When you stop and think about it, where would your small business be without a successful marketing game to entice consumers?
Sure, some smaller companies have limited marketing budgets, but even the majority of those find a way to spread the word about their respective brands.
Remember, without an effective marketing plan, your products and/or services could be the greatest things around, but who will really know about them?
That said where is your marketing game taking your brand this year and hopefully many years beyond?
Your Brand Needs Attention
For starters, having a marketing mission is your first and foremost goal.
Look at the following:
- What are the demographics in your market?
- Do more consumers prefer shopping in person or online?
- Approximately how many of your shoppers use their mobile devices to browse and buy goods and services?
- Are many of your customers on social media?
Those are but a few of the important factors you should have a handle on when putting together each and every marketing campaign.
Getting the Most for Your Money
Moving forward, take note of your marketing budget and how you can get the most bang for your dollars.
If you specify in a certain product or service, be it you are a small healthcare provider, a commercial outdoor furniture store, auto store supplier, home improvement shop, or whatever the brand may be, focus in on how your product or service sets you apart from competitors.
While you never want to defame a competitor, there is nothing wrong with pointing out in your marketing literature why your brand is superior to all others.
Next, where will you do your best in marketing your brand?
Some small businesses stick to marketing in the local newspaper/s, magazines, flyers, area chamber of commerce events etc. Others, however, will also turn to online marketing needs.
If you go about marketing online, remember the following:
- Content – Your website content must resonate with consumers. Unfortunately, too many companies do not put the required time and effort into their content marketing needs. As a result, their websites don’t do their products or services full justice. In order to make your content rock, it needs to be informative, authoritative and of course relevant. Speak to consumers and what their needs and interests are. Lastly, the content needs to be updated on a regular basis. Stale marketing content not only makes your site look bad, you could see your Google ranking slip as a result;
- Imagery – No one wants to see drab, unhappy people in the images you run with your marketing content. That means pictures of smiling people doing fun things should be the order of business. Also look to include some video options on your website. As YouTube and other such sites have shown over the years, consumers love to watch videos. Having some on your site that market not only your products and services, but also go into detailing the members of your staff and what they do, can certainly be productive in drawing more interest your way;
- Socializing – As good as your marketing content may be, it needs that push it can get from social media. Use sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc. to promote your online marketing efforts. If you have special campaigns to be run during the year, make sure you give them ample promotion time. Running a campaign for Christmas a few days before will do you little if any good. Something like that should be marketed just after Thanksgiving, catching consumers that are definitely getting in the holiday mood.
Getting your marketing to hit home with consumers can sometimes seem trickier than it needs to be.
While always staying within your marketing budget, be sure that you are doing everything possible, especially online, to give your brand the marketing energy it needs.
If you’re not, your brand and your revenue stream will pay the price, a price that ultimately could put you out of business.
Even though no one ever said marketing your small business would be easy, it doesn’t have to be all that hard when you stop and think about it.
About the Author: Dave Thomas covers small business topics on the web.