Marketing is one of the biggest challenges small business owners face. How do you generate demand for your products or services,
keep your business top-of-mind with prospective customers, and maintain a steady pipeline of new business—all while handling your day-to-day duties?
These suggestions will help you better improve your marketing.
“It’s impossible to create work that both matters and pleases everyone.”
― Seth Godin, This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See
- Develop a plan
Marketing haphazardly generates uneven results. Decide what you want to gain from your marketing efforts,
which methods will work best to reach your target customers based on your market research, and what kind of budget you can devote to marketing.
Then create a 12-month marketing plan detailing the specifics; use it as your road map to guide your marketing efforts.
- Align Strategies
Marketing is not one-size-fits-all. What works for one organization may turn out to be a complete flop for another.
The best way to develop and execute a successful marketing plan is to align your marketing strategy with your business strategy.
Next, develop strategies for the functional areas within marketing that align with the marketing strategy. Alignment not only gets everyone on the
same page and increases efficiency, it also signficantly increases your odds of helping the business to meet or exceed its goals.
- Analyze the Competition
Most businesses are doing competitive analysis, but this typically doesn’t go much beyond checking out their products and/or
services and keeping an eye on what they’re up to from afar. If you really want to get a leg up, you have to delve deeper.
Tap into your existing customers and ask them what they perceive to be the real differences between what you and your competitors have to offer.
They’ll appreciate your concern and you’ll get real-time feedback on how you can improve on your own marketing efforts.
Run a competitive link analysis using tools like Open Site Explorer
Put competitor URLs into Adwords keyword tool for content ideas.
Monitor your customer’s brand terms. Take advantage of their stumbles.
Monitor your customer’s referral links on Twitter.
Pick a fight. Rivalry games are always sell outs.
Secret shop your competitors offerings.
- Use Local media.
Don’t underestimate the power of Local media, especially if you are located in a small town.
Local newspapers or radio stations or shows can be highly effective if you’re looking to generate more foot traffic.
- Run Local SEO campaigns.
You can use software like Google AdWords to create SEO campaigns to drive local traffic both online and in-store.
Look into pay-per-click campaigns and other SEO options.
- Use social media to engage the audience.
Social media can be a great way to connect with an audience in a professional but human way.
Use social channels that the local audience is on to answer customer questions and have conversations with your audience.
- Run contests or promotions.
Promotions like contests can be great tools for engaging a local audience. Be creative with contests and offer prizes that the ideal customer would want.
Offer promotions to celebrate local events or to connect with the community in other ways.
- Mobilize your website.
According to Mobile searches are one of the top ways local customers will find and view information about your business.
If you have not yet mobilized your business, doing so could work wonders with regard to local marketing. Those who use mobile searches
are typically already in your area and seeking local businesses to patronize. Taking the time to mobilize your company could boost business overnight.
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