Excerpt of Forbes – Mike Kappel Contributor
Marketing is important to every business’s survival. As a small business owner, you probably have a small business marketing strategy. But, marketing is always changing with new tactics.
As marketing evolves, shouldn’t your small business marketing strategies change, too? Learning how to improve marketing for your organization can only benefit your business’s bottom line.
How To Improve Marketing For Your Small Business
If your marketing strategies for small business never change, they can go stale. Your competitors will find better ways to market, and your customers will get tired of you. You must follow marketing trends to stay fresh with your customers.
While your basic marketing plan might work for your business, there are things you can do to improve. Find out how to improve marketing for your small business.
1. Learn From Competitors
When searching for ways to improve your marketing, look to your competitors. Find out what they are doing to attract customers. If you’re the only company in your industry still using cold calling techniques and with little return, it’s time to learn from the other players in the game. Their tactics might work for you, especially since you are trying to attract the same customers.
For example, if you see that your competitors regularly run ads on Facebook, you might consider doing the same. The regular Facebook ads might indicate that your competitors see success from running the ads. You might experience similar success with your ads and cause some of your competitors’ customers to come to you.
2. Get Testimonials
Before people buy something, they often look for reviews that validate their purchase. People want to know that they’re spending money on quality. And, they want to know if what you have to offer is better than what your competitors have to offer.
You can attract more customers by getting reviews from people who have already purchased from you.
You can put your reviews in multiple places, so potential customers are sure to see them. You can add reviews to your website. You might have a dedicated testimonials page, or you might let customers review your products. Either way, customer reviews are a critical component of what makes a website effective.
You can have customers leave reviews on social media. For example, customers can leave reviews on your business’s Facebook page. Customers can also leave reviews on dedicated review sites.
Ask your customers to leave reviews. You can prompt them with an email or a social media post. If you talk to customers in person, ask them to write a review. You can even direct customers to the locations where you want them to leave reviews.
3. Update Social Media
You probably already know that social media marketing is important for small businesses. But, simply having accounts isn’t enough. There are always new social media marketing tips for small business that can improve your presence on social platforms.
First, keep your account information updated and accurate. If something about your business changes, your social media profile should change, too. Make sure your website, address, hours, logo, and pictures are all current.
Second, post fresh content. You must regularly post new content on your social media pages. Don’t create an account and then forget about it. Frequent posts keep you in front of customers’ faces. Post about new products and sales, and show your followers what you and your business are up to.
4. Get Out Of The Store
Whether you have a storefront or a home-based business, it’s important for potential customers to get to know you and your business. They need to see you. Sometimes, that means you have to go out to where your customers are instead of waiting for them to come to you.
Develop your local marketing strategies by going out to local events. If you can, get a booth or table at events. What events you attend will depend on your product or service. You might go to flea markets, farmer’s markets, local festivals and fairs, and special interest events. For example, if you sell homemade soaps, you might attend an expo for creators of homemade goods.
When you attend events, you can bring items to sell and information about your business. Even if someone doesn’t buy something from you, offer them a business card, brochure, or other information about your business so they are reminded of your business later.
You can also hold a contest and have people sign up for your emails. You should find a way to nurture your leads and remain in front of them after the event ends.
5. Become An Expert
You can improve your small business marketing by positioning yourself as a local expert. Becoming an expert is one of the long-term marketing tactics for small business, but can provide a big payoff.
Find local interest group meetings that fit in with your business’s brand. Attend them to network, find customers, and show off your expertise.
You can offer yourself as a speaker at local events and meetings. You might also do demonstrations. Leverage the networking benefits of joining a chamber of commerce. Also, talk to libraries and other local organizations to find out how you can get involved.
Talk to local journalists. Instead of trying to get reporters to write articles about your business, you can offer yourself as an expert for other stories. Create a relationship so journalists will come to you when they need to interview someone in your niche. Ask the reporter to mention your business when they quote you in the article.