Small business owners often struggle to find the best marketing strategy that fits their budget. Here is a look at some of the greatest tips for getting the most bang from your marketing budgeting.
Whether you’re a B2B, B2C or expert firm, you’ll walk away with enough secrets to successful marketing to add new leads and find loyal customers.
How Do You Successfully Market a Small Business?
Small and medium enterprises in the United States spend marketing dollars directly based on a business owner’s decisions. Smaller businesses might find it wiser to focus on local clients first. According to Statista, companies spend around $173.3 million per year on local advertising. They split the rest between TV, radio, digital and events.
Successful marketing strategy execution often starts with an overarching goal. Small business owners find a top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) strategy works well to build brand awareness and develop a loyal customer base. Over time, you’ll gain referrals from your current clients.
What are some of the top secrets to successful marketing campaigns? Here are our top suggestions for small business owners.
1. Learn From Your Customers
Get to know your audience and what their needs are. The better you understand your buyers, the easier it will be to meet their needs. You can survey them, pay attention to buying trends and ask what you can do to improve their experience.
With your TOMA marketing strategy, you’ll want to take actions such as:
- Call those who buy from you repeatedly and ask why they chose your brand in the first place.
- Inquire about how you can help them refer more friends and family. For example, can you offer any materials that would be of help? Reward them when they do refer new customers.
- Survey your customers after a successful campaign. Find out why they chose to buy and if they have other needs. When you understand their pain points, developing the relationship you need to keep your brand at the top of their thoughts becomes much easier.
Pay close attention to any negative comments or complaints. How can you fix the issue for that customer and prevent it on future orders?
2. Use New Technology to Manage Clients
You don’t have to track every little detail of your clients’ needs. Instead, invest in technology that handles customer relationship management. Regular emails from you can keep you at the forefront of their thoughts.
- Try to automate functions such as sending out emails when new products arrive they might be interested in.
- Send a birthday greeting to let them know you enjoy their business.
- Offer discounts when sales slow down to clear out old merchandise and make way for new.
The happier your clients are, the more you can use their reviews and testimonials in your marketing campaigns.
3. Promote Yourself
Put yourself in the shoes of the average person visiting your site for the first time. If you’re a newer business, they’ve likely not heard of you and don’t know if they should buy. However, they’ll feel more comfortable trying out your product if you stand behind your work.
People often have to hear of you several times before remembering the brand name and messaging. How can you promote yourself consistently and frequently for your TOMA approach?
- Create a social media persona matching your brand personality.
- Post frequently and predictably at the same time of day and on the same weekdays.
- Enlist the help of others to get your name out there. Ask customers to share your social media posts or forward your newsletter.
- Pay for ads to get in front of the same people repeatedly.
Feature glowing feedback from customers and highlight how much you believe in what you offer. Do you feel your product or service is the best in the industry? Thinking about your unique value proposition and using it in your marketing can help gain new clients’ trust.
4. Send Welcome Emails
You likely already know email marketing can be highly effective at attracting and keeping customers. However, did you know that welcome emails have a 91.43% open rate and offer an opportunity to highlight your brand personality?
How can you enhance your brand awareness via emails?
- Stick with brand guidelines, using your logo and brand color palette for instant recognition.
- Make calls to action (CTAs) look the same as the ones on your website so people know to look for a particular pop of color.
- Create great subject lines that tell users exactly what they’ll get when they open the email.
You can also track how well an email performs by seeing how many opens you get and who clicks through to your offer.
5. Use SMS
Short message service (SMS) is an excellent way to add personal touches to messages you send. You might use it for customer service issues and to problem solve. There are also many ways to connect with your clients through small positive messages.
- Circulate an offer, discount code or just share news.
- Add links to orders or short surveys.
- Send a happy thought just to let customers know you are thinking of them and care about more than just making a sale.
- Thank them for an order or update them on the status of one.
Many businesses have found great success with this marketing strategy. 98% of people will open your message, which is why thousands have used texting to drive customer retention.
6. Set Clear Employee Expectations
As your company’s leader, you must train your employees in the customer service model you want to exude. Make sure everyone understands your expectations and their role in the buyer’s journey.
- Write out what your company policies and philosophies are.
- Encourage employees to tell others why it’s a great place to work.
- Feature your top staff members. Put a face to the workers for better brand awareness.
At the same time, you don’t want to create an atmosphere where people say, “That’s not in my job description.” Set the example by jumping in and helping when someone feels overwhelmed or has a tight deadline. If your employees see you taking the lead and helping others, they’ll be more likely to embrace the same spirit with their work.
7. Watch Trends
Pay attention to what kids are into and how other businesses in your industry market to their customer bases.
When apps like TikTok first arrived on the scene, mainly preteens used it to repeat dances and popular songs. Today, companies worldwide use them to reach new customers via fun marketing videos.
Stay on top of what your competitors are doing.
- Study their social media presence. What kinds of posts do they schedule? How often do they post? Do they use paid ads?
- Why do people know their name? Do they do a lot of radio interviews? Perhaps they sponsor local groups and have a strong presence in your community.
- Study their name versus yours. Is their business moniker more memorable or more applicable to the industry?
Take a step back and rethink your brand image. Don’t be afraid to rebrand if necessary or to tweak colors and messaging until you hit what keeps your brand at the forefront.
Why Should You Change Up Your Marketing?
Embracing new trends and paying attention to what works for the competition are the secrets to successful marketing. You may not have time to woo people one-on-one, but you can automate relationship management and invest in social media marketing.
If you fail to step up and try new things, you risk growing stale and your customers getting bored with your brand. You only have time and effort to spend. If something doesn’t work, replace it with a new idea.
If you choose to focus on a top-of-mind awareness strategy as outlined above, run everything through the filter of how it will impact brand recognition and keep your audience engaged.
Which one of these list items would you like to implement today to find your successful marketing strategy?
Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn!