How to market your business: a list of ideas and possibilities
Understanding how to market your business as a small business is never about just one thing. It is always a series of touch points or activities take your audience through the decision-making process.
From raising awareness of your service or product initially and convincing and converting to happy customers. At this point you could call it quits, but you would miss the opportunity to turn happy customers into advocates by fostering and encouraging referrals and word of mouth and, if relevant, repeat sales.
The following is a list of how to market your business across each of these stages stage. It's important to note, however, that how you market your business isn't about a long list of what you could do, but rather picking the things that will be most effective for your business.
Use the following for inspiration and ideas to help you identify how to market your business in the best way to suit your business, budget and capabilities.
How to market your business by focusing on raising awareness
Driving awareness for a small business involves a combination of online and offline marketing strategies. Here's a list of things you could do to promote and raise awareness for your business:
- Create a Professional Website: Build a user-friendly, mobile-responsive website that showcases your products or services, contact information, and a blog with valuable content.
If you need to build a website, we have a great resource designed to help you understand your options to build a website.
- Social Media Marketing: Establish and be present on popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You should also try to share engaging content and interact with your audience. It's important to choose the platforms based on where your audience is – not the platform that you personally like the best😊
If you need some help working out the best social media platform to suit your audience, take a look at our resource designed to help you do the research and pick wisely.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): Optimise your website for search engines to improve its visibility in search results. Use relevant keywords, meta tags, and high-quality content.We have great beginner's resources for those interested in making their website, and content is discoverable on the search engines.
- Content Marketing: Create and share informative blog posts, videos, infographics, and other valuable content related to your industry to attract and engage your target audience.
- Email Marketing: Build an email list and have a regular program of content such as newsletters, promotions, and updates to your subscribers. Personalise your messages and include call-to-action buttons. People often underrate email, but it can be one of the highest converting channels, particularly when looking to improve your convince and convert stats!
- Google My Business: Claim and optimise your Google My Business listing to appear in local search results and on Google Maps. It's free and helps makes you visible on Google.
- Online Advertising: Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising on platforms like Google Ads or social media ads to reach a wider audience. Set a budget and target specific demographics. Ensure you do a strategy first to ensure you spend wisely and see a good return on your ad spend.
- Local SEO: Focus on local SEO techniques to make your business more visible in local search results. This includes optimising your website for local keywords, getting online reviews, and being listed in local directories.
- Networking: Attend industry events local business gatherings and join relevant associations to build your network and increase word-of-mouth referrals. An oldy but a goody. It always works.
- Content Partnerships: Partner with other businesses or influencers to co-create content, such as webinars, podcasts, or guest blog posts. You can include influencers in this mix as well. Whether local or just industry experts, it's a great way to drive exposure by leveraging their audiences.
- Community Engagement: Get involved in local community events, sponsorships, or charities to build goodwill and raise your profile. This can work well if you are a local business. Other business leaders are often involved in community events, and it leads to improving the results of your networking efforts.
- Press Releases: Write and distribute press releases for important company news, such as product launches or awards.
- Google Ads for Local Services: Use Google Ads to promote your services if you are in a service-based industry. This can help you appear at the top of search results.
- Online Reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor. This makes you much more visible to potential customers. Google also uses reviews to help decide how to rank you as a local business.
- Content Sharing: Share your content on industry-specific forums, message boards, and online communities to establish yourself as an expert.
- Guerrilla Marketing: Get creative with unconventional marketing strategies, like street art, flash mobs, or viral stunts that generate buzz.
- Educational Workshops: Host workshops or webinars to educate your audience about topics related to your business.
- Trade Shows and Exhibitions: Participate in relevant trade shows and exhibitions to showcase your products or services and network with potential customers and partners.
- Business Listings: Ensure your business is listed on online directories, such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, and local chambers of commerce websites.
- Offline Marketing: Use traditional marketing methods like print ads, direct mail, and local radio or TV advertising, depending on your target audience.
Remember that not all these strategies will be equally effective for every business. It's important to analyse your target audience, industry, and budget to determine which methods work best for your situation. Additionally, monitor your efforts and adapt your strategy to maximise awareness and success for your small business.
The consideration stage of how to market your business
After successfully driving awareness for your small business, the next step is to focus on driving consideration among your target audience. Consideration involves convincing potential customers to think about your products or services seriously. Here's a list of things you can do to drive consideration for your small business:
1. Content to help with consideration:
Continue to produce high-quality content that educates and informs your audience. This will include in-depth guides, how-to articles, and case studies highlighting your offerings' value.
Also consider whether the following is relevant to your business;
Comparison Content: Create content that compares your products or services to competitors, highlighting your unique selling points.
Case Studies and Testimonials: Share real-life success stories and customer testimonials demonstrating how your offerings have benefited others.
Educational Content: Offer free educational resources, such as e-books, whitepapers, or video courses, that showcase your expertise and the value you provide.
FAQ Sections: Create a comprehensive FAQ section on your website that addresses common concerns and questions.
2. Email Marketing: With a heap of high-value content to help your audience consider your offering, the role of email becomes evident. Email is a super effective channel if you deliver what people want. You can also segment your email list and send targeted content and offers to subscribers who have shown interest in your products or services.
Using a drip campaign approach maximises the potential of email using automated drip email campaigns to nurture leads and guide them through the consideration phase, providing them with relevant information at the right time.
3. Webinars and Workshops: Host webinars and online workshops that dive deeper into your products or services, addressing common pain points and questions.
4. Remarketing: Implement remarketing campaigns to re-engage visitors who have interacted with your website or content but have yet to make a purchase.
By running retargeting ads on platforms like Facebook and Google, you will stay top of mind and remind potential customers about your offerings and any ongoing promotions.
5. Product Demos and Trials: Offer free trials or product demonstrations to allow potential customers to experience your offerings firsthand.
6. Interactive Tools: Develop interactive tools or calculators to help potential customers understand how your products or services can address their needs. Tools can also be helpful to allow people to explore their problem you solve by providing personal context for them.
7. Personalised Recommendations: Use data to provide personalised product or service recommendations to website visitors based on their browsing and purchase history.
8. Free Consultations or Assessments: Provide free consultations or assessments to evaluate the specific needs of potential customers and propose tailored solutions.
9. Limited-Time Offers: Create limited-time offers or discounts to encourage potential customers to decide within a specific timeframe.
10. A/B Testing: Continuously test and optimise your website, content, and marketing campaigns to improve their effectiveness in driving consideration.
11. Social Proof: Showcase the number of satisfied customers, social media followers, or industry awards to build credibility.
12. Customer Support and Assistance: Provide excellent customer support and assistance through various channels, including phone, chat, email, and social media.
Driving consideration is about building trust, providing value, and guiding potential customers towards a purchase decision. This step is essential to the marketing program of a business. You can increase the likelihood that those who are aware of your business will seriously consider becoming paying customers.
How to market your business by ensuring you convert
Once you've driven consideration and potential customers are seriously thinking about your products or services, the next step is to focus on driving conversions. Conversions refer to the actions you want your target audience to take, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or scheduling a consultation. Here's a list of things a small business should do to drive conversions:
1. Optimise the User Experience (UX): Ensure your website and landing pages are user-friendly, fast-loading, and mobile-responsive to provide a seamless browsing experience.
2. Clear and Compelling Calls to Action (CTAs): Use persuasive CTAs that guide visitors to take the desired action, such as "Buy Now," "Sign Up," or "Request a Quote."
3. Simplified Checkout Process: Streamline the checkout process to minimise friction, allowing customers to complete their purchases quickly and easily.
4. Multiple Payment Options: Offer various payment options, including credit cards, digital wallets, and alternative payment methods.
5. Security and Trust Signals: Display trust signals such as SSL certificates, security badges, and guarantees to instil confidence in potential customers.
6. Product Recommendations: Suggest related or complementary products during the checkout process to encourage upselling.
7. Abandoned Cart Recovery: Implement strategies to recover abandoned shopping carts, such as sending reminder emails with incentives.
8. Personalised Product Suggestions: Use data to offer personalised product recommendations based on the customer's browsing and purchase history.
9. Clear Pricing and Shipping Information: Clearly display product prices, shipping costs, and delivery times to prevent surprises at checkout.
10. Customer Reviews and Ratings: Showcase positive customer reviews and ratings on product pages to build trust and confidence.
11. Promotions and Discounts: Offer time-limited promotions, discounts, or giveaways to attract new customers and create a sense of urgency.
12. Retargeting Campaigns: Continue retargeting ads to remind potential customers about products they viewed but didn't purchase.
13. Email Marketing: Send targeted emails to leads and customers, offering exclusive deals, product recommendations, or abandoned cart reminders.
14. Loyalty Programs: Encourage repeat business by offering loyalty programs, rewards, or discounts to existing customers.
15. Product Guarantees and Returns Policy: Clearly communicate your product guarantees and return policies to reduce perceived risk for customers.
16. Live Chat and Customer Support: Provide immediate assistance through live chat or customer support channels for any questions or concerns potential customers may have.
17. Upsell and Cross-sell: Offer customers the option to upgrade to a premium product or add complementary items during the checkout process.
20. Multi-step Forms: For lead generation, consider multi-step forms to gradually collect information and reduce form abandonment.
21. Progress Bars: Use progress bars during complex processes, like a multi-step checkout, to show customers how close they are to completing their orders.
23. Exit-Intent Popups: Implement exit-intent popups with special offers or incentives to prevent visitors from leaving your site without converting.
24. Mobile Optimisation: Ensure that the entire conversion process, from browsing to checkout, is optimised for mobile users.
25. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO): Regularly analyse and optimise your website and conversion funnels with tools like Google Analytics to identify areas for improvement.
How to market your business must include a focus on driving conversions. This stage is about removing obstacles, building trust, and guiding potential customers through the final steps of making a purchase. By implementing these strategies, you can increase conversion rates and turn consideration into actual sales or desired actions.
How to market your business by leveraging the post-sales experience
Driving post-sales word of mouth and referrals is crucial for the growth and sustainability of a small business. Satisfied customers can become your brand advocates and help you acquire new customers through their recommendations. It’s an often untapped part of marketing that people don’t focus on. Here's a list of things a small business owner can do to encourage post-sales word of mouth and referrals.
WORD OF MOUTH AND REFERRALS
- Deliver Exceptional Customer Service: It’s no brainer, but provide excellent customer service to create positive experiences that customers are eager to share with others.You might consider running Customer Feedback Surveys to collect customer feedback to understand their experience and identify areas for improvement.
- Ask for Referrals: Actively request referrals from satisfied customers via email, social media, or during follow-up interactions.
- Referral Program: Establish a structured referral program with incentives for customers who refer new business to you. You might consider using a referral program that will help you both promote and manage the program with your customers.
- Customer Reviews, Ratings and Testimonials: Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and ratings on third-party review websites or your own site. You should encourage customers to leave reviews and testimonials on review platforms, your website, or social media. Simply asking at the right time increases the odds of receiving a review.
- User-Generated Content: Share content satisfied customers create, such as photos or videos of them using your products.
- Send Thank-You Notes: Send personalised thank-you notes after a sale, expressing appreciation and requesting referrals.
- Loyalty Programs: Implement loyalty programs to reward repeat customers, motivating them to refer and continue doing business with you.
- Stay in Touch: Keep in touch with existing customers through newsletters, email updates, and social media, sharing valuable content and special offers.
- Host Customer Appreciation Events: Organise events or promotions specifically for existing customers to show your appreciation.
- Incentivize Social Sharing: Encourage customers to share their positive experiences on social media by offering incentives or running contests.
- Personalised Follow-ups: Follow up with customers after a purchase to ensure satisfaction and inquire about referrals.
- Referral Request in Invoices: Include a referral request on your invoices to make it easy for customers to refer your business.
- Create Shareable Content: Produce shareable content like informative blog posts, infographics, or videos that customers can pass along.
- Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Clearly communicate what sets your business apart, making it easier for customers to explain your value to others. Review your communications such as regular email templates to see if you include this clear messaging for them to see regularly.
- Demonstrate Social Responsibility: Engage in socially responsible activities or partnerships that resonate with your audience and encourage positive word of mouth.
- Surprise and Delight: Occasionally surprise customers with unexpected perks or gifts to show your appreciation and reinforce a positive perception of your brand.
- Create an Advocacy Community: Build a community of brand advocates who can connect and share their experiences with each other.
- Monitor Online Reputation: Keep a close eye on your online reputation and respond to both positive and negative feedback in a professional manner.
- Subscription Services: Offer subscription-based services or products that encourage ongoing engagement and repeat purchases.
- Cross-Selling and Upselling: Recommend related or upgraded products to existing customers during the purchase process.
- Email Marketing: Send targeted emails to existing customers with special promotions, product updates, and valuable content.
- Re-Engagement Campaigns: Create campaigns to re-engage inactive or lapsed customers, offering incentives to return.
- Exclusive Content or Access: Provide exclusive content, events, or early access to loyal customers.
- Anniversary Offers: Celebrate customer anniversaries (e.g., the date of their first purchase) with special offers or rewards.
- Referral Discounts: Reward customers who refer new business with discounts or special deals.
- Omnichannel Presence: Ensure a consistent and seamless customer experience across all touchpoints, whether online or offline.
- Quality Assurance: Maintain a commitment to high product or service quality to keep customers returning.
- Follow-Up Communication: Follow up with customers after their purchase to ensure satisfaction and address any issues promptly.
- Customer Recognition: Recognise and appreciate loyal customers by providing exclusive badges, special recognition, or loyalty tiers.
- Holiday and Special Occasion Offers: Provide special offers or promotions during holidays, birthdays, or other significant occasions for customers.
By focusing on word of mouth, referrals, customer retention, and repeat sales, you can build strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers and turn them into brand advocates who contribute to your business's growth and success.
How to market your business is often about a combination of different activities and touchpoints that ensures you are able to not only raise awareness but ensure you make the most of any traffic by convincing and converting as well as amplifying this with generating word of mouth and referrals.