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For small businesses and bootstrap entrepreneurs, marketing effectively on a budget can be a difficult task. Instead of trying to mimic large companies who have even larger budgets and a whole staff of people dedicated to maximizing ROI, small companies should develop a distinctive marketing plan that strategically sets them apart from their competition and promote their business in an effective way. Here are the three concepts small businesses must hone when developing marketing strategies that really work.
The first, and arguably most important, aspect of building your business is putting the best information forward. When writing your website copy, publishing blog posts, or creating infographics, it's important that every piece you publish is unique, set to high standards, and achieves a specific goal.
Small businesses should develop a specific content strategy designed around what their audience needs. This strategy will develop over time through execution. Pay attention to what your audience engages with and what sits stagnant. Run a keyword analysis and find trends, statistics, and data on what users are truly searching. Then change, adapt, and grow to be a resource for your audience.
You are competing with other brands for attention; go above and beyond to connect to the people in your area, so they recognize yours. Do this by joining your local city chambers or business associations. Get involved or even consider sponsoring community events. If you join an event, make sure to bring unique giveaway items that include your brand name and contact information. If you sponsor an event, items like shirts and water bottles can even bring free advertising when used by the recipient.
A huge advantage of a small business is its ability to foster relationships with customers. After you have gained a client and their trust, continue to connect with them. This will build customer loyalty and increase the chances of earning a referral. The better sense of loyalty you create from the beginning, the happier and more fulfilled your customer will be.
Small businesses must get in front of their customers. Smaller companies often try to buy as much advertisement as their budget allows, but this isn't always the best strategy. For small businesses to succeed, they must maximize the budget as much as possible by diving deep into their audience makeup to figure out exactly what person is looking for your product and market to that person. If you know a certain demographic is not interested, why pay for them to see your marketing? The more selective you can be, the better chance you have of seeing benefits from your true customers.
Lastly, the best piece of return on investment (ROI) a company can receive is contact information, so make sure your advertisements are sending your customers to a landing page that offers to gather their information. You can use this information in future marketing outreach, like email newsletters, to continue building a relationship and foster trust. "The rule of seven" is a common phrase in marketing that means customers need to see a message at last seven times before making a purchase decision. If you have a potential customer's contact information, it gives you the opportunity to retarget and reconnect as needed, increasing your brand exposure more often to bring them about to a purchase.
Ultimately, marketing is not a one-size-fits-all venture. Each company will need to develop a strategy based on its location, audience, size, and product—and expect to tweak that strategy over and over again until it works, and evolve it as the market changes.
We help small businesses establish a unique digital marketing strategy and brand identity that maximizes reach, ROI, and customer interaction. Contact us today to learn how we can help your small business reach its highest potential.