Did you know almost half of small-business owners attempt to handle their marketing efforts on their own, and often report facing marketing challenges? It should then come as little surprise that many SMBs avoid marketing altogether because they simply don’t understand it or just don’t have the time.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are the only small-business owner to have problems with marketing. You’re not alone! A solid business plan, a great product or service and a prime location are all important, but they’re meaningless if you can’t attract and retain customers.
We’ve compiled a selection of obstacles we’ve heard from our clients about attracting and retaining customers, and we’ve created an eBook packed with insights and tips to help you build a successful marketing plan.
Identify Your Target Audience
Learn about the customers you already have and identify local competitors so you can learn about their customers. Ask yourself, “Why should a prospective customer buy my product or service rather than my competitor’s?”
The key is to start collecting data on your customers so you can build an ideal customer profile. Start to develop segments based on demographics such as geography, age and gender. Even better, find out about their interests, passions and other psychological criteria to help you get more specific so you can develop targeted marketing campaigns.
Establish an Online Presence
Believe it or not, more than 60% of consumers have used local information from digital ads, 68% use the “get directions” or “call” buttons featured in online ads, and more than 88% use online search to find out more about a brand.
These stats should tell you that online is critical for a small business. Make is as easy as possible for customers to find your business no matter which platform they are using.
Be a Thought Leader
Position yourself to provide the answer your potential customers are searching for. Begin by developing content, especially blogs and videos. Whether you’re providing information about the latest tech trends or offering tips for being prepared for an excursion, this content illuminates your brand as something meaningful — and even as a company that cares about its audience’s interests.
Grow Relationships via Email and Social
Once you’ve established a relationship, you need to maintain it. The two most effective ways to do that are via email and social media. Take advantage of any events you attend by collecting email addresses. Don’t be afraid to incentivize email collection by making it part of a contest or giveaway.
Make sure your social content is valuable to your customers. If your social channel is only pushing out promotions, your audience will tune out your messages. Valuable, interesting content increases engagement and brand perception. Also, don’t forget to be active on your social channels. I know this can be tough for small businesses, but if your social channel seems dead or forgotten, people will ignore it — or even worse, feel ignored.
These tips represent just the beginning of a successful marketing plan for attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. Download the full eBook for more tips on budget, return on investment (ROI) and other key elements.
Remember, you don’t need to approach your marketing efforts alone. Signing on with a media partner could be within your budget and provide expert guidance on strategy while connecting you with the best audience. If you’re interested in exploring these options, contact Swift Local Solutions to see how we can help you grow.