they like (content marketing), they start to accept your brand as a solid, dependable, known entity.
7. You always need PR
When you do traditional advertising, it’s your marketing material selling your product. When you do PR, or have a member of the press or a media house that covers your industry talk about you, it’s brand building and endorsement.
Even little PR wins, like local news or blogs, add up. And, unlike most traditional marketing, PR endures far beyond the dates of the advertising campaign. Good PR can do a lot for your credibility and brand awareness.
8. Build a community
Communities not only facilitate growth, but they can be the most valuable and honest source of feedback for businesses. Traditional product marketing research, such as focus groups and surveys, aren’t as reliable as once believed.
Online communities not only help give brands a deeper understanding of customer needs and desires but user-generated content, such as reviews and comments, are viewed as more authentic. Considering 97% of online buyers read reviews before they make a purchase, communities must be actively engaging and creating content around a company’s product.